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APH News

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

December 2005 Happy Holidays!

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

Message from the President

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

As 2005 comes to a close, we at APH have a lot for which to be thankful. Most significantly, the role Federal legislation has designated for us to play in the education of our country’s blind students. That role includes a link to our country’s 58,000 legally blind pre-college students; a direct connection to our Ex Officio Trustees, the key personnel in the education of those students; and the need to bring together dedicated employees to address that role.

Administering a program that began 147 years ago is a true honor for those of us with that role at APH. However, major responsibilities come with the honor. One of those responsibilities, maintaining a workforce to handle the wide variety of production and product-related functions, became a major focus this week. On Monday, November 27, 109 of the 137 Teamsters Union members at APH voted 58-51 to strike and began picketing the next day. Most of those employees, members of the Teamsters Union, are not currently available to assist in fulfilling APH’s commitment to its customers.

Despite the strike, we maintain our steadfast commitment to providing quality products for blind students and are operating in a "business as usual" mode. More than 200 APH employees, non union employees and the union employees who chose to continue working, are hard at work and extremely willing to fill any roles required to keep products flowing from APH.

As you prepare for the holidays and the special gatherings of the time, we are planning APH’s Holiday Luncheon with the possibility that approximately 35% of our employees will not be with us for this festive event or the holiday season. We realize that APH’s greatest resource is its employees and we look forward to the return of those who chose to strike.

Sincerely Yours,
Tuck Tinsley

Washington State Conference for Families of Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Tacoma, Washington was the destination for families of blind and visually impaired infants, toddlers, and preschoolers November 4 and 5. More than 150 families and teachers of the visually impaired were treated to a day of learning about the new APH Sensory Learning Kit (SLK) as Millie Smith shared her knowledge and insight. Field Rep Sandi Baker exhibited a display of APH products for young children, and provided a session talking about those materials with the families (and their children). The SLK, Everyday Activities Calendar, and the Rolling Into Place interactive story book were big hits with the families, and the Let’s See and Light Box materials were favorites with the children! The Washington Instructional Materials Center later reported that orders were up on the APH products discussed at the conference!

APH Prison Braille Forum Attracts Participants From 15 States

Prison Braille Program

The 5th annual Prison Braille Forum was held in Louisville in October just prior to Annual Meeting, and 42 professionals attended from 15 states. There are currently about 30 braille production programs in correctional facilities across the country. These program share unique issues, and gather once a year to discuss braille production status, security concerns, and educational and training needs.

Two distinguished professionals gave presentations to the group. Bob Schmitz, Supervisor of the Folsom Project for the Visually Impaired (FPVI) in Folsom Prison in California spoke about the braille production facility there. FPVI is a non-profit corporation that produces thousands of pages of braille each year for the California Department of Education. Lucia Hasty, a tactile graphics expert who has worked with several prison programs, gave a presentation on training inmates to produce quality tactile graphics utilizing the methods and materials that are unique to a prison environment.

KCI (Kentucky Correctional Industries) Braille Services, a prison braille program that APH started and continues to work with, recently celebrated 5 years in business. There are currently 10 NLS literary braille certified transcribers in the program, and one in-training. One transcriber is certified by the National Braille Association (NBA) in Braille Textbook Formatting. The women produce thousands of pages of braille each year, primarily textbooks for students. The program is a partnership between APH, Kentucky Correctional Industries, and the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women.

For more information about prison braille programs, contact Nancy Lacewell, APH Director of Government and Community Affairs (800-223-1839 ext.339).

Louis Contributing Agencies Update!

Louis Database and APH File Repository

Attention Louis Users:
Within the next few weeks, you will be receiving a letter that shows the contact information we have for your agency. When the letter arrives, please take a moment to review the information and make sure everything is correct. Also, please check to see if you have additional details you can provide us, such as an email address.

Please make a note of any changes or additions and mail, fax, or email them to us as per the instructions contained within the letter. We value your support of Louis and want to be certain we are providing your current, correct contact information to those who locate your books in Louis and want to get in touch with you.

Large Print Textbook and Test Manager Named

Ann Martin

We are pleased to welcome Ann Martin to the Accessible Textbook and Accessible Tests Departments. Ann comes to us from the Contract Administration Department where she managed special projects for nearly five years.

Ann has an extensive background in database construction and management, programming and supervision. Her expertise in software development will be extremely beneficial to both textbooks and tests departments.

Her new duties will include tracking large print textbook orders, managing databases for both departments, overseeing ATIC large print staff, researching improved methods of delivery of textbooks and tests as well as a variety of other duties.

Ann can be contacted at or at 800/223-1839 to answer your large print textbook questions.

Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

The 2006 Nomination Process for the Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is now accepting nominations for 2006 induction consideration.

If you are interested in learning more about the process and/or submitting a qualified nominee to join the 36 inductees, please visit the following link:

Remember to submit supporting letters (up to three) separately if you electronically nominate.

The nomination process will close Friday, March 17. 2005 nominees will remain active.

For more information on the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, visit:

"The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is
dedicated to preserving, honoring, and promoting the tradition of
excellence manifested by the specific individuals inducted into the Hall
of Fame and through the history of outstanding services provided to
people who are blind or visually impaired."

Accommodations in the Test-Taking Environment

An accommodation is a planned adjustment to the typical process that enables an individual or group to more fully and equally participate in an assessment. The five major categories of accommodations include presentation, response, setting, scheduling, and special tools. The need for accommodations is the decision of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team and must be recorded on each student’s IEP. Accommodations used in testing should generally "match" those used by the student for classroom instruction. Students with visual impairments have several options for accessing test materials. Braille, tactile graphics, large print, magnified print, audio and verbal presentations are accommodations that enable students with visual impairments to access the testing environment. Production of a test in alternate media is a unique process that usually necessitates the review and limited editing of test directions and test items, or substitution of test items of equal weight, value, and difficulty, so that the final items are understandable when presented in a format different from the original medium. Some students may use a combination of media to complete a single test. For example, students having test items verbally presented and test-takers using an audio version of a test as an accommodation should also be allowed to use hard copy (braille with tactile graphics, large print, or standard print with a magnification device). If a multimedia presentation is used, the various media must be coordinated to ensure consistency in presentation, accuracy and accessibility of information provided in each medium. This article is based on excerpts from Typical Accommodations for Testing Students with Visual Impairments by Dr. Carol Allman.

Attention APH Ex Officio Trustees!
It’s Beta Testing Time on the New Web-Based Student Registration System!

As announced at the 2005 Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees, APH is implementing a new secure Web-based student registration data entry system to improve the census registration process. Beta testing on the new SRS interface is about to begin! Selected trustees have been notified and the first round of Beta testing will begin on Wednesday, December 8, 2005. Further information will be forthcoming, so be sure to stay tuned to APH!

Also, please remember that the new interface has been designed for:

  • Windows© 2000 or newer operating system
  • 800 x 600 screen resolution
  • Internet Explorer© 6
  • Broadband or network connections

Finally, if you are beginning the information collection process for the upcoming January 2nd, 2006 census, please note that none of the categories have changed and new instructions should be on the APH Web site very soon.

Enjoy the APH Callahan Museum During the Holidays:
Design Your Own Card or Just Drop By for a Visit

The winter holiday season can be a delight to the senses: the smell of evergreen trees, candles, and popcorn balls; the crackle of wrapping paper in your hands; the taste of traditional family treats; the sounds of familiar hymns and holiday tunes. Why should your holiday cards be any different? Join the staff of the Callahan Museum in a tactile holiday card-making workshop. Families can explore the use of use of different materials that evoke the spirit of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and add a message in braille.

Tactile card workshops will be held in the Callahan Museum on Saturday, December 3 and Saturday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come and go as you like, and feel free to bring any special materials from home. For more information, call Mike Hudson at 800/223-1839, ext 365, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

And while you’re planning your holiday schedule, why not plan a visit to the Callahan? Nowhere else in Louisville can you write your name in braille, play an accessible computer game, or see the Book of Psalms from Helen Keller’s Bible. So, whether you’re looking for a unique Louisville experience for out-of-town guests, or a place to take the children when they’re on winter vacation, make the Callahan your destination. Museum hours are Monday – Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30 and Saturday from 10:00- 3:00.

Dr Jan van Dijk Attends Annual Meeting

Dr Jan van Dijk leading the informal discussion at the APH Annual Meeting

There was standing room only when Dr Jan van Dijk, from the Netherlands, led an ‘informal discussion’ about communication, literacy, and behavioral concerns for students who are deafblind at a pre-Annual Meeting session on Thursday, Oct 13, at the Marriott Downtown Louisville.

Parents, teachers, therapists, EOT’s, state Deafblind Project staff, and other interested persons came to interact with Dr van Dijk, a leading educator, researcher, and author on topics related to deafblindness. Dr. van Dijk shared information about his experiences with children who are deafblind and about his international research, and he answered questions and responded to comments by those in attendance.

Dr. van Dijk was in attendance at the APH Annual Meeting to conduct two product training sessions on his CD-Rom ‘Child-guided Strategies for Assessing Children who are Deafblind or have Multiple Disabilities’, an APH product since May 2005. Both of his product training sessions were well-attended as Annual Meeting participants were eager to see this international expert in deafblind education, and to learn about the assessment strategies featured in the CD.

Dr. van Dijk also made a couple of appearances at the Product Showcase to answer questions and to autograph the CD’s that were purchased.

This was Dr. van Dijk’s first trip to Louisville and Annual Meeting, but hopefully not his last!

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustee

Please welcome Robert Hill as the new Ex Officio Trustee for the Arizona State Schools for the Blind. Robert replaces Dorinda D. Rife.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


December 1-3, 2005
Getting In Touch with Literacy;
Denver, CO

December 5-6, 2006
Tactile Graphics Training with Braille Jymico;
APH in Louisville, KY


January 16-17, 2006
NIMAS Development Committee;
Orlando, FL

January 17-21, 2006
ATIA 2006;
Orlando, FL

January 24-25, 2006
Making Tests Accessible Workshop;
APH in Louisville, KY

APH Bookstore Catalog 2006 Now Available, Includes Gifts!

APH Bookstore Catalog 2006

The newest APH Bookstore Catalog contains a wide selection of fiction and nonfiction books in enlarged print and in braille. In addition, gift items such as computer games and an electronic book reader/MP3 player are offered.

Find the accessible electronic catalog at or call 1-800-223-1839 for your free print copy.

Braille Transcriber’s Kit: Countries and Continents: 1-04102-00 — $26.00

The Braille Transcriber’s Kit: Countries and Continents is a collection of embossed and printed outlines of maps commonly found in history, geography, and social studies textbooks. The following maps are included:

  • Africa (political)
  • Africa (outline)
  • Asia (political)
  • Asia and Australia (outline)
  • Europe (political)
  • Europe (outline)
  • Middle East (political)
  • North America and Central America (political)
  • South America (political)
  • World (outline)

The embossed sheets may be used as templates when you create tactile maps. Add to these sheets with spur wheel lines, craft ink, glued-on textures, etc. Add braille labels as needed.

The printed maps may be used as masters for "swell paper" tactile graphics. Photocopy the images onto your capsule paper, add labels, lines, and symbols as needed, and produce the raised image by running the graphic through the heating machine.

Also Available:
Braille Transcriber’s Kit: Math: 1-04100-00 — $16.00
Braille Transcriber’s Kit: U.S. Maps: 1-04101-00 — $14.00

Now Available Separately!
Tactile Connections Card Packs (15 cards per pack):

Tactile Connections Set

Black Cards: 1-08837-02 — $7.00
Blue Cards: 1-08837-03 — $7.00
Gray Cards: 1-08837-04 — $7.00
Green Cards: 1-08837-05 — $7.00
Red Cards: 1-08837-06 — $7.00
White Cards: 1-08837-07 — $7.00
Yellow Cards: 1-08837-08 — $7.00

Tactile Connections: Symbols for Communication encourages the creation of a graphic form of communication, created when part of an object is mounted on a hand-sized card representing core vocabulary categories (e.g. people, places, actions, objects, etc.). The mounting cards are now available in packs of 15 cards (all one color), allowing you to choose cards that best fit the student’s needs. Recommended Ages: 5 and older.

WARNING: Complete Kit contains small parts that could pose a choking hazard. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.

Also available:
Complete Kit: 1-08837-00 — $ 115.00
Accessories with Caulk: 1-08837-01 — $ 30.00

CVI Perspectives Video

CVI Perspectives

VHS: 1-30014-00 — $25.00
DVD: 1-30014-DVD — $25.00

This video explores cortical visual impairment (CVI) from three perspectives: medical, educational, and personal.

Neonatologist Dr. Alan Lantzy presents a medical perspective on the causes of CVI.
APH CVI Project Leader Dr. Christine Roman presents an educational perspective focusing on characteristics and recommended approaches.

In the final segment, seven families talk about their personal experiences from the difficulty of the diagnosis to finding help and hope.

Need Last-Minute Gifts? Think APH!

APH has many items that would be perfect for holiday gift-giving (or put these on YOUR wish list!):

  • Children’s Books
    Dear Santa, Please Come to the 19th Floor

  • Videos
  • Daily Living Products
    Colorino unit with carrying case

    • Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (1-07410-00 — $229.00, extra labels and tags available) record your own message keyed to a uniquely coded adhesive label or plastic tag that you can attach to almost anything. Read the label or tag later with the hand-held digital recorder/scanner.
    • Colorino (English: 1-03955-00 — $195.00, Spanish: 1-03955-SP) small hand-held unit that detects more than 100 nuances of color and can be used as a light probe. No Quota.
    • LumiTest (1-03956-00 — $72.00) light probe and contrast indicator increases in pitch as light is approached.
    • "Kelvin" Talking Thermostat (1-03973-00 — $129.95). No Quota.
  • Calculators
  • Calendars
    APH InSights Calendar 2006

  • Recreational Items
    photo of the three different sizes of Rib-It Ball and the Mini Rib-It ball

  • Educational Computer Games

    • Armadillo ArmyTM (D-03400-00 — $49.00) navigate successive mazes while avoiding the armadillos.
    • Termite TorpedoTM (D-03470-00 — $39.00) rid Woodville of the invading termites by clearing all 12 playing fields.
    • Talking Word PuzzlesTM (D-03440-00 — $49.99) solve and create your own crossword puzzles.

  • Educational Board Game
    Web Chase game board and playing pieces

    • Web Chase (1-08460-00 — $149.00): this unique board game helps students develop tactile skills while having fun. WARNING: Choking Hazard-Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.
  • Software
    • Book Wizard ReaderTM (D-03531-00 — $49.00, D-03531-ED — $39.00) PC Software for reading electronic files including Digital Talking Books.
    • Money TalksTM (D-03560-00 — $49.00, D-03560-ED — $39.00) Accessible bank account management software package.
  • Electronics
    photo of a Book Port

    • Handi-Cassette II Stereo Tape Recorder/Player (1-07085-00 — $170.00) portable unit for listening to Talking Books or commercial cassettes as well as recording tapes.
    • Book PortTM (1-07440-00 — $395.00) portable book-reading device for downloading and reading electronic text files (including or digital recorded books (including DAISY Digital Talking books). Plays MP3 files in stereo.
  • Clothing

To order these gifts, call toll-free 1-800-223-1839, Monday-Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm Eastern time.

APH offers hundreds of educational and daily living products. Please visit to learn more.

Did You Know. . .
APH Has Holiday Cards?

APH offers several sets of print/braille holiday cards featuring the artwork of people who are visually impaired or blind. The artwork and messages are not specific to a single holiday, so they can be used for any winter occasion. NOTE: These cards are not available on Federal Quota.

Winter Solace: W-HDCD-AD — $10.00
Features a bridge over a snowy river with the message: "Wishing you a beautiful holiday season." (10 cards, one design)

Sunset on a Ski Slope: W-HDCD-AB — $6.00
Depicts evergreen trees on a hillside covered with snow. This die-cut and embossed card reads, "May the Joy of Your Holidays Be Evergreen…." (10 cards, one design)

May Your Light Shine: W-HDCD-AA — $6.00
Depicts a woman reaching toward a shooting star. This die-cut and tactile print/braille greeting card reads, "May Your Light Shine…." (10 cards, one design)

Snow Walker: 1-05201-99 — $10.00
Portrays a visually impaired snowman with cane. This embossed print/braille card reads "Happy Holidays." (10 cards, one design)

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Mike Hudson, Museum Director
  • Nancy Lacewell, Director, Government and Community Affairs
  • Becki Moody, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Textbooks (ATIC)
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

November Issue –
October Issue –
September Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –

Please share this web link or any items that appear in this publication with anyone who might benefit.

Thank you.

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