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Responses to the Report of the Educational Products Advisory Committee to the Ex Officio Trustees of the American Printing House for the Blind for Fiscal Year 2002

The Committee recommends that APH:

1. Consider making APH-created ATIC files available for download.

Status: Implemented

Brief Clarification: ATIC files are now available on the APH Repository. Since most files do not include tactile graphics, and the majority of ATIC textbooks are math and science, accompanying packaged tactile graphics will be available for an additional charge.

Contact: Christine Anderson/Jane Thompson

2. Expand methods of attracting qualified staff to fill position vacancies.

Status: Implementation in Progress

Brief Clarification: Advertisements are placed in newspapers and professional publications and at a wide-range of meetings and conferences across the country. The APH website contains a Career Opportunity section that details current open positions.

Contact: Debbie Willis/John Aicken

3. Expand use of employees and consultants who telecommute, and provide necessary technological support.

Status: Implementation in Progress

Brief Clarification: New software is being created and will be introduced to assist telecommuting employees and contracted consultants during this fiscal year.

Contact: Jane Thompson

4. Document standards for field testing for the purpose of uniform practices across categorical project areas.

Status: Implementation in Progress

Brief Clarification: By the May 2003 meeting, Educational Research will produce a document explaining the field test process and provides general guidelines typically employed in field testing.

Contact: John Aicken/Project Leaders

5. Lengthen timelines for responses from the field when collecting information and data via surveys, field tests, etc.

Status: Implemented

Brief Clarification: We typically provide at least 30 days and sometimes as long as 12 weeks in the process of gathering data, whether from field testing or other survey mechanisms. Through direct contact from those field testing, we typically verify that sufficient time is allowed for the field tester to properly respond. Data collected through on-line surveys is usually allowed to continue until we have a sufficient amount of data. In most cases, if we are contacted, we allow submissions to be submitted beyond the published deadline.

Contact: John Aicken

6. Use E-mail to notify all Ex Officio Trustees regarding BETA testing opportunities, availability of new products, and new additions to the website.

Status: Implemented

Brief Clarification: In addition to emailing the monthly news, which includes much of the above, all Ex Officio Trustees are emailed with surveys and other project support opportunities.

Contact: Bob Brasher/Scott Blome

7. Enhance the connection of the Advisory Committees to the work of APH by appointing one member to each of the ad hoc advisory committees and focus groups.

Status: Implemented

Brief Clarification: EPAC/ESAC members have participated in numerous focus groups. When committee members are unable to attend focus group meetings, other Ex Officio Trustees are invited to participate.

Contact: Janie Humphries

8. Make catalogs available for order online.

Status: Implementation in Progress

Brief Clarification: Due to recent improvements that have been made in the Louis software, this recommendation can now be met. In her new capacity as Special Projects Advisor, Christine Anderson will be working on this project during the summer of 2003 with a projected completion date of October’s Annual Meeting.

Contact: Christine Anderson

9. Promote APH and its products within and outside the field of blindness by writing and submitting articles for publication in research journals.

Status: Implementation in Progress

Brief Clarification: Although we have not authored articles in many publications, we have published in the CEC DVI Quarterly. APH staff members participated in gathering research and doing assessments to assist Dr. Paul Rychwalski, a local pediatric opthalmologist, in a research study on ISAVE which was presented at a national ophthalmological conference and will be submitted for possible publication in a medical journal.

APH and its products have been promoted through a number of advertisements placed in non-traditional journals and magazines including "The Exceptional Parent", "Teaching Exceptional Children", "Looking at the Creative Classroom", and the Low Vision Supplement of the Eye Care Journal.

Contact: Janie Humphries/Will Evans

10. Produce a separate technology report for the Advisory Committees, which will outline technology activities and their potential relationships to other project areas.

Status: Implementation in Progress

Brief Clarification: Technology Project Leader Larry Skutchan will undertake the responsibility to issue technology updates, as warranted, regarding the application of new technology in APH products and processes. The purpose of these updates will be to not only highlight the technology itself, but also to identify possible interactions with other APH products.

We now send EPAC members the Ed. Research section of the APH Board Report, which updates our technology product progress.

Contact: John Aicken/Larry Skutchan

11. Retain the protocol interview process.

Status: Implemented

Brief Clarification: The 2003 EPAC meeting will utilize the protocol interview process for meetings with project leaders and others.

Contact: Janie Humphries

12. Further clarify the mechanism to prioritize product selection at all stages of the process.

Status: Implementation in Progress

Brief Clarification: During the spring ’02 EPAC meeting, Will Evans and John Aicken presented an overview of the Product Development Cycle used within APH. We will continue to keep EPAC members informed regarding the processes used at APH, which will include mechanisms used to determine priorities at all stages.

EPAC members currently receive PARC minutes and the Education/Technical Research portions of the APH Board Report describing project progress.

During fiscal year 2003 Mary Nelle McLennan will address product processes as a priority of the APH President.

Contact: Will Evans/John Aicken

13. Continue to strike a reasonable balance between production of contract work and production of products for the field.

Status: Implementation in Progress

Brief Clarification: This is an ongoing proposition. We will continue to monitor the balance.

Contact: Tuck Tinsley

14. Continue to develop adult braille literacy products; consider use of Grade 1 (uncontracted) braille and development of jumbo braille materials.

Status: Implemented

Brief Clarification: Active projects directed at adult braille literacy include Braille Literacy for Older Students and Contraction Practice (Quick Pick series). In regard to uncontracted and jumbo braille, we will consider uses of these braille modalities for appropriate subgroups, i.e. students with multiple disabilities and persons with diabetic neuropathy as well as persons with high braille anxiety. We will continue to review findings regarding the application of uncontracted and jumbo braille.

Contact: Eleanor Pester/John Aicken