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Responses to the Report of the Educational Products Advisory Committee to the Trustees of the American Printing House for the Blind for Fiscal Year 2003

The Committee recommends that APH:

  1. Provide adequate support to ensure that a priority system for product development is completed and implemented as indicated in the response to the 2002 recommendation on this subject.

    Status: Implementation in Progress

    Brief Clarification: A priority system for product development is being addressed in the action steps of the APH Strategic Plan for Product Development and Management, to be completed and implemented by December of 2004. The goal is to "establish and implement a comprehensive set of processes, criteria, and cycles through which APH assures that its selections, development, and range of educational products are founded upon experienced-based priorities."

    Contact: Tuck Tinsley/Bob Brasher/Ralph Bartley

  2. Continue to explore options for greater gender and ethnic diversity among the participants selected for product literature, videos, and promotional items.

    Status: Implemented

    Brief Clarification: We continue to ensure that diverse gender and ethnic backgrounds are represented in our products, videos, and promotional materials. For promotional materials, we have developed a grid that ensures diversity. The following are examples of diversity depictions:

    • Tactile Connections: Symbols for Communication – features children of various ages, genders, and ethnicity throughout the guidebook photos
    • ISAVE 101 Video – the main character is an East Indian professor and the optometrist is an African American
    • SQUID tactile/game activities incorporate children’s names that reflect gender and ethnic diversity
    • The new APH general brochure contains diversity in: gender; visually impaired, blind; preschool, elementary, adult; ethnic background
    • The New Textbooks Catalog 2004 cover depicts a Caucasian boy and an Hispanic girl

    Contact: Ralph Bartley/Scott Blome

  3. Identify the transcribers in the AMP database that currently meet the ATIC standards for Braille transcription.

    Status: Not Under Consideration at This Time

    Brief Clarification: Upon request, ATIC will recommend transcribers, but will not list the transcribers we use on the AMP database. Transcriber skills can improve and decrease over time. ATIC often outsources to companies who employ many transcribers, and we do not always know which specific transcribers work on ATIC books. It is therefore difficult for us to vouch for a specific transcriber.

    Contact: Jane Thompson/Julia Myers

  4. Include information which illustrates how products support national curricular standards and benchmarks in the product literature through manuals, announcements, catalog notations, and information on the website.

    Status: Implemented

    Brief Clarification: We offer the following products as examples of our effort to ensure our product offerings fully comply with national curriculum standards and "best practices":

    • Going Places: Transition Guidelines for Community – meets National Standards outlined by NASPE (National Association for Sport and Physical Education) per their newly revised national standards.
    • Sense of Science – Sense of Science complies with National Science Education Standards for grades K-3.
    • Envision – products embody "best practices" delineated by experts in teaching the proper use of optical devices.

    Typically, the product documentation discusses both the standards used and how our product meets the standards. Plans are underway to incorporate the standard compliance statement into product catalogs and brochures.
    Research staff members are attending regional and national conferences in order keep abreast of new developments and trends in national standards and "best practices" across a wide range of disciplines. For example, APH will have a presence at the International Reading Association conference this May.

    Contact: Ralph Bartley/Scott Blome

  5. Assure technological support and full access to all employees, including assistive technology where needed.

    Status: Implementation in Progress

    Brief Clarification: Research Department staff now routinely produce fully accessible computerized forms.

    Computer Technology Services (CTS) implemented a new phone system that addresses traditional accessibility issues.

    Department heads, working with the Computer Training Services Department, attempt to insure that employees are equipped with the accessible equipment they need for their jobs at APH.

    Contact: Bob Brasher

  6. Consider ATIC evolving into a textbook department where all textbook orders are funneled through the ATIC process to ensure consistency and quality.

    Status: Under Consideration

    Brief Clarification: Administrative staff at APH are currently considering the future processes of textbook production.

    Contact: Bob Brasher/Jane Thompson

  7. Continue the ATIC initiative in the area of production of large print textbooks, using the new standards.

    Status: Implemented

    Brief Clarification: The ATIC Large Print process is in full production and accepting orders.

    Contact: Jane Thompson

  8. Consider providing the Accessible Test Department access to a Braille transcriber who is experienced in test preparation.

    Status: Implemented

    Brief Clarification: ATIC and the Accessible Tests Department now share an experienced test editor. Three members of the Accessible Tests staff are currently studying braille formats through the NLS transcriber program.

    Contact: Debbie Willis

  9. Embody both medical and educational knowledge in its role as a lead agency in research and development. A current example of this type of collaboration is the CVI Partnership. All research models should bridge the gap between the research from the field of vision and research in the field of medicine.

    Status: Implementation In Progress

    Brief Clarification: APH has continued to collaborate with the field of medicine in the area of CVI, as evidenced by the following examples:

    • continued advice from medical experts such as Drs. Freeman, Jan, and Matsuba
    • utilizing medical information and current research for inclusion in a research article being developed, "Color Vision and the Student with VI"
    • sponsorship and attendance at a major medical/educational conference on CVI in Pittsburgh

    In addition, APH has utilized the medical field in other areas of product development, as evidenced by the following examples:

    • Drs. Randy Jose, Paul Bither, and Charles Brumit provided consultation and expert advice for the Envision low vision optical devices and curriculum
    • the Kentucky Lions Eye Institute is a resource for explanations of eye disorders in an upcoming O & M Family book
    • Dr. Paul Rychwalski, M.D., of the University of Louisville, School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmologist advised APH on the Sensory Learning Kit
    • attendance by the APH Director of Research at the National Eye Institute conference on Low Vision held at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, School of Medicine

    Contact: Ralph Bartley/Project Leaders

  10. Announce new products only when product availability is confirmed.

    Status: Implementation in Progress

    Brief Clarification: A new section was created for the Adult Life Catalog and Products Catalog called "Coming Soon." This lists products that are anticipated to be on the shelf within a few months. This section contains short product descriptions without any catalog numbers or prices so that the products cannot be ordered. For 2004 – 2005 we had no "Price to be Announced" (TBA) listings in Adult Life and only three in the Products Catalog. We will continue to refine this process.

    This policy is consistent in other APH promotional materials as well (e.g. APH News).

    Contact: Ralph Bartley/Tony Grantz/Scott Blome