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Your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, and training opportunities from the American Printing House for the Blind.

August 2009

Exciting New and Revised APH Products Announced!

Read on to learn about these important products – now available!

Photo of the revised MaximEyes unit showing the corded Pentracker and the new joystick controller

"Keys to Success"
141st APH Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests

Confidence. Conviction. Dedication. Giving. Respect. Spirituality. Visit the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville and you’ll find exhibits and memorabilia from the life of Louisville native Muhammad Ali arranged around these core values. These keys to success will form the foundation for our 141st Annual Meeting of APH Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, October 15-17, 2009, at the historic Seelbach Hilton Hotel.

Kareem Dale
Kareem Dale
Phil Hatlen
Phil Hatlen
Samir Azer
Samir Azer

You won’t want to miss the opening session and reception on Thursday evening. This event will take place at the Muhammad Ali Center overlooking the Ohio River. Sharing his personal story of success will be our invited keynote speaker, the President’s Disability Policy Advisor Kareem Dale, who is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Illinois with both a law degree and an MBA. Dale is also an honor graduate of the Tennessee School for the Blind. Also that evening, we will honor Samir Azer with the APH Virgil Zickel Award, for the development of Azer’s Interactive Periodic Table Study Set, and Dr. Phil Hatlen with APH’s highest honor, the Wings of Freedom.

What else will be happening? The Muhammad Ali Center is offering free admission all day Thursday with your conference name tag. Plan to come early and take advantage of this opportunity to find out more about "The Greatest" and his life in and out of the boxing ring, including his amazing humanitarian efforts and how it all reflects on those historic times. For more info about the Ali Center, visit!

Still not enough? Would you like to know more about brand new APH products and have input on those that are still in development? Then this is the event for you! APH staff members and product authors will provide training sessions and information on new and planned APH products. The popular Information Fair will again offer posters and demonstrations of products, projects, and other exciting activities at APH.

Want to get together with other professionals who have interests similar to yours? A huge variety of related meetings will take place before and after Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. You can find a tentative listing of these meetings on our website at!

Want to celebrate talented artists and meet Hall of Fame legends? Then the Friday evening banquet is for you as we honor our APH InSights Art Award winners and celebrate the induction of Dr. Euclid Herie and Dr. Dean Tuttle in to the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field.

Want to have some fun? This year we’ll top it all off with a Saturday night event featuring a DJ spinning a wide variety of tunes while you dance the night away or chat with fellow attendees.

Annual Meeting 2009 registration packets will be mailed within a few days, and will soon be available, along with an agenda, on our website. This year we are pleased to offer online registration for payment with credit cards or purchase orders at the following link: Deadline for registration is September 11, 2009.

If you have questions or would like additional information about our 141st Annual Meeting, please call 800/223-1839, ext. 367, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

APH Annual Meeting Dates and Louisville Locations:

2009: October 15 – 17, Seelbach Hotel
2010: October 14 – 16, Galt House
2011: October 13 – 15, Galt House
2012: October 11 – 13, Galt House

Connecting with Families from Across the World

APH was pleased to participate in the recent "Families Connecting with Families" conference in Costa Mesa, CA July 16-18. Approximately 350 family members and children with visual impairments from the United States, the Bahamas, and many other countries attended the event.

Field Services Director Janie Blome and product author Millie Smith presented a session for about 25 parents and family members (and two VERY cute children) on the APH Sensory Learning Kit, Tactile Connections, and the upcoming SAM: Symbols and Meaning kit. Parents were provided with information and skills in using these products to develop programming ideas and IEP goals for students with significant cognitive disabilities. APH was also a hit in the exhibit hall with many parents, children, other family members and professionals. Our products caught the attention of children and adults. Highlights of the exhibit included the Jump Rope to Fitness kit, ToAD, Swirly Mats, and more!

APH Scholars Selected for 2009 Annual Meeting

During their busy days at APH in the spring, the members of the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) were challenged with the task of selecting five direct service providers from a long list of nominees to come to Annual Meeting in October as APH Scholars. These five worthy individuals, all first time attendees, were nominated by their APH Ex Officio Trustee to attend the event as guests of the company. They will be provided with transportation to the meeting, conference registration, and hotel accommodations.

Congratulations to this year’s selected scholars, and thanks to the EOTs who nominated them. They are:

  • Michele Craig, TX, nominated by Dorothy Goodman
  • Clay Jeffcoat, SC, nominated by Marty McKenzie
  • Justine Muir, MA, nominated by Rachel Rosenbaum
  • Liese Regan, VT, nominated by Stephanie Bisonnette
  • Julie VanDover, SD, nominated by Marje Kaiser

If you are a direct service provider in an education or rehabilitation agency and would like to be considered as a 2010 APH Scholar, please contact the Ex Officio Trustee in your area!

Congratulations once again, Scholars, and we look forward to seeing you in October!

"Still Thriving and Excelling Long After Helen Keller"

President Obama recently met with a group from the Helen Keller National Center in the Oval Office. For the full historic story, visit:

NIMAC–Over 2,200 Served Nationwide!

NIMAC National Instructional Materials Access Center

The National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) has broken the 2,000 threshold! 2,280 NIMAS files have been downloaded by authorized users and assigned to accessible media producers and downloaded. 1,308 of them were unique downloads by authorized users; 981 were unique downloads by accessible media producers.

Also, of significance is that NIMAC has 18,172 NIMAS files available for download!

Alaska has now coordinated with NIMAC, which means that all states are prepared to work with the center.

Louis Database: 200,513 and still growing!

Louis Database New Features! New Look!

Louis currently lists 200,513 accessible materials! This number will soon increase significantly as the RFB&D materials are posted.

APH recently announced, at the AHEAD conference, plans to make it easier to locate accessible materials through a cooperative effort with AccessText Network. This will be done through a single search option that will enable a single search to retrieve results from both AccessText Network and Louis.

AHEAD in Louisville

The 32nd AHEAD Annual Conference, titled Global Access: Opening a world of Opportunity, took place at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville July 20-25. The Association on Higher Education and Disability is a professional membership organization for individuals who develop policy and provide quality services to meet the needs of persons with disabilities in higher education. This year’s conference was designed "to help Disability Services (DS) professionals develop a broad worldview; gain expertise in cutting-edge theories, practices and technologies; to become an essential and valued campus resource."

In addition to Opening and Closing Plenary Sessions, Concurrent Sessions, Poster Sessions, and a Silent Auction, more than 65 vendors displayed their goods in the Exhibit Hall for two days. Field Services Representatives Sandi Baker and Monica Turner represented APH at the conference, demonstrating a variety of APH products, including the Braille+, Qwerty Docking Station, and the Refreshabraille 18.

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Pepper Watson, the Oklahoma Department of Education, replacing Teresa Kruta.

Jerri L. Johnston-Stewart, the District of Columbia Department of Human Services, replacing Beverly Roberson.

Alice Woog, the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, replacing Robert Duncan.

Marieda Priest, the Conway Human Development Center (Arkansas), replacing Michael Dickey.

Rorie Fitzpatrick, the Nevada Department of Education, replacing Frankie McCabe.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


August 1, 2009
Aniridia 2009 "Make A Miracle" Medical Conference and Low Vision Exhibits;
Bloomingdale, IL

August 18-22, 2009
BVA 2009;
Portland, OR

August 20-22, 2009
Discovery 2009 Low Vision Conference;
Chicago, IL


September 9-12, 2009
Envision 2009 Conference;
Westin Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, TX

September 16-17, 2009
Research in the Rockies: National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities/Braille Research Consortium Planning Meeting;
Baltimore, MD

September 22-25, 2009
ION GNSS 2009;
Savannah, GA


October 4-6, 2009
Southeastern Orientation and Mobility Conference (SOMA) 2009;
Charlotte, NC

October 9-11, 2009
Families Conference "A Changing World";
Charleston, WV

October 15-17, 2009
APH 2009 Annual Meeting;
Seelbach Hotel, Louisville, KY

October 19-21, 2009
OSEP Offices

October 28-31, 2009
ATIA 2009 Chicago;
Schaumburg, IL

October 29-31, 2009
National Braille Association;
Eugene, OR


November 12-14, 2009
Milwaukee, WI

November 12-15, 2009
Getting In Touch With Literacy Conference 2009;
Costa Mesa, CA

Sizzling Summer Savings

APH Sizzlin' Summer Savings

Explore a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Sizzling Summer Savings! 2009, July 1 – September 30. As always, first come, first served.

New APH 150th Anniversary Retrospective Website

In 2008, APH celebrated its sesquicentennial. Visit our special website ( that looks back at the festivities marking our 150th year. Events included completion of the renovation of the APH front lawn; the opening of a new museum exhibit area; an exhibit and presentation in Washington, DC; an essay contest with over $20,000 in prizes awarded; special 150th programming at the APH Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees; and a celebratory luncheon for all APH employees and retirees. You’ll find fun text, photos, and video on our sesquicentennial site.

Four New Downloadable Product Manuals Available

Downloadable Manual Icon--a yellow book with a black arrow pointing downward

APH offers a growing list of product manuals available for free download ( You may print or emboss these 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. The following braille edition manuals are now available for free download (.brf files):

Beginner’s Abacus Guidebook: 5-03180-00
IntelliTactiles: Pre-Braille Concepts User’s Guide: 5-08516-01
Basic Science Tactile Graphics: 5-08850-00
Teaching Touch Manual: 5-08861-00

CORRECTION to Feel ‘n Peel II Sticker Quantities in Products Catalog

There is an error in the Feel ‘n Peel II sticker quantities listed on page 84 of the APH Instructional Products Catalog 2009-2010. The following are the correct sticker quantities:

1-08864-00: Assorted Stickers II Kit (over 2,300 stickers) contains the five types of stickers below and two white-coated magnetic sheets:

  • 1-08865-00: Numbers (over 650 stickers)
  • 1-08866-00: Reward Statements II (over 100 stickers)
  • 1-08867-00: Stars (over 300 stickers)
  • 1-08868-00: Point Symbols II (over 1200 stickers)
  • 1-08869-00: Color Names (over 100 stickers)

We’re sorry for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

NEW LOWER PRICE! Compact+ Hand-Held Electronic Magnifier
1-07570-00 — $595.00

Not available with Quota funds.
Note: Shipping charge added–please call for more information.

$200 price drop! This ultra-bright, widescreen electronic magnifier enlarges up to 10X and fits in your pocket or purse. And now it’s more affordable!

Great for reading small print and looking at pictures anytime, anywhere. Snapshot function holds one image of an area being magnified so that image can be brought closer to the eye.


  • Three zoom levels: 5X, 7.5X, and 10X
  • Five viewing modes: true color, black-and-white, blue-and-yellow, black-and-yellow, and reverse
  • Camera positioned directly behind screen for ease of image alignment
  • Snapshot feature
  • 4.3-inch LCD widescreen
  • Rechargeable battery, up to 3 hours of continuous use

REVISED! MaximEyes Video Magnifier Unit:
1-03915-01 — $3,495.00

Photo of the revised MaximEyes unit showing the corded Pentracker and the new joystick controller

Upgraded features, same price!


  • Corded PenTracker for improved writing capability
  • NEW! Improved design
  • New! AutoTrack™ reading feature, no x-y table
  • Access to remote audio-video presentations through the provided inputs
  • NEW! Quieter motion control system
  • NEW! Better lighting


  • NEW! Larger 22-inch widescreen display
  • Up to three additional video and one audio input
  • NEW! Joystick controller for easy control of camera movement, magnification, and more
  • Unique PenTracker technology, includes one corded PenTracker
  • NEW! SMALLER BASE: Base of unit measures 17" wide by 15 1/2" deep — requires less space than other CCTVs that require a moveable x-y table
  • Can utilize an optional Sony® EVI-D70 Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera (available from commercial vendors)
  • One year limited warranty (optional extended warranty available)

The newly upgraded MaximEyes Video Magnifier from EITAC Solutions Group is offered exclusively by APH. It offers access to printed materials, multimedia, as well as improved productivity. With up to 60X magnification, you are able to display an enlarged view of materials placed on the work surface. A new, larger 22-inch widescreen display provides a clear image for reading and writing.

The improved MaximEyes has a unique interface that uses a new joystick controller that replaces the mouse from the previous model. You can manipulate the optional camera in any direction, zoom in or out, or control any of the wide variety of features.

With an optional Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera, not available from APH, you can see information such as a lecturer being presented in the distance. Three inputs allow connection to other media sources, such as a VCR, DVD player, or compatible computers.

Optional Item:
Extended Warranty (extends the included one-year warranty for an additional year, giving you two years total. Must be ordered within 60 days of the date your product was shipped.): 1-03918-00 — $200.00

Replacement Item:
PenTracker, Corded: 1-03917-00 — $40.00

ADDITIONAL FREIGHT AND INSURANCE CHARGE: A $74.00 UPS shipping fee will be added to all orders shipping within the contiguous United States. All other shipments will include actual shipping rates based on the point of destination.

Note: Video Magnifier, Warranty, PenTracker, and Freight & Insurance are all available with Quota funds.

MaximEyes™ and PenTracker™ are trademarked products of EITAC Solutions Group, LLC in West Lafayette, Indiana.

NEW! EZ Track Calendar 2010:
With Binder: 1-07900-10 — $32.50
Inserts only, no binder: 1-07901-10 — $28.50

EZ Track Calendar 2010

The EZ Track calendar provides a systematic and organized way of keeping track of appointments, holidays, and other events. Each large print page holds four days, with enough room to write notes and appointments. The calendar comes with a three-ring binder.

NOW on DVD! Hands-On Experience with the Cranmer Abacus:
1-30004-DVD — $25.00

This DVD and an accompanying booklet are designed to familiarize you with the basic uses of the Cranmer Abacus. The concepts and skills covered include how numbers are represented and how to perform the four basic math functions on the abacus.

Note: The VHS edition of this product has been discontinued.

NEW! Picture Maker: Geometric Textured Shapes:
1-08838-01 — $50.00

Photo showing first half of the available shapes
Photo showing the second half of the available shapes

Related Products:
Picture Maker Wheatley Diagramming Kit (original kit): 1-08838-00 — $112.00
Picture Maker Storage Panel: 1-08838-03 — $18.00
Picture Maker Textured Strips: 1-08838-02 — $79.00
ALL-IN-ONE Board (Magnetic/VELCRO® brand/Dry Erase): 1-08836-00 –$145.00

These geometric shapes are different in texture, number, color, and size from the shapes included with the original Picture Maker kit. Use these shapes in combination with the diagramming strips and shapes included in the original kit.

Example Activities:

  • Creating simple map displays
  • Demonstrating spatial concepts
  • Conveying concepts related to math and science
  • Practicing shape, texture, and size discrimination
  • Constructing flowcharts
  • Making art creations

Note: Some parts you receive may vary slightly from those depicted in photo. Felt board NOT included with Textured Shapes.

The Picture Maker Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit (1-08838-00) can be used for numerous educational activities. It includes a felt covered board measuring 20 3/4 x 13 inches, and a wide variety of VELCRO® brand backed pieces that attach to the board in an infinite number of patterns. Features over 100 pieces in many shapes, sizes, textures, and colors.

WARNING: Choking Hazard–Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.

APH Braille Book Corner

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.

Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
by John Grogan: 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. Bestseller. Nonfiction, Upper Grades. *(AR Quiz #106771, BL 6.9, Pts. 15.0)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
by J.K. Rowling: T-N1187-90 — $80.00
On Harry Potter’s eleventh birthday, he learns that he is more than an unwanted orphan. The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry recruits him because he has inherent magical abilities. As he purchases supplies–robes, wand, and messenger owl–Harry looks forward to attending his new boarding school. Bestseller, Fiction, Middle Grades. *(AR Quiz #26759, BL 5.5, Pts. 12.0)

Size 12 Is Not Fat
by Heather Wells: T-N1694-90 — $106.50
To keep her Greenwich Village flat, former pop idol Heather Wells balances two jobs: working for her PI housemate Cooper Cartwright (her secret crush) and serving as an assistant college dorm director. When a female freshman dies suspiciously, Heather undertakes another vocation–spunky girl detective. Some strong language, Fiction/Mystery, Upper Grades. *(AR #103838, BL 5.4, Pts. 14.0)

Two of a Kind
by Nora Roberts: T-N1627-10 — $50.50
Two tales of summer love. In "Impulse" ever-practical CPA Rebecca Malone sells everything she owns and heads to Greece to see what life has to offer. In "The Best Mistake" a single mother takes in a male tenant, perhaps the best mistake she ever made. Explicit romantic descriptions, Fiction, Adult.

The Age of Reason
by Thomas Paine: T-N1659-10 — $57.00
The patriotic writer and essayist of the American and French revolutions sets forth his beliefs on religion’s place in society. He affirms the need for rationalism in religion, attacks national religious institutions, and points out biblical inconsistencies and fallacies. First published in 1795.

*Accelerated Reader quiz number, book level, and point value. For more information on the Accelerated Reader program, see the January 2006 APH News or

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
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services and NIMAC
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Gwynn Stewart, Support Specialist, Communications

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 –

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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