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

February 2005

Babies Count Project Update

Babies Count- the National Registry for Children with Visual Impairments Birth to 3 Years

Burt Boyer has been validating data entered into the database of the National Registry for the past year. Now completed, the data is being sent to Dr. Deborah Hatton. Twenty-two states are now participating in the Babies Count Project. By the end of March, all participating agencies will be trained to enter and extract their data on-line.

APH, Dr. Hatton, and Johns Hopkins Hospital (The Wilmer Eye Institute) are working on a possible collaboration on Retinopathy of Prematurity. Thanks for all efforts being put into this project by so many service providers and agencies—KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

National Family Conference

Make your plans now to be at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, August 12-14, 2005, for the National Family Conference! The opening session is scheduled for 6:00 P.M., Friday, August 12. The conference will conclude with a brunch at 10:30 on Sunday, August 14. Two outstanding keynote speakers will highlight the conference: Dr. Deborah Hatton and Mr. Kevin O’Connor.

Excellent presenters have been selected to share information on the following topics:

  • IDEA: What Parents Need to Know
  • The Expanded Core Curriculum
  • Early Literacy: The Perkins Panda
  • Daily Living Skills
  • Teen Issues (panel)
  • O&M for Preschoolers
  • O&M for Adolescents
  • Communication: Focus on Multiple Disabilities
  • Overview of Technology
  • Transition from School to Employment
  • Partnerships and Advocacy
  • Accessible Testing
  • Grandparent Issues (panel)
  • New Products at APH
  • Dad Issues (panel)
  • Recreation and Leisure
  • Social Skills
  • Cortical Visual Impairment

There will be exhibits throughout the conference. Childcare will be provided and activities will be planned for older children.

Please continue to check the websites of APH, Hadley, and NAPVI for updates on the conference.

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Deborah Hatton

Dr. Deborah D. Hatton has experience as a teacher and administrator with research interests in blindness/visual impairments and Fragile X Syndrome. She is a senior scientist at the FPG Child Development Institute, Director of the Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, and Director of the Research Registry of the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kevin O'Connor

Kevin O’Connor, former President of NAPVI, is a professional speaker, consultant, and teacher. The author of five books, he is the parent of a 17 year old son who is visually impaired. Kevin is one of fewer than 450 persons in the world to hold the CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation for speaking excellence. He is currently serving as 2004-2005 President of the National Speakers Association-Illinois Chapter. Additional information can be found by visiting

Oregon NIP Event Rescheduled

The National Instructional Partnerships

The National Instructional Partnerships event "Cortical Visual Impairment: What You See Is Not Always What You Get," originally scheduled for January 21 – 22 in Portland, OR, has been rescheduled for April 1 – 2, 2005. The event will take place at the University Place Hotel, in partnership with Portland State University.

A limited number of additional spaces are available for registration on the new dates. These will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Please contact Janie Blome (800-223-1839, ext. 367) for more information if you are interested in attending this workshop.

Florida Weekend with the Experts

Ralph Bartley, Bob Brasher, and Tuck Tinsley admire the "Garnet and Gold" teacher's tote bag that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the FIMC-VI. This bag was full of materials from the January 14-16, 2005 conference in Tampa, Florida.

APH’s Ralph Bartley was invited to attend the annual "Weekend with the Experts," where Dawn Saunders, Kay Ratzlaff, Samantha Jaksec, and a host of other special presenters covered a variety of topics, including O&M, math, and reading. A major focus was the reading presentation by Samantha Jaksec who emphasized assessment results and designing intervention strategies.

One of many memorable activities was the "Hinky Pinky" game. The short version is that you are to ask a question that requires an answer of two words with two rhyming syllables. There were many clever questions developed, but space only allows for this one:

  • "What do you call a truck that’s carrying a bunch of 7 key typewriters?"

Thanks to Terri Grundy, Jill Pfluke, and Janet Mavros for this very cute instructional reading tool.

Photo: Ralph Bartley, Bob Brasher, and Tuck Tinsley admire the "Garnet and Gold" teacher’s tote bag that celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired (FIMC-VI). This bag was full of materials from the January 14-16, 2005 conference in Tampa, Florida.

Note: The Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired (FIMC-VI) is a statewide resource center designed to assist schools in obtaining specialized materials for students with visual impairments. Established in 1972 by the Florida Legislature, FIMC-VI operates under the Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services through a grant agreement with the School District of Hillsborough County. Suzanne Dalton is the Supervisor as well as the APH Ex Officio Trustee.

John Aicken named Assistant Director of Research

John Aicken

APH is pleased to announce that John Aicken, formerly Product Development Manager, has been named Assistant Director of Research. Under John’s leadership the business and production process issues of the research department have been revamped and improved. His years of private sector experience in research and development have added greatly to the strength, perspectives, and vitality of the research department. John is married to Karen and has two children, Jeffrey and Bethany.

Burt Boyer Accepts Early Childhood Project Leader Position

Burt Boyer

Burt Boyer, Field Representative, who has been responsible for the APH Babies Count project, began as our new Early Childhood Project Leader on February 1 after a national search. In addition to his new duties, Burt will continue to shepherd the Babies Count project and maintain his leadership role in the upcoming August conference for families that will be held in Louisville. Burt brings many professional and personal experiences to the research department that will enrich our ability to research and develop products in all areas, but particularly early childhood. His network of contacts in the early childhood field will assure that APH products will be based on the voice and needs of our children, families, and early childhood professionals. Burt has many interests, but according to his sons, Bill and Brad, basketball is a real passion.

New Resource Services Specialist Announced

On February 7, Jaelithe Lindblom will begin work as the new Resource Specialist. Jaelithe has a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Kentucky, and has experience working in both public and academic libraries. Please join us in welcoming her to APH!

Callahan Museum Make-Over

Large Type Reference area of the Callahan Museum

Work is continuing on the museum renovation. Cases are being refurbished to make them archivally safe for our historic artifacts. In addition, lighting is being updated and hands-on exhibits have been added. Graphics and labels are easier to read and more colorful. In the ten years since the museum opened, great strides have been made in production of photographs, graphic materials, exhibit materials and lighting, so we are fast becoming "state-of-the-art." We have also turned up some additional research information on the objects which was added to the revised narrative materials. Artifacts and photos have been added and we’ve even corrected some mistakes!

APH – Textbooks on Demand

ATIC Accessible Textbook Initiative and Collaboration Project

Did you know…

there is a new large print textbook order form?
To find it go to and click on the ATIC banner. Please discard all old APH Large Print order forms and use the new one to order textbooks using either the traditional APH enlargement process or the new ATIC Large Print process.

Did you know…

if you have any questions about braille textbooks you can write to to get your answers? For all large print textbook questions you can write email hidden; JavaScript is required We will answer your questions asap!

APH to Discontinue Old Louis Interface March 31, 2005

Louis Database Accessible Materials and APH File Repository

We have been offering both the older interface to the Louis Database of Accessible Materials for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired and the "new" Louis interface concurrently since December 15, 2004. After March 31, 2005, we will no longer offer the older Louis interface as an option.

The "new" Louis interface provides much better support for speech and low vision for searchers who use Internet Explorer® (IE) 6 or higher or Netscape Navigator® 7 or higher or other compatible browsers.

We have posted the links to upgrade to IE 6 or Netscape Navigator 7 below. Please note that both Netscape and Microsoft offer updates by two methods, via download from the web and by CD. The web downloads are free of charge for Netscape and Internet Explorer. We will only maintain access to the old Louis interface until March 31, 2005, so update your browser now if you still are using an old version of IE or Netscape.

Electronic Preservation of Braille

  • Would you like to preserve your braille electronically on a disc or CD?
  • Do you have a vintage Braille book collection?
  • Do you have Braille classics on your shelves?
  • Do you have Braille pages transcribed on a slate or braille writer?
  • Do you have personal documents that no one else has?
  • Do you have metal embossed mastering plates without the original file?
  • Do you have boxes and boxes of braille masters to thermoform?

APH can scan your braille and provide you with a braille ready file on disc or CD for use with embossers or braille notetakers. Single sided or interpoint, paper or metal master plates, APH can create electronic braille files for you. The price is $2.50 per braille page but does not include converting single-sided parts or volumes into interpointed parts or volumes. We cannot scan pages containing tactile graphics.

Federal quota funds may be used by Ex Officio Trustees for the preservation of materials originally purchased with federal quota dollars or for materials to be used with federal quota registered students.

For more information or for placing orders, contact Contract Administration, 800/223-1839 or email hidden; JavaScript is required

Douglas Inkster and Berthold Lowenfeld Now Appearing in the Hall

Hall of Fame

The 19th and 20th bas relief plaques are now residing in the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field.

Berthold Lowenfeld's Hall of Fame Plaque

Berthold Lowenfeld (1901-1994), born in Linz, Austria, graduated from the University of Vienna in 1927 with a Ph.D. in Psychology. During his time as Director of Research for AFB his most profound contributions centered around his research into talking books, needs of preschool blind children, and the attributes of local day school programs for blind children. From 1949 until his retirement in 1964, he served as the Superintendent of the California School for the Blind. His two best known and most respected books, Our Blind Children and The Changing Status of the Blind, are classics in the field and timeless in relevance.

Douglas Inkster's Hall of Fame Plaque

Douglas Inkster (1925-1993) was born in Michigan. Among many influential positions, Doug served as Superintendent of the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute but will be remembered primarily for his dynamic leadership and innovative approaches shown while serving as the Executive Director at the Center for Independent Living in New York from 1972 until his retirement in 1985. Inkster became a national pioneer in the development of adjustment training programs for the older blind and visually impaired population when no other programs of this type existed.

For more information on these and the other 30 legends of the Hall, and to learn how you can support this exciting venture, visit

Entering Last Full Month of the Nomination Process for the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

If you are interested in learning more about the process and/or submitting a qualified nominee for the Hall of Fame, please visit the following link on the APH web site: or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

Volunteer Oral History Project

Jean Randles is working as a volunteer on the editing of our oral history interviews. Jean’s husband, Raymond Randles, is the project interviewer. After an interview is recorded, it is transcribed from audio into print. Then, the difficult job of editing–turning the spoken word into written form–begins. Spelling and punctuation are checked and corrected. It’s important to keep the character of the subject in the way he or she speaks, but still have a readable interview. Jean was the art teacher at Kentucky School for the Blind for many years. We are fortunate to have the contribution of Jean’s knowledge and skills for this project.

APH Employment Opportunities: Coming Soon!

The APH Human Resources Department will soon be posting the following opportunities on the APH website:

  • Core Curriculum Project Leader – Research
  • Field Representative – Field Services

If you have immediate questions, email email hidden; JavaScript is required

BVA Offers Scholarships for 2005 – 2006 Academic Year

The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) will award six scholarships for the 2005 – 2006 academic year under its Kathern Gruber Scholarship program. The scholarships are available to dependant children or spouses of blinded veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. The veteran must be legally blind, but does not have to be a member of BVA. The veteran’s visual impairment does not have to be service connected.

Applications may be obtained from: The Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship Program, Blinded Veterans Association, 477 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC, 20001-2694. Deadline for application is Friday, April, 15, 2005.

For additional information on Kathern Gruber, visit her biography site on the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field.

New Doctoral Opportunities!

The Pennsylvania College of Optometry announces the establishment of the National Center for Leadership in Visual Impairment (NCLVI), a Collaborative Agreement funded by the U.S. Office of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. NCLVI will provide a unique doctoral study experience for 25 qualified individuals committed to the education of children who are blind or visually impaired. For additional information, visit

Welcome New Trustees!

Dawn E. Turco at The Hadley School for the Blind, replacing Michael Bina

Anglyn Franquemont at the Arkansas State Department of Education, replacing Jim Adams

Stacie Albert at the Connecticut State Department of Mental Retardation, replacing Darlene A. Lee

Karen Hardwick at the Texas Department of Mental Health-Mental Retardation, replacing Robin Shaw

T. J. Hunt at both the Missouri School for the Blind and at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MO), replacing Linda Van Eck-Niedringhaus at both accounts

APH’s Assistive Technology Products Speak for Themselves

photo of a K-Sonar attached to a cane

With a bit of help from exhibitors/presenters Ralph Bartley, Larry Skutchan, Terrie Terlau, Tony Grantz, and Rodger Smith, the voices of APH assistive technology software and hardware products drew the crowds at the Assistive Technology Industry Association’s annual conference in Orlando Florida on January 19-22, 2005.

  • The ‘K’ Sonar’s sound signatures gave blind travelers, O&M instructors, and a class of Florida State University O&M students precise, detailed information about obstacles and path of travel.
  • The Book Port impressed teachers and students with its small size, versatility, and functions.

Exhibit staff was kept busy demonstrating software and supervising test drives of the Book Port and ‘K’ Sonar. In conference presentations, Larry Skutchan demonstrated the use of Studio Recorder and Book Wizard software to create digital books the easy way and Terrie Terlau highlighted the ‘K’ Sonar and other hardware innovations for blind travelers.

PocketViewer – Now in Color!

Photo of a man in a supermarket using the Pocket Viewer to read the back of a box

All the features you want in a portable, battery-operated, video magnifier plus a full-color 4×3 inch display. It is small enough to fit into a pocket or purse, and light enough to hold easily in one hand, making it convenient to carry with you everywhere – to the store, restaurant, bank, bus stop, and more!

Features include:

  • 7x magnification range
  • Built-in, retractable writing stand
  • Built-in rechargeable battery, battery status indicator, and AC adaptor
  • Full color or high-contrast display modes (black/white, white/black)
  • Size: 6.5" x 2.6" x 1.2"
  • Weight: 0.7 pounds

PocketViewer Color: 1-07561-00 — $745.00

Shipping charge is added – please call for more information.

Note: PocketViewer is not available for purchase with Federal Quota funds. The Black & White version of the PocketViewer has been discontinued.

Boldline Paper for Pocket Notebook

Now Large Print users can take advantage of this smaller-sized notebook for class notes, addresses, appointments, and more.

APH now offers packets of bold lined paper to fit the 6-Ring Pocket-Sized Notebook. This paper is 3 ¾" x 5 ¾" with lines spaced 9/16" apart. There are approximately 250 sheets per package. Pocket Notebook Tabs can be added as dividers to create an organizer.

For braille users, APH offers the regular braille refill paper to use with the notebook and tabs. The 19-cell Slate will fit into the inside pocket, as will any of APH’s Postcard Slates.

For Large Print Users:

Boldline Paper for Pocket-Size Notebook (approximately 250 sheets): 1-04392-00 — $9.00
Pocket Notebook: 1-04280-00 — $6.50
Pocket Notebook Tabs (Two sets of tab pages, 3-cut tabs):
1-04389-00 — $5.00

For Braille Users:

Pocket-Size Notebook: 1-04280-00 — $6.50
Braille Filler Paper for Pocket-Size Notebook (approximately 250 sheets): 1-04390-00 — $5.00
Pocket Notebook Tabs (Two sets of tab pages, 3-cut tabs):
1-04389-00 — $5.00
Lightweight Aluminum Slate (19 cell, 6 line, includes Flat Stylus): 1-00083-00 — $9.95

Did You Know We Offer…
A Desk Model Cassette Tape Recorder/Player?

photo of an APH Tabletop Recorder/Player

Use the Table Top Cassette Tape Recorder/Player to play your Talking Books or commercial tapes or record your own tapes. With large, easy-to-use controls, this tape player is sturdy enough for years of enjoyment and still portable enough for travel.


  • Plays and records either 2-track, 1 7/8 inches per second (commercial tapes) or 4-track, 15/16 ips (Talking Book speed).
  • Digital Pitch Control increases or decreases listening speed without changing the pitch.
  • Built-in mono speaker and microphone, with stereo playback through optional headphones.
  • Tactile symbols on controls and touch checking of tape movement.
  • Dimensions: 9 3/8 x 11 1/8 x 3 inches, 4 1/4 pounds.

To Order:

Table Top Cassette Tape Recorder/Player, U.S. Version (Model 5198A): 1-07150-00 — $225.00

International Models (No adapter needed)
Table Top Cassette Tape Recorder/Player, United Kingdom Version (Model 5198AE): 1-07150-01 — $225.00
Table Top Cassette Tape Recorder/Player, European Version (Model 5198AS): 1-07150-02 — $225.00

World Maps Just Hit the APH Shelves!

World Maps

The World Maps volume contains tactile maps of all the continents, regions, and countries of the world. The maps are thermoformed on durable 11.5 x 11" vinyl and include rivers, mountain ranges, bodies of water, and other physical features. Political features include country borders and capital cities. Maps of Russia and the 50 U. S. states are presented on larger fold-out pages.

The maps are labeled in braille, and facing pages have key information in braille and large print. The volume includes a table of contents and an index.

World Maps are reproduced from original works by The Princeton Braillists. The maps are of high quality because of their design, crafting, and comprehensiveness. They differ from other tactile maps in that they use clear variations in height and texture, allowing a greater amount of readable information in a given space.

World Maps: 5-06001-00 — $65.00

Dr. Sally Mangold

Sally, an internationally recognized expert on braille literacy, enthralled the APH Annual Meeting audience in October with her important keynote address entitled, "A View from the Other Side of an Open Door."

Dear Friends of Sally,

We want you to know that Sally died peacefully early morning, Saturday, January 29th after a long and brave battle. Sally’s death brings us all a feeling of deep sadness.

Sally requested that there not be a memorial service. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was a helpful resource for Sally. They seem to be close to a true understanding of this disease. If you would like to make a donation their website is:

Sally will be missed by us all.

Phil Mangold

Photo: Sally, an internationally recognized expert on braille literacy, enthralled the APH Annual Meeting audience in October with her important keynote address entitled, "A View from the Other Side of an Open Door."

Read Dr. Phil Hatlen’s recollections of this remarkable legend at the Hall of Fame web site.

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Cindy Amback, Assistant, Products and Services
  • Burt Boyer, Field Services Representative
  • Jan Carroll, Contracts Administrator, Finance
  • Tony Grantz, Business Development Director, Finance
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Becki Moody, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field services
  • Fred Otto, Project Leader, Research
  • Jane Thompson, Director, ATIC
  • Carol Tobe, Director, Callahan Museum
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

January Issue –
December Issue –
November Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –

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

Thank you.

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