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

April 2004

Summer Technology Training 2004

Bright yellow and orange sun with the APH logo

If you missed out on APH’s Technology Training last summer, you may want to sign up soon! This year we have added more topics to the hands-on training for students. In addition to learning how to search for books, games, assistive products and tips using the Internet, we’ll be learning how to use the Book PortTM, APH’s new electronic reader. Students will learn how to download electronic books, web pages, music, documents, and digital files to the Book Port. In addition, students will learn how to efficiently navigate through its content, and how to create files to organize addresses, appointments, class schedules, and other important information.

All students who take the training will receive "Surf Louis" t-shirts as well as certificates of accomplishment. To request an application and sign up for this training opportunity, please contact: Maria E. Delgado,
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Book Port: Now You Can Take Your Reader Everywhere!

Nolan Crabb, of Salem, Oregon, has written a review of APH’s new product, Book Port, in Dialogue Magazine, published by Blindskills, Inc. To read the article, follow this link:

APH Project Leaders, Karen Poppe and Tristan Pierce, enjoyed sharing field test results of Tactile Connections: Symbols for Communication, a product currently in development. Visitors to the Kentucky AER Conference poster session were very interested in the various tactile cards constructed by schools across the country.

APH’s ATIC Large Print Textbooks Now Available for Order

The new APH large print process created by ATIC is now in full production. The new process features large print textbooks in standard textbook size, with full color, and 18-point minimum font size. The ATIC process lends itself best to grades 8-12 textbooks. We are still in development for mathematics, science, and foreign languages but the current process can handle most other challenges.

Orders for this new process can be placed in the same manner as ordering ATIC braille textbooks. You may download the order form from our website on the ATIC web page ( When possible send two copies of the print book along with your order form signed by the Ex Officio Trustee.

The new ATIC production method and the traditional APH enlarged textbook production method give you options for the same price of 50 cents per page (available on Federal Quota).

If you have any questions about the new process please call Jane Thompson at 800/223-1839. ext. 370 or email at email hidden; JavaScript is required

APHont is Now Available!

APHont: a font for low vision

Yes, the new APHont Suite is now online!

APHont, developed for large print users who want a clean, open font, is now available in regular, bold, italic, and bold italic! All of you who have been looking forward to the release of APHont can download it at: after certifying that it will be used for or by persons with visual impairments. Follow the instructions provided for installation. It’s that simple.

In every test conducted, APHont proved to be the font of choice, as well as the font that resulted in best performances for users of large print.

Download your copy today. It’s clean, it’s beautiful and It’s FREE!

APH’s Callahan Museum Displays in Frankfort

Anne Rich and the Callahan Museum Display

Anne Rich, Callahan Museum Associate, set up a museum display for the Kentucky Museum and History Day, held at the State Capitol in Frankfort on January 26, 2004 for viewing by the public and Kentucky legislators. The Kentucky Historical Society, the Kentucky Association of Museums, and the Historical Confederation of Kentucky sponsored the event.

APH Star Honored

Mitzi Friedlander

APH Narrator Mitzi Friedlander was recently honored by the Pleiades Theater Company of Louisville. She was presented with one of seven STAR Awards for significant arts achievement. Mitzi was honored for being a teacher and performer of theater and musical arts throughout the community for more than 40 years. She has performed with many theater groups as well as the Louisville Ballet and Kentucky Opera. Through her work as a narrator in the APH studio, Mitzi became the first recipient of the Didymus Award for narration of 1000 Talking Books for the Library of Congress.

APH Product Training in Ohio

More than 30 teachers and supervisors serving students with visual impairments got together for an information sharing meeting at ORCLISH in Columbus, OH on March 4, to learn about numerous APH products and services. Field Services Representatives Maria Delgado and Sandi Baker traveled to Columbus to spread the word about and demonstrate the Louis Database and its new interface; Fred’s Head Database; ATIC (Accessible Textbook Initiative and Collaborative) and the new large print, color textbooks; Book Port; ENVISION; Time for Art; Braille Transcribers Kits for Math and US Maps; and other products. Thanks to ORCLISH Assistant Coordinator Paula Mauro for the opportunity to share information about APH products and services with Ohio teachers and supervisors.

Send Us Your Thoughts on Early Books

APH is assessing the need for books for children, ages 0-8 years, who are pre-readers (emergent readers) and beginning braille readers. If you are a teacher or parent of a child who is blind or visually impaired, we would appreciate having your response to our online survey.

Members of a focus group meeting set for June 2004 will be given these survey results and will then use your input to make recommendations about APH’s role in providing early books. Please participate! If you know of others who would be interested in responding, please direct them to this URL:

Thank you!

Assessment: A Commitment to Education and Relationship Building

In order to address the Accessible Tests Department mission, five areas of focus have been identified:

  1. Test adaptation
  2. Adaptation and development of test-related tools and materials
  3. Education and relationship building
  4. Basic research into test-related issues
  5. Identification and development of new tests and assessments

Workshop Attendees

As part of the department’s commitment to build relationships and educate others about test issues and considerations, two workshops on "Making Tests Accessible for Visually Impaired Students" have been offered. The following states and agencies have been represented at these workshops: Arkansas (2), Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana (2), Kansas (2), Kentucky (2), Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina (4), Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia (2), US Department of Defense (3), American Institutes for Research (3), American Guidance Service, Ballard-Tighe, CTB/McGraw-Hill (3), Data Recognition Corporation (3), Educational Testing Service (4), Harcourt (2), Measured Progress (4), Northwest Evaluation Association, Pearson (2), Riverside, and WestEd.

Another workshop will take place at APH on September 15 and 16, 2004. Invitations are being sent to all Ex Officio Trustees, state assessment directors, state instructional materials center directors, and state vision consultants. If you would like specific individuals or company representatives to be invited, please provide contact information to Gage Brogan, Test Coordinator, email hidden; JavaScript is required

APH File Repository Growing Quickly

Louis Database: Accessible Materials and APH File Repository

The APH File Repository is growing by leaps and bounds! The Repository has more than 3,337 files ready and waiting to be downloaded to meet your students’ needs! We have already added 444 new files in the first three months of 2004!

Examples of some recent additions to the Repository include:

Prentice Hall algebra 2 with trigonometry

Catalog #: A-B0180-BF
ISBN: 0130519685
Note: The tactile graphics for this ATIC book are available for purchase separately with catalog number A-B0180-GR.

America [computer file] : my land, your land, our land / written by W. Nikola-Lisa
Catalog #: E-97064-TF
ISBN: 1880000377

All files added to the APH File Repository are available through Louis, the Database of Accessible Materials for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired. Publishers, transcribers, APH, and others contribute these files to the repository regularly. Many of the APH (ATIC) files have graphics available for separate purchase, as in our example with the Prentice Hall algebra test above.

The repository contains:

  • Braille textbook files (ready for embossing)
  • Publisher textbook files (ready for editing and translation)

Only Registered Users, who must be "authorized entities" as defined by the 1996 Chaffee Amendment to the copyright law, may download these files.

For more information on the APH File Repository, check our web site at: or please contact our Resource Services department at 800/223-1839, or send e-mail to email hidden; JavaScript is required

Louis Repository Files Search Tips

To search only for APH Repository files in Louis, select "Textbooks, Recreational Reading and Downloadable Files" from the Louis menu. In the "Choose a Format" dropdown list, select "Downloadable Repository Files." Search by keyword, ISBN, or title as you wish. To see all the downloadable files available, set "Max Records to Display" to "All Records Retrieved" in the dropdown list and select "Downloadable Repository Files" in the "Choose a Format" box. This will retrieve all the files available in the Repository.

We are now able to use the back browser button while working in the new Louis interface. We have previously advised against using the back browser button while searching Louis. Doing so has generated "session killed" messages. However, we are now using a version of the STAR Web software for which this should not be a problem.

Using the back browser button will be especially useful in situations where you are moving back and forth from the shopping cart to add several different items from you search results.

2003 APH Annual Report Now Available

Annual Report 2003

Do you need the number of students who met the definition of blindness as reported for the 2003 distribution of federal dollars? Would you like to track the number of legally blind students reported by state or by grade? Would you like to see the listing of products approved in 2003? All this and much more, plus the fun of Annual Meeting, can be found in this issue of the APH Corporate Annual Report.

For your copy, please contact Artina Paris at 800/223-1839, ext. 368. The web version (pdf and text file) will be up on the APH site very soon.

Photo: The cover of the Annual Report features the work of APH Insights Artist Leah McFarlane. This watercolor is titled "Bouquet for Mother."

APH welcomes the following new Ex Officio Trustees:

Cynthia Ashby, Georgia Academy for the Blind, replacing Mildred Howard

David Govostes, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, a new account

Travel News


on the road with APH

April 3, 2004
Middle TN State University Multiple Disabilities Training;
Nashville, TN

April 12, 2004
Tennessee In-Service Day, Survey of Products;
Donelson, TN

April 13-17, 2004
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference;
New Orleans, LA

April 14-15, 2004
Advisory Committee for ANSI/NISO Standards;
Princeton, NJ

April 14-17, 2004
ASA (American Society on Aging) Conference;
San Francisco, CA

April 25-27, 2004
Education Services Advisory (ESAC) Committee;
Louisville, KY

April 29 – May 1, 2004
Outreach Forum;
St. Augustine, FL

April 26-28, 2004
NBA Board Meetings;
Philadelphia, PA

April 29-May 1, 2004
NBA Professional Development Conference and Workshop;
Philadelphia, PA


May 1, 2004
Reading Research Conference;
Reno, NV

May 2, 2004
Convention Institute;
Reno, NV

May 3-6, 2004
International Reading Association 2004 Convention;
Reno, NV

May 3-6, 2004
Beyond the Guidelines: Phase II at the Visual Aide Volunteers of Florida (VAVF) Spring Conference;
Orlando, FL

May 10-11, 2004
Arkansas AER;
Little Rock, AR

May 10-13, 2004
Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) Meeting;
Louisville, KY

May 17-24, 2004
Legislative Visits;
Washington, DC

Flea Market Product Bargains

Check this link to find the best buys on APH products!

IXL RevolutionTM Sport Ball

"Sounding off" far beyond a traditional bell ball, the IXL RevolutionTM Sport Ball is fun and easy-to-use. The harder you throw it, the louder the sound. This is a ball that can be enjoyed by everyone, encouraging peer and family interaction. The 5" diameter ball contains an oversized ball-bearing that continues to make noise for approximately 20 seconds after the Sport Ball stops rolling, making it an ideal sound source for practicing sound localization skills. Younger children will enjoy rolling it and passing it back and forth with their playmates. The foam exoskeleton allows for children with limited fine motor skills to grasp the ball and play with their peers.

The APH Toy Team utilizes focus groups and takes input from parents, students, teachers, and others to determine appropriate product selections and modifications. This product was brought to our attention when staff attended the 2002 International Toy Fair in New York.

Note: shipped in random colors. Not available on Quota.


Quick Pick: Counting

This new title in the Quick Pick Series helps players practice counting raised-line symbols and identifying the corresponding braille or large print number. The child inserts a braille eraser into one of four possible answer holes. If the answer is correct, the player will be able to pull the card out of the pack. Game includes:

  • Plastic pouch for holding game cards
  • 50 cards, with large print and braille on one side only, with counting exercises up to twelve
  • Braille eraser

This game is most apt to appeal to children who are just beginning to count and read numbers or to developmentally delayed students who have not yet mastered these concepts.

Quick Pick: Counting: 1-03574-00 — $25.00

Tabs for Pocket Notebook

These dividers fit the 6-ring Pocket-Size Notebook for braille and make it an organizer! Pack of two sets of tab pages, 3-cut tabs. Durable Mylar®.

Pocket Notebook Tabs: 1-04389-00 — $5.00
Pocket-Size Notebook: 1-04280-00 — $6.50

IntelliTactilesTM Overlay Companions for the IntelliKeys® USB Keyboard

Overlay Companions Kit

The IntelliKeys® Classic and USB keyboards from IntelliTools® connects to either a PC or Mac® and provide auditory feedback for overlays placed on their touch-sensitive surfaces. The IntelliKeys keyboard, related software, and standard visual overlays are available exclusively from IntelliTools. Phone: 1-800-899-6687 or Web Site:

IntelliTactilesTM USB Overlay Companions, developed by APH, align with the visual overlays provided with the IntelliTools’ IntelliKeys USB keyboard, making them accessible to braille readers. These durable clear-plastic tactile overlays correspond with the following IntelliKeys overlays:

  • Alphabet Overlay
  • Basic Writing Overlay
  • Numbers Overlay
  • Arrows Overlay
  • Apple QWERTY Overlay
  • IBM QWERTY Overlay
  • Setup Overlay

IMPORTANT: Please check your keyboard before ordering. APH sells Overlay Companions for both the IntelliKeys Classic and the USB keyboards, but the overlays are not interchangeable.

IntelliTactiles USB Overlay Companions Kit for the IntelliKeys USB keyboard (includes User’s Guides in both print and braille): 1-08513-00 — $54.00
User’s Guide only, print: 7-08513-00 — $14.00
User’s Guide only, braille: 5-08513-00 — $10.00

Talking Typer for Windows®–Now with Enhanced Voicing

Talking Typer is computer keyboarding and typing training software that speaks and displays lessons on screen. Includes drills, practice, and typing games. Adjustable to the student’s level of skill and sight impairment. Recommended ages: 6+

New Options for Ordering: All three options noted below contain the latest version of the Talking Typer program. The only difference is the higher or lower quality of the synthetic speech.

Talking Typer (with Enhanced Voicing) uses new computer voices that sound much closer to human speech. This version of Talking Typer provides a higher measure of intelligibility and less fatigue for audio users.

Talking Typer (without Enhanced Voicing) is lower cost and is available by electronic download only.

Talking Typer Upgrade will allow you to add Enhanced Voicing to any version of Talking Typer for Windows that you currently own. The Upgrade will also upgrade your copy of the Talking Typer program, if needed.

Requirements to Run

  • PC running at least Windows 95®
  • Internet Explorer® 5.5 or later;
  • 64 megabytes of RAM;
  • 10 megabytes of hard disk space;
  • CD-ROM drive;
  • Sound card with speakers.

Talking Typer for Windows (with Enhanced Voicing):

Talking Typer for Windows download (without Enhanced Voicing):

Talking Typer for Windows Upgrade (adds Enhanced Voicing and software upgrade, if needed):
Note: Upgrade requires that you own a copy of Talking Typer for Windows.

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
  • Karen Blaker, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Gage Brogan, Test Coordinator and Security Specialist
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Elaine Kitchel, Low Vision Project Leader, Research
  • Becki Moody, Communications Support Specialist
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Artina Paris, Assistant, Field Services
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Jane Thompson, Director, ATIC
  • Carol Tobe, Director, APH Callahan Museum
  • Roberta Williams, Manager, Public Affairs and Special Projects
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests
  • Suzette Wright, Early Literacy Consultant, Research

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

March Issue –
February Issue –
January Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –