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APH News: December 2014

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

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

Gilbert Foundation Grant Improves APH Audio Quality

Johnny Zinninger explains to Jack Fox how the new voice compressor makes him sound even better.

Thanks to a donation from the Gilbert Foundation, Talking Books listeners will be experiencing higher quality audio recordings. The Gilbert Foundation funded a new voice processor for the Talking Books Studio which records over 800 books each year for the National Library Service. People who are legally blind can borrow the audio books and specially designed cassette players by borrowing them from a local public library. The Gilbert Foundation was founded in the name of Dick Gilbert, the “Traffic Tracker” for WHAS Radio in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1970 through 1984. He was a voracious reader and frequent library patron. Popular Talking Books narrator, Jack “Voice of the Airport” Fox, worked with Gilbert during the 1970’s. “He would be very pleased knowing the money from the foundation will enhance the experience of Talking Books readers,” said Fox.

“Second Chance” Product Survey: APH SMART Brailler by Perkins

If you didn’t get a chance to respond to this survey in the October APH News or have started using a SMART Brailler since then, we’d like to give you another opportunity to give us feedback. APH would like customer input on the APH SMART Brailler by Perkins. If you have used this product, we hope you’ll take this brief online survey to tell us what you think! Thank you, Cathy Senft-Graves, email hidden; JavaScript is required, 502-899-2281

Field Test Opportunity

APH seeks teachers in classrooms where the APH Expandable Calendar Boxes are used with students who have visual and multiple disabilities.

Potential field test sites should have:

  • student(s) who use three or four APH Expandable Calendar Boxes connected together for a daily calendar.
  • student(s) who are wheelchair users and require the connected calendar boxes to be presented on the wheelchair tray and then removed for the activity, multiple times throughout the day.

APH is field testing platforms—made of different materials—on which the APH Expandable Calendar Boxes are mounted and carried easily around the classroom. Field testing will take place in February 2015. The prototypes will ship in January. APH selects field test sites by geographical location and the number of students at each location who fit the criteria listed above. If interested, email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Seeking Field Evaluators for the Boehm-3 Test of Basic Concepts K-2

APH is seeking field evaluators for the Boehm-3 Test of Basic Concepts K-2 Tactile and Big Picture adaptations. The Boehm-3 Test of Basic Concepts is an assessment used to evaluate a student’s readiness for school. This assessment can also be used with Spanish speaking students.

Field evaluators will be asked to use the prototypes with multiple students with visual impairments and blindness. Evaluators will then complete and return a product evaluation form at the end of the testing period. Field test sites will be selected based upon geographic location, number of available students, and type of instructional setting. The number of prototypes is limited. Field testing will begin in February 2015 and extend through the end of April 2015.

If you are interested in possibly serving as a field evaluator, please provide the following information: your name, title, school/agency, type of setting (e.g., residential, itinerant), number of available students (with ages, grade levels, and primary reading media indicated), and your complete contact information (phone number, mailing address, and email address). Send this information to Carolyn Zierer (email hidden; JavaScript is required), Test and Assessment Project Leader, or Laura Zierer (email hidden; JavaScript is required), Research Assistant, by January 15, 2015. You may also contact Carolyn at 502-899-2328 or 800-223-1839, ext. 328 or Laura at 502-899-2279. Thank you!

Field Testers Needed for New Low Vision Product

Field test sites are needed to test APH’s prospective product, Explorer Bright Ray. The device is a bright LED light worn on the student’s head to brighten up his or her reading material, jewelry project, sketching, or other close activity. Nineteen TVIs with at least two students with low vision who do close activities are needed. One vocational rehabilitation site is needed, again with at least two clients who have low vision and want to use it for close work. Priority goes to sites with the most eligible students because we need to gather as much data as we can. Participating TVIs and CRVTs get to keep the materials. If you would like to participate in this field test, please contact low vision project leader, Elaine Kitchel, by e-mailing email hidden; JavaScript is required or calling 800/223-1839 ext: 313. Your participation is very welcome and appreciated.

Product Feedback Survey

Games of Squares is a recreational game board that was introduced by the American Printing House for the Blind approximately a year ago. We are currently seeking feedback on the finished product from actual users of the game. This is not a field test opportunity. If you and your students currently use Games of Squares, please feel encouraged to complete and submit a Product Feedback Survey.

If you are unfamiliar with this new game, learn more at our shopping website. Thank you for your consideration.

Field Testers Needed for Functional Skills Assessment

We are looking for persons who teach or have taught functional skills (Food Management, Clothing Management, Home Management, or Self Management) to visually impaired adults, transition students, secondary students, middle school students, primary grade students, younger children, or persons with multiple disabilities to test part of an extensive Functional Skills Assessment program. We hope to start field testing near the end of January, ending in April of 2015. We need participation from a large number of persons teaching these skills at all age levels and in rehab, school/summer program, and other settings. We need to hear from anyone who can currently use test items with children/adults with visual impairments and complete an evaluation. We also need experts in any of these areas who may not be teaching now but who can review test items without administering them. We hope that this extensive Functional Skills Assessment (with item content provided by Dianne Bender who taught Family and Consumer Science to students with visual impairments for more than 35 years) will allow year-to-year comparisons of students’ progress and will help target skills that still need to be mastered. Tester participation will require commitment, participation in a training conference phone call, and communication with me via an evaluation instrument, and emails/phone calls as needed. However, we will keep the work manageable and you will be contributing to a much-needed project. Final selection of testers will be based on regional variability, types and numbers of students available, and on length and type of functional skills teaching experience for testers without current students. Anyone teaching ECC skills or teaching adjustment/daily living skills should apply. To apply as a tester, or to learn more, please send the following information to Terrie Terlau, email hidden; JavaScript is required:

  • Your name, degrees, certifications
  • Your address for receiving materials
  • Your day phone, evening phone, and cell phone
  • Your work email and home email
  • Your employer (name, address, phone of school/agency)
  • Number of students you can test at each of the following functional skills levels:
    • Beginning (2-5 and Primary grades)
    • Middle: middle school
    • Secondary: secondary school
    • Transition students
    • Adult students
    • Elders
    • Persons with multiple disabilities

If interested but in doubt about requirements, please apply and email me your questions with your information. We want to test this product thoroughly; to do that, we need you and your input! Thank you for considering this field test opportunity.

News from Louis!

Louis Logo

You asked and we’ve responded! We’re happy to announce that the teacher editions of Building on Patterns (BOP) are now available in PDF format in the APH File Repository. This means you can log into your APH File Repository account and download the files at any time, and you’ll be billed monthly as with other files. For information on pricing or to download a file, just go to the Louis Database, at

Address: Earth Still Relevant in the Classroom

Uro women play volleyball on an island they have constructed completely of reeds. They and their husbands and families live their whole lives on these floating islands.

Has your school district stopped teaching geography? Is the emphasis more on social and cultural studies? Address: Earth is still useful and relevant. In fact, Address: Earth is more than an atlas; it provides information about populations within a country. For instance did you know that Western Samoa was settled by Germans? So today’s descendants of those early German settlers make up a large part of the country’s population today.

Lots of cultural information is offered by Address: Earth. Maps and text include information about the indigenous people of Japan, Australia, Mongolia, Peru, and nearly every place on earth. Colorful, high-contrast photos of indigenous people engaged in dances, crafts, farming and other activities are shown. Did you know there is an indigenous population called the Uro-Chipayas who live on 44 small man-made islands in Lake Titicaca? These people make the islands out of reeds that grow along the shore.

Information about social structure is plentiful. For instance, on the island of Moorea in the South Pacific, there is a very complex stratification of families and “kin.” Land can only be passed on to “kin,” which sometimes causes conflict when existing family members do not meet the strict definition of “kin.”

Address: Earth offers information on climate, topography, and global health issues such as the ebola virus. It provides information that compares one social group to another, or one country’s production of corn to another. APH staff have researched to find you the most interesting informational nuggets about an exploding lake in Africa, an arsenic stream in India, or the struggle of the bowhead whale whose Atlantic travel cuts across busy shipping lanes. As an atlas or as a supplemental enrichment package to social and cultural studies, Address: Earth is your go-to product.

Delivering On the Promise at Dallas Children’s Conference

The theme for the 2014 National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Annual Conference and Expo was "Delivering on the Promise of Early Learning," and APH was honored to be a part of delivering on that promise.

The conference was held November 5 – 8 in downtown Dallas, TX, and, like most things in Texas, it was BIG! Approximately 11,000 attendees were on hand to attend sessions about early childhood education, including those for students with disabilities and special needs. APH staff members Janie Blome and Monica Turner answered questions about APH, explained the Federal Quota system, and proudly exhibited APH products such as the Classroom Calendar kit, Flip Over Concept Books, Paint Pot Pallet, and more. Many attendees were excited to receive information about APH for the first time, and everyone was excited to receive a braille alphabet card and a braille bookmark!

Treasures From the APH Libraries

The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to blindness in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, arrangements can be made to use the materials on-site. In addition, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will continue to make materials available through the online catalog at

From the Barr Library: Long, Richard G. “Housing Accessibility for Individuals with Visual Impairment or Blindness: Final Report.” Raleigh: The Center for Accessible Housing at North Carolina State University, 1992.

The objective of this report is to discover housing design characteristics that strengthen the independence of visually impaired individuals. Features that are under consideration include the layout of rooms in homes and the locations of windows and other sources of natural light. Elements that can be altered easily, such as the incorporation of contrasting colors and textures, are also investigated. In order to accomplish this research, two focus groups were formed: one consisted of adults with visual impairments, and the other was comprised of professionals who serve visually impaired young children. Ultimately, the study led to the formation of a set of housing design recommendations for individuals with visual impairments, which could be useful for architects and contractors.

From the Migel Library: Malaval, Francois. A Simple Method of Raising the Soul to Contemplation: In the Form of a Dialogue. London: J.M. Dent, 1931.

Known as the “blind saint of Marseille” and the “visionary blind man,” Francois Malaval spent his youth gaining a religious and literary education from Oratorion priests. Such schooling was a new trend in the 1630s, and especially so for a student who was blind. Malaval became a doctor of theology and canon law through the church, and a professor of natural history and physical sciences at the Marseille Academy. “A Simple Method of Raising the Soul to Contemplation” is the first English translation of an extremely rare treatise he wrote on mystical prayer during the height of the French mystical period. His work was banned as heresy during the “Quietist controversy” in 1687, making the treatise fall into obscurity for years. This work has been digitized for the Internet Archive at

APH is working with the Internet Archive to digitize portions of the M.C. Migel Library. Search the phrase “full text” to find these items at The digitized texts are available in a variety of formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, etc.

Contact Library staff: email hidden; JavaScript is required, 800-223-1839, ext. 705

The "Established" APH Product Series: Scattered Crowns

Scattered Crowns: Tactile Attribute Game is a fun, versatile board game that encourages young children, especially those with visual impairments and blindness, to develop tactile skills. As players search for crowns with specific attributes: band texture (smooth, rough, or striped), number of jewels (1, 2, or 3), and number of points (3, 4, or 5) they will practice texture/shape/size discrimination, tactile memory, systematic searching skills, and spatial concepts (left, right, above, below, row, column, etc.)

Other concepts and skills practiced during game play include counting skills, turn-taking, sorting/organizing, and social interaction skills. The game is conducive to playing classic concentration games using the crown pieces or user-constructed matching game pieces (e.g., basic shapes, braille words/letters, etc.) The colors in Scattered Crowns provide high contrast for children with low vision or Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI).

This game is one of several board style games that APH has to offer that not only assists with teaching important tactile readiness and reinforces early braille literacy concepts, but also serves to meet the expanded core curriculum areas of recreation, leisure, and social interaction.

2015 Hall of Fame Nominations Now Being Accepted

Who should be the next inductees into the Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field?

If you are interested in learning more about the easy (electronic) process for submitting a nominee to join the 52 inductees, please visit:

The nomination process will close Friday, March 27, 2015.

New at the Hall of Fame Website

Please Visit our 146th Annual Meeting Photo Album

Around the House:

Rezylle Milallos

Lawrence Lovelace

Rebecca Luttmer

Katherine Padgett

The new Technology Product Research Department welcomes:

  • Rezylle (Rez) Milallos joins us as a Developer. She comes to us with a fresh and innovative developer’s mind as she is a 2014 Computer Science graduate from IUS (Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, IN).
  • Lawrence Lovelace joins us as an iOS Developer. He offers years of development experience and is completing his Masters of Science degree in Information Systems.
  • Rebecca Luttmer joins us as a Co-Op/Intern. She is currently a student at IUS (Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, IN) and is pursuing a degree in Computer Science.

The Accessible Tests Department welcomes:

  • Katherine Padgett who joins us as a Test Editor. Her background includes an M.L.S. in Library Science and a B.A. in Anthropology. In various roles, she has assisted folks in gaining access to information and has excavated artifacts!

APH on the Road

TN Unity Conference: Something to Sing About in Music City USA!

APH Field Services Representative Kerry Isham presented and exhibited at the TN Unity Conference, which took place in Nashville from October 23rd to 24th. Approximately 90 participants were in attendance. Kerry’s presentations were on Building on Patterns and The APH SMART Brailler by Perkins. Products featured at the APH exhibit included: Address Earth, Second Edition; the Consumable Hundreds Chart; Lots of Dots, Alphabet; Spangle Tangle and the video entitled TOADally Awesome! This opportunity in Music City USA – providing attendees an opportunity to update their knowledge and skills, and to network with other professionals – certainly gave teachers from around the state something to sing about!

APH Exhibits at National Rehabilitation Association Conference in Des Moines

APH was pleased to be in attendance as The National Rehabilitation Association held their Annual Training Conference on rehabilitative and assistive technology in Des Moines, Iowa. The event was held from October 30th to November 2nd, 2014. Field Services Representative Kerry Isham worked the APH exhibit table, displaying products for the approximately 300 participants. Kerry was pleased to answer questions and demonstrate such products as the Bright Line Reading Guide, the Impressor, the Draftsman, Miniguide US, VisioBook and the iBill Currency Scanner. The APH booth garnered attention from many of the enthusiastic conference-goers who had inquiries and comments about the variety of products on hand.

APH Engages in Ohio

Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, and Tom Poppe, Pattern/Model Maker, exhibited APH products at the AERO 2014 Division Day Conference in Dublin, Ohio on November 3-4, 2014. Thanks to Brett Page, AERO Past-President and 2014 Conference Chair, for inviting us to showcase new products at this exciting event. Products of particular interest were Quick and Easy ECC, Consumable Hundreds Chart, modernized Tactile Treasures, Flip-Over Concept Books: TEXTURES, and U.S. & Canada Tactile/Print Atlas. The theme of the conference was “Enhance, Engage, Empower.”

APH at South Carolina AER

Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative, gave a presentation and also exhibited APH products at the 2014 South Carolina AER Conference held in Myrtle Beach from November 13th through November 14th. About 100 attendees in the education and a rehab fields took part in the event. Kerry’s presentation featured the revised Transition Tote System, and the new updates made to this invaluable product. Many attendees stopped by the APH booth to get hands-on experience with such materials as Step by Step, The Impressor, Students Who are Deafblind Using APH Products, What Is It?, and the Quick and Easy Expanded Core Curriculum. APH was honored to be present at this convention!

APH Visits Kit Carson Correctional Center

On November 13, APH staff, Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind EOT Jim Olson, and Debbie Habercorn visited the prison braille program at the Kit Carson Correctional Center in Burlington, Colorado.

This facility houses hundreds of inmates transferred from the Idaho State Prison, and, fortunately for Colorado students, eleven of the inmates transferred were from the Idaho prison braille program. EOT Jim Olson was delighted to have this program dropped in his lap because it helps him deliver textbooks and materials to students even faster.

The program has been so successful that the Kit Carson Unit Manager, James Hassenfritz, wants to start a second program at the facility with Colorado inmates. Jane Thompson, Director of Accessible Textbooks, and Jayma Hawkins, Accessible Media Editor and BTAP (Braille Transcriber Apprentice Program) representative, met with the inmates and informed them of resources that they will find useful, as well as the details about BTAP—a new program that helps ex-offenders who have been in a prison braille program to transition from prison to work.

Fourth Annual IsLAND Conference

Greg Williams (Research Scientist at Independence Science), Mark Swain (Electrical Engineer, designer and builder of SALS prototype), Ken Perry (Software Engineer at APH) , Rosanne Hoffmann (STEM Project Leader at APH), and Cary Supalo (President of Independence Science and developer of SALS).

Rosanne Hoffmann and Ken Perry attended the Independence Science Learning a New Direction (IsLAND) Conference on November 14, 2014 at the Kurz Purdue Technology Center in West Lafayette, Indiana. This one-day meeting brought together individuals with great ideas for products that make STEM concepts accessible to students with disabilities. Rosanne presented the Submersible Audible Light Sensor (SALS), a device under development that provides real-time visual information via changes in sound. Ken gave a presentation on STEM applications of the Orion TI-84 Talking Graphing Calculator.

KCB Conference Exhibit in November

On November 21st and 22nd, APH’s tables attracted inquisitive conference-goers at the Kentucky Council of the Blind Conference 2014 in Louisville. APH field services representative, Kerry Isham and tech support specialist, Micheal McCarty exhibited a number of products for approximately 100 attendees. Among the products that garnered attention from the consumers in attendance were the Book Port Plus, Braille Beads, The Impressor, the Wilson Digital Voice Recorder, the Insights Art Calendar, and the Push Button Padlock.

From the Field:

Call for Proposals: 2015 Grassroots Goalball

Attention to groups and organizations interested in starting new goalball teams in the United States!

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is calling for partners nationwide to submit proposals to start new goalball teams in communities around the United States. Teams will be provided with resources and technical assistance to start new goalball teams. These teams will have the opportunity to compete in regional competition and receive the training and experience to take their game to the next level.

Who: Community organizations and groups interested in establishing new goalball teams or enhancing their existing goalball programs by adding new teams in partnership with USABA.

What: Programs interested in receiving assistance from USABA to start a goalball team or teams should fill out and submit the attached application to Matt Simpson by December 19, 2014.

When: The Grassroots Goalball program will run from February 15 through May 15, 2015.

Each team in the 2015 Grassroots Goalball Program will receive more than a thousand dollars worth of financial and technical support and equipment, including:

  • Up to 6 sets of personal equipment per team to include:
    • Eye shades
    • Knee Pads
    • Elbow Pads
    • Hip pads
  • Two goalballs
  • One pre-made, reusable goalball court
  • Enough court tape to get started
  • Opportunity to apply to attend special USABA Goalball Coaching Clinics with National Team staff and athletes
  • Access to USABA expert coaches for training and coaching tips
  • Access to USABA goalball technical resources, including USABA’s new coaching videos

Teams will be asked to meet the following participation standards:

  • An average of one goalball activity per week, including practices and competitions, over the goalball season, running February 15 through May 15, 2015
  • A minimum of three regional competitions with the other Grassroots Goalball programs in your immediate area
  • A full roster of participants
  • Each athlete and coach in the program must become a member of USABA
  • Teams will be asked to submit one mid-season progress report and one final report on their program
  • Teams will also be asked to submit pictures for use on USABA’s publications and social media

Each coach in the program must also undergo a background check and take the USOC’s free Safe sport online certification course. Safe Sport seeks to educate coaches about the best ways to identify and prevent bullying and abuse. Each team must comply with the Safe Sport guidelines provided by the USOC and USABA.

Please contact Matt Simpson, USABA Membership and Outreach Coordinator, with any questions or concerns at email hidden; JavaScript is required or by phone at (719) 866-3019.

Submit your application to Matt no later than December 19, 2014.

Apply Online!

Hadley to Offer Free UEB Transition Course for Professionals with support from APH

The Hadley School for the Blind is pleased to offer a new “Transitioning to Unified English Braille” course for professionals beginning in January 2015. The course will be available in print and braille (an online version is in development). Thanks to the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), this professional course will be tuition-free through the end of calendar year 2015.

“As the use of technology in education increases, braille becomes more and more important for students who are blind,” says APH President Tuck Tinsley. This course, ‘Transitioning to Unified English Braille,’ the first of two courses to be developed by Hadley focusing on the new braille code, will meet a critical need in our field’s transition to UEB. Students, teachers, parents, administrators, university professors, pre-service teachers, transcribers, and others can be well prepared for the January 2016 UEB implementation date.”

The six-lesson course provides a structured approach to learning the difference between EBAE (English Braille American Edition) and Unified English Braille (UEB). Abundant examples and exercises will help students progress easily and transition to the new code. Prerequisites include strong contracted reading and writing skills in EBAE or SEB (Standard English Braille).

“Hadley is proud to be at the forefront of providing training on UEB,” says Hadley President Chuck Young. “Teaching the teachers braille – to support their visually impaired clients and students — is central to our mission of promoting independent living through lifelong learning for people who are blind or visually impaired.”

“Transitioning to Unified English Braille” also will be offered to students in Hadley’s Adult Continuing Education/High School Program and Family Education Program, free of charge on an ongoing basis.

To pre-enroll in this “Transitioning to Unified English Braille” course due out in January, please contact Student Services at 800-526-9909 or via email at email hidden; JavaScript is required. You may also visit

Science Standards Now on APH Website!

New! APH Science product alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is now available on the APH Website. From the home page, click Research on the left and then scroll down to Research Resources on the APH Research & Development page.

APH Museum and Research Department Needs Your Investigative Skills!

The Research Department and the Museum would like to locate two discontinued APH Products.

“Biological Models: Common Invertebrate and Plant Forms” (catalog number 1-03010). It is pictured below and consists of 19 tactile models, chromatically coded, displaying invertebrate animal and plant phyla commonly pictured in biology texts. The models are constructed of high-impact plastic.

“APH Light Sensor” (catalog number 7-7000). This product was available from APH from 1977 through 1992 and is pictured below.

If you have an example of either or both of these products, please contact Rosanne Hoffmann at email hidden; JavaScript is required or 502/899-2292.

Click to enlarge:

Biological Models: Common Invertebrate and Plant Forms

APH Light Sensor

News from the Museum

This month we want to feature a new acquisition in the museum, one of the most significant APH objects we have received in years. In May, Emarine Burnett Cowles, Helen Cowles Leonard, and Nancy Burnett Leonard donated one of their great, great uncle Morrison Heady’s Talking Gloves. James Morrison Heady (1829-1915) lost his vision in separate accidents as a boy in Spencer County, Kentucky and his hearing at age 40 after a fall from a horse. Inventor, author, and teacher , known as the "Blind Bard of Kentucky," Heady invented this method to continue communicating. You tapped on the letters stenciled to the glove’s palm to talk to a deaf-blind companion wearing it. Although Heady invented it independently, a similar design was published in a book by George Dalgarno in Oxford England in 1680. Heady was an important fundraising agent for the American Printing House for the Blind in the 1860s. He was featured in a blog post by the Perkins School for the Blind Archives in October, and you can read that here: And Morrison can come visit your group or meeting by scheduling a performance of What Thou Liv’st, Live Well, a museum theatre piece produced by our museum. For more information, contact Mike Hudson at (502)899-2365 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Save the date!

Typhlo & Tactus Tactile Book Contest 2015 entries due August 26.

Once again APH is the U.S. national contact for the international biennial competition created to encourage improvement of the quality and quantity of tactile books for young children with visual impairments. Don’t miss your chance to submit your tactile book, designed for children with visual impairments from birth to 12 years of age.

The biennial tactile book competition is conducted by Typhlo & Tactus (T&T), an organization comprised of western and eastern European nations that exists to improve the quality and quantity of tactile books available to young children with visual impairments in member countries. As a part of T&T’s efforts, the organization has conducted a biennial tactile book competition each year, beginning in 2000. At first, the competition was open only to European T&T members, but in 2011, it was opened to a worldwide audience. APH will be the contact organization for U.S. entries.

A panel of U.S. judges will review each entry and select the top 5 books to send overseas for final adjudication by an international panel of children and adults with visual impairments, as well as professionals in the field. A single winning entry will be chosen, along with ten shortlisted books. Selected books may be featured at the T&T website, and appear in posters and promotional materials used by T&T.

U.S. entrants should send their completed tactile book, designed for a child with visual impairment from birth to 12 years of age, to the American Printing House for the Blind by Wednesday, August 26, 2015.

Details for submission of the U. S. entries to APH will be posted on our website by the end of December 2014. For general information about the competition, and a list of last year’s international entries, visit,

To see the winners in the 2013 international competition visit

Helpful resource: A Guide to Designing Tactile Illustrations for Children’s Books can be found at

Questions? Contact Roberta Williams (email hidden; JavaScript is required).

The Latest From the APH Museum: Exhibit News

Versabraille was a portable braille word processor introduced by Telesensory in 1982. It was the first commercially available refreshable braille device designed in the U.S.

As part of the 2015 YESFest in Louisville—YES stands for Year of Environmental Sustainability—the APH Museum is planning an exhibit on “Sustainable Braille.” Just as the print industry is moving away from paper books, magazines, and other print materials, printing for blind readers has also been shifting away from paper braille. Some of this has to do with improved industrial efficiency, but the computerization of braille and the use of refreshable braille displays also plays an important part.

In 1964, APH embossed 68 million pages of braille and printed 12 million pages of large type. Last year, serving more readers, APH embossed almost 17 million pages of braille and printed 14 million pages of large type. That is a lot less paper, requiring a lot fewer trees. The exhibit will explore the history of computerized braille, notetakers like the Braille ‘n Speak, and the rise of the refreshable braille display, as well changes in industrial production that reduce the amount of paper we consume each year.

As a part of the project, our museum is looking to collect early examples of refreshable braille displays. We are particularly interested in early products from Papenheimer. From everything we have read so far, it appears that the Braillex from Papenheimer was the first commercially available display when it was introduced in 1975. What do you have in your closet? It doesn’t have to work, we are still interested. Contact our museum at 502-899-2365 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

COMING SOON! Products Showcase: An Additional Way for Credit Card Customers to Shop!

APH is announcing an additional way for our credit card customers to shop for selected products from APH: the Products Showcase! This special shopping site features approximately 40 of our most popular products. Examples include the Book Port DT talking book player/recorder with its large speaker is offered, as is the versatile VisioBook electronic magnifier and the amazing ColorTest II talking color identifier.

The site has an uncluttered presentation of these products and is easy to use. Showcase offers new shopping features, such as user reviews. Credit card customers may chose to use the new Showcase site, but are always welcome to continue to shop at our full site, The new Showcase site is designed primarily for individual customers, so Federal Quota customers will continue to use

Products Showcase Shopping: Coming in December!

No Other Place Like It: New APH Overview Video Launched

We are proud to release APH’s new overview video "No Other Place Like It." This video touches on our mission and major product & service areas. Our story is partially told in the words of some of our long-time employees. The video showcases product research & development, our manufacturing plant, our product offerings, and much more. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to tell the complex story of the American Printing House for the Blind in a 6-minute video, but we hope this overview will give you some flavor of the organization that has been providing accessible materials since 1858.

Handy Lists: Get a Quick Overview of Our Products!

Do you know about our Handy List web pages? For example, we announce new products every month in the APH News, but where do you find a list of ALL new products? We’ve got one handy for you! Find links to our Handy Lists on the left side of our shopping site page. Handy Lists include:

New and Revised Products List
Major new or revised products released in the last two years.

Recommended Products List
Recommended APH products for programs serving students with visual impairment.

Braille Code Instruction and Braille Codebooks List
Braille code instruction materials and official braille codebooks, including BANA and NLS.

Discontinued Products List
Major products discontinued since May, 2009.

Sculpture Donated to APH as a Special Memory

Visitors to APH will notice a new piece of artwork gracing our building. This eight-foot high sculpture has been placed near the entrance of the Technology area on the Kentucky School for the Blind side of our building and it has a special story.

The sculpture was donated by Marcia Ryan, whose late mother, Janis Gray, was a narrator for APH for many years. The sculpture was created by Marcia’s sister Debora Gray, who also passed away. Ryan wanted to honor her mother, her father, and her sister by finding an appropriate, permanent home for the sculpture.

This large abstract sculpture is made of metal and is painted black. It has both angular and round shapes. We urge to you take a moment to visit the sculpture if come to APH and we are very grateful to Marcia Ryan for her thoughtful donation.

Social Media Spotlight

"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!

We’re so close! We have 2,924 "likes" on facebook. Can you help us reach 3,000 by the end of the year? Please click the "like" button below and tell a friend!

You can also find APH at these social media sites: Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Brook Phillips, the Wyoming Department of Education, replacing Leslie Bechtel Van Orman.

Erica Gillylen, the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind, a brand new account which opened on November 20, 2014

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


January 6-9, 2015
Consumer Electronics Show
Las Vegas, NV

January 26-27, 2015
Perkins Innovation Group
Watertown, MA

January 28-31, 2015
ATIA 2015
Orlando, FL


February 17-20, 2015
Celebrating Connection Early Childhood Conference
Charlestown, WV

February 18-20, 2015
Illinois AER
Shaumburgh, IL


March 1-4, 2015
Association of Test Publishers: Innovations in Testing 2015
Mirage, CA

March 2-7, 2015
CSUN 2015
San Diego, CA

March 19-20, 2015
North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairment & Blindness
Charlotte, NC

March 19-22, 2015
CTEBVI 56th Annual Conference – "Share Your Vision in our Changing Times"
Burlingame, CA

APH Fall Harvest Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Fall Harvest Sale 2014, October 1—December 31. As always, first come, first served.

New Downloadable Manual Available

Get the manual you need instantly! APH offers a selected 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.

Newly added manual:

  • Games of Squares (1-08430-01) Instruction Manual, print and braille editions

Match Sticks

1-08157-00 — $94.00

Related Products – Use these boards with Match Sticks

All-In-One Board: 1-08836-00 — $147.00

All-In-One Board, Student Model: 1-08833-00 — $127.00

Invisiboard: 1-08541-00 — $152.00

Tri-fold Board: 1-08859-00 — $62.00

Picture Maker Storage Panel: 1-08838-03 — $19.00

Felt Board, 13 x 20.75 inches: 61-314-026 — $27.30

Small Work-Play Tray (17 x 11 3/4 inches):
— Black: 1-03751-00 — $24.50
— Yellow: 1-03660-00 — $25.00
Large Work-Play Tray (21 1/4 x 13 1/4 inches):
— Black: 1-03761-00 — $25.00
— Yellow: 1-03740-00 — $25.00

The Match Sticks game is designed to provide children in Phases II and III of the CVI Range Assessment* with a matching activity that is fun and entertaining and that helps develop vision skills.

Children for whom this game would be appropriate

  • At least 5 years of age
  • Currently in Phase II or Phase III according to the CVI Range Assessment*
  • Able to recognize a particular color among other colors
  • Have emerging matching skills

Match Sticks Kit Includes

  • Drawstring bag
  • Guidelines for Use booklet
  • Cylindrical cup
  • Hook adhesive dots
  • Three sets of Match Sticks:
    • Phase II Match Sticks have a long, brightly colored stripe on a noncomplex background.
    • Phase II Advanced Match Sticks have a medium length, brightly colored stripe on a black and white patterned background.
    • Phase III Match Sticks have a short, brightly colored stripe on a complex multicolored background.

The Guidelines for Use booklet provides a full description of game prerequisites, components of the game, set-up and directions for play, modifications for game play, alternate play options, and vision skill goals.

Recommended ages: 5 years and up.

*Roman-Lantzy, C. (©2007). Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention. American Foundation for the Blind Press.

NEW! Tactile Clothing Tape

1-07420-00 — $59.00

Related Product

Pocket Braille Slate Slotted for Labeling Tape: 1-00160-00 — $58.00

Create labels for color, laundry instructions, or other information about clothing – stays attached through washing, drying, and ironing!

Tactile Clothing Tape allows braille readers to keep colors and other information about their clothing and linens exactly where they need it: attached to the item and ready to be read. The brailled information remains clean and readable after going through automatic washers and dryers, and even holds up under an iron as long as a layer of fabric is kept between the iron and the label!

Unlike pre-made color labels that are limited to a few clothing colors, this tape allows you to include your own abbreviations for as many colors or patterns as you wish. You can create labels with laundry instructions, clothes matching information, names, etc.


  • Two 120-inch rolls of 1/2 inch wide washable tape
  • Two packs of sturdy quilting safety pins
  • Braille and print instructions

To Make Labels

  • Use braille label marker or braille slate with slots for labeling tape (not included)
  • Braille desired information on tape
  • Leave approx. 1/2 inch of space on one end of tape for safety pin or on both ends for sewing
  • Cut label off roll
  • Pin or sew label to clothing or linens
  • Keep label attached when item is laundered and/or ironed

Note: Includes safety pins, please supervise young children when using.

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 several weeks for delivery.

I Choose you! Pokémon Chapter Book 1
by Tracey West: T-N1973-80 — $20.00
Ash Ketchum sets out to be the ultimate Pokémon master. With mischievous Pikachu at his side, Ash plans to capture and train every Pokémon he can. But things don’t work out the way he hopes. Grades 2-4. *(AR Quiz No. 34628, BL 3.3 Pts 1.0 )

Rage: True Stories by Teens About Anger
by Laura Longhine: T-N1973-90 — $52.50
Teens share their experiences with challenges in dealing with anger. Highlights the effects an abusive past can have on one’s emotions and describes the ongoing struggle with negative feelings. Suggests options for getting help. Grades 6-9.

One Hundred Most Feared Creatures
by Anna Claybourne: T-N2036-30 — $32.50
Explores one hundred creepy and dangerous animals on land and in the sea. Includes facts about and provides a scary-level score for a variety of snakes, lizards, bears, vultures, sharks, parasites, bloodsuckers, and other critters. Grades 3-6.
*(AR Quiz No. 164337, BL 6.6 Pts 2.0)

Starry Night: A Christmas Novel
by Debbie Macomber: T-N2039-20 — $75.50
Seeking a promotion, Chicago society reporter Carrie Slayton tracks down elusive bestselling author Finn Dalton at his remote Alaska cabin. Finn grudgingly agrees to be interviewed but can’t help but warm up to Carrie. As the two start a long-distance relationship, both hope they can overcome their differences. Some adult content.

Generosity: An Enhancement
by Richard Powers: T-N1954-50 — $146.50
Adjunct night-school teacher Russell Stone is fascinated with an unusual student in his writing class. Twenty-three-year-old Thassa Amzwar, a refugee from war-torn Algeria, radiates joy. Asking a counselor about Thassa leads to a media frenzy over a possible happiness gene. Some adult content.

*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
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Rosanne Hoffman, STEM Project Leader, Research
  • Micheal Hudson, Director, APH Museum
  • Elaine Kitchel, Low Vision Project Leader, Research
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Heather Kennedy MacKenzie, Project Manager, Technology Product Research
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities and P.E. Project Leader, Research
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Mary Robinson, Assistant, Field Services
  • Cathy Senft-Graves, Braille Literacy and Technology Project Leader, Research
  • Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Textbooks
  • Linda Turner, Technical Services and Digital Resources Manager, Resource Services
  • Monica Turner, Field Services Representative
  • Roberta Williams, Manager, Public Affairs Special Projects
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests
  • Carolyn Zierer, Test and Assessment Project Leader, Research
  • Heather Kennedy MacKenzie

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

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1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206

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