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!
- More Free Downloadable Manuals Now Available
- Special Hot Pricing for Your Summer Reading Enjoyment
- NEW! Braille Contraction Recognition (BCR)
- NEW! Functional Vision and Learning Media Assessment (FVLMA)
- APH Braille Book Corner
Annual Meeting News and Information
The 140th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
October 2-4, 2008
Seelbach Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky
Registration Open for 2008 Annual Meeting
If you are on the APH mailing list, please watch your mail, because you will soon be receiving a registration packet for the 140th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests. The packet will include your registration form, a flyer for the Seelbach Hilton Hotel, a tentative agenda, and other information about this exciting opportunity to join your colleagues from across the land as we celebrate our 150th anniversary year!
"Celebrating 150 Years Of Independence", is our theme for this year’s event, which will take place October 2 – 4 at the Seelbach Hilton in downtown Louisville. You won’t want to miss this outstanding celebration as we review our storied history and envision an exciting future. Our opening commemorative dinner on Thursday evening will feature author Mike May, President and CEO of the Sendero group, sharing the exciting stories that relate his quest for independence. We will also celebrate the outstanding winners of our 150th Anniversary Essay Contest. As is our tradition, Friday evening will be set aside to honor our APH InSights Art winners and those inducted in to the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field. This year Sally Mangold and Richard Welsh are the very worthy inductees.
Deadline for registration is August 29, so please act now. We’ll be talking about this one for years to come – don’t miss it!
Hotel Reservations Now Available for Annual Meeting!
You can now make your hotel reservations at the historic Seelbach Hilton for the 2008 Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests. There are two easy ways to reserve your room:
- Check out the APH website for information on how to make your hotel reservation by telephone: (www.aph.org/anmtg/2008/index.html).
- If, however, you would prefer to make your reservation on-line, simply click the following link: http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/SDFSHHF-APB-20081001/index.jhtml
A block of rooms have been reserved for October 1, 2008 – October 5, 2008. The special room rate will be available until August 31st or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first. Please call the hotel or visit the site soon to make your reservations as rooms will fill up quickly!
Did You Know?. . .
At the Seelbach Hotel, you’ll have the opportunity to walk where celebrities, legends, and the infamous once walked.
Today, The Seelbach Hilton’s majestic grace and Southern hospitality make it a favorite getaway for celebrities. Performers and other famous figures come for turn-of-the-century ambiance and to dine at the AAA Five Diamond restaurant, The Oakroom.
You can see The Seelbach Hilton featured on the big screen. Both Russell Crowe and Al Pacino visited The Seelbach Hilton during the filming of the movie, "The Insider." In the film, you can see glimpses of the hotel’s elegant interior.
The Hollywood classic "The Hustler," starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason, includes scenes shot in The Seelbach’s former gentlemen’s billiards hall. In 1996, the billiards hall was transformed into The Oakroom restaurant, serving award-winning Kentucky cuisine.
Other actors that have stayed at The Seelbach include Kevin Costner, Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, James Earl Jones, Charlton Heston, Miss Piggy, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, and The Rolling Stones — just to mention a few.
While on tour with Elton John, Billy Joel chose to stay at The Seelbach Hilton for their stop in Louisville. On two nights of his visit, Joel tickled the ivories and sang his favorites at the Old Seelbach Bar — one night for five hours straight without a break!
Many other performers have stayed at The Seelbach Hilton including N’Sync, Ringo Starr, Robert Plant, Natalie Merchant, The Grateful Dead, Tony Bennett, Janet Jackson and Rod Stewart.
The grand surroundings of The Seelbach have drawn other notable figures such as Muhammad Ali, who was born and raised in Louisville, and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. The Seelbach Hilton has also been graced with visits from other personalities including Peter Jennings, Diane Sawyer, Mikhail Gorbachev, Wolfgang Puck, Vice President Dick Cheney, Julia Child and Emeril Lagasse.
A Hollywood actor was even involved in restoring The Seelbach to its present-day luxury. After The Seelbach closed in 1975, actor Roger Davis and H.G. Whittenberg, Jr., president of a construction company, bought The Seelbach and another hotel in 1978 for $1 million. Through their efforts, the hotel was reopened in 1982, and has continued on to achieve four-diamond, four-star status under the Hilton flag.
Congratulations, APH Scholars!
During their meeting at APH in May, the members of the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) had the daunting task of selecting 5 first time attendees to attend the 2008 Annual Meeting as APH Scholars from a field of 19 nominees. These five deserving direct service providers will receive transportation, hotel lodging and registration for this year’s annual meeting.
We salute the following members of this year’s class of APH Scholars:
- Patricia Cox (OK), nominated by Ex Officio Trustee Theresa Kruta
- Amy Downard (HI), nominated by Ex Officio Trustee Christian Yates
- Annette Newbold (UT), nominated by Ex Officio Trustee Lori Quigley
- Suzan Pattillo (GA), nominated by Ex Officio Trustee Jim Downs
- Pauline Smith (MI), nominated by Ex Officio Trustee Karen Arendal
APH Scholars must be nominated by Ex Officio Trustees in their area. If you are interested in becoming an APH Scholar, please contact your local EOT. Nominations will be open again in the early spring of 2009.
Congratulations, Scholars, and we look forward to seeing you in October!
The Force Is With The Braille Challenge!
It wasn’t a long, long time ago, or a galaxy far, far away, but the stars were definitely shining in Los Angeles June 27 and 28 as finalists from across the United States and Canada gathered at the Braille Institute of America to compete in the 2008 Braille Challenge. The day started when the 65 Challenge finalists from 28 states and two Canadian provinces were ushered into the Opening Ceremonies by the USC Spirit of Troy marching band before beginning their day of competition.
Parents and teachers accompanying their children had an opportunity to participate in focus groups and workshops and to visit exhibitors, including APH.
The event wrapped up with a gala Awards Ceremony, during which guest host Mark Hamill, of Star Wars fame, captured the essence of the event with this comment: "I played an imaginary hero in the movies, but you guys are the real heroes."
Congratulations to Caitlin Hernandez of California, the overall winner of the competition. Caitlin received a $5000 US savings bond and a PACMATE, along with having her name inscribed on the perpetual trophy at Braille Institute.
Association of American Publishers Meet at NIMAC
On June 24th, representatives from the Association of American Publishers joined staff of APH and the NIMAC for an all-day meeting. This gathering was devoted to discussing the shared accomplishments and challenges in implementing NIMAS and the NIMAC Project. The NIMAC has now been in operation for over 18 months and has accepted nearly 10,000 file sets from more than 70 publishers!
Field Test Opportunity: MathBuilders
APH has a field test opportunity for teachers working with braille math students grades K-3. MathBuilders – Fractions, Mixed Numbers, and Decimals is the fourth in the series of MathBuilders Units. The kit provides math lesson plans, manipulatives to teach/demonstrate concepts, and worksheets with tactile graphics to reinforce the student’s understanding.
Field Test Opportunity: Early Braille Trade Books
APH has a field test opportunity for teachers working with emergent and early braille readers. Early Braille Trade Books provides the teacher with small commercially available trade books on a first grade reading level. The books, with braille overlays, are accompanied by access to an APH web site. The web site provides information about the book, activities for introducing the book as well as follow up activities, a listing of the braille contractions and the number of occurrences in the book, and connections to the Expanded Core Curriculum and Core Curriculum. Teachers may enter the contractions known by a student and receive a listing of books appropriate for the reading level of the student. Or the teacher may search the data base for a book to meet a curriculum need.
If you are interested in participating as a field evaluator, please contact Jeanette Wicker, APH Core Curriculum Project Leader, at email@example.com or by phone at 800/223-1839, ext 246 by September 5th. Evaluators will be asked to use the prototype with as many students as possible as well as complete an evaluation regarding the product’s design, function, and usefulness. Students should be braille users in kindergarten, first, or second grade reading at a first grade level. Evaluators will be selected based upon type of setting, available number of students on a first grade reading level, and geographical location. The evaluation period will be from September 2008 through March 2009.
ACB Teacher Group Meets with APH Project Leaders
Teachers attending the American Council of the Blind’s Convention in Louisville, KY were invited to an APH-hosted, half-day workshop on July 10, 2008. This jam-packed workshop showcased a variety of new and exciting products in the areas of braille literacy, core curriculum, low vision, technology, multiple disabilities, tactile graphics, and test assessment. Sneak previews of "coming-soon" products were an added bonus for the audience who expressed appreciation for the timely and versatile educational materials for students with visual impairments and blindness, and who shared their own creative and expected uses for many of these products.
ENGLAND: 4th International Tactile Graphics Conference and Exhibition
Hosted by RNIB Centre for Accessible Information (incorporating the former National Centre for Tactile Diagrams).
The fourth international conference and exhibition on tactile diagrams, maps and pictures is a special event which brings together the world of design, production, procurement, use and support of tactile graphics (images which are touched rather than looked at). This exciting event, also offering pre-conference workshops and excellent networking opportunities, covers all aspects of tactile graphics for blind and partially sighted children and adults in education, work and daily life.
Presentation topics will include challenges and solutions, applications and good practice, technologies for producing and accessing tactile graphics, training, and tactile graphic literacy.
Visit the Tactile Graphics 2008 Conference website for more information:
Tactile Graphics 2008, December 3-5, 2008. Jurys Inn, Birmingham, England
Phone: +44 (0)121 665 4240 or +44 (0)121 665 4208
AER Awards APH Stars
The C. Warren Bledsoe Award is granted by the AER Publications Committee in recognition of a particularly noteworthy piece of literature in the field of blindness. This year "the Bledsoe" was awarded to Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy for her insightful book, published by AFB Press, entitled Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention and Mary Nelle McLennan, long-time author/editor of the unique RE:view column entitled, "Springboard."
CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH OF OUR AWARD WINNERS.
We also congratulate the other worthy winners, which included:
- Kathleen Huebner – Ambrose M. Shotwell Award
- Diane Wormsley – Mary K. Bauman Award
- Charla Rose Houston – Alfred Allen Award
- Adele L. Crudden – John McAulay Award
- Gala Brooks – Douglas MacFarland Award
About Chris’s Bledsoe:
The 2008 C. Warren Bledsoe Award, which recognizes the work of an outstanding author, group of authors, or editor in the field of blindness, was awarded to Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy for her recently-published book, Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention. Drawing from her direct experience with children with cortical visual impairment (CVI) and from research performed in connection with her doctoral studies and continuing today, Dr. Roman-Lantzy provides practioners with assessment and intervention techniques to use with children whose visual problems occur in the visual pathways and processing centers of the brain rather than in the structures of the eye. In the words of Dr. Richard Welsh, who presented the Bledsoe Award to her, "Chris has had the courage to step up and express in this publication her comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of children with CVI. In doing so, she has made her work available for others to use with their students and to build upon as our field moves forward in understanding and addressing the needs of still another group of visually impaired children."
Dr. Roman-Lantzy’s book is published by AFB Press. Her ground-breaking work can also be seen in the video CVI Perspectives, produced by and available from APH. Dr. Roman-Lantzy currently serves as the APH Project Leader for CVI.
Photo: Richard Welsh presenting the Bledsoe Award to Dr. Roman-Lantzy. Photo by Al Lantzy.
About Mary Nelle’s Bledsoe:
The AER Publications Committee chose to present a rare C. Warren Bledsoe Special Recognition Award to Mary Nelle McLennan for her long-running body of work she created as author and editor of the Springboard column in the journal RE:view. During her 15 years in the classroom at the Tennessee School for the Blind, Mary Nelle experienced the need for a forum through which practitioners in the vision field could share their ideas and strategies for success with their students. Believing that shared insights can stimulate other good ideas, Mary Nelle created the "Springboard" column in the journal RE:view in 1992. As a result of her twenty five years with the APH, Mary Nelle has had contact with professionals across the continent, and she encouraged them to share their strategies, gizmos, systems, and adaptations through "Springboard." For 16 years, Mary Nelle has gathered and edited submissions for this regular quarterly feature, authoring an opening commentary for each column as well as introductions for every submission. Since 1992, Mary Nelle has also served as a volunteer Executive Editor of RE:view.
Mary Nelle currently serves as Executive Advisor to the President of APH.
Photo: Frances Mary D’Andrea (left) presenting the Bledsoe Award to Mary Nelle McLennan. Photo taken by Paul Lewis.
ACB Honors APH’s Technology Project Leader and President with Major Awards
On July 8, 2008, at the 47th Annual Convention of the American Council of the Blind in Louisville, KY, the Blind Information Technology Specialists (BITS) Group honored APH’s Technology Project Leader, Larry Skutchan. Larry received the John R. Mattioli Jr. Technical Innovation Award. The award citation said, "In recognition of his ongoing innovative technological advancements and tireless service to blind and visually impaired individuals across the United States and around the world."
On July 11, just following his keynote presentation, ACB honored APH President Tuck Tinsley with their Robert S. Bray Award, "In recognition of his distinguished service since 1989 to provide information and publications in accessible formats for all people with visual impairments."
APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees
Harold W. Williams, the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education – Wood, replacing Georlene Adams.
Judy Ortman, St. Joseph’s School for the Blind, replacing Gerald Kitzhoffer.
APH Travel Calendar
August 2, 2008
Portland State University Guest Lecture;
August 8-10, 2008
August 11-16, 2008
63rd BVA National Convention;
August 13-15, 2008
Pathways to Possibilities;
Virginia Beach, VA
September 4-6, 2008
San Antonio, TX
September 18-19, 2008
New York, NY
September 26-27, 2008
Annual Kentucky Reading Association Conference;
September 27, 2008
Indiana Vision Expo;
October 2-4, 2008
APH Annual Meeting 2008;
October 17, 2008
AERO (Ohio AER Conference);
Serotek Presents Keys for K-12
Minneapolis, Minnesota — For children in the 21st century, using a computer is as basic as learning to read or riding a bike. Serotek Corp. is introducing a program today that will put blind children on the same page with their sighted peers – giving them the ability to use a computer anytime, anywhere, with help from Keys for K-12.
Imagine a blind child at a friend’s house, and the sighted friend wants to demonstrate a cool new site on the internet or work on a shared science project. Until now, blind kids just felt left out while the other kids looked at the screen.
Now imagine that same child reaches into his backpack or pocket, pulls out a thumb drive, and says, "Hey, let’s plug in my key so I can play, too."
Keys for K-12 means a free license to carry the System Access Mobile capabilities on a U3-enabled USB thumb drive. With the SA Mobile software, your student can plug her flash drive into any computer anywhere and have instant access – through text-to-speech and/or magnification – to all Windows-based applications already there.
At school, the library, Grandma’s house, or a sleepover, a blind child can access the same information on the computer as any sighted student who can see the screen.
A licensed copy of System Access Mobile sells for $499.00, and now student K-12 can have it for free! If you are a parent, teacher, or school administrator interested in the future of a blind student in grades K-12, you have the power to bring this expanded world of access into a child’s life.
What you need to do: Complete the eligibility forms for each student (which includes certification of visual impairment from medical and educational professionals), follow the simple steps to download the System Access Mobile software to a USB drive – and your student is ready to go. To get started visit: http://www.serotek.com/kk12.html
For information about Serotek Corp. or other Serotek products, visit www.serotek.com.
NEW! More Free Downloadable Manuals Now Available
Word Associations Print/Braille Labels Braille Manual: 6-39051-00
U.S. Puzzle Map Braille Guide: 5-01140-00
APH continues to increase the number of product manuals available for free-of-charge download. After download, you may print or emboss them as needed. We will continue to package hard copies of these manuals with their products and sell hard copy replacements. If you purchase one of these manuals it will be considered a special order product and will normally be shipped within three weeks.
Special Hot Pricing for Your Summer Reading Enjoyment!
Receive 10% off the Handi II, and Table Top Recorder/Players, and Cases.
Also, Receive 50% off accessories listed below.
Effective June 1 thru September 30, 2008
|Product Number||Description||Original Price||Promotion Price|
|Handi-Cassette II Tape Recorder/Player
– plays and records at standard or Talking Book speed
|1-07085-01||Handi-Cassette II International||$175.00||$157.00|
|1-07084-00||Handi-Cassette II Carrying Case||$19.00||$17.00|
|Accessories for Handi-Cassette II|
|1-07082-00||Battery Pack NIMH||$12.00||$6.00|
|Table Top Cassette Recorder/Player
– plays and records at standard or Talking Book speed
|1-07150-00||Table Top Cassette Recorder/Player (US)||$225.00||$202.00|
|1-07150-01||Table Top Cassette Recorder/Player (UK)||$225.00||$202.00|
|1-07150-02||Table Top Cassette Record/Player (Europe)||$225.00||$202.00|
|1-07010-00||Table Top Carrying Case||$12.00||$10.50|
**Note: All Sale Items Available While Supply Lasts**
NEW! Braille Contraction Recognition (BCR)
Teacher’s Kit, Print: 1-03251-00 — $107.00
Teacher’s Kit, Braille: 1-03252-00 — $178.00
Student’s Kit, Braille: 1-03253-00 — $84.00
New Name, New Components, New Configuration, Same Objective: APH’s previous BCR kit (Braille Code Recognition) has changed to Braille Contraction Recognition kit!
New BCR Components:
- Teacher’s Manual explains the program, provides suggestions for its use, and suggests additional practice material and helpful hints
- Pretesting and Posttesting Components provide a formal measurement tool
- Teacher/Student Kit contains one teacher’s manual in either large print or braille and one Student Kit in braille
- Student Kit contains same materials as in the kit above, but without the teacher’s manual
- Increase braille reading accuracy
- Increase braille reading rate
NEW! Functional Vision and Learning Media Assessment (FVLMA)
FVLMA Kit: 7-96151-00 — $63.00
FVLMA Protocols: 7-96152-00 — $22.00
FVLMA Practitioner’s Guidebook, Print: 7-96153-00 — $45.00
FVLMA Practitioner’s Guidebook, Braille: 5-96153-00 — $58.00
This new assessment tool is useful for practitioners to gather, store, track, and analyze information regarding students’ functional vision and appropriate learning media.
The Functional Vision and Learning Media Assessment, written by Rebecca Burnett, Ed.D., and LaRhea Sanford, Ed.D., has been revised and made an APH product. FVLMA fills the need for a user-friendly instrument that provides a framework for systematic and thorough assessment of a student’s visual functioning, and the student’s needs for adapted educational media. Although not a standardized test, FVLMA has been peer-reviewed by experts in the field of vision and field tested by teachers and students. It was found useful in discovering, recording, and analyzing the needs and progress of students.
- Practitioner’s Guidebook
- CD-ROM containing HTML and .brf files
- An expanded core curriculum yearly screening form
- Learning media assessment
- Functional vision and learning media interviews and observations
- Functional vision assessment
- Functional vision and learning media report
- An expanded core curriculum
- If/Then Chart
- Resource List
Recommended Ages: For students who are pre-academic or academic and visually impaired in grades K-12.
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.
Zelda and Ivy: One Christmas
Laura Mcgee-Kvasnosky, Braille: T-N1691-80 — $8.50
While baking cookies with their neighbor Mrs. Brownlie, sister foxes Zelda and Ivy talk about what they want for Christmas. Back home they’re unsure whether the Christmas elves will leave Mrs. Brownlie a gift, so they decide to make one for her themselves. Easy chapter book. Juvenile Fiction, Grades 2-4. *(AR Quiz #44670, BL 3.0, Pts. 0.5)
Bella at Midnight
Diane Stanley, Braille: T-N1692-50 — $55.00
After a happy childhood with a peasant family, teenaged Bella is reclaimed by her real father, a knight. Castle life with a stepmother and two stepsisters becomes worse when Bella is caught up in a terrible plot. Bella’s resources are her brave heart and her godmother. Juvenile Fiction, Grades 5-8. *(AR Quiz #106196, BL 6.0, Pts. 9.0)
Kalisha Buckhanon, Braille: T-N 1669-10 — $58.00
Teenaged Antonio, jailed for his father’s murder, corresponds with his girlfriend Natasha in Harlem. Over the years Natasha attends college, Antonio adjusts to prison life, their feelings inevitably change–and the truth about the killing comes out. Strong language and some violence. Fiction, Senior High readers. *(AR Quiz #102565, BL 5.2, Pts. 10.0)
Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
John Grogan, Braille: T-N1658-40 — $76.00
A columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer reminisces about the untrainable Labrador retriever that he and his wife acquired as Florida newlyweds. Recalls Marley’s hilarious escapades and his capacity for love as the Grogans become the parents of three kids. Biography, Adult and Senior High readers. *(AR Quiz #106771, BL 6.9, Pts. 15.0)
Gillian Flynn, Braille: T-N1693-10 — $74.00
Chicago reporter Camille Preaker, recently treated for psychological problems, arrives in her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, to investigate the murders of two preteen girls. Camille sees her mother and thirteen-year-old half-sister for the first time in years. But events from the past overwhelm her. Some violence and some strong language. Fiction, Adult readers.
*Accelerated Reader number, reading 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
- Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
- Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
- Scott Blome, Director, Communications
- Nicole Gaines, Manager, NIMAC
- Nancy Lacewell, Director, Government and Community Relations
- Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
- Mary Nelle McLennan, Executive Advisor to the President and BANA Board Member Representing APH
- Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services and NIMAC
- Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
- Gwynn Stewart, Support Specialist, Communications
- Jeanette Wicker, Core Curriculum Project Leader, Research
- 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
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