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Jupiter Portable MagnifierThe stars have aligned, and Jupiter is now on quota!

Our family of quota magnifiers just welcomed another addition – Jupiter Portable Magnifier™! Jupiter’s easy-to-use, powerful HD magnification is perfect for users of all ages, whether in the classroom, at work, at home, or in the rehab setting for those experiencing vision loss. Students and adults with low vision can rely on Jupiter to continue the activities that bring joy to everyday life, while also exploring new opportunities for lifelong education.

Stay tuned for more information about our new handheld video magnifier with OCR, set to be released in 2020!

an APH logo is projected onto the Hyatt lobby floor in front of the escalators during Annual Meeting 2019The Future Belongs to Everyone: A Recap of APH’s 151st Annual Meeting

Close-up of a post on our Wishing Wall: I wish for enough TVIs for all the students

Annual Meeting is a time for Ex Officio Trustees, teachers, parents, consumers, and other special guests to come together to discuss the field of blindness and learn from one another. This year’s theme, The Future Belongs to Everyone, conveyed that, with the help of one another, we can create an accessible world. From October 10th through 11th, 2019, Annual Meeting attendees were given the opportunity to participate in APH’s vision for the future by joining in roundtable discussions, giving feedback on products in development, and receiving training on products, services, and initiatives. Below are some of this year’s highlights.

Helen Comes to Louisville

APH Museum Director Mike Hudson and AFB President Kirk Adams
APH Museum Director Mike Hudson and AFB President Kirk Adams

On October 10, 2019, APH announced our partnership with AFB to bring the Helen Keller archives – one of the largest disability history archives in the world – to Louisville. The largest collection of her belongings, including letters to presidents, her typewriter, her Oscar, and so much more, are coming to the museum at APH! The exhibit, called The Keller, will be about more than simply artifacts: it will challenge how visitors see the world around them, and overcome their own barriers.

Keynote Speaker Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib

APH President Craig Meador, Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib, Kristin Meador
APH President Craig Meador, Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib, Kristin Meador

Lieutenant Governor, Cyrus Habib, was the keynote speaker at Annual Meeting. In his speech, he emphasized the need for children who are blind and visually impaired to receive the tools needed for self-advocacy and excellence, to participate in the world today. Lt. Habib also thanked his mother for his success, saying, “The path for me, from braille to Yale, was the instinct to stick up for myself. That came from my mom.”

Hall of Fame Class of 2019

Marianne Apple, Craig Meador, Rosanne Silberman
Marianne Apple, Craig Meador, Rosanne Silberman

The 2019 APH Hall of Fame inductees were Dr. Lou M. Alonso and Loyal E. Apple.

Dr. Lou M. Alonso, 1925-2012, coordinated the pioneering Teacher Preparation Program in Visual Impairment at Michigan State University from 1959 to 1998. She authored influential scholarly works, raised millions of dollars in federal grants for important projects, and initiated additional university programs in Deaf-Blindness and in Orientation and Mobility. Responding to the national rubella epidemic, her Deaf-Blind initiative was one of the first in the country. Lou was the recipient of numerous well-deserved awards, including the Helen Keller Medal for outstanding service to deaf-blind children and their families; the John O. Mullen Award for Distinguished Services from the National Federation of the Blind; the Distinguished Service Award from the Division on Visual Impairments, Council for Exceptional Children; and the esteemed Migel Medal from the American Foundation for the Blind.

Dr. Loyal E. Apple, 1932-2018, held many positions throughout his extraordinary career. Among them were Chief of the Blind Rehabilitation Section of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Hines, IL.; first Chief of the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center at Palo Alto, CA; and Executive Director of the American Foundation for the Blind. Dr. Apple received many honors and awards, including the Commendation from Hines Veterans Administration Hospital for exemplary leadership in blind rehabilitation, and the Major General Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award from the Blinded Veterans.

Tactile plaques in the Hall of Fame at APH will ensure that their work for those with visual impairments will never be forgotten.

APH Honors 2019 InSights Art Artists

InSights Artist Kayleigh Littlejohn poses in front of her painting
InSights Artist Kayleigh Littlejohn poses in front of her painting

Each year, the InSights Art competition and exhibition honors artists who are blind and visually impaired of all ages and abilities. A total of 99 artists were featured in the juried exhibit at Annual Meeting, including 49 winning artists. During a special awards banquet, winners were invited on stage for a ribbon and congratulatory picture with APH president, Dr. Craig Meador. APH is honored to celebrate the work of these amazing artists at Annual Meeting.

Braille Roadmap

Anne Durham leads a session at Annual Meeting 2019
Anne Durham leads a session at Annual Meeting 2019

APH’s Vice President of Innovation & Strategy, Anne Durham, led a concurrent session that detailed APH’S passion and commitment to the future of braille. Attendees learned more about current and future electronic braille displays, such as the Braille Trail Reader LE, The Mantis Q40, and the Chameleon 20. Afterwards, participants were able to get hands-on with these displays. Early-to-mid 2020 will see the launch of our newest braille displays – the Mantis Q40 and the Chameleon 20 – developed in partnership with HumanWare.

Code Jumper: A Successful Future in Coding for Every Child

Attendees working with Code Jumper during a session at Annual Meeting 2019

In this session, Li Zhou, the core curriculum project leader for Code Jumper, gave a demonstration of the product, which is designed to teach students who are blind and visually impaired the basics of coding. After the demonstration, attendees broke into groups and were given a tablet, a Code Jumper kit, and step-by-step instructions on how to create six different programs.

APH Apiary

Leanne Grillot leads a session at Annual Meeting 2019
Leanne Grillot leads a session at Annual Meeting 2019

For the first time in Annual Meeting history, we hosted the APH Apiary – a half-day session that focused on communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. With no predefined agenda, attendees suggested and voted on important topics for discussion, and then broke into “hives” to hold these discussions with interactive and accessible notes. The topics selected this year included online product training, inventive use of products, engaging families, teaching tactile graphics literacy, TVI recruitment, and much more. We look forward to the Apiary being a recurring event at future Annual Meetings.

Product Showcase

Attendees came face-to-face and got hands-on demonstrations of items old and new at the product showcase – an interactive event held by project leaders at APH. Products included:

  • Code Jumper
  • The Mantis Q40
  • Partners in O&M: Supporting Orientation and Mobility for Students Who Are Visually Impaired
  • Adapted Science Materials Kit
  • Color Raceway
  • Building on Patterns Prekindergarten
  • Light Box Ledges and Dycem®
  • BrailleBuzz
  • Topaz Filters
  • TactileDoodle

Services Showcase

One of the newer offerings at Annual Meeting is the services showcase. This event provided EOT’s with an overview of APH services, along with other valuable information and resources. From Braille Tales to NIMAC, and from the Connect Center to outreach services, APH provided materials and guidance to teachers, parents, and students across the U.S.

Join Us for Future Annual Meetings!

Mark your calendars for Annual Meeting 2020 and 2021. Annual Meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Louisville on October 8-9, 2020 and on October 7-8, 2021.

InSights Art logoShare your art with the world. Enter the 2020 InSights Art Competition

The 2020 season of the APH InSights Art competition is now open. APH invites all artists who are blind or visually impaired to submit artwork for the 2020 APH InSights Art Competition.

Now in our 29th year, our popular, international, art contest delights the senses, provokes discussion, and allows artists with vision loss the opportunity to share their creative imagination with the world.

Artists may enter original artwork created in any medium, including, but not limited to painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber, metal, and wood. This season’s deadline for student and adult artists is March 27, 2020.

Download the rules and entry forms (pdf).

Winning artwork in nine categories, as well as other selected pieces, will be displayed at the InSights Art Exhibit during APH’s Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, October 8 and 9, 2020. We look forward to your participation in our competition. For more information, please e-mail insights@aph.org, or call Rob Guillen at 502-899-2242.

About APH InSights Art

APH InSights, an annual juried competition, and exhibition, is organized by APH, for artists of all ages with vision loss. International in scope, this project reflects our mission to promote the independence of people who are blind and visually impaired by encouraging individuals to create original art.

Around 500 entries in all types of media are received each year. Jurors from Louisville’s art community select pieces for the annual exhibit at APH’s Annual Meeting. Prize winners are invited to come to Louisville to receive their awards at a festive, evening banquet. Artwork may be reproduced as greeting cards or images in a calendar.

New Products

  • The following products are no longer available for purchase. Please, contact our Customer Experience team at 502-859-2405 or cs@aph.org if you have any questions.

    • Orion Ti-84 Plus Calculator 1-07340-00
    • Four Corners 6-77957-00
    • Slate Brown with Stylus 1-00170-00
    • Wilson Reading System Student Reader 6-79503-01
    • Stokes Place Holder 1-03590-00
    • Rolling Right Along Construction Kit 1-08451-00
    • Labels Twig Kit 2: Contracted 3-00207-CL
    • Northeast State Map Collection 1-04110-00
    • EZEECOUNT Abacus w/ Print Guidebook 1-03185-00
    • Spring Handi 2 Door 45-085-033
    • Teacher’s Booklet, Print, Hundreds Board 61-219-003
    • Temporarily Unavailable: Six Dots Card Game 1-03569-00 (New orders will be accepted starting in mid-2020)

Download your APH Catalog Today!

Along with receiving a print catalog in the mail, EOT’s, teachers, and educators can also find a fully accessible version online. You can save the catalog right to your device. The document is searchable, so you can locate your favorite products quickly and easily. Please, click the link below and select 2019-2020 APH Instructional-accessible PDF.

Two New Opportunities to Make a Difference for Low-Vision Students

Help us make the best smart tablet magnifier possible to meet the needs of you and your students!

We are exploring and discovering how teachers and students are currently using the MATT Connect magnifier, and are in search of innovative ideas for the next generation of MATT Connect. Teachers and students, we want to hear from you! If you currently use a MATT Connect, tell us about your needs and desires for the ultimate magnifier! Please, contact Denise Snow at dsnow@aph.org. In the email, provide the school/agency you work for and the number and grade levels of the students that would participate.

Attention TVIs Attending the Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference!

Remember to attend our Smart Magnifier Focus Group session led by Robin Lowell on Saturday November 16, 2019 from 9:00-10:00 AM in room Ravenna C. With your help, we can design the smart tablet magnifier of the future. Get in on this critical and pivotal design process before it is too late!

STEM Corner

Project INSPIRE: Increasing the STEM Potential of Individuals Who Read Braille

  • Are you looking for resources to increase your own knowledge of Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts or UEB technical?
  • Do you know other professionals including braillists, university resource center personnel, and rehabilitation professionals looking for these types of resources?
  • Do you work with students in grades 6-12 or college who want to build their skills in Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, please consider helping Tina Herzberg as she kicks off Project INSPIRE: Increasing the STEM Potential of Individuals Who Read Braille.

As a first step in this project, we are collecting data regarding the training needs of professionals. This survey is open to professionals who are responsible for providing braille readers in a STEM-related subject braille materials and/or teaching the braille code(s).
The survey will close December 6, so don’t delay! Please, follow this link to read the consent form and, if you choose, to complete the survey: https://uofsc.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3aggRrL7PbM718V

Share this material widely with those who prepare materials and/or deliver instruction for students in STEM subjects. This study is conducted through the School of Education at the University of South Carolina Upstate, and has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board-Human Subjects in Research. It will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. If you have questions, or would like additional information, please use the contact information below.

Tina Herzberg, Ph.D.
Professor
Coordinator of Special Education – Visual Impairment Program
Office: 864-503-5572
Email: therzberg@uscupstate.edu

Treasures from the APH Libraries

Photograph of a tactile scale model of a torpedo
From the Migel Library: Tunley, R. F. Braille Maps and How to Make Them. Queensland Braille Map and Model Club.

Richard Frank Tunley believed that tactile scale models were one of the best ways to allow students who were blind to see the world. This heavily illustrated pamphlet goes far beyond making just braille maps and globes, and also shows models of ships, bridges, intersections, and even a torpedo – all extensively labeled with braille. Tunley distributed the booklet globally for free, in the hopes that groups would form worldwide devoted to the same work on tactile aids that he had done. His 40 years of philanthropy for children who were visually impaired earned him the Order of the British Empire in 1954. This item has been digitized for Internet Archive.

The APH Migel Collection is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to visual impairment in the world. Although the collection does not circulate, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will make materials available online at https://archive.org/details/aphmigel. The digitized texts are available in a variety of accessible formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, and read-aloud. Contact Library staff: resource@aph.org, 800-223-1839, ext. 705.

Conference Listing

November 3-6
Vision Serve Alliance Executive Leadership Conference
Atlanta, GA

November 13-16
Getting in Touch with Literacy
Seattle, WA

November 15-16
KY ACB
Louisville, KY

November 18-22
Accessing Higher Ground AHEAD
Westminster, CO

November 20-22
Ocalicon
Columbus, OH