Your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, and training opportunities from the American Printing House for the Blind.
Exciting New APH Products Announced!
Read on to learn about these new products – now available!
- Spring Fever Sale
- Braille+ QWERTY Docking Station
- Lighting Guide Kit
- Denver the Guide Dog DVD
- 30-Love: Tennis Guidelines for Players with Visual Impairments or Blindness
- Textured Matching Blocks Available Again
- APH Braille Book Corner
Coming to Your Computer Monday April 6th:
APH’s New Louis Database and New Online Shopping!
Last week, APH News readers received the exciting announcement that the new versions of APH’s Louis Database and APH’s online ordering system will be launched this Monday April 6th. To recap, we’ve implemented major upgrades to both sites to improve your APH shopping experience. Both sites have many new features too numerous to list here, but below are a few highlights.
Like the current Louis site, the new Louis site will allow users to search for all APH products & textbooks, plus educational materials from about 140 other agencies. The new Louis site features:
- An easier basic search plus more advanced search capabilities
- Convenient "My List" feature that allows you to save, email, or print items of interest
- Ability to add APH products to our new shopping site cart
We will roll out further improvements to the new Louis site over the coming months. The Louis web address will change to: http://louis.aph.org/
The new APH shopping site features:
- A familiar interface similar to many commercial shopping sites
- Relationships between products that allow you to see optional, replacement, and related products
- Ability to browse for products by categories
The shopping site will continue to be improved over the coming months — for example, more product photographs and relationships between products will be added.
The shopping site web address remains the same: http://shop.aph.org/
Note that in order to complete the launching of these sites, both the current APH web ordering system and the current Louis system will be unavailable on Friday April 3rd.
APH Tactile Graphic Image Library
New Graphics Added Monthly!
Fifty-five new graphics were added to the Tactile Graphic Image Library during the month of March. Additional graphics are added every month, so keep checking back for more useful depictions! The free images in the database are templates for you to use to create your own custom tactile graphics.
Coming Soon – Spring Meetings for Advisory Committees!
Just like the Kentucky Derby, we can be sure that each spring will bring another big event to APH–the arrival of the Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) and the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) in Louisville for their annual discussions and dialogs with APH staff. These two committees, made up of Ex Officio Trustees, are charged with learning about products, policies, procedures and services in support of products and then providing APH with a written report of commendations and recommendations to assist staff in improving our work.
Teaching Jump Rope to Children with Visual Impairments
Congratulations to Tristan Pierce, the APH Research Department Multiple Disabilities Project Leader and co-authors Lauren Lieberman, Ph.D., and Haley Schedlin, M.Ed., for an excellent piece in the March 2009 edition of the prestigious Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB). (APH editing by Monica Vaught-Compton.)
The article tells us that children with visual impairments have lagged behind their same-age peers in physical activity and motor skills. It further states that jumping rope is one way to improve these skills and to promote socialization. Giving choices related to the types of rope and use of mats is important. In addition, using appropriate instructional strategies and modifications will make jumping rope a skill that the children enjoy and will lead to involvement in other physical activities.
This research led to the development of a popular new product now available from APH. Here is a link to information on APH’s Jump Rope to Fitness Kit: www.aph.org/advisory/2009adv01.html#P2
Golden Anniversary in the Golden State
APH was proud to be a part of the 2009 CTEVH conference as the organization celebrated its 50th year. The conference, held in Burlingame, CA, near San Francisco, highlighted the history and accomplishments of this outstanding organization, and celebrated its founders, including Dr. Phil Hatlen, APH’s Executive in Residence.
APH staff members Jane Thompson and Jeanette Wicker made presentations and other staff members were on hand at the APH exhibit booth, which featured many new and classic APH products. Attendees were excited to try out the new APH Perkins Braillewriter and the new ropeless jump rope in the Jump Rope to Fitness Kit. Other favorite products included the All-In-One Board and Azer’s Interactive Periodic Table.
Congratulations, CTEVH, and here’s to 50 more golden years!
New York’s Stepping Stone Day School Steps Up to the Plate for Children with CVI
Stepping Stone Day School, a preschool for children with disabilities located in Flushing, New York, serves many children with multiple disabilities, including those with cortical visual impairment. Maureen Vecchione, Staff Development Coordinator at the school, felt that staff needed to learn as much as possible about CVI and the educational tools that are available so she turned to APH. On Thursday, March 19, APH’s Sandi Baker conducted a training session with early childhood special education teachers, teaching assistants, occupational therapists, and physical therapists at Stepping Stone, introducing them to an array of APH products that are useful intervention tools for children with CVI. She also discussed the APH CVI website (www.aph.org/cvi/index.html). Feedback from Maureen, following the training, indicated that the teachers "found the presentation extremely helpful and are moving ahead with (ordering) the materials."
Celebrating Connections in West Virginia
APH’s Monica Turner and Burt Boyer attended Celebrating Connections 2009 in Charleston, West Virginia, in late February. This marked APH’s first participation in this conference. This was West Virginia’s 12th annual conference to highlight the state’s early childhood programs. The conference is designed to provide relevant information about practices, policies, planning and research that enhances community partnerships and quality in early care and education. Monica and Burt exhibited a variety of APH products relevant to early childhood education including Building on Patterns, ToAD, Tactile Connections, and the On the Way to Literacy materials. The conference was well attended by educators, administrators, and parents of young children with special needs including blindness and low vision. This conference was an excellent opportunity to connect with many individuals who were not yet aware of the products and services offered by APH, and to hopefully begin a lifelong relationship with those individuals as the children they serve grow and develop into independent adults.
Registration Opens for Woodcock-Johnson III Workshop
Registration is now open for the workshop on "Administering and Scoring the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement for Braille Readers." There is a $25.00 registration fee for this 2-day workshop which will be held at the Desert Valleys Regional Cooperative in Phoenix on August 28-29, 2009. For registration information and to access the registration form, go to www.aph.org/edresearch/WJIIIworkshopAugust2009RegistrationForm.doc
APH Visits the Volunteers of Vacaville
The Volunteers of Vacaville, a well-known prison braille program located in California, has provided braille services to their customers since 1960, recently adding the transcription of textbooks for APH.
Jane Thompson, Director of the Accessible Textbooks Department, and Jayma Hawkins, Accessible Media Editor, took a side trip to the prison program after the Spring CTEVH (California Transcribers and Educators of the Visually Handicapped) Conference in Burlingame, California recently.
The project at Vacaville offered much more than expected. It was obvious that the men in the program are dedicated to quality and customer service. In addition to braille transcription, the program offers recorded books on tape or CD/DVD, braillewriter repair, cassette player cleaning and maintenance, and they work with the Lions Eye Foundation gauging eye glasses donated for international distribution.
Robert, the lead transcriber of the program, gave APH staff an in-depth tour and presentation. According to Robert, there are participants in every program who are eager to work. In the recording studio digital files are created with professional sounding voices. Robert added that there is always the capacity to do more; they just need the work to do. Robert concluded by saying that their tasks give them purpose–with the goal of helping low vision persons access print. The braille transcribers are dedicated to quality textbooks and leisure readers. They create good tactile graphics and have a phenomenal proofreader. The costs for all services are reasonable and delivery is timely.
To contact the Volunteers of Vacaville write, P.O. Box 670, Vacaville, CA 95696-0670, or call 707 /448-6841.
Boston Trip Successful for WJ III Braille Project Team
APH’s Barbara Henderson and consultant Dr. Lynne Jaffe presented a session at the 2009 National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Convention in Boston. The presentation was titled "Issues in Translating Tests into Braille: The Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ III ACH): Braille Adaptation." While at NASP, Barbara and Lynne had the opportunity to meet with Melanie Bartels-Graw of Riverside Publishing, Dr. Richard Woodcock and Dr. Frederick Shrank of the Woodcock-Muñoz Foundation, all of whom are partners in the WJ III Braille project.
In addition, Barbara was invited to visit the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts. Her visit was hosted by President Rachel Rosenbaum and Vice President of Education Karen Ross. Barbara received a personal tour of the buildings and grounds. She flew home the next morning, narrowly missing a snowstorm that covered Newton, Boston, and surrounding areas with nine inches of snow.
Photo: Karen Ross, APH’s Barbara Henderson, and Rachel Ethier Rosenbaum
Kentucky School for the Blind Students and Flat Stanley
Third and fourth grade students from the Kentucky School for the Blind brought a special friend to a museum on March 18. Flat Stanley is the title character of a 1964 children’s book about a boy who is mysteriously flattened and has many adventures along the way. The Flat Stanley Project was started in 1995 by a Canadian schoolteacher. It is meant to encourage letter-writing by schoolchildren to each other as they document what Flat Stanley has done with them. At the American Printing House, students from classes led by Gina Quaid and Stephanie Brown taught their pal Stanley how to write his name in braille. He also learned more about how the folks at APH make lots of books, maps, and other tools for kids all over the United States. For more information about bringing Stanley to your own classroom, visit www.flatstanley.com
APH Museum Announces 2009 Bards and Storytellers Lineup!
The Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind announced its 2009 Bards and Storytellers lineup in March. Bards and Storytellers is an annual performance series featuring entertainers who are blind. Historically, being an entertainer was one of the few routes to independence for a visually impaired person. This series celebrates modern performers who have chosen to follow this path, although better educational opportunities and shifting societal attitudes make employment possibilities today considerably greater. The 2009 series, presented in partnership with VSA Arts of Kentucky, features Harley Cannon on April 11, Patrick Henry Hughes on May 23, and Jag Einhorn on June 20.
Harley Cannon, from Lexington, is a virtual one-man-band famed for accompanying himself on trumpet and keyboard. His thirst for challenges, despite his visual impairment, has been a lifelong part of his personality. Log on to http://www.vsartsky.org/registry/2.php to hear Cannon’s music.
Patrick Henry Hughes started playing piano as a toddler, and also plays the trumpet and sings. He is a member of the University of Louisville Marching Band, with help from his father, who maneuvers his wheelchair through the band formations. Patrick Henry and his family achieved fame from their appearance on ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover. Today Patrick Henry performs all over the country.
- Zagannath Einhorn is a deafblind storyteller from Florida who tells stories, poems, and dances in American Sign Language. A graduate of Gallaudet University, Zag has a wonderful way with his hands, face, and whole body in his native language of ASL.
Bards and Storyteller programs are free to the public but reservations are required. For information or to make reservations, call Mike Hudson at 502-899-2365.
Reading Promotion Partners at the Library of Congress
Every year in March, the Center for the Book (CFB) of the Library of Congress hosts an invitational forum in Washington, D.C. Upwards of forty organizations send representatives to highlight their literacy projects and to develop new partnerships. As a member of this national network since 1999, an APH Public Affairs staff member has participated in the annual gathering, reporting on APH products and services that promote literacy for the blind and visually impaired.
With a live internet screening of the APH website in the background, Becky Snider’s update about APH focused on a new product, a book entitled, All children have different eyes, and the importance of self esteem as a foundation for learning and independence for people who are blind and visually impaired. She also relayed highlights of the 150th Anniversary National Essay Contest, and introduced many attendees to braille reading–and the entrepreneurial skills of blind students operating their own business–by distributing braille fortune cookies.
CFB Director John Cole announced the establishment of a monthly newsletter for articles about the Center for the Book, as well as information about the work of its partners, including APH. Reading Promotion Partners were invited to tour the new Library of Congress space soon to be dedicated as the Young Readers Center (YRC). In addition to having an online resource center and providing a venue for family reading programs, the Center for the Book’s YRC will include a rotating display of recent and notable books for young people. Snider plans to make sure that APH braille and large print books are featured in the Young Readers Center.
Another NIMAC Milestone
NIMAC celebrates the acceptance of the 15,000th file set into the repository, just over two years into the project. During the planning phase of the NIMAC, it was estimated that the repository would receive 12,000 files in the course of the first five years of the program. So we are happy to again report that the repository is growing by leaps and bounds–far beyond our expectations!
Wall of Tribute Continues to Build
The Wall of Tribute, a series of beautifully crafted wooden columns located in your Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, continues to grow with the addition of new engraved stones honoring heroes, mentors, friends, and organizations.
To the right are examples of recent stones added to the Wall of Tribute, now containing 145 unique stones.
For a complete listing of the Gallery of Stones (with photographs), please visit: www.aph.org/hall_fame/stones/index.html
For more information on honoring a special person or agency while supporting your Hall, please visit: www.aph.org/hall_fame/development.html
Take a Guided Tour of Turbo Phonics
Turbo Phonics is a computer-based, phonemic awareness and phonics program for young students who are preparing to develop reading skills. This program has been specially designed for students who have low vision, but students with typical vision may successfully use the program. Join Elaine Kitchel’s ‘Guided Tour’ at: www.aph.org/webcast
APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustee
Charles R. Atwell, the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center, replacing Deana A. Graham.
APH Travel Calendar
April 1-4, 2009
April 19-23, 2009
Visual Aid Volunteers of Florida (VAVF) Site Visit;
April 20-21, 2009
NCLVI Advisory Committee Meeting;
April 22-24, 2009
Penn-Del AER 2009;
April 23-25, 2009
National Braille Association Spring Professional Development Conference, 2009;
April 23-26, 2009
AOTA 2009 Annual Conference and Expo;
April 25-26, 2009
The Mid-America Conference of Rehabilitation Teachers and The Association of Southeastern Rehabilitation Teachers (MACRT-ASERT);
April 26-29, 2009
Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC);
APH in Louisville, KY
April 27-28, 2009
Power Up 2009;
May 10-14, 2009
Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC);
APH in Louisville, KY
June 14-16, 2009
On-Site Ex Officio Trustee (EOT) Training;
APH in Louisville, KY
Fred’s Head Transition from Database to Blog Is Complete
Fred’s Head, the free service from APH that publishes tips, articles, and resources for blind or visually impaired people, has changed format. At the end of March, the traditional Fred’s Head Database was discontinued. The current Fred’s Head blog will continue to grow, with new articles posted almost every business day.
The Fred’s Head blog is one of the first places you’ll find announcements about new APH products. We also publish articles and links on dozens of topics of interest to blind people. A few of these are: adjusting to blindness, assistive technology, clothing, deafblind resources, dog guides, employment, family life, health, kitchen hints, organization skills, safety, and transportation.
YOU Can Contribute to Fred’s Head!
Spring Fever Sale
Explore a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Spring Fever Sale 2009, April 1 – June 30. As always, first come, first served. www.aph.org/products/springfever.html
New! Braille+ QWERTY Docking Station
1-07452-00 — $600.00 plus shipping
All shipments will include actual UPS shipping rates based on the point of destination.
One-year Extended Hardware Maintenance Agreement (HMA): 1-07465-00 — $75.00
You must purchase the HMA prior to the expiration of the included one-year warranty, unless you wish to purchase the $50.00 out-of-warranty inspection listed below.
Inspection Service for Out-of-Warranty Docking Station: 1-07461-00 — $50.00
Send your out-of-warranty Docking Station to APH for a system check. If it passes the inspection, you will be allowed to purchase the above HMA even though your Docking Station is past the included one-year warranty period.
Braille+ Mobile Manager
1-07450-01 — $1,395.00
The QWERTY Docking Station is a new accessory for use with APH’s Braille+™ Mobile Manager. Smaller than a laptop, the Docking Station provides connectivity and comfort on-the-go or at your desk. Simply snap the Braille+ Mobile Manager into the QWERTY Docking Station and you have a highly functional, comfortable-to-use, portable notetaker with Ethernet connectivity!
The Docking Station Enables You To:
- Take notes comfortably with a full-size QWERTY keyboard
- Perform full-capability word processing
- Web browse extensively
- Read and write email when you’re on the go
- QWERTY keyboard
- Audio output and input options include: stereo speakers, mono microphone
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with user-accessible battery compartment
- USB 1.1 host and client
- Internet Connectivity: 10BaseT Ethernet
- Dimensions: Folded: 7.12 x 12 inches; Unfolded: 8.84 x 12 inches; Thickness: 1.56 inches
- Braille+ QWERTY Docking Station
- AC Power Adaptor
- Quick Start Guide in braille, print, and CD (text and audio)
- User’s Guide (text CD)
- One-year limited warranty
Note: The Braille+ Mobile Manager is required to operate the Docking Station.
NEW! Lighting Guide Kit
(Large Print Book with Better Vision Lamp): 1-08941-00 — $138.00
What Teachers and Students With Visual Impairments Need to Know about Lighting, Braille (hard copy, made to order): 5-08941-00 — $12.00
What Teachers and Students With Visual Impairments Need to Know about Lighting, Large Print (Book only): 7-08941-00 — $12.00
The Lighting Guide Kit includes a Better Vision Lamp and a book about appropriate lighting for students with visual impairments.
What Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments Need to Know about Lighting is a booklet that helps teachers, administrators, parents, and practitioners make decisions about lighting that aids their student or child with comfort and productivity. Too often, students with low vision work in lighted environments that do not meet their visual or physiological needs. This short, easy-to-read book presents information, based upon the latest research, about light and its physical properties. It shows how to judge what kind of light is best for a given student or situation. Vivid photographs show examples and help convey meaning.
The Better Vision Lamp was specially developed by an inventor and APH staff in order to provide the best light possible for students with visual impairments. This energy-saving lamp gives off light that doesn’t cause photo stress in most people with retinal, corneal or lens disease/injury, or cortical visual impairment. Lightweight and handsome, the Better Vision Lamp goes with any décor. It uses a special 27 watt, 2700K, compact fluorescent tube that is different from most tubes of its type because it emits no blue or ultraviolet light.
The lamp and the book together make up the Lighting Guide Kit. The lamp is not offered separately.
NEW! Denver the Guide Dog DVD
1-30010-DVD — $15.00
This video IS available with Quota funds.
The popular Denver video is back and it is available with Quota funds! It’s a great day at APH! Heathcliff, APH Vice President Gary Mudd’s hard working guide dog of fifteen years, is handing over the harness to Denver, the bouncy up-an-comer.
Produced by the Discovery Channel cable network for their Animal Planet® Pet Stories series, this video is for anyone who’d like to know more about guide dogs or would just like to meet Denver.
Celebrate with Heathcliff as he’s honored after twelve faithful years of service, and meet the new kid on the block–Denver. In this episode see how Denver got his start, "made the cut" at guide dog school and was matched with Gary. Be amazed as you watch how hard the two of them have worked to become the team they are. And get out your tissue, because there’s not a dry eye in the house when Denver’s puppy trainer returns to find such a confident and capable guide dog!
NEW! 30-Love: Tennis Guidelines for Players with Visual Impairments or Blindness:
1-08110-00 — $123.00
Learn this new and exciting sport that’s making news around the world! Whether practicing against a wall, playing singles against an opponent, or participating in a round of doubles, adaptive tennis is a great sport for practicing sound localization skills and socialization. Meets national standards on physical education.
Helps players develop: ability to accelerate, leg strength, general body coordination, gross motor control, fine motor control, bone strength, agility, balance, and flexibility. Players learn a variety of skills, including: competing one-on-one, accepting responsibility, managing adversity, accommodating stress, planning and implementing strategies, solving problems, sportsmanship, and teamwork.
- 2 blindfolds
- 2 rackets
- Set of 6 sound-adapted tennis balls
- 30-Love: Tennis Guidelines for Players with Visual Impairments, Large Print
- 30-Love: Tennis Guidelines for Players with Visual Impairments, Braille
Watch videos of tennis on: www.aph.org/pe/features.html
Note: Extra sound-adapted tennis balls are available as replacement parts.
Textured Matching Blocks Available Again
1-08950-00 — $57.00
We are pleased to announce that our Textured Matching Blocks product is once again available. It is featured on page 34 of your Products Catalog or visit our website for more information.
This is one of the products affected by our plastic vendor’s fire several weeks ago. Our plan for each of these products is to send you an announcement as soon as they are restocked and available for shipment.
Thank you for your continued understanding and patience.
APH offers a number of recreational books in braille (Quota funds can be used). Each of these titles was originally transcribed and produced by APH for the National Library Service which has graciously granted permission for this offering. As usual, these titles have been added to the APH Louis Database where you can find thousands of titles produced in accessible formats.
Note: all books are produced upon receipt of orders, therefore, please allow approximately 8 weeks for delivery.
Changes for Kit–A Winter Story: An American Girl, Book 6
by Valerie Tripp, Braille: T-N1715-00 — $18.50
Cincinnati, 1934; the Great Depression. Kit’s grouchy uncle Hendrick dictates a letter to the newspaper complaining about hoboes. This inspires Kit to write her own letter encouraging donations of clothing and food for hobo children. Sequel to Kit Saves the Day. Fiction, Grades 3-6. *(AR Quiz #55813, BL 5.0, Pts. 1.0)
Boy Girl Boy
by Ronald Koertge, Braille: T-N1658-90 — $30.00
Childhood friends Elliot, Teresa, and Larry plan to run away to California after graduation and leave behind their small Illinois town and family problems. But as the senior year progresses and each struggles for individuality, the trio begins to doubt the feasibility of the plan. Fiction, Senior High. *(AR Quiz #100127, BL 4.0, Pts. 4.0)
Paladin of Souls
by, Louis McMcaster Bujold, Braille: T-N1683-70 — $156.00
Free of the madness that imprisoned her in The Curse of Chalion, dowager Royina Ista undertakes a pilgrimage of atonement. With her followers, Ista contends with gods, demons, and soldier-bandits until she is rescued by the hero of her visions. Some descriptions of sex and some violence. Fiction, Senior High. *(AR Quiz #78292, BL 6.6, Pts. 26.0)
by Philip Roth, Braille: T-N1673-30 — $137.00
After serving in World War II, "Swede" Levov weds Miss New Jersey, takes over the family business, and moves to the suburbs. His dream life unravels in the late 1960s, when daughter Meredith joins an antiwar terrorist group bent on undermining all that Swede values. Strong language. Pulitzer Prize. Fiction, Adult.
Mama Made the Difference: Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me
by T.D. Jakes, Braille: T-N1672-60 — $68.50
Minister and author of God’s Leading Lady reminisces about his mother, a teacher, and the lifelong lessons she imparted. Includes biblical stories about mothers, advice for modern moms, and testimonials from other African Americans including Colin Powell about the importance of parenting.
*Accelerated Reader quiz number, book level, and point value. For more information on the Accelerated Reader program, see the January 2006 APH News or www.renlearn.com/ar/
APH News Credits
Dr. Tuck Tinsley
Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
Thanks to the following APH staff:
- Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
- Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
- Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
- Scott Blome, Director, Communications
- Chris Graham, Supervisor, Data Entry
- Barbara Henderson, Project Leader, Accessible Tests
- Micheal Hudson, Director, APH Museum
- Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
- Gwynn Stewart, Support Specialist, Communications
- Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Textbooks Department
- Monica Turner, Field Services Representative
- Roberta Williams, Manager, Public Affairs and Special Projects
- Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests
Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research
For additional recent APH News, click the following:
The APH News is a monthly publication from the American Printing House for the Blind:
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
Please share this web link or any items that appear in this publication with anyone who might benefit.
Subscribe to the APH News!
Get convenient email reminders every month when a new issue of the APH News is released.
- Leave the subject blank
- Type the word ‘subscribe’ (without any quote marks) in the body of the message
- Send it.