Visit Our House!

APH News: December 2015

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!

Dr. Craig Meador Announced as New President of APH

The American Printing House for the Blind is pleased to announce Dr. Craig Meador as its next President. A former teacher and educational leader for blind and visually impaired children, Dr. Meador has served as APH’s Vice President of Educational Services and Product Development since May 2015. Dr. Meador will begin as President on January 1, 2016, succeeding Dr. Tuck Tinsley III, who will be retiring after 27 years of dedicated and innovative leadership at APH.

Since joining APH, Dr. Meador has led a team of 90 professionals in the areas of field services, resource services, communications, customer service, accessible tests and textbooks, and research and product development. He has worked closely with the production and finance departments to improve APH’s product development process.

"APH’s mission is to promote the independence of blind and visually impaired persons by providing specialized materials and products needed for education and life. Craig has the vision, energy, and skills to address APH’s noble mission through partnerships with new technology companies, educational institutions, and leaders from government," said Barrett Nichols, Chairman of the APH Board of Trustees and Chief Executive Officer of BSG Financial Group. "We look forward to working with Craig and building on the strong platform and legacy that Tuck Tinsley has so successfully put in place."

Dr. Meador came to Louisville and APH from the state of Washington where he was employed as the Director of Outreach Services/State Vision Consultant. In that position, he served as the state department’s APH Ex Officio Trustee and a member of the APH Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC). Prior to that, he was Principal of the Washington State School for the Blind and he had served the state school for 24 years, beginning as a teacher. Dr. Meador earned an undergraduate degree from Western Oregon State University, a master’s degree in Special Education from Portland State University and, in 2015, an educational doctorate degree from Washington State University.

We welcome Craig to the helm of APH!

Jane Thompson: Recipient of the Holbrook-Humphries Award

Jane Thompson, APH’s Director of Accessible Tests and Textbook Department, recently received the prestigious Holbrook-Humphries Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Literacy. Thompson has worked in the field of vision for 25 years. She coordinates the delivery of braille, large print, and digital textbooks to students in the United States and leads a team of test editors who make state and national tests and assessments accessible in all formats for blind students.

Thompson was a pioneer in the “textbooks on demand” movement, resulting in a network of outsourced transcribers trained to produce textbooks for APH. She led the development of the APH Braille Textbooks Specifications used by braille transcribers across the country that provide consistent, high-quality textbooks. She has also partnered with the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) to create the Promising Practices for Transcribing Early Literacy Textbooks and Materials (K-3) and is on the APH UEB Transition Team. Jane was instrumental in conducting research with students with low vision that led to the development of a new large print book process at APH and resulted in a redesigned textbook that is easier for students to read.

Jane serves as a team leader in APH’s REAL Plan, an initiative to increase student access to instructional materials, is actively involved in the national Prison Braille Network, and is a highly sought-after trainer and presenter at workshops and conferences. She serves as co-chair for the Kentucky Regional Braille Challenge, and is a past co-chair of the Getting in Touch With Literacy Conference.

Congratulations Jane!

Dr. Kay Ferrell Receives Alan J. Koenig Award

Jane Thompson, APH, poses with Dr. Kay Ferrell.

Dr. Kay Ferrell, frequent APH collaborator and a previous APH Executive in Residence, has received the Alan J. Koenig Research in Literacy Award.

Dr. Ferrell, internationally known for her work in the development and education of individuals with visual disabilities—particularly infants and preschoolers—was the recipient of the 2015 Alan J. Koenig Research in Literacy Award. Dr. Ferrell has served as a member of the University of Northern Colorado faculty for over 20 years. In addition to teaching and mentoring students at UNC, Dr. Ferrell also has served as assistant dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and as director of the School of Special Education, and she’s coordinated graduate programs in visual impairment and early childhood special education, and the doctoral program in special education.

In 2001, Dr. Ferrell co-founded UNC’s National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities, which served as an international clearinghouse of resources for teachers and parents of children with visual disabilities. She was principal investigator of the ground-breaking Project Prism, the first study of child development to focus on children with visual impairments and the ways in which their development is similar to or different from that of typically sighted children. Her current research involves adapting the Boehm-3 Test of Basic Concepts for preschool and primary age children with visual impairments in collaboration with APH.

Congratulations Kay!

Annual Meeting 2015 Photo Memory Album, Setting the Stage

Carl Augusto (left), President of AFB, receives APH’s highest honor from APH President Tuck Tinsley III.

The 2015 Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests entitled, "Setting the Stage," was a "hit show" in Louisville in October! To relive the memories or to get excited for Annual Meeting 2016, here is the full photo Memory Album!

Annual Meeting 2015 Sessions Audio and Video

Were you unable to attend the 2015 Annual Meeting or do you want a refresher on a session you attended? On this page, you will find the audio and video for many Annual Meeting 2015 sessions by our expert APH and guest presenters!

APH’s 1829 Campaign
Help Us Bring Louis Braille’s Book to APH

The Printing House has a rare opportunity to share one of the truly unique gems of blindness history, and we need your help.

In 1821, a blind boy met a soldier, Charles Barbier, who had a clever idea—a code based on raised dots that could be read in the dark. The boy, Louis Braille, took the idea, organized and simplified it, and published his system in 1829 for the first time. Today, the Braille System is used all over the world by people who are blind and visually impaired to read and write.

This fall, one of the few remaining copies of Braille’s pioneering book, Procédé pour écrire les paroles, la musique et le plain-chant au moyen de point, or Method for Writing Words, Music, and Plainsong in Dots, became available from a New York bookseller. One of only six known copies left anywhere in the world, our museum has 10 weeks to raise the $95,000 purchase price.

The book is in incredible condition. The beautiful blue marbled paper cover is bright. The 37 embossed pages are clean and intact. The pages are fascinating, illustrating the experimental nature of early embossing for blind readers, the printing blocks used to set up the page clearly outlined where they were pressed onto wet paper.

But the true wonder of the book is found in the elegance of the code, Louis Braille’s original alphabet, the same code still found wherever the Roman alphabet is used. The same alphabet used to emboss millions of pages at the Printing House every year and create countless millions more on refreshable braille displays.

We need your support to bring this treasure to Louisville and share it with the world in our award winning museum. In order to place Braille’s 1829 Procédé alongside the first book ever embossed in raised letters, Valentin Haüy’s 1786 Essai sur l’Education des Aveugles, we need your help. No gift is too small. There are a number of ways you can donate. You can make a gift online. You can send a check to our Development Department at APH, 1839 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206. Make sure you note “1829 Procede” so we know your gift supports the museum. Or you can call us at 1-888-295-2405 and make a gift by phone. If you have any questions about the book, call Mike Hudson at 502-895-2405 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Executive in Residence

Dr. Martin Monson joined APH as Executive in Residence from July to October, 2015. While at APH, Martin shared his expertise—particularly in the area of product development—and concentrated on issues surrounding braille and transition. When asked about his experience, Martin is quoted as saying, “The ability of APH to take suggestions from the field and then work with a group of consultants from around the country to develop a product to meet a need from the field is unparalleled.”

From Dr. Martin Monson

Being an Executive in Residence was an amazing experience! I’ve known APH for years, first as a consumer of its goods as a TVI, then more in depth as an Ex Officio Trustee for two different schools for the blind. I’ve always been impressed by APH and the products and services they offer to the field, but being an Executive in Residence has allowed me a look inside the company. I am now even more impressed with APH and have a deeper, richer appreciation for all the work that goes into developing and producing some truly excellent products for students and professionals to use.

My time at APH was spent working with some very wonderful project leaders. This is a truly dedicated group of people, and each one is so knowledgeable in his or her respective area. I was able to spend time with several of them in two areas I have a passion for: Braille and Assistive Technology. The ability of APH to take suggestions from the field and then work with a group of consultants from around the country to develop a product to meet a need from the field is unparalleled. I was fortunate to be involved with the second edition of BOP and was a part of numerous technology meetings around some incredible assistive technology products coming out soon from APH.

In addition to working with others on their area of expertise, I was also able to work on an area that is especially near and dear to me—transition. While at APH, I was able to delve into the data and research that has been collected around this area. As we all are aware, there is a large body of literature around this topic area. I refined my investigation into looking at just those students who were going to college and then looking at skills they could learn while still in high school to help address the challenges they may face in attending a postsecondary institution with the thought of developing ideas for products to be developed by APH. Two possible product ideas based on the literature review indicate there is a need for students to understand the workings of a 504 plan versus an IEP and to know how to operate in an asynchronous online learning environment. There are obviously many additional product development possibilities, but these two seem to encompass many of the areas where challenges arise.

Being an Executive in Residence was a great experience, and I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to take part in the experience.

Recent Actions Taken by BANA at Fall 2015 Meeting

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) held its 2015 fall meeting November 5–7, hosted by Horizons for the Blind in Crystal Lake, Illinois. During its three-day meeting, the BANA Board reviewed and acted on semiannual reports from its eighteen committees and considered their recommendations along with other items of business. Several committee members who attended the meeting presented their committee reports in person and dialogued with the Board concerning matters related to their work. Notable actions taken by the Board include:

Approval of Braille Music Code Revision: The Board unanimously approved a major revision of the music braille code, which had undergone the scrutiny of technical and Board reviews. After finalization of the electronic files, the new version of the music code will be available on the BANA website. The BANA Board commends the members of the music braille technical committee—all of whom are musicians as well as experts in music braille transcription and reading—for their tireless and concentrated work on this significant revision of the music code. You can see the actual vote to approve the revised music code on Facebook.

Discussion of math and technical materials in braille: As a result of lengthy and in-depth discussions over several days, the BANA Board members representing United States organizations approved the following statement regarding braille math and technical materials as it relates to the adoption of UEB in the United States:

“The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) recognizes and appreciates the genuine concerns from the braille community regarding the transition to Unified English Braille (UEB). BANA stands by our original motion to adopt UEB as a complete code as well as the implementation statement issued in 2014 in which we expressed that the Nemeth Code remains integral to braille in the United States. The Board of BANA could not reach consensus regarding the establishment of a single standard code for technical materials for braille in the United States. The decision to use UEB or the Nemeth Code within UEB context for technical materials should be made based on braille readers’ individual needs.”

Darleen Bogart Honored with Braille Excellence Award: The BANA Board congratulated CNIB’s Darleen Bogart, the 2015 recipient of BANA’s Braille Excellence Award, which she received in November at the Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference. BANA presented the award in grateful recognition of Darleen’s enormous contribution, not only to BANA and to North America, but to braille in a wider, global sense over several decades. Her extraordinary service and quiet leadership have helped braille remain viable and reliable while she has also been a leader in moving it forward and expanding its availability worldwide. More information about this recognition is available on the BANA website.

You can follow the work of BANA by signing up for BANA-Announce, a one-way email list that disseminates news and information. To join this list, send a blank email message to email hidden; JavaScript is required and follow the directions in the confirmation email that will be sent in response. You can also follow BANA on Facebook and Twitter!

APH on the Road

AER Conference on Vision Loss in Older Adults and Veterans

From November 4–6, APH Director of Field Services, Janie Blome, and Field Services Representative Kerry Isham attended and exhibited at the AER Conference on Vision Loss in Older Adults and Veterans in Norfolk, VA. This conference drew approximately 175 attendees. Participants enjoyed seeing APH products “in person,” and were especially interested in the Bright Line Reading Guide, the DRAFTSMAN, The Impressor, the Push Button Padlock, and the VisioBook. This was an excellent event for consumers and professionals, and a great forum in which to find out more about products, services, and research in this area.

Kentucky Council of the Blind Exhibit in November

On November 13 and 14, APH’s tables attracted inquisitive conference-goers at the 2015 Kentucky Council of the Blind Annual Weekend in Louisville. APH staff members Artina Paris-Jones, Michele Dutcher, and Kerry Isham exhibited a number of products for approximately 75 attendees. Among the products that garnered attention were the Book Port Plus, The Impressor, the Wilson Digital Voice Recorder, the InSights Art Calendar, and the Miniguide US. APH is a regular exhibitor at these weekend conferences, and we were pleased to continue the tradition!

2015 Family Retreat and Conference

Kerry Isham, APH Field Services Representative, exhibited APH products at the 2015 Family Retreat and Conference in Louisville, KY. This event was sponsored by the Kentucky School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Preschool Services, and was held November 13-14. About 50 families participated. Many attendees stopped by the APH booth to get hands-on experience with such materials as the Rib-It Ball, the DRAFTSMAN, the Mini-Lite Box and Pegs and Pegboard, Picture Maker, Sound-Adapted Tangle Balls, and the Spangle Tangle. APH was honored to share our products with all the families in attendance!

Sharing Our APH Museum Treasures

The Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind welcomes thousands of people in its galleries every year. But we also serve as an important international center for research on the history of education for people who are blind or visually impaired. Items from the permanent collection are currently on loan in two different museum exhibits that are open now.

The Museum loaned an IBM Model D Braille Electric Typewriter to the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, where it will be on display as part of the Society’s exhibit "Silicon City: Computer History Made in New York." The exhibit opened November 13 and runs through April 3, 2016.

The Museum also loaned a beautiful red cast iron Kleidograph—a New York Point typewriter—and other writing equipment to the University of Manitoba for an exhibit of early tactile books. “Books Without Ink” will run from September 21, 2015, to April 30, 2016, in Winnipeg, Canada.

APH Field-Testing Opportunities

TVIs Needed to Field Test and Expert Review a Prototype of the Health Education for Students With Visual Impairments Teacher’s Manual

APH is looking for TVIs with students who can field test a draft Teacher’s Manual that details ways to adapt current health education curricula for students with visual impairments. The prototype includes 25 short videos (for teachers only) and a 125-page manual (including references and resource materials). TVIs are expected to view all videos, read the manual in its entirety, and complete an online evaluation form after implementing the suggested adaptations and activities with their students.

APH is also looking for professionals in the field of vision impairment to serve as expert reviewers. We ask that you complete an online evaluation after reading the manual in its entirety and viewing all the videos.

The Teacher’s Manual includes chapters on the following topics:

  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Personal Health
  • Sex Education
  • Communicable & Noncommunicable Diseases and Prevention
  • Injury Prevention & Safety

We plan to send out prototype materials in January 2016 and would like evaluations to be complete by the end of May 2016. If you are able to field test or expert review this prototype, please email the following information to Monica Vaught-Compton at email hidden; JavaScript is required:

  • Field Tester or Expert Reviewer
  • Your full name
  • Your professional title
  • School or Agency name
  • School or Agency mailing address including city, state, and zip code
  • Preferred reading medium (print, large print, braille, or electronic)
  • Email address
  • Best phone number to reach you
  • Number of your students who are able to participate (if you can field test)

Thank you, and if you have any questions, please contact

Monica Vaught-Compton
Project Consultant
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Seeking Field Evaluators for Tactile Algebra Tiles

APH is seeking field evaluators for Tactile Algebra Tiles. Algebra tiles is a well-known mathematical tool that provides students with concrete models for abstract algebraic concepts and procedures. The tiles can represent both variables and constants and can be used by students in elementary through high school for adding, subtracting, and multiplying integers, simplifying expressions, solving linear and quadratic equations, and for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and factoring polynomials. The tiles provide the student with an alternative to abstract manipulation by giving them a graphical way to solve algebraic problems. In this way, the tool helps meet the students’ diverse needs in algebra study. The Tactile Algebra Tiles is an accessible version of algebra tiles, specifically designed for students with blindness and low vision.

Field evaluators will be asked to use Tactile Algebra Tiles with multiple math students with blindness or low vision. 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 field test will begin in January and be completed by the end of April 2016.

If you are interested in serving as a field evaluator, please provide the following information:

  • your name, title, school/agency, and type of setting (e.g., residential, itinerant);
  • your previous experience with algebra tiles (e.g., have you ever used algebra tiles to teach or learn any math concepts);
  • number of available students with ages, grade levels, and primary reading media indicated (please note that elementary, middle, and high school students who are studying basic calculations, linear or quadratic equations, or polynomials are preferred);
  • your preferred medium for reading evaluation materials and completing the evaluation form (regular print/large print/braille/electronic); and
  • your complete contact information (phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address).

Please send this information to Li Zhou, Core Curriculum Project Leader, at email hidden; JavaScript is required by December 31, 2015. You may also contact Li at 800-223-1839, ext. 424. Thank you!

Input Needed for O&M Tool

We are requesting your input about the development of an instructional tool to help instructors teach students how to evaluate intersections with no traffic controls. We need input from everyone: Ex Officio Trustees, supervisors, COMS, NOMCs, instructors who are not certified, and anyone else in the field. The survey is short. Please click on the link below to complete the survey. We very much appreciate your help.

If you have questions, please contact Terrie Terlau, email hidden; JavaScript is required

Seeking Field Test Evaluators: Woodcock-Johnson IV Large Print

We are currently seeking psychologists interested in field testing the large print adaptation of the Woodcock-Johnson IV (W-J IV). It is preferred that you have previously administered the W-J IV and are familiar with the instrument. The large print includes all three batteries (Tests of Achievement, Tests of Cognitive Abilities, and Tests of Oral Language). We are asking that you administer a variety of clusters including tests from each of the three batteries. Feedback from all three batteries is vitally important. The evaluator must meet the restriction level for each of the batteries as the W-J IV is a qualified assessment. The Tests of Achievement and Tests of Oral Language are considered as medium restriction. The Tests of Cognitive Abilities is considered as a high restriction. For a more detailed description of these restrictions, please refer to:

You will need access to the W-J IV kit from HMH in order to have the materials (all manuals, easels, test record, audio CD) needed to administer the assessment. The large print materials from APH includes only the student test books for all three batteries and the student response booklets which have been bound separately for student use.

If you are interested in participating as a field evaluator, please provide the following information:

  • your name, title, school/agency, and type of setting (e.g., residential, itinerant);
  • number of available students;
  • your complete contact information (phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address).

Please send this information to Carolyn Zierer, Test and Assessment Project Leader, at email hidden; JavaScript is required, by December 15, 2015. You may also contact Carolyn at 502-899-2328 or Laura Zierer, Research Assistant at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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 Migel Library: Richardson, R. A. Increasing the Strength of the Eyes and the Eye Muscles without the Aid of Glasses. Kansas City, MO: Eyesight and Health Association, 1925.

In his 1925 example of quackery, Richardson claims that eyeglasses are responsible for causing many cases of visual impairment. If they are supposed to make eyes stronger, he wonders, then why can they not be discarded after serving their purpose? The author then argues that treatment with a lamp that he designed has a much higher rate of success – especially when used with a “burning” magnifying glass. Light exposure and “deep penetration” of tissues with light rays can successfully treat many vision problems, in addition to several general ailments. This method has been proven, he claims, by the fact that the sun’s rays have been known to cure cataracts, and to make the skin lose its wrinkles. Along with exercises in reading fine print, abstaining from coffee, maintaining a positive mental attitude, and restoring the nerves of the eye through relaxation and breathing, his method has been known to help thousands. Dr. Richardson’s book can be viewed at Internet Archive at

From the Barr Library: Macht, Joel. Shaping Glass-Wearing Behavior: Employing Light As a Reinforcing Stimulus for an Aphakic Retarded Child. N.d. TS. Collection of the APH Barr Library, Louisville.

Produced sometime between the late 1960s and the early 1970s, Joel Macht’s unpublished report describes the application of behavioral modification techniques employed with a child who has an intellectual disability. The research was instigated when the experimental subject’s ophthalmologist suggested that failure to wear her prescription lenses would leave the child would without distance visual acuity. However, without constant monitoring, the seven-year-old female with Down’s Syndrome repeatedly removed the lenses from her face. A five-phase shaping procedure was established to reinforce her glasses-wearing behavior. Although the desired behavior was achieved in the context of a dark room, through the use of light as a reinforcement, the child reverted to taking the glasses off outside of the test environment. Of his multiple hypotheses developed to explain the behavioral discrepancy, the author deemed it most likely that the prosthetic lenses were inaccurate, thus the incentive to wear them was diminished.

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

Have Yourself a Merry Little Quick Tip!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Quick Tips! Indeed, it’s the season for festive lights, packages with beautiful bows, the excited smiles and twinkling eyes of children, and the aromas of peppermint, mincemeat pie, and evergreen. It’s a time of merriment, good cheer and anticipation. It’s also a time of brevity, useful information and APH-centricity! Yes, my friends, it’s that Quick Tip time of year!

And, amid the hustle and bustle of seasonal happenings, you can make your 2015 winter holidays brighter and happier than ever before by keeping current on APH Quick Tips! You might even discover a great gift idea. Watch these latest Quick Tips now!

  • Math Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – Did you know that APH has a website that explains all about Math Common Core State Standards (CCSS)? Watch this week’s Quick Tip to get the scoop!
  • VIPS@Home Parent Empowerment Program – Discover the VIPS@Home Parent Empowerment Program, which provides relevant coursework for parents of children with blindness and visual impairments.
  • Tactile Tangrams Kit – Have you seen these fun and educational puzzles from APH? Great for children ages 7 and up, the Tactile Tangrams Kit encourages the development of skills such as spatial reasoning, shape recognition, and problem-solving.
  • Picture Maker – If you’re looking for a great holiday gift for a creative child in your life, look no further than the Picture Make Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit!

Check out the merry and festive Quick Tips archive at:! And, as always, if you’ve got any ideas for Quick Tips, send an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Happy Quick Tips to all, and to all a good night!

Social Media Spotlight

Did you know APH posts Quick Tips, Hall of Fame, and other videos on our YouTube channel? Watch now!

"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!

We invite you to visit our Facebook page and "Like" us! You can find APH at these social media sites: Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


December 4, 2015
Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute State of the Science Meeting

December 7-11, 2015
Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill

December 11, 2015
VRATE Conference 2015


January 21, 2016
APH Presentation Philantropic Educational Organization for Women


February 2-6, 2016
ATIA 2016

February 10-13, 2016
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

February 26-28, 2016
2016 T3 International Conference

APH Fall Harvest Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Fall Harvest Sale 2015, October 1—December 31. As always, first come, first served.

NEW! Interactive U.S. Map with Talking Tactile Pen

1-01150-00 — $259.00 + shipping

Optional Item

Stereo Headphones with Ear Cushions and Volume Control
1-18986-01 — $14.50

The Interactive U.S. Map with Talking Tactile Pen is a fun, dynamic learning tool for accessing information about the 50 states!

The Interactive U.S. Map’s combination of tactile, visual, and audio feedback contributes to a versatile learning experience that allows for independent, self-guided study by visually impaired and blind students and adults, as well as by sighted peers.

The Talking Tactile Pen consists of a non-writing stylus, a tactile Power button, an audio jack, and a micro-USB connector (for recharging the pen after long periods of use). The audio content can be heard through the pen’s tiny speaker, however, standard headphones (headphones sold separately) or external speakers can provide better sound quality for the synthetic speech and sound effects.

The pen serves as a personal "tour guide" that gives the reader information about each location visited on the map via multiple layers of audio recordings. The reader is allowed to "drill down" layer by layer via consecutive pen taps to learn about each state.

17 Pen Layers Include: State name; State abbreviation, State capital; Ten largest cities; Surroundings (land & water); Land area, water area, state water percentage; Highest point (elevation); Major rivers; Population estimate; Statehood year; State nickname; State symbols (bird, flower, tree, and song title); State motto; Famous people; Points of interest; Interesting facts; Spelling of state name


    • Foldable tactile/large print map of the United States
    • Modified Livescribe™ Echo™ Smartpen with audio content, 3.5mm headphone jack, and mini-USB port
    • USB charging cable
    • Storage pouch for pen and charging cable
    • Carrying box to store components
    • Large print instruction booklet
    • Braille instruction booklet – UEB Compliant

Livescribe™ is a trademark of Livescribe Inc. The Talking Tactile Pen is a modified version of the Livescribe Echo™ smartpen. All components of the Interactive U.S. Map with Talking Tactile Pen are copyrighted by the American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. and Touch Graphics, Inc.

Recommended ages: 8 years and up.

WARNING: Choking Hazard—Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.

UEB-Compliant Building on Patterns: First Grade Now Complete!

With the launch of the First Grade: Posttest Consumables, BOP: First Grade UEB has now been fully released!

NEW! First Grade: Posttest Consumables Pack:
8-78565-00 — $40.00

BOP Teacher’s Posttest Manual – UEB:
Print: 8-78562-00 — $28.00
Braille: 6-78562-00 — $28.00

We are excited to announce that with publication of the BOP Posttest Consumables, our release of Building on Patterns: First Grade – UEB is complete! Building on Patterns: Second Grade – UEB will follow over the next few months.

Posttest Assessment for BOP First Grade Level — updated for UEB

Unlike the Unit Check-ups, included in the child’s textbooks, the posttest is an important, separate item that assesses the concepts and skills covered throughout the First Grade Level of BOP. A set of consumable forms is provided in braille for the student and in print and braille for the teacher. The teacher’s manuals, available in both print and braille editions (sold separately), give complete instructions for administering and scoring the tests and analyzing the results. Results can be recorded tactually on an accompanying line graph showing target scores for each subtest. This sheet makes it easy to see areas where the child is excelling as well as areas where remediation may be needed.

Related Items

Note: Each First Grade student kit listed below includes Lesson Monitoring Sheets, Assessment Check-up Forms, Student Textbooks, and Worksheets Pack.

BOP Kindergarten:
Student Kit: 6-78550-00 — $199.00

BOP First Grade, Unit 1, Not Far From Home:
Student Kit – UEB: 6-78560-U1 — $139.00

BOP First Grade, Unit 2, Going and Doing:
Student Kit – UEB: 6-78560-U2 — $139.00

BOP First Grade, Unit 3, Animal Tales:
Student Kit – UEB: 6-78560-U3 — $139.00

BOP First Grade, Unit 4, At School:
Student Kit – UEB: 6-78560-U4 — $139.00

BOP First Grade, Unit 5, This and That:
Student Kit – UEB: 6-78560-U5 — $139.00

BOP First Grade, Unit 6, More Animal Tales:
Student Kit – UEB: 6-78560-U6 — $139.00

BOP First Grade, Unit 7, Think About It!:
Student Kit – UEB: 6-78560-U7 — $139.00

Building on Patterns – UEB

APH is offers UEB-compliant Building on Patterns (BOP) so teachers can continue to use the current Building on Patterns program while teaching Unified English Braille (UEB)! The student materials have been re-transcribed in UEB as needed and teacher supplements have been created inform the teacher about UEB changes.

Note: You do NOT need to buy new Teacher Editions. Just download the free-of-charge supplements and use them to mark up your existing Teacher’s Editions:

We are also now packaging all the materials needed for a student in a “Student Kit.”

  • Kindergarten Student Kit includes: Posttest Consumables, Textbook Assessment Check-up Forms, set of 7 Student Textbooks, and Color Me Book.
  • First Grade Student Kits include: Student Textbook, Worksheets Pack – UEB, Lesson Monitoring Sheets in print and braille, an Assessment Check-Up in print and braille.

The print and braille teacher’s editions and other posttest materials are sold separately.

Note: Building on Patterns: Second Grade UEB will be released over several months in early 2016.

NEW! Let’s Talk Limbic DVD

1-31004-00 — $15.00

Let’s Talk Limbic: The role of the emotional brain in the well being of persons with multiple sensory impairment

This DVD focuses on a major part of the human emotional brain, the Limbic System. Video clips show how sensory deprivation effects a person’s emotional well being. Examples are given of effective intervention by parents and significant caregivers. The role of mirror neurons is demonstrated in "the resonance phenomenon" and as a precursor for imitation. Author: Dr. Jan van Dijk, Emeritus Professor, The Netherlands

NEW! Test Ready: Language Arts, Books 5 and 6

Book 5, Teacher Guide:
Large Print: 7-00539-00 — $20.00
Braille: 5-00539-00 — $20.00

Book 5, Student Book:
Large Print: 7-00540-00 — $35.00
Braille: 5-00540-00 — $46.00

Book 6, Teacher Guide:
Large Print: 7-00541-00 — $20.00
Braille: 5-00541-00 — $20.00

Book 6, Student Book:
Large Print: 7-00542-00 — $35.00
Braille: 5-00542-00 — $46.00

This test prep series offers practice for today’s standards-based assessments for grade levels 3 through 8. Test Ready®: Language Arts provides preparation and review, in as little as two weeks before testing day. It also provides a program of instruction and remediation.

Students practice in three areas

  • Spelling–cloze items and spotting misspelled words
  • Language–mechanics, expression, and use of resources
  • Rubric-scored writing–narrative, expository, or descriptive passages

Objectives for each of the above key concepts have been aligned with standards developed by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). These lessons correlate to basal and standards-based tests.

Accessible Formats

The APH Teacher Guides and Student Books are available in several accessible formats, so that the entire class can work on language arts together in a multi-media approach. The large print and braille editions include a CD-ROM with an .html file and a Digital Talking Book (DTB) file with built-in player.

The large print student edition includes a specially formatted large print answer document. However, it is recommended that each student have a book in his or her preferred reading medium, and should feel free to mark answers in the test books. Used this way, the student books become consumable items.

Note: Copies of regular print Teacher Guides and Student Books are available from the publisher at: Curriculum Associates, Inc., 153 Rangeway Road, North Billerica, MA 01862-0901, 800-225-0248, Fax: 800-366-1158,

Note: Each Teacher Guide includes a Teacher CD-ROM. Each Student Book includes a Student CD-ROM.

Note: Test Ready: Language Arts Books 7–8 will be available soon.

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.

January Joker
by Ron Roy: T-N2082-90 — $20.00
When first-graders Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy are awakened by strange lights outside, they believe aliens have invaded. The four set off to investigate. Grades 2-4. *(AR Quiz No. 134713, BL 2.9, Pts. 1.0)

History of Alternative Rock
by Stuart A. Kallen: T-N1960-50 — $55.50
Short overview of alternative rock from garage bands to punk and grunge groups. Discusses digital music production, peer-to-peer sharing, and the music industry. Provides a recommended listening list, including songs by the Clash, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, U2, and others. Grades 6-9

Testament of Mary: A Novel
by Colm Toibin: T-N1868-60 — $48.50
An imagining of the life and ministry of Jesus from the perspective of his elderly mother Mary. After her son’s crucifixion, his followers continue to visit her in Ephesus to learn more about him. Some adult content.

Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
by Eddie Huang: T-N2070-20 — $147.00
Memoir by Chinese-American restaurateur Huang. Relates growing up first in the Washington, D. C., area and later in Florida as the son of immigrants. Describes challenges he faced due to his heritage and ways he adapted to American culture. Inspiration for 2015 television show. Some adult content.

Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World
by Glenn Stout: T-N1966-80 — $160.00
Biography of American swimmer Gertrude Ederle (1906-2003), who in 1926 became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Discusses her childhood bout with measles that led to permanent hearing loss and describes subsequent achievements, including Olympic medals, world records, and the landmark swim from France to England.

*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:

  • Ralph Bartley, Executive Director, Research
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Roseanne Hoffmann, STEM Project Leader
  • Micheal Hudson, Director, APH Museum
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Mary Nelle McLennan, APH Representative to BANA
  • Emmy Malinovsky, Special Collections and Cataloging Librarian, Resource Services
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Mary Robinson, Assistant, Field Services
  • Monica Vaught-Compton, Project Consultant
  • Li Zhou, Core Curriculum Project Leader

Craig Meador, Vice President, Educational Services and Product Development
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Visit APH on

Read our blog: Fred’s Head from APH.

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

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

Thank you.

Subscribe to the APH News!
Get convenient email reminders every month when a new issue of the APH News is released.

It’s Easy!

  1. Create an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required
  2. Leave the subject blank
  3. Type the word ‘subscribe’ (without any quote marks) in the body of the message
  4. Send it.