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APH News: December 2002

Your monthly link to the latest products and services information.

Textbooks! Textbooks! Textbooks!

Accessible Textbook Initiative and Collaboration Project

The textbook season never ends at APH. You can see proof of this by watching the ATIC textbook production line. The hard working staff in production is working hours and hours of overtime to keep up with the demands of ATIC textbook orders.

In order for us to keep the production floor busy we must continue to build our pool of NLS Certified Transcribers. Recently, our list of transcribers has grown to include 10 certified transcribers from the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women (KCIW). We have also had contacts from other prison braille programs interested in transcribing braille for APH. ATIC has been quite successful with the use of outside transcribers and has been able to put many people to work.

ATIC’s charge to our Ex Officio Trustees is to help us keep the braille professionals busy! Our charge to teachers is to contact your Trustees early to get those books in process. So, start sending in your textbook orders for 2003! You can get your order form on the ATIC web page ( or give us a call and we can email it, fax it, or drop it in the mail. If you have any questions about ordering a textbook please contact Jean Moore at 800/223-1839, ext. 371, or email her at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

ISAVE Training Workshop


Sandi Baker and Burt Boyer, APH Field Services Representatives, will travel to Virginia in December to provide a workshop on ISAVE. Approximately 50 vision teachers and service providers will gather in Fairfax, Virginia on December 12 and 13 for a workshop to learn how to use ISAVE: Individualized Systematic Assessment of Visual Efficiency. Participants will learn about the 16 components of ISAVE, how to select components for conducting an assessment, and have the experience of completing protocols for critical components.

APH in Connecticut

Rolling Into Place

Consistent with the theme of the Northeast AER Regional Conference, "Take A Chance…Make It Happen," author Jane Kronheim and APH Project Leader Karen Poppe conducted a presentation November 22 titled I Took A Chance, and We Made It Happen– Rolling Into Place.

The one-hour presentation focused on the collaboration between the product developer and APH to create, produce, and make available an interactive, high-contrast, tactile storybook that encourages the development of basic hand skills and directional concepts by children with visual impairments and blindness.

This event marked the unveiling of the Rolling Into Place product in finished form to the product developer as well as publicly to vision teachers. The session was attended by approximately 25 teachers, some of whom were interns at the Perkins School for the Blind representing the countries of Brazil, Russia, Greece, India, Argentina, Bangladesh, and Thailand.

An Observation from Customer Relations

What’s the problem? Customer Relations is not being overwhelmed with telephone calls, as was the norm in years past.

When Customer Service began nine years ago, you, our customers, called us often with order complaints concerning back ordered products, lost products, or wrong products! It all amounted to a lot of time responding to problems. Gradually things began to turn around as each department started working to improve processes, and to deliver better products in a shorter time frame.

You began to take notice and comment on the difference.

With all of these factors at work, we have seen an enormous change in the number of customer calls we receive regarding problems. Our customers are now making such comments as:

An added bonus is that our sales have picked up steadily as well.

The relationship we have with you, our customers, has evolved into one of mutual respect and confidence. Are we concerned about the reduced number of calls from you? Absolutely not! The reduction in calls lets us know that we’re improving, as a company, as we strive to fulfill our mission.

Thank you and please continue to call us with your suggestions on how we can better meet your needs! That’s how improvements happen.

David McGee Named APH Manufacturing Specialist

David McGee

On October 31, David L. McGee started his new position as Manufacturing Specialist in the Technical Research Division. David is the replacement for, and reports to, Frank Hayden, who is now the Technical Research Division Manager.

David is a 23 plus year employee of APH. He comes to Technical Research from the Maintenance Division where he held the position of Senior Technician. David’s primary responsibilities were maintaining and repairing the recording, duplicating, loading, labeling, and packaging equipment in the Talking Book Division. He has also been active in the company’s Continuous Improvement program and was a member of a team responsible for modernizing APH Talking Book recording studios, mastering operations, and duplication bins from analogue recording to digital recording.

David brings a strong technical background in electronics and recording to the position and is a valuable addition to the department.


There are available dates for booking the entire Callahan Museum traveling exhibit in summer and fall of 2003.

The four components that make up the exhibit are Reading and Writing, Science, Mathematics, and Geography. The components may be rented singly or in any combination. Three of the exhibits, Science, Mathematics, and Geography are available January – April in 6-month rental periods. Rental fees are $500 for one component, $750 for two, $1,000 for three, and $1,250 for all four. The host organization pays for shipment from the previous venue. Blindness organizations are encouraged to form partnerships with community exhibit spaces, galleries, museums, libraries, universities, etc., to bring these exhibits to their communities.

There is information on our web site ( or call Carol Tobe, Director, Callahan Museum, 502/899-2365 or 800/223-1839, ext. 365.

Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

Honor a Mentor – Place an Engraved Stone on the Wall of Tribute

A sampling of engraved stones already in place:

A column of Tribute Stones at the Hall of Fame

This wall of tribute has been designed in the new Hall of Fame to give you the opportunity to honor those who have made a difference in your life – be it a spouse, a family member, a teacher, or other mentor. You may also wish to commemorate an historical figure or special organization. Your mentor may have more than one stone on the wall!

The wall, made up of inscribed stones placed in beautifully detailed wooden columns, is entitled "Friends of Leaders and Legends." Five sizes of elegantly inscribed stones are available to be personalized as you choose. All etched stones are eight inches wide and vary in height: three, four, six, eight and twelve inches. By purchasing a tax deductable stone, you will become a Charter Benefactor of the Hall of Fame.

Another way to become a Charter Benefactor, and play a major role in honoring those men and women who have made critical and lasting differences in the lives of those we serve, is to send a donation of $50.00 or more. A special certificate recognizing you as a benefactor will be sent to you for your tax deductible gift.

For the full story, including close up views of the stones with price details, click the following link, or write it into your internet bar:

For additional information, contact Don Keefe, Vice President of Development, 800/223-1839, ext. 351.

Test Central Network Shows Growth

Test Editor Trainees hard at work

A second Test Editor Training Workshop was offered October 14 and 15, 2002, the Monday and Tuesday immediately following APH’s Annual Meeting. Nineteen test editor trainees, made up of teachers and transcribers, gathered at APH from the great states of AL, GA, IN, KY, MA, MD, NM, SC, and TN to participate in the workshop.

Information presented by Dr. Carol Allman, Elaine Kitchel, Karen Poppe, and Fred Otto focused on:

Projects underway or recently completed through Test Central include:

New Mexico Loves Loving Me

National Intructional Partnerships

APH is pleased to announce the upcoming National Instructional Partnerships (NIP) event "Loving Me: Secrets of Self-Esteem," April 21 and 22, 2003. The workshop, to be held in partnership with Ex Officio Trustee Kenalea Johnson and the New Mexico School for the Blind, will feature Billy Brookshire presenting techniques and skills for developing self-esteem and social competence for individuals with blindness and visual impairment.

Loving MeBilly is the author of the new APH product Loving Me, a curriculum designed to facilitate workshops that promote self-esteem in students and adults who are visually impaired. He recently presented a mini-workshop of the Loving Me materials in Orlando, Florida, and garnered rave reviews.

If you’re interested in learning techniques to help your students and clients increase self-esteem, then this training is for you!

Registration details, along with the exact location of the workshop, lodging and other information will be available soon from APH. Watch for exciting updates at

If you’d like to partner with APH to host a Loving Me event or another NIP event in your area, please contact Janie Humphries at email hidden; JavaScript is required, or call 800/223-1839, ext. 367.

Product News

NEW! Studio Recorder Software

Screen view of the Studio Recorder program

Originally created by APH to serve as an internal tool for creating direct-to-digital audio recordings, Studio Recorder™ PC software contains many features that make recording, editing, and proof reading audio books easy. It is a powerful digital recording and editing software package geared specifically to making recordings of the spoken word and includes features not found in similar programs primarily designed for music production.

These features include:

Studio Recorder CD Version – D-03600-00 – $200.00
Studio Recorder Electronic Download – D-03600-ED – $200.00

Download the demo (which can be turned into a full copy by purchasing the electronic distribution option) at Note: Unlike some other APH software, there is no site license available for this product.

NEW! Picture Maker Video

Patty Wheatley demonstrates the Wheatley Picture Maker

On this new video offering, product creator Patty Wheatley offers many tips and tricks for using the Picture Maker in all areas from classroom to everyday life. Features demonstrations of children and adults using the Picture Maker. VHS cassette runs approximately 14 minutes.

The Picture Maker: Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit is a fun, colorful, multipurpose tactile board that can be used for numerous educational activities.


Note: Small parts — do not allow children under 3 to use Picture Maker without adult supervision

Picture Maker Video: 1-30008-00 – $10.00
Picture Maker: Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit: 1-08838-00 – $99.00
Picture Maker: Replacement Guidebook: 6-08838-00 – $16.00

NEW! Functional Vision: A Bridge to Learning and Living: Functional Vision Assessment Video

Scene from the video: A teacher and a low vision student in a classroom

This video gives an overview of low vision and the process of a functional vision assessment. It highlights the importance of assessing low vision needs and presents the basics of how such an assessment is accomplished. It features nationally recognized experts in low vision.

This video was directed by Mary Nelle McLennan, APH Executive Advisor to the President. It features Marshall Flax, Wisconsin Council of the Blind; LaRhea Sanford, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools; Edith Ethridge, Kentucky School for the Blind; Beth Langley, Pinellas County Clearwater Schools; and Laura Felty, Raceland Independent Greenup Co. Schools.

VHS cassette runs approximately 26 minutes.

Functional Vision: Functional Vision Assessment Video: 1-30009-00 – $20.00

REVISED! Tactile Graphics Kit

Tactile Graphics Kit

The updated Tactile Graphics Kit is now available. This extensive set of materials allows teachers, transcribers, and mobility instructors to create custom raised-line maps, graphs, diagrams, and charts using a variety of point symbol tongs, areal pattern plates, and line drawing tools. Masters are embossed on heavy aluminum foil and can be reproduced on a vacuum-form machine.

Updated features include: 1) improved carrying case; 2) tri-fold tool pouch to house graphic tools; 3) modernized and extended guidebook in large print and CD-ROM formats; 4) more durable line-drawing tools, and 5) a lower selling price! Extra accessories include a braille slate and stylus, braille eraser, rubber embossing pad, ruler, and foil sheets. Another new feature is that the line drawing tools included in the full kit are also available separately as the Tactile Line Drawing Tools kit. Some of these tools can be used to create graphics on both paper and foil.

Tactile Graphics Kit: 1-08851-00 – $210.00
Line-Drawing Tool Kit only: 1-08851-01 – $59.00
Replacement Tactile Graphics Guidebook, Large Print / CD-ROM Edition: 7-08851-00 – $22.00

APH News is compiled by Bob Brasher, email hidden; JavaScript is required; document design by Malcolm Turner, email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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