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APH News August 2003

Your monthly link to the latest information on APH products, services, and training opportunities.

Take Full Advantage of Us

ATIC logo

APH has many new products and braille textbook titles available for you! Please take advantage of our latest offerings, including the highly praised new enlarged textbook process that provides crisper text print and full color! Search the web site,, for new product releases, new ATIC textbooks in the Louis Database, and contact us for your large print textbook needs! Need help with your orders? Contact customer service at 800/223-1839.

Louis logo

You can still avoid those last minute back orders and confusion by mailing your Fall APH orders today! This is a good time to purchase your forecasted materials and supplies. Don’t forget that you can now quickly make your purchases directly from the web site!

APH logo

Trustees, please take full advantage of us and assist your students by using your allotted federal quota funds by September 30. The July 25 Federal Quota Report indicated over $4,800,000 yet to be spent.

Join Us on the Joyous Journey and Celebrate our Field’s Best
at the 135th Annual Meeting, October 16-19, 2003

Susan Spungin

In addition to the opportunities to hear and meet world-renowned physicist Dr. Kent Cullers, to be trained on our exciting products, and to share the beautiful APH InSights Art and meet the artists, we will celebrate two of our field’s brightest stars at this fall’s Annual Meeting.

At the Friday evening banquet, in addition to spotlighting APH InSights Art, we will honor the following legendary figures in our field with our highest awards, rarely given in one year.

Susan J. Spungin will receive the APH Wings of Freedom for exemplary leadership in service to education and rehabilitation in the field of blindness.

Sally Mangold

Sally Mangold will receive the APH Creative Use of Braille Award for exemplary efforts that effect the availability and awareness of braille.

Additionally, we will acknowledge Billy Brookshire with our Virgil Zickel Award for Excellence in Product Development for his outstanding Loving Me curriculum.

Registration Packets are in the mail or available from the web site.

Photos: Susan Spungin (above right)Photo by Paul Lewis; Sally Mangold (left).

Measuring Up

Mary Nelle McLennan

"The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return. It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale."
…Arthur C. Clark

Continual improvement is one of the key principles that we at APH use to guide the programs, process, and products we offer our customers and our entire field. We recognize that input and measures from the users of our products must be at the heart of the directions and actions we take. We gather the voices of our customers in a wide variety of ways and weave them into our decision making. One of the methods of gathering our performance measures is an annual survey that is conducted for the US Department of Education (DOE). The time for that survey is upon us.

As Clark said, "The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return. It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale." We have truly set our scale to an honest zero and need your candid input and honest responses on our performance during fiscal year 2003. Soon I will be contacting you with a brief survey pointed at your evaluation of our products. Thanks in advance for your assistance in helping us know what we’re doing right and what we need to improve!

Mary Nelle McLennan
Executive Advisor to the President, APH

Seeing Is Believing!

National Instructional Partnerships Logo

An audience of 112 teachers, parents, early interventionists, speech therapists, and other professionals gathered at the Kentucky School for the Blind July 14 – 16, 2003 for APH’s most recent National Instructional Partnerships event, "Cortical Visual Impairment: What You See Is Not Always What You Get". APH Trustee Jeanette Wicker and KSB Outreach Director Cathy Johnson partnered with APH to provide the workshop, presented by Dr. Chris Roman of Marshall University.

Chris educated and entertained the capacity crowd as she shared techniques for identifying and assessing children with cortical visual impairment, strategies for intervention, tips for writing IEPs and approaches for developing orientation and mobility skills in children with CVI. As always, APH products played a starring role in the presentation as Chris demonstrated a variety of activities based on the use of products from APH.

If you’d like to partner with APH to provide a NIP event in your area, contact Janie Humphries, Director of Field Services at 800/223-1839, Ext. 367, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Countdown to Making Math Count

The American Printing House for the Blind is pleased to present "Making It Count: Math Skills for Students With Visual Impairment", a National Instructional Partnerships event featuring Susan Osterhaus. Held in partnership with Carrie Brasier, Director of the Massachusetts Vision Resources Library, the workshop will focus on a wide variety of materials and techniques for improving math skills, including selected APH products.

The workshop will be held September 11 -12, 2003, at the Hogan Conference Center at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Teachers of the visually impaired, parents, mathematics teachers and others interested in learning about teaching math skills to students with visual impairment are encouraged to attend.

Registration fees for the conference will be $30, and will include a continental breakfast and lunch both days. Space is limited, so register soon if you’d like to attend this event. Registration information is available from Janie Humphries at the American Printing House for the Blind, 800-223-1839, ext. 367, email hidden; JavaScript is required, at the APH web site, or contact Carrie Brasier at the Vision Resources Library, 781-575-1842, email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Minds Return to APH!

APH is pleased to bring together again the greatest minds of university personnel preparation programs for the second "Meeting of the Minds" at APH September 7 – 9, 2003. This gathering is designed to improve services to the field by increasing partnerships and communication between APH and university-based personnel prep programs.

This year the Meeting will spotlight research needs and issues for the field and for APH. Research projects currently in progress at the Universities will be highlighted. We plan to explore areas and techniques for facilitating new research, and determine ways APH and the university programs can support each other in research endeavors. In addition, Dr. Deborah Hatton, Project Director for the Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers with Visual Impairments (University of North Carolina), will provide updates on the progress of the instructional modules she’s been developing for university programs in early intervention for children who are visually impaired.

Housing for up to three nights will be provided for each university faculty or staff member attending the Meeting, and meals will be provided each day. Transportation to and from Louisville will be the responsibility of individual university programs; however, travel stipends will be awarded to help defray travel costs.

If you are an instructor or faculty or staff member in a university based personnel preparation program and would like more information about the Meeting of the Minds II, please contact Janie Humphries at 800/223-1839, Ext. 367, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Lou Tutt and Others Place Stones in the Wall of Tribute

Lou Tutt standing between two columns in the Wall of Tribute

One of the many features of the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is the Wall of Tribute, a place for you to permanently honor a person or organization that has made a difference in your life. You can support the exciting Hall of Fame project by donating and placing an engraved stone in the wall.

Visit and click on the Wall of Tribute link to see examples of some of the stones now proudly displayed in the Wall of Tribute by generous donors. Pictured here is Lou Tutt, formerly of the Maryland School for the Blind and recently named Principal of the Colorado School, with his stone near his right hand. The web site will also give you information on how you can place a stone in the Wall of Tribute.

NEW! APH Demo Disc, Summer 2003 Coming Soon

It’s bright! It’s pink! You can’t miss it! The new edition of our popular APH Demo Disc is about to be mailed. This free-of-charge CD-ROM is jam-packed with software demos and accessible product information.

A few of the many items on the disc are:

  • Book PortTM – information on this exciting new hand-held electronic book reader
  • Living with Fred’s Head – information about using the free Fred’s Head Database of techniques for blind people
  • New Textbooks in Accessible Media, Spring 2003, Text File Edition, HTML Edition
  • Products Catalog 2003-2004, Text File Edition, HTML Edition, PDF Edition
  • Termite TorpedoTM software info and demo

To order your free copy of the demo disc, call 800/223-1839 and select the "catalogs" item from the voice menu.

Technology Training Sessions are a Hit!

Maria Delgado and students from one of the training sessions

Database Field Representative Maria Delgado and guide-dog Dave have been traveling the country this summer. In the last two months Maria has conducted over 20 "Hands-on Technology Training Sessions" in Idaho, Colorado, Montana, California, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas, and Wisconsin. For the most part participants included students, ages 8 through 20, although some educators, para-professionals, and even parents took advantage of the training.

Popular activities among the different groups of students included learning to download e-books, like The Jungle Book or Sinking of the Titanic, and reading these books with their computer, a note taker, or APH’s new electronic book reader called Book Port.

Students attempting to tie neckties by following online directions

Teenagers and students who will soon be looking for work learned how to find job-related tips on the Fred’s Head Database. They learned how to dress for an interview, and how to go about getting reliable transportation. One related activity that caused many laughs involved learning how to tie a necktie using a silk tie and following directions from a record found in Fred’s Head.

At the end of each training session, participants had a chance to test their knowledge of APH Web-based Databases. Participants were asked to independently search the Louis Database, find a "Louis t-shirt" and place an on-line order. We are thrilled to announce that everyone did a great job!! More than 100 technology training participants successfully placed their order and have already received their Louis shirts.

If you are interested in learning more about "Hands-On Technology Training" opportunities in your area please contact Maria Delgado at: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Photos: 1) Maria Delgado and students from one of the training sessions; 2) Students attempting to tie neckties by following online directions.

Get the "Inside Scoop" on Prison Braille Programs

Prison Braille Program Logo

There are over 20 braille production facilities operating in state and federal prisons across the U.S. Each is unique in structure and scope, but all share a common goal of producing quality braille materials – particularly for blind students.

APH is working to support these programs and has recently issued a report entitled Prison Braille Programs – The Inside Scoop. This timely publication contains such information as key challenges, inmate transcriber profiles, and rehabilitative value of braille production facilities in the prison environment.

You can find this interesting new report on the APH web site.

Share Your Toys!

Soft rattle toy shaped like a ladybug, with a black head and red wings with black dots.  Its eyes and smile are white, and it has two bright yellow, wing-shaped, plastic handles attached to its sides

APH is putting together a list of durable, safe, and helpful toys to be used while conducting ISAVE protocols. In this effort, APH would appreciate your helpful ideas and suggestions. If you have a favorite toy or two that you wouldn’t dream of leaving out of your ISAVE activities, please jot down the name of the toy and its manufacturer and send it to Low Vision Project Leader Elaine Kitchel at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Your input and ideas will go far to help other educators become more productive when using ISAVE.

Test Developers and Publishers Are Headed for APH

Cartoon of a girl reading braille

On Sept. 16-17, 2003, the Accessible Tests Department will be hosting a 2-day workshop designed for test item developers and publishers. The "Making Tests Accessible for Students with Visual Impairments Workshop" will focus on issues, considerations, and most promising practices for presentation of items in large print, braille, and tactile formats. Audio and electronic formats will also be addressed. To date, 20 participants representing nine major test publishers have confirmed registration in this workshop.

A comparable workshop, designed especially for state assessment personnel, will be held early in FY2004. If you or anyone you know would like to be notified of this workshop, contact Gage Brogan at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Talking Book Narrator Roy Avers Reaches Milestone

Roy Avers

The very popular APH narrator Roy Avers is currently recording his 1000th book for the Talking Books program! The book, Captain Blood, is a historical romance written by Raphael Sabatini in the 1920’s.

Roy began recording with APH in 1974. He regularly narrates Newsweek magazine and Readers Digest. In 1990, Roy was awarded the prestigious Alexander Scourby Narrator of the Year Award from AFB for his narration of fiction novels. Roy says that the best part of his job is getting to meet the people who read the books he narrates, and he is often invited to speak to interested groups.

Congratulations Roy!

APH Travel Calendar


on the road with APH

August 1, 2003
Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped and Educational Services for the Visually Impaired;
Janesville, WI

August 6-7, 2003
Iowa School for the Blind Education Conference;
Vinton, IA

August 21-23, 2003
WV Vision Teacher/Outreach In-Service;
Huntington, WV

August 24-26, 2003
Revision/Update to On the Way to Literacy Handbook;
Norwich, NY

August 25-28, 2003
Blinded Veterans Association Convention;
Myrtle Beach, SC


September 1-12, 2003
Making It Count: Math Skills for Students with Visual Impairments (NIP Event);
Chatham, MA

September 8-12, 2003
Legisator visit on Capitol Hill;
Washington, DC

September 16-17, 2003
Test Publisher Workshop;
Louisville, KY

September 16-17, 2003
Workshop for Test Developers and Publishers: Making Tests Accessible to Students with Visual Impairments;
Louisville, KY

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustee

Cecelia Rose at the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, replacing Anna Smith

Federal Quota/SRS Training in November

Ex Officio Trustees, please don’t forget the Federal Quota/Student Registration System (SRS) Training scheduled November 3 and 4. This unique training is geared to those people who actually gather and enter the data for the SRS Program. You can register your staff by contacting Karen Blaker (800/223-1839, Ext. 300, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required) or by filling out the registration form on the APH web site.

APH will cover hotel and meal costs for attendees while in Louisville.

APH News Credits

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff members for their contributions to this effort:

  • Karen Blaker, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Maria Delgado, Louis Database Field Representative, Field Services
  • Janie Humphries, Director, Field Services
  • Elaine Kitchell, Project Leader, Low Vision, Research
  • Nancy Lacewell, Director, Government and Community Affairs
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

July Issue –
June Issue –
May Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –