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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.

December 2007

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

On the Way to Literacy, Second Edition

Memories of an Annual Meeting

Product Consultant Derrick Smith (TTU) offers training on the new Math Builders product.

Remember way back in October when you were in Louisville enjoying wonderful presentations by Phil Hatlen, Cay Holbrook, Derrick Smith and many others too numerous to mention? Well, they’re not so numerous that we won’t attempt to share many of them through captioned photos.

139th Annual meeting memories.

We’ll keep the Annual Meeting Evaluation Form on the website through December. Please help us by taking a few minutes to complete the online form. Thank you.

Bill Daugherty (TX), left, facilitated the opening session after a welcome by APH President Tuck Tinsley, right. They are flanking Keynote speaker Dr. Phil Hatlen (TX).

Photos: above–Product Consultant Derrick Smith (TTU) offers training on the new Math Builders product; left–Bill Daugherty (TX), left, facilitated the opening session after a welcome by APH President Tuck Tinsley, right. They are flanking Keynote speaker Dr. Phil Hatlen (TX)

BANA Announces Consolidated Update of Braille Code Changes

BANA Board of Directors at their November 2007 meeting in Philadelphia

Chair Judy Dixon and a very full agenda kept the Board of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) quite focused at its fall meeting, which was held November 14 – 16 at Associated Services for the Blind in Philadelphia (ASB). The BANA Board meets semiannually, with the location of these meetings rotating among the member agencies.

The most time-sensitive item of "BANA business" is the January 2008 implementation of a new publication entitled BANA Braille Codes Update 2007. This document compiles braille code changes approved by BANA over the past few years, providing updates to the following three codes:

  • English Braille American Edition 1994, Revised 2002
  • Braille Formats: Principles of Print to Braille Transcription, 1997
  • Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972 Revision

The Update is available in several electronic formats on the BANA web site: Users can easily create print and/or braille versions from the files provided there. Hard copy print or braille versions will be available free of charge upon request from Judith Dixon, BANA Chairperson, at 1-202-707-0722 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

BANA, through its technical committees, is currently undertaking a comprehensive revision of English Braille American Edition and of Braille Formats: Principles of Print to Braille Transcription. The 2007 update is a preliminary release of specific changes prior to the complete revision and publication of new editions of each of the codes. The Nemeth portion of this update is a compilation of all changes and errata to the 1972 edition of the Nemeth Code. BANA intends to publish subsequent BANA Braille Codes Updates as necessary. Future updates will contain code changes that are adopted following the release of the 2007 Update.

The BANA Board recognizes the tremendous work of the technical committee members who made this Update possible. Their generous donations of time, energy, insight, and expertise are truly remarkable.

The code changes detailed in the BANA Braille Codes Update 2007 take effect on January 1, 2008.

Submitted by Mary Nelle McLennan

Photo: BANA Board of Directors at their November 2007 meeting in Philadelphia: Front row, from left to right: Eileen Curran, Vice-Chair; Judy Dixon, Chair; Mary Archer, Treasurer; Jennifer Dunnam, Secretary; Second row: Kim Charlson, Pam Boss, Mary Nelle McLennan, May Davis, Diane Wormsley, Frances Mary D’Andrea; Third row: Sue Reilly, Bonnie Grimm, Darlene Bogart, Donna Passey; Back row: Observer Romeo Edmead

Harvest of Connections in West Virginia

The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind held their Fall Conference, "Harvest of Connections", Oct 18 and 19 on the campus in Romney, WV. Conference-goers had the pleasure of hearing Michael Hingson’s keynote address, followed by sessions on issues related to students with vision impairments and students with hearing impairments. APH’s Sandi Baker presented two sessions on new products from APH, including Address Earth: Large Format Color Atlas, MathBuilders Unit 1, Stackups, Scattered Crowns, and Reclaiming Independence.

Congratulations to EOT Donna See for another successful Fall Conference!

California Dreamin’ – About APH

Students from the California State University-Los Angeles teacher preparation program were joined by teachers and parents from the southern California area for a day long event focused on APH products for students and adults with low vision. Highlighted products included ENVISION, Let’s See, Sense of Science, and Light Box activities and materials. Students in the Cal-State teacher prep program were encouraged to think about APH materials appropriate for functional vision assessment and how they might use those materials with students.

Field Services director Janie Blome provided the training, and APH is happy to offer similar events to all programs preparing professionals to work with children and adults who are blind and visually impaired. If you are interested in hosting such an event, please contact Janie by email, email hidden; JavaScript is required, or by phone, 800-223-1839, ext. 367.


Field Services staff members Janie Blome and Sandi Baker were a sure bet as presenters at the annual MACRT/ASERT conference, held November 8 – 11 in Los Vegas, NV. They were joined by Adult Life Project Leader Terrie Terlau as they presented information about APH’s website, databases, and product such as the Braille+, a hit with everyone in the room. Since we were in the presence of living legend Alice Raftary, information about the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field was also well received!

Sandi and Janie hosted an exhibit for the event, which drew rehabilitation teachers, vision rehabilitation therapists and others from around the country.

Sensory Learning Kit Goes Hollywood

The National Instructional Partnerships

The Braille Institute of America was the site for a National Instructional Partnerships (NIP) event featuring Millie Smith and the APH Sensory Learning Kit. Approximately 50 teachers of students with visual impairments, early interventionists, occupational therapists and paraeducators were on hand to spend two day with Mille as she demonstrated and modeled use of the kit.

The event, held in partnership with Ex Officio Trustee Nancy Niebrugge was held November 14 – 15. Special thanks to Sue Parker-Strafaci and other members of the early childhood staff at Braille Institute for all of their hard work to ensure the success of the event!

NIP events are two day workshops held in partnership with Ex Officio Trustees and designed to highlight the use of APH products across the areas of the core curriculum and the expanded core curriculum. Products are presented by contract experts in their areas of expertise. If you are interested in partnering with APH to host such an event in your area, please contact Janie Blome, email hidden; JavaScript is required, or call 800-223-1839, ext. 367.

Year-End Inventory Clearance!

Place your orders during December and capture the extra discounts! Orders will be shipped on first come basis, while inventory is still available.

'K' Sonar
Braille n' Speak Scholar

‘K’ Sonar Sonic Perceptual Aid: 1-07000-00 — NOW $300.00

Braille n’ Speak Scholar: 1-07320-01 — NOW $375.00
Serial Interface Cable for Braille ‘n Speak: 1-07319-00 — NOW $ 19.00

Art History Through Touch and Sound Series
Complete Kit / Additional Diagram Manual Only

  • European Modernism: 1900-1940: 1-09001-00 NOW $49.00 / 7-09001-00 NOW $25.00
  • The Art of Ancient Egypt: 1-09002-00 $49.00 / 7-09002-00 $25.00
  • Building Blocks of Art: 1-09003-00 $49.00 / 7-09003-00 $25.00
  • African Art: 1-09004-00 $49.00 / 7-09004-00 $25.00
  • Baroque Art of the 17th Century: 1-090O5-00 $49.00 / 7-09005-00 $25.00
  • Greek Art: Bronze and Iron Ages: 1-09006-00 $49.00 / 7-09006-00 $25.00

NIMAC at One Year!

NIMAC/National Instructional Materials Access Center

The National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) completes its first year of operation on December 3. We are pleased to announce that well over 3,000 NIMAS file sets are available for downloading and conversion to specialized formats!

In the first year, NIMAC hosted 28 conference calls and web casts with NIMAS/NIMAC coordinators, authorized users, and publishers. NIMAC also presented at seven conferences.

More quick stats:

  • Publishers participating with NIMAC: 45
  • States Coordinating with NIMAC: 40
  • Authorized Users: 55
  • Accessible Media Producers: 44
  • Files ready to download: 3000+
  • Downloads: 659
  • 28 Authorized Users from 16 states have downloaded files!

We anticipate that our second year of operation will see significant growth in all areas! Questions? Call 877-526-4622.

NIMAC Webcasts!

NIMAC will again be offering webcasts for authorized users:

  • NIMAC Basics for Authorized Users will be presented on December 11
  • Advanced NIMAC for Authorized Users will be offered on December 12

These webcasts will cover material previously presented, and they are intended for those just beginning to work with NIMAC or those who wish to refresh their knowledge. To register, check the NIMAC website for details, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

Accessible Tests Department Survey: Types of Answer Documents Needed

In response to requests for accessible answer documents for students who are blind or visually impaired, the Accessible Tests Department is currently developing a survey on types of answer sheets needed in instructional as well as standardized test settings.

This survey for teachers of students who are visually impaired, school psychologists, test administrators, students and parents will be posted on the APH website in January 2008. Individuals interested in participating will have access to the online questionnaire for approximately one month. In addition, respondents will have the option of requesting braille or large print copies. A wide variety of answer document formats is being used today. Your input is valuable and will be extremely useful in determining the most common formats needed.

Further information about this survey will appear in the January APH News and on the Accessible Tests Department website.

APH Appropriation for FY2008 Still Undetermined

With much wrangling back and forth between the U.S. Congress and President Bush over the FY 2008 federal budget, funding levels for the current year have not yet been finalized – including the APH appropriation. A Continuing Resolution (CR) is currently in effect until December 14, continuing federally funded programs at FY2007 levels until that date.

APH received an appropriation of $17.5 million for FY2007, and requested an increase to $22 million in FY2008. Initially, the House of Representatives supported allocating $17.5 (flat funding) for APH in FY2008, and the Senate recommended $22 million. In late November, both House and Senate members of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Conference Committee – which met to negotiate differences – agreed to recommend $22 million for APH. Unfortunately, President Bush vetoed the bill containing this recommendation.

This week, Senate and House members are preparing to present a compromise bill to President Bush. Although we do not yet know the details of this compromise, one suggestion has been to leave major service-oriented, "must-do" programs (like Medicaid and Social Security) at the higher funding levels, and reduce all remaining programs to FY2007 levels. If this is the case, APH would receive $17.5 million.

APH staff will continue to monitor the federal budget battle and inform you of decisions regarding the total appropriation received and individual account allocations for FY2008.

2008 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 2008 induction consideration.

If you are interested in learning more about the qualifications for nominees or the process for submitting a nominee to join the 40 inductees, please visit:

The nomination process will close Friday, March 21. Nominees who were first submitted in 2007 will remain active.

Berthold Lowenfeld's Hall of Fame Plaque

To view historic footage of meetings and interviews with Berthold Lowenfeld, Kathern Gruber, and Georgie Lee Abel, visit their Hall of Fame biography pages.

"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."

Taking Part in APH History

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Now is the time for all essayists to contemplate their independence and prepare to take their part in APH history.

In celebration of 150 years of building independence for people who are blind and visually impaired, the American Printing House for the Blind is conducting an essay contest. The contest is open to:

  • Students with a visual impairment who are enrolled in grades 3 through 12 for the 2007-2008 academic year
  • Adult consumers of APH products
  • Professionals in the field of blindness, including teachers of the visually impaired and rehabilitation counselors

The deadline for entry is April 1, 2008. The entry form, including the official topic and all guidelines for preparing and submitting an essay, is posted on the APH website at:

For print or braille copies of the entry form, contact Becky Snider:
Phone: 800-223-1839 or 502-895-2405, ext. 356
Fax: 502-899-2363 or email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

In a future proclamation, we will share information about the prizes to be awarded.

Letters From Santa

Once again, Santa Claus has enlisted the help of the National Federation of the Blind to respond to letters from young braille readers. Children who wish to send braille letters to Santa can submit their letters to NFB’s Jernigan Institute, which will then braille Santa’s response. This exciting and fun program is designed to promote braille literacy, which is the key to success and opportunity for blind children.

Letters to Santa may be in braille or print. 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.

Braille or print letters to Santa may be sent to:
Santa Claus
c/o National Federation of the Blind
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

Letters may also be requested at Letters must include the writer’s name, the child’s name, birthday, and gender, mailing address, and a telephone number in case Santa’s helpers have questions.

Letters must be received by December 18 to ensure a return letter is received before Christmas. For more information visit the NFB website at

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Christian Yates, the Hawaii Department of Education and the Hawaii Center for the Deaf and the Blind, replacing Susan Hokama.

Vincent M. McVeigh, the Royer-Greaves School for the Blind, replacing Carol T. Dale.

Merle W. Birnbaum, the Alaska State Department of Education, replacing Julie K. Smith.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


January 5, 2008
New York Regional Braille Challenge;

January 16-17, 2008
NIP Event: Learning to Use the SLK;
North Mankato, MN

January 23-24, 2008
NIMAS-NIMAC Development Committee Meeting;
Orlando, FL

January 30 – February 2, 2008
ATIA 2008;
Orlando, FL


February 28-March 2, 2008
Los Angeles, CA


March 3-5, 2008
Association of Test Publishers: Innovations in Testing Conference;
Dallas, TX

March 9-13, 2008
Exhibitor 2008;
Las Vegas, NV

March 10-15, 2008
Los Angeles, CA

March 13-15, 2008
Pacific NW AER;
Tacoma, WA

November Memorials

Stephen Miyagawa

Veterans everywhere lost a very special friend with the November 17 passing of Stephen Miyagawa, author of Journey to Excellence and long-time devoted editor of the C.B.R.C. Torch Magazine of V.A. Hines Hospital, Blind Center. Steve, a blinded veteran of the Korean War, suffered cardiac problems for several years.

Julie K. Smith

The APH Ex Officio Trustee representing the Alaska Department of Education, Julie Smith, 43, died Nov. 4. Julie worked for the Special Education Services Agency in Anchorage for 15 years. "The children and families she worked with had the privilege of being served by a talented and highly valued teacher of the visually impaired," her family wrote.

James C. Hudson

Jim Hudson, 65, Director of the Arkansas Division of Services for the Blind for 26 years, died November 24. Mr. Hudson had also served as the Executive Director of Advocacy Services, President of Arkansas AER, and President of the National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas. The classically-trained musician played keyboards with Little Joe and the BKs for many years.

Dr. Betsy Zaborowski

Betsy A. Zaborowski, 58, died November 29 of cancer. Dr. Zaborowski served, until very recently, as Executive Director of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute in Baltimore. At her death, Dr. Zaborowski was a senior adviser to the NFB. "Dr. Betsy Zaborowski’s service to the blind of the nation was extraordinary," Dr. Marc Maurer, NFB President, said in a statement. "Although Betsy will no longer be with us here on earth, the power of her spirit and the contributions of her life will last forever," said her husband James Gashel.

NEW! On the Way to Literacy Handbook, 2nd Edition

Print Edition (with CD of accessible files): 8-77520-00 — $54.00
Braille Edition (with CD of accessible files): 6-77520-00 — $112.00

On the Way to Literacy, Second Edition

This updated handbook draws upon research and practice to guide teachers and parents in supporting a young child’s first steps towards literacy. Suggests ways to use everyday events to support a child’s learning in key areas:

  • Early communication and language-the ability to communicate, speak, and listen with understanding
  • Concepts-understandings, formed through experience, that give meaning to language the child learns
  • Skills needed for learning through touch and for reading braille
  • Knowledge about written language-including awareness of the many ways print and braille are used, knowledge of print and braille conventions, and the relationship of letters and letter-sounds

Approaches and activities are adaptable for older children, as well as those with additional disabilities, including children who may use another means of communicating, such as symbol communication system. Appendices list additional sources of information to help readers meet each child’s unique and changing needs.

NEW! Storage Panel for Picture Maker: Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit 1-08838-03 — $15.00

Also Available:
Picture Maker: Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit (complete kit): 1-08838-00 — $110.00
Guidebook only (large print/braille): 6-08838-00 — $16.00

Photo of the storage panel

Picture Maker is a fun, colorful tactile board that can be used for numerous educational activities. Includes a felt covered board and a wide variety of colored/textured VELCRO® brand-backed pieces that attach to the board in an infinite number of patterns.

The new Picture Maker Storage Panel allows you to store unused Picture Maker pieces so that the entire main Picture Maker board can be used for diagramming purposes.

The 8 1/2" x 11" panel is double-sided with soft black Veltex® material and has a durable 3-hole punched edge with customer-applied VELCRO® brand hook tabs. Can be stored securely tucked inside folded board or inserted into 3-ring binder.

Note: Do not allow children ages 3 and under to use Picture Maker without adult supervision. This product contains small parts, which could cause choking.

NEW! VIPS Video Library

  • Seeing Things in a New Way: What Happens When You Have a Blind Baby: 1-30024-DVD — $49.95
  • Learning About the World: Concept Development: 1-30025-DVD — $49.95
  • Becoming a "Can-Do" Kid: Self-Help Skills: 1-30026-DVD — $49.95
  • Making Friends: Social Skills and Play: 1-30027-DVD — $49.95
  • Going Places: Orientation and Mobility: 1-30028-DVD — $49.95
  • Through Their Eyes: An Introduction to Low Vision: 1-30029-DVD — $49.95
  • Moving Through the World: Gross Motor Skills and Play: 1-30030-DVD — $49.95
  • Hands-On Experience: Tactual Learning and Skills: 1-30031-DVD — $49.95
  • Successfully Adapting the Preschool Environment: 1-30032-DVD — $49.95
  • Power at Your Fingertips: An Introduction to Learning Braille: 1-30033-DVD — $79.95
  • Full of Hope: 1-30034-DVD — $59.95
  • Growing My Way–Part 1: The Developmental Impacts of Visual Impairment: 1-30035-DVD — $149.95

Note: Not available with Federal Quota funds.

The VIPS Video Library from Visually Impaired Preschool Services is a series of essential videos for parents of young children who are visually impaired. The VIPS Video Library offers practical and proven techniques that foster the development of children who are visually impaired or blind. Geared to parents and educators, these videos offer critical insights and strategies to help a child achieve independence.

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.

Saint Valentine
by Ann Tompert, Braille: T-N1627-90 — $7.50
This short biography of the Christian saint covers those facts known about him and the reason his name is connected with a holiday celebrating friendship and love. Grades 2-4. (AR Quiz #79996, BL 5.4, Pts. .5)

Hershey: Milton S. Hershey’s Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams
by Michael D’Antonio, Braille: T-N1634-00 — $119.00
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines the life and career of Milton Snavely Hershey, whose name is synonymous with chocolate. Presents the corporate titan’s flaws as well as his ideals. High School. (AR Quiz #107482, BL 9.5, Pts. 21)

The Triumph of Numbers: How Counting Shaped Modern Life
by Bernard I. Cohen, Braille: T-N1628-40 — $59.50
Harvard science historian’s history of numbers and the role of counting in public and private life. Traces the growing importance of numbers from Biblical times to the scientific revolution and modern era. Discusses Florence Nightingale’s use of statistics and includes commentary on Kepler, Galileo, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Dickens. Adult.

Million Dollar Dilemma
by Judy Baer, Braille: T-N1634-50 — $82.50
Twenty-eight-year-old preacher’s daughter Cassia Carr inadvertently participates in an office lottery pool and wins twenty million dollars. When Cassia decided to donate her ill-gotten wealth, her neighbor Adam Cavanaugh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and lapsed Christian, tries to convince her to contribute the money to the impoverished Africans. Adult.

The House
by Danielle Steel, Braille: T-N1646-10 — $87.50
A client has left workaholic lawyer Sarah Anderson an unexpected inheritance with the caveat to have fun with the money. Sarah decides to renovate a mansion and becomes absorbed in its history. Soon she finds herself falling in love with architect Jeff Parker. Some strong language. Adult.

*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
  • Stephanie Chaney, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Tony Grantz, Business Manager, Finance
  • Nancy Lacewell, Director, Government Relations
  • Mary Nelle McLennan, Executive Advisor to the President
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services and NIMAC
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Becky Snider, Administrative Assistant, Public Affairs
  • Gwynn Stewart, Support Specialist, Communications

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 –

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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