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Responses to the Report of the Educational Services Advisory Committee to the Trustees of the American Printing House for the Blind for Fiscal Year 2004

The committee recommends that APH:

  1. Conduct mandatory training to Ex Officio Trustees at the Annual Meeting to provide guidance on responsibilities of Ex Officio Trustees and to review the updated handbook.

    Status: Implemented

    Brief Clarification: A mandatory training session was held during the 2004 Annual Meeting, at which time EOT responsibilities were highlighted and the new updated EOT handbook was presented.

    We will continue to offer mandatory training sessions in the future to discuss changes to the EOT Handbook and other pertinent information.

    Contact: Janie Blome

  2. Survey customer satisfaction for the revised LOUIS system.

    Status: Implemented

    Brief Clarification: A brief survey of Louis satisfaction was conducted. The survey was posted online throughout December and January. Notice of the survey was distributed through the AIRCVH list and Ex Officio Trustees list. There were 58 respondents. The largest single group of respondents (18) was employees of instructional resource materials centers. Interestingly, trustees of APH made only the fourth largest group of respondents, with 5 replies from that group. The vast majority of Louis users (91.2%) agree that Louis is easy to use. 43% of respondents prefer using the new Louis interface, while 27.5% prefer the older version. Although the comments indicated the searchers found Louis easy to use, they also revealed some basic misunderstandings. For example, some indicated they had to log on with a user ID and password before searching Louis, which is not necessary. Still others did not realize there is a printer friendly version for search results in the new Louis.

    A May 12 web cast on search tips for the Louis database is one effort we have made to address this situation.

    Contact: Julia Myers

  3. Communicate more clearly that educational services are directly related to APH specialized materials and products.

    Status: Implemented

    Brief Clarification: APH educational services are designed to support APH products. Promotions, presentations, and exhibits all support an awareness and understanding of APH products.

    Products and materials that relate to the specific topic are demonstrated and displayed at all National Instructional Partnership events. All information disseminated regarding NIP events highlights the connection between APH products and their use in specific curriculum areas.

    Contact: Bob Brasher/Janie Blome

  4. Conduct National Instructional Partnerships that are broad-based and represent a variety of approaches and techniques in the utilization of APH products and materials to promote promising practices.

    Status: Implementation in Progress

    Brief Clarification: This is an on-going process as we continue to look for new presenters and topics for NIP events. A June event will highlight APH products for math, and feature Susan Osterhaus. A November event will offer what we hope will be the first of many events featuring Millie Smith as she presents learning strategies for students with multiple disabilities, highlighting the new APH Sensory Learning Kit.

    We are in discussion with other presenters to provide NIP events on the K-Sonar, and on the use of APH products in collaborative assessment. Further discussions with an additional teacher of the visually impaired/COMS will hopefully lead to another reliable source for NIP events.

    Contact: Janie Blome

  5. Continue to develop and promote the Expanded Core Curriculum content areas through trainings and products.

    Status: Implementation in Progress

    Brief Clarification: APH products addressing the areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum are routinely promoted at conferences, workshops, and exhibits. Members of the Field Services staff demonstrate and display these products for teachers, parents, consumers, and others.

    Three Accessible Tests Department workshops have provided training that included segments dedicated to the areas of braille, tactile graphics, large print, and audio communication modes, as well as computer-based testing and the use of assistive technology.

    In ATIC workshops provided to transcribers and paraprofessionals APH products for creating tactile graphics were highlighted including grid paper, map outlines, drawing tools and other templates offered in the Crafty Graphics kit.

    The Research Department is in active development of products for the expanded core curriculum. The following projects are examples of the more than 100 products currently approved by APH for research and development:

    • COMPENSATORY SKILLS (including communication
      modes and literacy education)
      Patterns Revision
      Quick Pick Braille Contractions
      Moving Ahead storybooks
      Turbo Phonics
      SQUID: Tactile Activities Magazine
      Tactile Connections: Symbols for Communication

      K Sonar
      Miniguide US

    • INDEPENDENT LIVING (including daily living)
      Sherlock Talking Label Identifier

      Toodle Tiles

    • VISUAL EFFICIENCY (including low vision)
      ToAD: Functional Vision/Learning Media
      Best Intervention Techniques Video
      Optimizing the Reading of Text

    In-house meetings focusing on the Expanded Core Curriculum are helping to determine APH’s potential involvement in developing a kit to assess the performance of students in the areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum. A survey will be conducted and the results will be utilized to target and address the issues identified for future research, services and product development.

    Contact: Janie Blome/Ralph Bartley/Jane Thompson/Debbie Willis

  6. Collaborate with other entities (i.e., consumer groups, NAPVI, POBC) to identify students with visual impairments who are being home schooled

    Status: Implementation in Progress

    Brief Clarification: We have contacted home schooling advocates and organizations regarding the Federal Quota Registration process and asked for their assistance in sharing information with families.

    NAPVI assures us that APH information, including quota registration, is shared with families.

    Contact: Bob Brasher

  7. Consider the reallocation of unused Federal Quota Funds only to Ex Officio Trustees participating in the Annual Meeting

    Status: Not Under Consideration at This Time

    Brief Clarification: While all Ex Officio Trustees should be mindful that participation at the Annual Meeting is an important responsibility, attendance is not mandatory. The allocation of quota funds, including original allocation, reallocation during the year, and unused funds and "profit" rolled into the following year is based solely on the number of students served.

    Contact: Tuck Tinsley/Bob Brasher