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APH News: July 2019

Your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, and training opportunities from the American Printing House for the Blind.

Building on Patterns Writers Meet to Continue Kindergarten Revision

The annual Building on Patterns (BOP) Summer Meeting was held at APH June 24–28. The team of BOP writers and consultants came from around the United States and Canada to collaborate and work on BOP Kindergarten, Second Edition. The dedicated teachers in this group work on BOP in addition to their other jobs and responsibilities. During the meeting, the group made decisions about, and significant progress on, the introductory lessons, assessment pieces, and the content of the second half of the curriculum. They also learned about some of APH’s new products that will help them support their students and their ongoing work on BOP.

group photo
Front: Izetta Read (CA), Cathy Senft-Graves (APH), Luanne Blaylock (AR), Mary Filicetti (VA), Jo Ellen Croft (AR); Rear: Becky Peek (VA), Cay Holbrook (British Columbia), Kristen Buhler (OR), Kate Dilworth (OR), Robin Wingell (CA); Not pictured: Anna Swenson (VA)

Order a Jupiter Magnifier before the Start of the School Year

1-00370-00 – $3200.00

Jupiter is an easy-to-use, powerful, portable magnifier that levels the learning playing field and enhances the classroom experience for students with visual impairments.

Reading: The movable camera is excellent for reading a book or completing a homework assignment. There are 35 color contrast combinations to meet all of your students’ needs.

Writing: The large tray and adjustable display gives your student the perfect place to write, draw, or complete math problems, all while clearly seeing the task at hand.

Distance-view: The adjustable, full HD camera (1920×1080) magnifies up to 150x, making Jupiter great for viewing a presentation or instructor at the front of the classroom.

Would you like an in-person demonstration of the Jupiter? We’d love to show you how easy it is to use! Request a Jupiter demo nowOpens a new window!

Jupiter Portable Magnifier is an APH Innovations product, and is not currently available for purchase with quota funds.

APH Light Box Discontinued: New One Coming Soon!

In an effort to comply with the U.S. government’s initiative to phase out fluorescent tube lightbulbs, the current version of APH’s Light Box (1-08669-00) has been discontinued, effective June 2019. Don’t worry – there’s “light” at the end of the tunnel! APH will sell an updated Light Box with an LED bulb, which is known to last longer and use less energy. APH eagerly awaits the arrival of the LED bulbs and anticipates being able to sell the updated Light Box before the end of this year. We know that the Light Box is one of our most popular products, and we will continue to update you and our other customers as we work to make the updated Light Box available as quickly as possible. If you have any questions, please contact APH Customer Service at 800.223.1839 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

APH Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale 2019, July 1—September 30. As always, first come, first served.

STEM Corner

Science and Disability at the Science History Institute

The Science History Institute, located in Philadelphia, PA, is taking steps to make their displays and programming accessible to all individuals with disabilities. The Science and Disability Project is sponsored by the Institute and features a display of artifacts, oral history videos, and books that document the experiences of scientists with disabilities. For example, it includes a periodic table that identifies elements discovered by scientists with a disability. If you are in the Philadelphia area, you can interact with these items in the Institute’s Science and Disability Exhibit Lab. If you work or are a student in a STEM field and have a disability, the Center for Oral History at the Science History Institute invites you to fill out a recruitment form to participate in a three-year project to document the lives and contributions of scientists with disabilitiesOpens a new window.

The Braille You Need – Fast!

It takes time to transcribe and emboss a book – but we know there are times you need braille right away! To help meet this demand, APH is introducing a FREE NIMAS-to-braille translation service.

If a NIMAS source file is available, the APH team can convert it to a .bbx and .brf file for you within 3 business days. The files will be formatted and will contain headers, paragraphs, and page numbers. The .brf files are ready to use with refreshable braille devices, while the .bbx files can be opened in BrailleBlaster or your braille translation software to complete braille translation.

How to Request a File

  1. Check the NIMAC (or Louis Plus) to see if the NIMAC has the file.
  2. Ask a NIMAC Authorized User for your state to assign APH the digital file.
  3. APH will notify you when the BrailleBlaster files are ready for download from the APH File Repository.
  4. Ask an approved APH File Repository user to download the completed file for your student.

Once produced, the BrailleBlaster files will be available in the APH File Repository. If APH receives an order for the hard copy braille transcription, the BrailleBlaster file will be replaced with the BRF for the completed book once that is available. (BRF files for APH embossed braille books are available for $25 from the APH File Repository, with tactile graphics packages sold separately.)

Are you ready for your FAST, FORMATTED, and FREE braille files? Request your BrailleBlaster file today!

Treasures from the APH Libraries

  • From the Migel Library: Wayne, Donald. “Farmer Bill is Blind.” Parade, February 5, 1950.

    The picture shows Bill and his dog, Rex, approaching the camera with farming equipment.

    Bill Hendrick was a dedicated farmer and husband. He fixed water pipes, chased chickens, and milked the cow without missing a beat. In fact, since Bill was so skilled in his profession, he even taught a farming course at Barnes Agricultural School for the Blind. Those who met Farmer Bill, however, had no idea that the forty-one-year-old had been totally blind since he was ten years old, after having been struck in the eye by a toy arrow. This article, published by Parade in 1950, is brief, but unique in that it describes his individual experience as a blind man. This article has been digitized for Internet Archive at a new window.

  • From the Barr Library: xArgyropoulos, V., Padeliadu, S., Avramidis, E., Tsiakali, T., & Nikolaraizi, M. (2019). An investigation of preferences and choices of students with vision impairments on literacy medium for studying. British Journal of Visual Impairment, 37(2), 154–168.

    Cover of the British Journal of Visual Impairment

    From the abstract: This article presents the outcomes of a national survey set in Greece examining the preferences and choices of students with vision impairments on literacy medium for studying. In brief, this study explored (a) the students’ preferences regarding literacy medium for studying, (b) the students’ opinions regarding the best performance medium for their studying, and (c) the relationship between the students’ literacy medium preferences and choices in terms of their age, type of vision loss, and onset of vision impairment. Seventy-five primary and secondary students with vision impairments participated in the study. Relevant data were obtained through questionnaires, and the results showed that braille and large print were the preferred mediums for studying regardless of gender, age, type of vision loss, and onset of blindness. Yet, the majority of the participants chose the medium of listening (‘aural reading’) as the best performance medium for their studying. The discussion highlights issues such as literacy skills, usage of technological advances, and teachers’ training and stresses the need for developing evidence-based practices and educational programs through organized interdisciplinary teams and networks.

The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Collection is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to visual impairment in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will make materials available online at a new window. The digitized texts are available in a variety of accessible formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, and read-aloud.

Contact Library staff: email hidden; JavaScript is required, 800-223-1839, ext. 705

Call for Field Testers – My Eyes My Vision

My Eyes My Vision provides a framework to begin a discussion about the eye, the visual system, and the breakdowns in the system that lead to a visual impairment. Participants in this program will develop the communication skills necessary to raise awareness about having an eye condition and building the confidence to communicate visual needs amongst instructors, peers, family, medical professionals, and the general public. The materials are designed for students K-12 of all abilities, including sighted, low vision, and blind populations and teaches about the human eye, providing a basic understanding of the visual system using diagrams, models, activities, and labeling worksheets. The materials come with a glossary of eye terminology and a glossary of eye conditions for the student to learn parts of the eye, how light travels through the eye, and breakdowns in the visual system that cause vision loss. Students will learn self-advocacy skills to communicate having an eye condition by creating a visual abilities statement.

If you are interested in field testing this product during August and September of the 2019-2020 school year, please fill out the following My Eyes My Vision Interest SurveyOpens a new window with your contact information.

APH Travel Calendar

APH logo

ACB National Convention
July 5-12 – Rochester, NY

NFB National Convention
July 7-12 – Las Vegas, NV

AHEAD: Equity & Excellence Access in Higher Education
July 9-13 – Boston, MA

5th Annual Perkins CVI Symposium
July 11-12 – Waltham, MA

Disablity: IN
July 15-18 – Chicago, IL

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APH News Credits

Dr. Craig Meador
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Leslie Farr Knox, Director of Marketing and Communications
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Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
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Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • MaryGen Boley, Product Marketing Manager
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian
  • Rosanne Hoffmann, STEM Project Leader
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer
  • Jessica Minneci, Marketing Associate
  • Jeffrey Witt, Special Collections and Metadata Librarian

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