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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 2006

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

The Incredible Annual Meeting Presentations of Tom Sullivan and Michael Hingson are Now Available!

Adjusting the Sails Annual Meeting 2006 October 12-14 Louisville, KY

Due to popular demand, and the gracious willingness of our presenters, the amazing Annual Meeting keynote presentations of Tom Sullivan and Michael Hingson are now available through our website. Additionally, you can enjoy the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony of Anne Sullivan Macy and Arnall Patz.

After viewing (or reviewing) these inspirational presentations you will feel a renewed pride in your profession.

Here’s how to access the presentations:

the Keynote Presentations and Induction Ceremony recordings are located at:

To listen to podcasts of various Annual Meeting sessions, visit:

APH’s PE Website Feature for December!

PowerShowdown table

PowerShowdown! Learn about this exciting game by visiting the APH’s PE Website Feature page.

SQUID: Tactile Activities Magazine Survey

SQUID: Tactile Activities Magazine is intended for students 5 to 12 years of age. Two SQUID issues are now available from APH with more issues soon to come! Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, welcomes student feedback about the types of activities they most enjoy and would like to receive more of in SQUID issues. Please encourage students to visit and complete the short survey (maybe as a classroom assignment!) located at Teachers’ and parents’ comments are welcomed as well. Thank you for your assistance!

Looking for Braille Books for Holiday Gifts?

Louis Database Accessible Materials and APH File Repository

Are you looking for recreational reading books to give as gifts?? If so, here is an easy step-by-step guide to searching LOUIS for APH braille books.

Once you are on the LOUIS search page,

  1. Choose "Subject" in the Search By drop box.
  2. Type in "recreational reading" in the Search for box. If you would like to narrow the search by age group, please add "adult" "young adult" or "child" for example, "recreational reading child"
  3. In the Choose a format drop box, highlight "Braille"
  4. In the Choose an agency drop box, scroll down and click on "American Printing House for the Blind"
  5. Lastly, in the Max Records to Display box, change to "All records retrieved" and then, click on the yellow Search button.
  6. You will see a long list of titles in alphabetical order, scroll through the list to pick out your favorites!

Please remember APH has over 300 recreational reading titles in braille. If you need additional LOUIS help, please contact Resource Services at (800)223-1839 ext. 705.

Louis Database Fall Cleaning

In an effort to clean up intention records in Louis, letters were sent out to all contributing agencies, asking them to update their intentions records. Over 10% of our agencies responded, resulting in hundreds of corrected records. Thank you to all of the contributing agencies for your efforts in helping us keep Louis up-to-date!

Nevada Early Interventionists Focus On Visual Impairments

Approximately 30 staff members were joined by parents and others in Las Vegas on November 17 to gamble on an APH product demonstration and presentation. Janie Blome, Director of Field Services, was on hand to provide information about APH products for young students with visual impairments and multiple disabilities, and to provide instructional techniques and strategies for using those products in children’s homes and in their classrooms. The group also discussed some APH history and the process for accessing Federal Quota funds. Participants were excited to see many new APH products and some classics, including Setting the Stage, Picture Maker, the Draftsman Tactile Drawing Board and the many materials and revised handbooks for the APH Light Box. They were particularly enthused to learn the Light Box manuals are now available in Spanish, and encouraged APH to continue to provide materials relevant to Hispanic students and their families.

APH Expands at the Utah AER Conference

APH was pleased to be a part of the Utah AER conference in Salt Lake City on November 3. Field Services Director Janie Blome joined Ex Officio Trustee Karen Blankenship (IA) to present sessions on the Expanded Core Curriculum for students with visual impairment. Karen’s opening keynote overview of the Expanded Core Curriculum provided a perfect foundation for Janie’s keynote highlighting APH products to enhance skills in the areas of the Expanded Core. An afternoon session allowed participants to get some hands-on experience with the APH materials as they studied individual products and provided feedback on the features of the products, ways they could be used with their students, and ways they might use the products in other curriculum areas as well.

Participants also had the opportunity to look over APH products at the APH exhibit booth. Highlighted products included Loving Me, Money Talks, Going Places, and the Sensory Learning Kit, among many others!

Virginia’s 2006 Workshop on Blindness and Visual Impairment a Success!

Virginia’s 2006 Workshop on Blindness and VI, held Nov 15 – 17 in Hampton, VA was a success, as more than 150 attendees enjoyed sessions and product exhibits. The workshop featured 4 ‘strands’ which included: Transition, O&M, Adaptive Physical Education and Life Skills, and Braille Literacy. The APH booth was also a success as it was filled with teachers interested in APH’s newest products in these categories, exhibited by Field Services Representative Sandi Baker. The new Moving Ahead book – Splish the Fish – was a hit, as were Setting the Stage for Tactile Understanding, SQUID, and the Draftsman. Other new APH products included World at your Fingertips, Alphabet Scramble, and Going Places.

Three Hall of Fame Inductees Installed

The likenesses of the final three members of the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, inducted in 2002, have been captured on bas relief plaques that are now installed in the Hall of Fame.

Louis H. Rives, Jr.

Lou Rives' Hall of Fame Plaque

Lou Rives (1919-1986) received his baccalaureate and law degrees from the College of William and Mary. In 1947 he joined the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration (VRA) and ultimately served as Chief of the Division of Services for the Blind. Upon retirement from federal service, he became the Director of the Arkansas Division of Services for the Blind. Rives served as AAWB President, receiving the Shotwell Award in 1969, and on the Board of the American Foundation for the Blind.

Mary Elizabeth Switzer

Mary Switzer's Hall of Fame Plaque

Mary Switzer (1900-1971) graduated from Radcliffe College. She served as Director of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Commissioner of the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration, and the first Administrator of the Social and Rehabilitation Service of HEW. In 1954 she shaped the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, referred to as the Magna Carta in the work for the handicapped. She retired in 1970 as the highest ranking female bureaucrat in the federal government. Switzer served as President of the National Rehabilitation Association (1960-61) and received AAWB’s Shotwell Award in 1962. At least three buildings are named in her honor.

Robert H. Whitstock

Robert Whitstock's Hall of Fame Plaque

Robert Whitstock (1930-1998) attended the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1955. Whitstock joined The Seeing Eye in 1957 and traveled hundreds of thousands of miles throughout the United States and Canada demonstrating the virtues of travel with a dog guide. From 1977 to 1992 he served as Vice President for Programs. Whitstock served as President AAWB (1973-1975).
Want to learn more about these and other legends of our field? Visit the Hall of Fame Web Site at

2007 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 2007 induction consideration.

If you are interested in learning more about the process and/or submitting a qualified nominee to join the 38 inductees, please visit:

The nomination process will close Friday, March 16. Nominees who were first submitted in 2006 will remain active.

"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."

APH’s Elaine Kitchel Receives MACRT Award

Elaine Kitchel

Elaine Kitchel, APH’s Low Vision Project Leader, received the 2006 Charlyn Allen Award at the Mid America Conference of Rehabilitation Teachers (MACRT) on November 9. The award is given "in recognition of outstanding achievement, dedication, and leadership in the field of rehabilitation teaching."

This year’s award was presented to Elaine Kitchel, by Sue Dalton, last year’s winner. Sue said, "Elaine is well known and loved by many of the MACRT members, is highly respected for her outstanding creative presentations, and is dedicated to continually expanding her knowledge in order to improve access, materials, and the lives of persons who are blind or visually impaired."

Experiences of Parents With Visual Impairments Raising Children

Dr. Sunggye Hong, University of Northern Iowa, is seeking parents with visual impairments to participate in a 1-hour telephone interview. The purpose of the study is to learn about the strategies, concerns, and experiences these parents have as they raise their children. Parenting partners will also be invited to participate in the study.

Visit and read a letter of invitation and complete an on-line information form or contact Dr. Sunggye Hong at 319/273-7954 or email hidden; JavaScript is required to request an information form.

Memoir of a Boy who is Blind

Adventures in Darkness: Memoirs of an Eleven-Year-Old Blind Boy, by Tom Sullivan, is a new book that takes readers through the adventures of a "monumental" year in the life of Tom, a boy who has been blind since birth. Publishers describe the synopsis: "Tom lived in a challenging world of isolation and special treatment. But he was driven to break out and live as sighted people do." The 240-page book is available in hardcover and abridged audio on CD for a cost of $24.99. For more information, contact: Thomas Nelson Publishers, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214; phone: 800-251-4000; web site:

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Christine L. Boone, Michigan Commission for the Blind Training Center, replacing Melody Lindsey.

Jane A. Breen, Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, replacing Richard Snowden.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


December 4-5, 2006
4th Annual Testing Agencies Disability Forum;
Washington, DC

December 4-8, 2006
Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill;
Washington, DC

December 10-12, 2006
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness Conference;
Lansdowne, VA


January 23-28, 2007
Orlando, FL


February 2, 2007
2007 South Carolina AER;
Charleston, SC

February 22-23, 2007
New Mexico AER Conference;
Rio Rancho, NM


March 1-4, 2007
Santa Clara, CA

March 14-16, 2007

March 19-24, 2007
Los Angeles, CA

March 23-25, 2007
Jo Taylor;
Dallas, TX

A Word to Ex Officio Trustees!

Jack Decker reminds APH Ex Officio Trustees that last year was a record year in sales, partially because so much of the 2006 and 2007 Federal Quota allocations were spent before September 30. For a number of states this means less allocation available this year. Remember, APH welcomes cash sales.

HELP WANTED: APH Employment Opportunities

For details, click on the positions of interest.

Children to Receive Letters from Santa in Braille

NORTH POLE: The National Federation of the Blind announces that as Christmas approaches the Federation will be providing a special service for children who read braille.

Braille or print letters to Santa may be sent to Santa Claus, c/o National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, by December 15. Letters may also be sent via the Internet at Letters must include the writer’s name, the child’s name, the child’s birthday, the child’s gender, mailing address, and a telephone number in case Santa’s helpers at the National Federation of the Blind have questions. Each reply will be in Braille and print so that parents and children can read together. The replies will be in contracted Braille unless otherwise specifically requested.

NEW! Building on Patterns:
Primary Braille Literacy Program: Kindergarten Level

Building on Patterns The Primary Braille Literacy Program Teacher's Edition Kindergarten Lessons 1-36

Complete Kits:
Print Kit: 8-78450-00 — $250.00
Braille Kit: 6-78450-00 — $250.00

Teacher’s Edition, Print: 8-78451-00 — $130.00
Teacher’s Edition, Braille: 6-78451-00 — $130.00

Posttest Teacher’s Manual, Print: 8-78452-00 — $15.00
Posttest Teacher’s Manual, Braille: 6-78452-00 — $15.00
Posttest Consumable Set (Print & Braille): 8-78455-00 — $13.00
Assessment Check-up Forms (Print & Braille): 8-78456-00 — $16.00

Student Textbooks, 7 per Set: 6-78453-00 — $66.00
Color Me Book: 6-78454-00 — $10.00

Building on the success of Patterns: Primary Braille Reading Program, the new Building on Patterns (BOP) is a complete primary literacy program designed to teach beginning braille users to read, write, and spell in braille.

The Building on Patterns series addresses vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, phonemic awareness (ability to hear and interpret sounds in speech), and phonics (the association of written symbols with the sounds they represent).

BOP also addresses specific skill areas needed by the child who is blind, such as language development, sound discrimination, tactual discrimination, and concept development. Braille contractions are introduced from the beginning along with sound and letter associations.

Features of Building on Patterns

  • Groups of contractions are taught together when logical to do so.
  • Easily confused letters and words are introduced at different times.
  • Punctuation is eliminated except for the capital at the kindergarten level and is introduced gradually thereafter.
  • Ideas for incorporating technology are given.
  • Lessons are flexible and can be adapted to fit a given student or students.
  • Enrichment activities are suggested for additional practice or homework.
  • Read-aloud books to go along with the lesson are suggested.

Kindergarten lessons include a selection to be read to the student, questions to discuss, and an activity for the child to complete. Textbooks are consumable. Recommended Ages: 4 or 5 years and up.

Note: Other levels of Building on Patterns will be available in the future.

Fun with Braille

Fun with Braille Book, Braille: 5-00110-00 — $19.00
Fun with Braille Book, Large Print: 7-00110-00 — $19.00

Braille Practice with a Difference — It’s Fun!

This book of entertaining activities is designed to provide additional practice for adults and children who are already familiar with the braille contractions. The activities can be done in any order and can be chosen to practice a specific problem contraction or just for fun. A list of contractions and the activities in which they appear is included for reference. An answer key is provided in the back of the book.

The print edition includes selected activities in simulated braille so that print users learning braille can practice their skills. A complete print transcription of the simulated braille is included for non-braille readers.

Expandable Calendar Boxes

White Expandable Calendar Boxes: 1-08651-00 — $107.00
Black Expandable Calendar Boxes: 1-08652-00 — $107.00

Photo of a grouping of six calendar boxes

Expandable Calendar Boxes help students who lack a formal means of communications and literacy. They are closed-cell foam boxes that can be used singularly as an anticipation box or in a grouping of two or more as calendar boxes.

Expandable Calendar Boxes benefit students who have:

  • Deafblindness
  • Visual and multiple impairments
  • Autism
  • Other disabilities that put them at risk for not understanding, participating in, or directing the events that surround them

The boxes are designed so that a second box can be attached to the original anticipation box when the student is ready to learn "now" and "next." When the student is ready to perform multiple activities, additional boxes can be attached.

Kit contains:

  • Six boxes (available in white or black)
  • Six label/curtain u-channels
  • Five connector u-channels
  • Expandable Calendar Boxes Instruction Guide with tips on using the boxes
  • Calendars for Students with Multiple Impairments Including Deafblindness by Robbie Blaha (guidebook)

NEW! Large Print and Tactile Protractors

Large Print Protractor (4-Pack): 1-04116-00 — $20.00
Tactile Protractor (4-Pack): 1-04117-00 — $20.00

Large Print and Tactile Protractors

Now students can use the same convenient measuring tools in both classroom and assessment situations. One protractor is designed for large print users, the other for braille/tactile users. Both protractors allow for the measurement and construction of angles.

Both protractors feature:

  • Lightweight, clear plastic
  • Movable, transparent yellow wand
  • Open hole where wand is attached for inserting pencil or push pin at vertex of angle
  • Notches on bottom left and right allow for pinning the protractor to surface such as a rubber mat
  • 6-inch ruler located at bottom of protractor

Large Print Protractor features:

  • Bold, sans serif, 20-point font
  • Upper labels mark every 10 degrees from 0° to 180°
  • Lower labels mark every 20 degrees from 180° to 0°

Tactile Protractor features:

  • Braille dot markings on upper edge: 3 dots at 0°, 45°, 90°, 135°, 180°; 2 braille dots at each 10° to 170° except 90°; a single braille dot at every 10° increment from 5° to 175°, excluding 45° and 135°.

REVISED! Desk Top Reading Stand Now in Plastic 1-03220-01 — $129.00

Photo of a reading stand

APH’s classic Desktop Reading Stand is now made of durable white plastic, replacing the former wooden stand. This portable stand holds reading material at a proper position for low vision users.


  • Bookshelf now runs width of the stand
  • Lower cost than previous stand
  • Adjustable page clamps
  • Built-in carrying handle
  • Same size as previous stand, with a reading surface measuring 23 3/4 x 18 inches
  • Five tilt angles

Recommended ages: 8 years and older.

APH Braille Book Corner

APH is now offering a number of new 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.

Evidence of Things Unseen
by Marianne Wiggins: T-N1577-30 — $95.00
Ray Foster returns to Tennessee after WWI, gets married, and lands a job building the atomic bomb. When he and his wife die from radiation poisoning, their adopted son looks for clues about their past. Descriptions of sex and strong language. (Adult — Fiction)

The Love Wife
by Gish Jen: T-N1574-300 — $94.00
A mysterious visitor from China with ambiguous intentions disrupts the Wong household. Strong language, descriptions of sex, and violence. (Adult — Fiction)

Smoky the Cowhorse
by Will James: T-N1574-40 — $51.00
Follows Smoky’s experiences from his birth on the open range and his capture by humans to working as a rodeo star and saddle horse. Newbery Medal. (*AR #83, RL 6.5, Points: 13.0)

*Accelerated Reader number, reading 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 Web Site 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
  • Brian Dougherty, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Elaine Kitchel, Low Vision Project Leader
  • Becki Moody, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Linda Turner, Technical Services Manager, Resource Services

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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