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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 2005

APH and the NIMAC
National Instructional Materials Access Center

President George W. Bush signed into law the new Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) at the end of 2004. Several changes will be implemented through this reauthorized legislation that will have a positive impact on how and when blind students throughout the country receive their textbooks in the accessible formats they need, including braille and large print.

Of particular significance, a National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) will be established in Louisville, Kentucky, at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). The NIMAC will receive and catalog publishers’ electronic files of print instructional materials in a standard format: the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS). The NIMAS was recently developed by experts across the country for this specific purpose. The center will provide these standardized files to authorized textbook providers, who will then produce textbooks for blind and visually impaired students across the country. The combination of a standard format and a central repository should significantly expedite the time frame in which textbooks are delivered to students who need them in the classroom.

APH is working with the U.S. Department of Education, the Association of American Publishers, and many other organizations that produce textbooks and advocate on behalf of the blind and visually impaired to develop the National Instructional Materials Access Center, and to ensure that appropriate federal funding is secured. It is anticipated that the center will be up and running by early 2007.

Following recent meetings with the U.S. Department of Education, APH understands that there is considerable work to be done before APH can make substantial progress toward establishing the NIMAC. Briefly, we are working with the Department to reach an agreement on the details of establishing the NIMAC. APH has not yet been requested to submit a proposal, which is the first step in developing a cooperative agreement, but we anticipate that request shortly.

In addition to working with APH to develop a cooperative agreement regarding the NIMAC, the Department must publish the NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) in the Federal Register in draft form as a Notice of Proposed Rule Making. We anticipate this being published in April. A period of 75 days for public comment will follow. The Department will then review the public comments, information from advocacy groups, and data from a variety of sources, prior to publishing a final rule in the Federal Register. The final rule will be extremely important in the establishment and operation of the NIMAC, and APH looks forward to its publication.

APH is eager to begin work on the NIMAC, and will help move the process along as quickly as possible.

APH in North Carolina

photo of Dr. Abraham Nemeth

The Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, NC was the place, and Dr. Abraham Nemeth was the Keynote Speaker, for the 3rd Annual North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness, "The Road to Independence", March 10-12. APH was pleased to exhibit products and talk with many of the 200+ teachers of the visually impaired who eagerly and enthusiastically came together to learn and be re-charged. Our thanks go to APH Ex Officio Trustee Tom Winton for including APH in this annual event. Way to go, Tom, for putting on such a well-attended conference!

The ‘Wonder’ of CSUN

It was "20 Years of Innovation" for the 20th anniversary of CSUN – California State University, Northridge – the conference for Technology and Persons with Disabilities, held March 14-19, in Los Angeles, CA. And what a conference it was, with over 300 sessions and more than 160 exhibitors. APH was well-represented by staff who presented seven sessions and demonstrated K-Sonar, Book Port, and numerous other products at the APH booth. APH Adult Life Project Leader Terrie Terlau was very popular as she demonstrated K-Sonar to the many interested folks, including recording artist Stevie Wonder! It was exciting to see so many interested consumers, families, and professionals.

Upcoming Louis Database Web Cast

Louis Database Accessible Materials and APH File Repository

If you would like to get an overview of basic searching tips, and listen to frequently asked questions about the Louis Database and the APH File Repository, you shouldn’t miss the May 12 Web cast. All you need is a computer with Internet access and speakers. The live presentation will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT). Any questions you send our way before the end of April will help us shape the content of this interactive presentation. To sign up or send questions, please send an e-mail to: Maria Delgado, email hidden; JavaScript is required

Knowledge of APH’s Book Port Travels Across the Country

photo of a Book Port

In another Web cast note, educators of the Los Angeles County area had a virtual blast learning the ins and outs about their Book Ports. During a two hour hands-on training March 1st, participants learned basic features, navigation functions, how to create folders, and how to send information to the Book Port — and they want to learn more! Part II of this Web cast training is tentatively scheduled for the month of April.

NIP Event Makes the News!

The National Instructional Partnerships

Local news watchers in Jackson, TN were treated to a special guest appearance on their news Thursday, February 24. Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, in town for an APH NIP event, was caught on camera sharing the good news about APH and strategies and products for students with cortical visual impairment!

Approximately 85 attendees from Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, and Kentucky spent two days learning even more about children with cortical visual impairment and APH products helpful in planning intervention strategies. Students from Union University in Tennessee also met with Chris to discuss the prototype of a product they have designed!

Additional NIP events in other curriculum areas will be held around the country in upcoming months. Watch the APH News for details!

EPAC To Advise APH

The Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) will meet at APH April 18 – 21 to provide guidance and advice to APH staff members. EPAC, one of two standing Advisory Committees made up of Ex Officio Trustees, will spend time with Educational Research Project Leaders and other APH staff members to discuss new and existing products, accessible textbooks, accessible tests and other relevant issues.

Ex Officio Trustee Larry Brown (OR) chairs the committee. Other members include Robb Farrell (MD), Kenalea Johnson (NM), Bernadette Kappen (PA), Carol McCarroll (TN), Jean Small (ME), and Tom Winton (NC). If you have questions for the Committee or items for their meeting, contact any Committee member, or email Janie Blome, email hidden; JavaScript is required

APH Callahan Museum to Open on Saturdays

Beginning April 9, the Callahan Museum will be open to the public on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visitors are also welcome on weekdays, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The museum is closed on holidays and on Derby Day (a local "major holiday" which always falls on the first Saturday in May). To learn more about the museum, please visit our web page:

Positively Energizing Workshops:
From San Francisco to San Antonio

According to attendees of the 2005 California Transcribers and Educators of the Visually Handicapped (CTEVH) Conference in San Francisco, CTEVH was a remarkably energizing experience. With so many excellent pre-conference workshops, three keynote speakers, and an impressive array of sessions, there was truly something for everyone.

Barb Henderson, Dena Garrett, Mary Lou Schmidt (CTB/McGraw Hill), Dr. Carol Allman, Dr. Tuck Tinsley

The eight pre-conference workshops on March 3, included "Making Tests Accessible for Blind and Visually Impaired Students" presented by Dr. Carol Allman, Barbara Henderson, and Dena Garrett from APH. The 20 participants represented diverse groups of test publishers, braille transcribers, teachers of the visually impaired, school psychologists, a school principal, a state assessment and accountability director, and a parent. The workshop focused on challenges in presenting test items in various accessible media. Possible solutions and most promising practice for making test items accessible were offered and discussed.

If you missed this one, another pre-conference workshop on "Making Tests Accessible…" will be offered on Saturday, June 18, in San Antonio, Texas. There is no registration fee for the APH workshop. For more information, visit To discuss questions or register, contact Nancy Bayens at email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 502/899-2470. This workshop will be offered one day prior to the opening of 2005 Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Conference on Large Scale Assessment. If you plan to attend CCSSO, see for program and fee information, and registration form.

Photo: Barb Henderson, Dena Garrett, Mary Lou Schmidt (CTB/McGraw Hill), Dr. Carol Allman, Dr. Tuck Tinsley

APH Welcomes Vanderbilt Students

Dr. Anne Corn and six students from the personnel preparation program at Vanderbilt University visited APH March 25, 2005. The group began their visit with a tour, and then enjoyed a lunch meeting with APH staff members.

photo of the six students with Dr. Anne Corn (far right)

Bob Brasher, Vice President of Advisory Services and Research, welcomed the group, who were then entertained by presentations and dialogues with staff from Field Services, Public Affairs, ATIC, Accessible Tests, Products and Services, and Research. The afternoon ended with product presentations from several Project Leaders, including Elaine Kitchel (Low Vision), Fred Otto (Tactile Graphics), Eleanor Pester (Braille), Tristan Pierce (Multiple Disabilties), Karen Poppe (Tactile Graphics), Larry Skutchan (Technology), and Research Assistant Ann Travis.

All University prep programs are invited to visit APH. If you’d like to schedule a visit, please contact Janie Blome at email hidden; JavaScript is required or 800-223-1839, ext. 367.

Michael McCarty Named Expert Database Coordinator with Web Site Duties

photo of Michael McCarty

Michael McCarty, a professional in the blindness field and a consumer of APH’s products, has joined the APH Communications Department as the Expert Database Coordinator. Michael’s duties will be two-fold:

  • Expanding, updating, and maintaining the Fred’s Head Expert Database.
  • Assisting with the updating and expansion of the APH web site.

Welcome, Michael!

APH Needs You!

For information on the following exciting career opportunities at APH visit

  • Callahan Museum Director – Public Affairs
  • Core Curriculum Project Leader – Research
  • Field Representative (Family Emphasis) – Field Services
  • Field Services Support Specialist (Federal Quota) – Field Services
  • Resource Services Specialist – Resource Services
  • Technical Services/File Repository Manager – Resource Services

Rod Brawley Comes Through for APH!

Rod Brawley

Section One of the large print, color atlas, Address: Earth, is finally out the door and in the hands of excellent field evaluators! After many months of color printing woes, map revisions, and field test site drop-outs, the atlas prototypes are finally in test phase. It would not have happened without the help of Rod Brawley.

A long-time friend and Ex Officio Trustee of APH, Rod quickly came to the rescue when Elaine Kitchel approached him with her problem. Two planned atlas field test sites had dropped out and new ones were needed OVERNIGHT! Rod immediately sent a letter out to all the California teachers of the visually impaired, and the very next day, the slots were filled and extra volunteers were signed up to field test future sections. The California teachers were very enthusiastic and we at APH are grateful for their willingness and flexibility in helping solve a last-minute problem.

Much of the good work that our Ex Officio Trustees do is unheralded. We want to do more to acknowledge their contributions, so this time, a very public "Thank You" is in order.

Reading Promotion Partners Meeting

Each year the Center for the Book, a part of the Library of Congress, holds an "idea exchange" meeting to encourage member organizations to present current projects and explore potential working relationships designed to increase access to books for every reader. Nearly 50 national organizations came together for this March 8 invitational forum, which is coordinated and hosted by John Cole and Anne Boni of the Center for the Book.

Stressing the APH mission of promoting independent living for people who are blind or visually impaired, Becky Snider explained how APH creates access to print through the production of reading material in alternate formats. She used examples of braille, digital, and large print materials in her presentation, including Bookport and the Capital! book from the Chrissy Collection. Networking opportunities based on new programs were briefly discussed with several of the partners.

Unique Training Opportunity

"Technology That Works in the Real World," a National Technology Conference for Rehabilitation Teachers, will take place this summer in Las Vegas. The conference will meet from Tuesday July 5 through Thursday July 7 at the Las Vegas Revierra Hotel.

The event will be offered by Mississippi State University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision in cooperation with ACB and the National Association of Blind Teachers.

To learn more about the conference, contact B. T. Kimbrough, Director of Training, RRTC on Blindness and Low Vision, P.O. Box 6189, Mississippi State, MS, 39762. Phone: 662-325-2001; email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Sally Mangold’s APH Keynote Address Now on Web Site

Due to your requests, the energizing Annual Meeting address of Dr. Sally Mangold is now on the web site for your enjoyment. Please follow this link to the full transcript of the October 2004 Keynote Presentation:

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


April 1-2, 2005 – Rescheduled from January, 2005
CVI NIP Event: What You See Is Not Always What You Get;
Portland, OR

April 1-2, 2005
DAISY Consortium Yearly General Meeting;
Camden Town, London

April 6-10, 2005
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) International Conference;
Baltimore, MD

April 11-13, 2005
The Seeing Eye Orientation & Mobility Seminar;
New Jersey

April 13-15, 2005
2005 Workshop on Blindness and Visual Impairment;
Roanoke, VA

April 13-16, 2005
NBA Conference;
Dallas, TX

April 14-15, 2005
GAMA Summit;
Baltimore, MD

April 14-17, 2005

April 18-19, 2005
Power Up 2005 (Assistive Technology & Vision Conference);
Osage Beach, Missouri

April 18-21, 2005
Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) at APH;
Louisville, KY

April 20-23, 2005
International Preschool Seminar;
Watertown, MA

April 21-23, 2005
DAISY DRM Working Group Meeting;
Montreal, Canada

April 21-22, 2005
Michigan AER Conference;
Livonia, Michigan

April 30, 2004
CVI Summit;
San Francisco, CA

April 30 – May 4, 2005
International Reading Association Convention;
San Antonio, TX


May 22-24, 2005
Meeting of the Minds at APH;
Louisville, KY

May 31-June 3, 2005
Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) at APH;
Louisville, KY

APH Fleamarket Updated

A new listing of overstocked and discontinued APH products is now available at the APH Flea Market. All reduced pricing runs from April 1 through June 30, 2005. These inventories are available while supplies last. Take advantage of these savings today!

Now Available! Talking GlowDiceTM

photo of a hand holding a Talking GlowDice unit

Rolling a die goes accessible! Push the "Roll" button on the hand-held GlowDice unit and a randomly generated number between one and six is announced in digitized human speech. The corresponding number is also displayed in bright blue LEDs. A "Play Back" button allows for a repeat of the digital voice announcement of the number rolled. Takes four AAA batteries, not included.

Talking GlowDice: 1-07500-00 — $30.00

Stick-On Tactile Ruler Replaces APH Glue-Down Rule

Glue No Longer Needed!

photo of Stick-On Tactile Ruler

The discontinued APH Glue-Down Rule has been replaced and improved by the Stick-On Tactile Ruler. The ruler is one foot long by 1/2-inch wide and is made from a durable styrene material. Raised lines indicate divisions to 1/8 of an inch. The Stick-On Tactile Ruler has a self-adhesive backing that can be used to permanently attach the ruler to a desired surface, such as a student’s desk, a sewing machine, or a drawing board. The peel-away strip can be left intact if the ruler will be repeatedly used for a variety of purposes (e.g., measuring tactile lines in braille textbooks, measuring curved objects, etc.). The ruler can also be cut into shorter strips.

Stick-On Tactile Ruler (pack of 5): 1-83081-01 — $6.00

Rolling Right Along Construction KitTM

Rolling Into Place

Rolling Right Along Construction KitTM allows teachers and parents to construct books similar in design to APH’s Rolling Into Place, an interactive storybook. Using provided accordion-folded panels, hook/loop material pathways, and accessory items (e.g., braillable sheets and a package of Sticky Dots AdhesiveTM), self-designed books can be tailored to the interests and needs of a particular child with a visual impairment or blindness. The construction materials are accompanied by a full-color User’s Guide that provides story suggestions, tips for adding tactile embellishments, and sample book layouts. Enjoy designing your own tactile books with this starter kit. If possible, involve your student/child in the construction fun.

Rolling Right Along Construction Kit: 1-08451-00 — $55.00

Now Available at APH!
Dr. Jan van Dijk’s Child-Guided Strategies for Assessing Children who are Deafblind or have Multiple Disabilities CD-ROM

This unique CD-ROM is user-friendly and highly interactive as it demonstrates Dr. van Dijk’s strategies and techniques for assessing and teaching children with multiple disabilities through the use of video clips, questions pertaining to the video clips, discussion, and relevant literature.

Also included in the CD-ROM is an index of many terms pertaining to deafblindness and multiple disabilities. Each term is defined, explained in depth, and illustrated by video clips. In addition to a comprehensive printed article detailing the assessment process, 12 full text articles by Dr. Jan van Dijk and colleagues are also included in the production.

Child-Guided Strategies for Assessing Children who are Deafblind or have Multiple Disabilities CD-ROM: 1-31001-00 — $55.00
Not available for purchase using Federal Quota funds.


The LumiTest is both a light probe and a contrast indicator. Its emits a tone that increases in pitch as light is approached. When the LumiTest is in direct contact with materials, lighter colors are indicated by a higher pitched tone. Users can easily tell whether lights are on, locate a light source in a room, tell whether an LED is solid or flashing, determine whether a page has print on it, and find the blank space on a letter to write their signature. 90-day limited warranty.

LumiTest: 1-03956-00 — $72.00
Tiny Tip Accessory Pack (pack of 5): 1-03956-01 — $7.00

Take Advantage of Summer Break to Upgrade Your Braille ‘n Speak® Scholar

Upgrade your existing Scholar for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new unit.

The upgraded Scholar includes high-quality DoubleTalkTM speech and improved interaction with PCs for better formatting and printing. Other features such as the appointment book and text editing are also enhanced. Your Scholar will be returned with new reference guides in braille and print, a tutorial audiocassette, a more extensive manual in a variety of format options on CD, and WinDisc® and WinPrint® software.

How to Upgrade? Simply follow these steps:

  • Send APH your Braille ‘n Speak Scholar, securely wrapped in bubble wrap or other protective cushioning in the original carton or a sturdy box. We recommend that you insure your shipment. Address for shipping:
    American Printing House for the Blind
    Attn: Repair Department
    1839 Frankfort Avenue
    Louisville, KY 40206
  • Along with the Scholar, send a Federal Quota order, purchase order, credit card information, or a check. Include the upgrade catalog number (1-07320-UP) and the serial number of your Scholar.
  • We will coordinate the upgrade process with Freedom Scientific®, Inc. and package the unit for return to you.

Braille ‘n Speak Scholar, Upgrade: 1-07320-UP — $425.00

All units will be processed on a first received basis. Please allow several weeks for us to make the complete conversion.

C. Warren Bledsoe

photo of C. Warren Bledsoe

Warren Bledsoe, a man who made profound changes in the lives of blind people, and who was often honored for his outstanding commitment to the advancement of rehabilitation programs for the blind, has left us.

While serving in the Army Air Force during World War II, Bledsoe was transferred to a special unit at Valley Forge Army Hospital in Pennsylvania to assist with the rehabilitation of service men and women who lost their vision in the conflict. There, in association with Dr. Richard E. Hoover, also a former Maryland School for the Blind teacher, Bledsoe helped develop the long cane technique that continues to be used by blind people throughout the country and around the world.

For more information on this legendary hero, winner of AER’s Shotwell Award and APH’s Wings of Freedom, visit his biography page at the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field.

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Assistant, Products and Services
  • Sandi Baker, Field Representative, Field Services
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Maria Delgado, Field Representative, Field Services
  • Elaine Kitchel, Low Vision Project Leader, Research
  • Barbara Henderson, Test and Assessment Project Leader, Accessible Tests
  • Becki Moody, Communications Support Specialist
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Anne Rich, Callahan Museum Associate, Public Affairs
  • Becky Snider, Administrative Assistant, Public Affairs
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

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 –

Please share this web link or any items that appear in this publication with anyone who might benefit.

Thank you.

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