APH News: April 2014
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!
- APH Spring Fever Sale
- NEW! Address: Earth, Section Two
- NEW! Quick Pick Cards, Blank
- APH Braille Book Corner
Announcing Orion TI-84 Plus release 1.1.0!
To celebrate Pi Day on March 14 (3.14), APH released several enhancements to the already accessible Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator. These improvements correct errors, improve stability, and add several requested features, so please keep those suggestions coming.
One of the first requests for such enhanced functionality came from a high school student who wanted to be able to start and stop the calculator quietly, so that he would not disturb his peers or interrupt the classroom flow. This updated version adds that capability and also adds a feature that lets the calculator work completely quietly by default, so a teacher or parent can use the device. To enable speech feedback when the calculator is in this mode, the user just presses any key on the Orion component.
Version 1.1.0 improves accessibility to the graph playback by providing options to play different sound indicators when the location of the playback reaches a tick or axis cross.
The screen reader includes dozens of fixes and improvements such as maintaining the horizontal cursor position on vertical moves, so it is easier to read columns.
See a list of changes and instructions for upgrade at the information page.
The upgrade is free, but it does require the Graph Link cable which does not come with the calculator (cable is not sold by APH). Before purchasing one, check with your school’s Math department.
The list of additions can also be found on the What’s New page in its entirety.
Visit the Upgrade page for instructions on how to upgrade your Orion TI-84.
Students Tout APH in Washington!
By Dr. Michael Bina, APH EOT (MD) and President, Maryland School for the Blind (MSB)
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Jenny Espino, and Devonte Lowery
APH’s Gary Mudd, Michael Bina, Jenny Espino, and Devonte Lowery pose with Senator Barbara Mikulski
Maryland School for the Blind students Jenny Espino and Devonte Lowery spent a March day in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill. The students and their teacher, Karen Bomberger, met with staff members of Senator Barbara Mikulski, Senator Benjamin Cardin, and Representative Steny Hoyer. This day in D.C. was in response to APH’s request that two students from MSB accompany Gary Mudd and Nancy Lacewell to advocate for APH’s FY 2015 appropriation and additional REAL Plan support. I was the chauffeur, and the students were the navigators.
During the day, the students had an opportunity to meet Senator Dianne Feinstein from California. As we were coming out of Senator Mikulski’s office after talking with her staff, we met Senator Mikulski as well. Senator Mikulski was elated because just minutes before, a major early childhood education bill she sponsored was passed by the Senate. She spent time with Jenny and Devonte. In addition, the office manager in Senator Mikulski’s office is Maryland Governor O’Malley’s mother; she too wanted to talk to Jenny and Devonte and inquired how their school year is going and wanted her picture taken with them.
Jenny and Devonte talked very articulately from their personal experience how valuable APH products are. In addition, Ms. Bomberger stressed the value of APH products that greatly assist teachers by saving time and in individualizing instruction. Gary and Nancy were very appreciative of Jenny and Devonte for giving up a whole day of school to advocate on behalf of students who are blind and visually impaired nationally. It was a great learning opportunity for everyone involved!
Field Test Sites Requested: Producers of Thermoformed Tactile Graphics
New Submission Form + New Upload Method = More Unforgettable Videos!
The Unforgettable APH Star Contest deadline is almost here, and we have great news! We now have an alternate method to submit your form and videos. The updated contest page now gives you the option to send everything “snail mail” or complete your submission online — uploading your videos from your computer, tablet, or phone.
The spring contest deadline is Wednesday, April 16th.
Cash prizes are $150.00 for first place, $75.00 for second place, and $50.00 for third place. Every entry is also eligible to participate in a random drawing of Amazon.com gift certificates.
Check out our updated page and send us your Unforgettable APH Star Videos: www.aph.org/contest
Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series
Light Box Materials: Level I
Light Box Materials: Level II
Light Box Materials: Level III
The Light Box has been a very popular APH product for many years and it was recently revised to be both lighter and brighter! The Mini-Lite Box is also available as a smaller, lighter and more affordable option. The high contrast background provided by a light box’s illuminated surface makes a variety of visual tasks easier to perform. No matter which light box you choose to use, APH has developed many visually stimulating materials to use in conjunction with it. Three different levels of Light Box Material sets can be obtained using Federal Quota funds.
Light Box Materials: Level I is the first of three sets of teaching materials for use with APH’s Light Box. The materials in this set help teach basic visual skills, eye-hand coordination, and simple matching skills and is focused on ages birth though four years. Level I Includes many brightly colored solid and patterned overlays designed to stimulate awareness of light, patterns, and objects; a spinner with two different patterns that encourages localization and reaching; a variety of transparent and translucent colored and opaque items for practice in eye-hand coordination and matching; and suction-cup handles for manipulation of small pieces.
Light Box Materials: Level II is focused at ages three through five years old and helps to teach matching and identification skills, part-whole relationships, sequencing, pattern duplication, spatial relationships, and visual memory skills. Level II contains over 400 items including brightly-colored transparent and translucent shapes, pictured objects, stencils, cutouts, worksheets, a blackout background sheet, and a clear nonslip work surface sheet.
Light Box Materials: Level III is focused on ages five and up and helps students develop prewriting and handwriting, more complex matching and sorting, recognition and identification, spatial relationships, visual memory, sequencing, figure-ground discrimination, visual closure, and part-whole relationships. Level III contains over 400 items including dozens of picture and letter cards, five types of game trays, a blackout background sheet, and a clear nonslip work surface sheet.
Each of the kits come in a carrying bag with an accompanying guidebook that contains over 90 activities that can be performed using the materials specific to that kit. The large print and Spanish edition Light Box Activity Guides for levels I, II, and III are available as free-of-charge file downloads from our downloadable manuals page.
In Memoriam: Alice Geisler Raftary (1927–2014)
On Sunday morning, March 30, we lost a true friend and hero when Alice Raftary, often called the Mother of Rehabilitation Teaching, passed away quietly. Alice was one of the initial 32 inductees in to the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2002. From that time forward, Alice became an ardent fan of, and asset to, the Hall. She participated in subsequent Induction Ceremonies through this past October, always intent on honoring those who were inducted and/or their families and friends. On the morning after the Induction Ceremonies, she often co-hosted a visit with the new inductees and/or their families in the Hall of Fame.
Alice put her life’s work in perspective this way, “It’s exciting to participate in the restoration of life styles. Helping people to progress from hopelessness to confidence and competence is a thrill and a joy.”
In a January 2014 interview for the Hall, Mike Bina asked Alice; What are three to five pieces of advice you would give those in the field? Her response, “Invest your time and some money into the growth of your profession. Join and be active in your professional associations (AERBVI, MACRT), go to conferences, etc. Continue to learn new techniques and new systems. Share your expertise. Mentor others in the field and encourage others to work in the field of blindness.”
Alice’s daughter and our friend, Mary, shared that, “we are suggesting donations in Mom’s name to the Hall of Fame.”
Her legacy of support and participation continues.
A Memorial Service is planned for June.
National Effort Honors Jane Erin on Wall of Tribute
Dr. Jane Erin (AZ) was honored with a Wall of Tribute Stone, installed in the Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field, that reads, in part, “Walk Quietly to Hear the Footsteps of Others.” We congratulate our former APH Executive in Residence and the present Chair of the Hall of Fame, on this well deserved recognition of a remarkable career.
See video of stone replica being presented to Dr. Erin by Pam de Steiguer, Irene Topor, and Penny Rosenblum.
Exciting New Interview with a Legend Now Posted!
2008 Hall of Fame Inductee Richard Welsh is the subject of a fascinating new interview with Michael Bina, very recently posted on the Hall of Fame website! This in-depth discussion gives you an overview of a remarkable man and his career.
Here is the link to Dr. Welsh’s Biography Page.
Here is the direct link to Dr. Bina’s exclusive Hall of Fame Interview with Dr. Welsh.
I’ll bet that you’re now wishing that Mike Bina would insightfully interview other heroes. Well, he has and they include Alice Raftary, Bill English, Phil Hatlen, and Dean Tuttle – with others in the works!
Here is the link to the INDUCTEES page of the Hall of Fame site where you can find those interviews as well as the fascinating stories of all 52 Hall of Famers.
Around the House:
Spotlight on Textbooks
APH recently hosted the 2014 Tactile Graphics Workshop: A Spotlight on Textbooks. Participants with years of experience joined us from around the US and Canada for great days of learning and sharing.
APH’s “Happenings around the House: Webcast and Podcast Series” March Presentations
In the month of March, Happenings around the House was all about “The Talking Book.” Mike Hudson, Museum Director, invited Maria Delgado to “touch” the APH Museum’s collection of Talking Book Players. Webcast participants learned fascinating facts about items ranging from a crank up phonograph, to our state of the art digital player, the Book Port DT. Participants also experienced Talking Books recorded on vinyl record, cassette, and digital audio.
Two weeks later, Maria Delgado had a conversation with Award Winner APH Narrator Mitzi B. Friedlander. Mitzi delighted us with stories about her family, as well as her successful life as an actor, director, singer and Talking Book Narrator.
If you missed the live presentations, you may go to our webcast archive.
Or check out our Podcast page, where you may subscribe to the Happenings around the House Series.
View the schedule, and to learn more about joining us live during the next webcast presentation.
APH Receives Funding for 3-D Scanner!
The King’s Daughters & Sons Foundation of Kentucky awarded APH $4,985 to purchase a 3-D scanner. The 3-D scanner will allow our production staff to scan physical objects and use the collected data to construct 3-D models used in production and prototype development. The topic of 3-D scanning and printing was “the talk” of this month’s Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference at CSUN. Many schools have purchased 3-D printers and are looking to APH for assistance in utilizing them for students who are blind. APH is grateful to The King’s Daughters & Sons Foundation for providing APH with the resources needed to continue being a leader in research and product development for the education of the blind.
2014 Run to Independence
We’re just under a month away until the 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon/Marathon, and APH’s Run to Independence team has hit the ground running. Last year, APH was named the Festival’s Charity of the Year. You can help us attain that title again! It’s not too late to lace up your sneakers and participate with this year’s team! We’d like to thank our recent $500 Bronze Sponsors – Clipper Mill, Inc and Scot Mailing & Shipping Systems. If you have any questions, please contact Chona Camomot at 502/899-2361 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Race day is Saturday April 19 at 8am.
The Challenge O’Braille Comes to Kentucky!
Thirty-six of Kentucky’s finest students met at the Kentucky School for the Blind and at APH on March 6, 2014, to participate in the 4th Kentucky Regional Braille Challenge. The Braille Challenge, a national program of the Braille Institute of America, celebrates braille literacy and braille readers through a series of competitions in spelling, proofreading, speed and accuracy, reading comprehension, and interpreting charts and graphs.
Students competed for prizes donated by APH, HumanWare, National Braille Press, and Seedlings Braille Books for Children. While the students competed, parents and other volunteers met in the Hospitality Room to munch on some great snacks and to network with each other and staff from the Kentucky School for the Blind.
We were joined by several members of the Louisville League of Mascots, and the KSB Wildcat and our own “Dottie O’Braille.” Students were piped in to the closing ceremony with bagpipe music from Russ Stone, and were entertained by a storyteller and by students from the McClanahan School of Irish Dance.
We congratulate all of the lucky students who competed this year. We are proud of each and every one of them. Congratulations also to Taylor Hollar, the overall winner of the event; to Mason Tilley, overall winner in the reading comprehension category; and to all of our winners. We are rooting for you to make it to the finals in Los Angeles in June!
CCSSO’s State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards: Division on Assessing Special Education Students Visits APH
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) includes a State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) with a division dedicated to Assessing Special Education Students (ASES). In 2008, approximately 40 members of the ASES SCASS Group met at APH for presentations by members of APH’s Accessible Tests Department. The ASES SCASS membership has now grown to 90+, and again they decided to have their winter 2014 meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, so that they could have presentations and more from APH staff. On an icy Wednesday, February 5, presentations focusing on major issues that impact assessment of students who are blind and visually impaired by Accessible Tests and Research staff were provided to ASES SCASS members at the Downtown Louisville Marriott. Presentations were followed by small group discussions that included a roundtable forum with APH staff. On a cold and snowy Thursday, February 6, 45 of the ASES SCASS members made their way to APH via bus where Dr. Tuck Tinsley welcomed them and provided an an overview of APH. Next, the group toured APH facilities, and then participated in a one-hour open discussion of hot topics and a Q&A session on issues that affect online testing for students who are blind and visually impaired.
APH on the Road
Start Spreadin’ the News! AFB Leadership Conference is the Apple of APH’s Eye!
APH was represented in a number of capacities in New York City at the 2014 AFB Leadership Conference. The event took place from February 28th through March 1st, and attracted approximately 425 attendees. Janie Blome, Director of Field Services, presented on “Practitioners as Leaders in Our Field,” and APH President Tuck Tinsley presented at the Migel Medal Awards. Field Services Representative Kerry Isham exhibited products at the event, which included the All-In-one Board (Student Model), DNA Twist, Everybody Plays!, Tactile Town, Touch ‘em All Baseball and the VisioBook. Rounding out our presence were Vice Presidents Bob Brasher and Gary Mudd, who circulated and spread the APH word among fellow professionals. APH was glad to be such an integral part of the AFB Leadership Conference, which provided an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues and new and old friends.
Texas Instruments (TI) Hosts Conference Starring APH Calculator
APH’s Ken Perry, APH Consultant Susan Osterhaus, Orbit’s Venkatesh Chari
TI and the T community host an annual T International Conference each spring. The T International Conference is targeted to educators as well as administrators interested in the appropriate usage of educational technology to enhance teaching and learning in mathematics and science. This year Susan Osterhaus (TX), Venkatesh Chari (Orbit Research), and APH’s Ken Perry were accepted to present on the new Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator.
San Diego police STEM the activities of the REAL Gang at CSUN
Nicole Gaines, NIMAC and Digital Accessibility Manager; Julia Myers, Director of Resource Services and NIMAC; Rosanne Hoffmann, STEM Project Leader; Larry Skutchan, Technology Projects Manager
From the Field:
Guidelines for Accessible Assessment Project (GAAP): Research on Understanding Audio and Sign Guidelines
Submitted by Jennifer Higgins with Measured Progress
Research Study: Access to Technology-Enhanced Test Items by Students Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired
TVIs and 6th-8th Grade Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: Your Participation Is Needed!
Treasures From the APH Libraries
The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to blindness in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, arrangements can be made to use the materials on-site. In addition, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will continue to make materials available through the online catalog.
From the Barr Library: Cunningham, Katie. Accessibility Handbook: Making 508-Compliant Websites. Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media, 2012.
Accessibility Handbook provides Web designers with a framework for understanding the assistive technologies that can be used to accommodate disabled audiences. Along with devoting an entire chapter to suggested resources for coding a 508-compliant website, Cunningham focuses on the unique accessibility solutions for the following impairments: complete blindness, low vision and color blindness, hearing impairment, physical disabilities, and cognitive disorders. Each section contains a list of interface “annoyances” reported by individuals who fall into the four categories. Achievable by non-experts, the procedures can be as simple as constructing uniform, well-ordered pages for individuals with ADHD or altering font styles for those with dyslexia. Insofar as “a website that is accessible for the disabled often gains the benefit of becoming easier to use for everyone,” the recommended modifications signify enhancements, as opposed to compromises, for the overall Web user experience.
From the Migel Library: Gall, James. An Account of the Recent Discoveries Which Have Been Made for Facilitating the Education of the Blind. With Specimens of the Books, Maps, Pictures, etc. for Their Use. Re-print ed. Leicester: St.Martin’s, 1893.
An Account of the Recent Discoveries… was published in Great Britain during a time of several exciting new advances in materials for blind students. New tactile books that used James Gall’s triangular alphabet, which was described as “perfect” in this work, had begun to be published. Tactile writing by pressing stamps on paper had progressed to the point of making postal communication accessible. A “typhlograph” had recently been created to help guide the hand in writing script. A new, numerical notation for music had recently been developed. Engraved maps and illustrations had begun to be embossed in books. And a pin cushion was in use to calculate mathematics, geometry, and even keep track of geography. Illustrations of all of this new technology are included in the book, along with printing costs for books for the blind. This item has been digitized for the Internet Archive.
APH is working with the Internet Archive to digitize portions of the M.C. Migel Library. Search the phrase “full text” to find these items at migel.aph.org. The digitized texts are available in a variety of formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, etc.
Social Media Spotlight
Do you use Pinterest?
"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!
APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustee
Leslie Bechtel Van Orman, the Wyoming Department of Education, replacing Barbara A. Engelbrecht.
APH Travel Calendar
April 3-6, 2014
CTEBVI 2014 (California Transcribers & Educators for the Blind & Visually Impaired);
Los Angeles, CA
April 3-5, 2014
April 5, 2014
CIP Event: Indiana State University;
April 9-12, 2014
CEC 2014 Annual Convention & Expo;
April 14-15, 2014
OFB Transition Conference;
April 15, 2014
CIP Event: University of Arizona, Tucson;
April 23-24, 2014
NIP Event: FVLMA Workshop;
April 24-26, 2014
2014 National Outreach Conference;
April 30-May 3, 2014
International Preschool Seminar;
May 1-2, 2014
NBA Spring Professional Development Conference 2014;
May 7, 2014
Dakota AER 2014;
Grand Forks, ND
May 17, 2014
APH Product Training, held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Education;
Green Bay, Wisconsin
May 28-30, 2014
VAVF (Visual Aid Volunteers Florida);
June 19-20, 2014
June 25-27, 2014
CCSSO National Conference 2014;
New Orleans, LA
July 1-6, 2014
July 10-19, 2014
Las Vegas, NV
July 30-August 3, 2014
AER International Conference 2014;
San Antonio, TX
August 8, 2014
NIP Event: ISVI-P;
APH Spring Fever Sale
Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Spring Fever Sale 2014, April 1–June 30. As always, first come, first served.
NEW! Address: Earth, Section Two
1-01911-00 — $439.00
Optional Item: Textbook Set, Braille: 5-01911-01 — $329.00
Maps and Charts: 7-01911-00 — $169.00
Textbook Set, Large Print: 7-01911-01 — $229.00
Address: Earth, Section One: 1-01910-00 — $499.00
Note: Section One covers: Earth Features, North America, South and Far East Asia, plus the Indian Subcontinent.
This Large Format Color Atlas from APH meets 70 readability guidelines developed for users with low vision and/or color perception problems.
APH has partnered with cartography and geography experts from the University of Louisville to research and develop these guidelines. Section Two covers: Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Russia and its neighbors, Europe, Continental Europe, and the Middle East.
- Maps and charts in bright, high-contrast colors
- Transparent overlays
- Broad lines and large legends
- Durable symbol guide
- Text in large print
- High-contrast photos
- Informational sidebars
- Accessible curriculum
Section Two Includes
- Book of large format maps and charts with a 3-ring binder
- Symbol Guide
- Carrying Case
- Large format chapter texts
- Extra chapter texts are handy for teachers with more than one student sharing a map book.
- The map books and chapter texts are also available separately. Other sections of the atlas will be announced, as they are available.
NEW! Quick Pick Cards, Blank (set of 50)
1-03577-00 — $7.00
Related Products: Quick Pick Games
Braille Contractions: 1-03576-00 — $68.00
Counting: 1-03574-00 — $32.00
The new Quick Pick Blank Cards Set includes fifty game cards that can be customized for use with other APH Quick Pick games. Each card can be brailled with a question and four multiple-choice answers. The correct answer can be placed randomly in one of the four positions.
The Quick Pick educational game series provides a unique play format for students who are visually impaired and blind. Each Quick Pick title consists of a set of cards packaged in a durable plastic case and includes a wooden tool. Each game card presents a question or other challenge with four possible answers. The student reads the card while it is still in the case.
To play, the player chooses an answer by inserting the wooden tool in one of four holes in the front of the case. If the answer is correct, the card will slide out. If incorrect, the card will not pull out, and the player should try again. The object is to "Quick Pick" as many cards as possible on the first try.
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 several weeks for delivery.
by Patrick Carman: T-N1974-90 — $64.50
Ten-year-old Leo’s father is the maintenance man at the extraordinary Whippet Hotel. Leo thinks he knows his way around — until a series of cryptic boxes leads him to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and unexpected alliances. Meanwhile, the hotel owner has vanished. Grades 4-7. *(AR Quiz No. 146286, BL 5.7 Pts 8.0)
A Mutiny in Time
By James Dashner: T-N1978-90 — $58.00
In an area controlled by a shadowy group called the SQ, best friends Dak and Sera stumble onto a time-travel device — the Infinity Ring. The Hystorians, a secret society, recruit the pair to right some wrongs, known as "breaks," throughout history. Grades 4-7. *(AR Quiz No. 153821, BL 5.3 Pts 7.0)
A Little History of Science
by William F. Bynum: T-N1978-10 — $115.50
University College London professor provides an explanation of the development of scientific thought and practice from the ancient cultures of Babylonia and Egypt to the digital age of the early-twenty-first century. Topics include matter, medicine, the solar system, and DNA.
by Nelson DeMille: T-N1967-20 — $246.50
NYPD detective John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, both on the anti-terrorist task force, are asked to take an assignment in Yemen. Their target is the head of Al Qaeda in that country — one of the masterminds of the USS Cole bombing. Some adult content.
V is for Vengeance
by: Sue Grafton: T-N1875-90 — $152.50
1988. A middle-aged woman is found dead — an apparent suicide — soon after PI Kinsey Millhone reports her to department-store detectives for stealing. When the woman’s boyfriend hires Kinsey to look into her death, Kinsey’s investigation uncovers a Mob family, a shoplifting ring, and a star-crossed romance. Some adult content.
APH News Credits
Dr. Tuck Tinsley
Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
Thanks to the following APH staff:
- Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
- Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
- Scott Blome, Director, Communications
- Monica Vaught-Compton, Project Consultant, Research
- Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
- Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
- Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
- Nancy Lacewell, Government and Community Affairs, Director
- Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
- Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
- Daria Moschowsky, Editor, Accessible Tests
- Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
- Cecilia Peredo, Grants Director, Development
- Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
- Becky Snider, Public Affairs Coordinator
- Monica Turner, Field Services Representative
- Roberta Williams, Manager, Public Affairs and Special Projects
Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research
Read our blog: Fred’s Head from APH.
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.