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APH News

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

February 2006

Need Your Materials in an Audio Format? APH’s Digital Recording Studios Are Ready to Work for You!

APH narrator wearing headphones, reading Newsweek® into a microphone

APH’s primary focus is creating educational materials, but did you know that our award-winning narrators are experienced in reading fiction and non-fiction materials, including books, magazines, annual reports, training manuals, and more? With our state-of-the-art studios, we can narrate, edit, master, and duplicate your choice of 2-track or 4-track audiocassettes, CDs, or DAISY digital Talking Books. Our fulfillment services can distribute your materials directly to your customers.

For additional information please contact Doug Trent in Contract Administration (email hidden; JavaScript is required or 800/223-1839, ext. 267).

Did You Know…
APH Offers Custom Braille, Large Print, and Tactile Graphics Production?

In addition to custom audio production, APH can create braille, large print, or tactile graphics on demand – your demand! Our state-of-the-art processes and exacting standards allow us to create materials for your customers, shareholders, and employees who are blind or visually impaired. This enables you to be ADA-compliant with materials such as:

  • Financial statements
  • Corporate reports
  • Invoices
  • Training manuals
  • Marketing materials
  • Transportation schedules
  • Floor plans
  • Newsletters
  • Tests

Braille: APH produces millions of pages of braille per year with the capability of reproducing one page or hundreds of books.

Large Print: Each year, we produce millions of large print pages-we have the experience to create your custom large print piece.

Tactile Graphics: Let APH create your maps, floor plans, layouts, graphs, drawings, and other tactile images.

For a no-obligation cost estimate on your next project, call Custom Media Solutions toll-free at 1-800-223-1839, send a fax to 502-899-2274, or email

Accessing Archived Webcast about Fred’s Head

Fred's Head Database Sharing Valuable Tips and Techniques

On January 18th, APH hosted a webcast entitled Accessing Information through the Fred’s Head Companion. The session introduced participants to one of the newest trends on acquiring information, and how APH now delivers articles from the Fred’s Head Database directly into your email, news aggregator, and pod catcher. The webcast also explained how Fred’s Head articles can be read aloud from the Companion site and how you can download articles to your Book Port or portable MP3 player.

The archived presentation is now available in our webcast archive page at:

New SRS Web Interface a Huge Success

The Field Services Department proudly shares that the new web interfaced Student Registration System for Federal Quota (SRS) has been up and running for a week now. The reaction from our Ex Officio Trustees (EOTs) is overwhelmingly enthusiastic. To date, eighty-seven (87) Quota accounts have been accessed through the web interface by seventy-two (72) Ex Officio Trustees who have begun the 2006 student registration process for the Federal Quota Census. One account has even completed the registration of their students for 2006! How exciting!

Field Services thanks APH Computer Technology Services personnel, specifically Edwin Shelton and Daniela Brooks. Without Edwin’s knowledge, patience, and endless hours of dedicated work, this transition to a web interface would have been impossible.

Thanks also to the Trustees and all others who spent hours beta testing and emailing their comments and suggestions. Every idea is important to us. If you have questions about the interface, please contact Cindy Amback at 800/223-1839, ext 257, or email hidden; JavaScript is required

Exploring Paths to Make Tests Accessible

The room was filled with a highly diverse audience including a doctoral student from the University of Pittsburgh and the Executive Director of the Association of Test Publishers. There were artists, content specialists, test publishers, item developers, assessment specialists, project managers, program directors, consultants and more. What common goal brought this group together at APH? It was their interest, enthusiasm, and desire to learn about making test items accessible for students who are visually impaired.

For two days, this captive audience focused intently on many of the issues relevant to making test items accessible in large print, tactile, and audio formats. Dr. Tuck Tinsley, President of APH, and Bob Brasher, Vice-President of Advisory Services and Research, got the workshop off to a positive start with their messages of welcome, background information, and motivating quotes. Dr. Carol Allman, lead presenter and facilitator, was joined by APH staff with expertise in product development, braille transcription, textbook and test editing, tactile graphics, large print, low vision, and assistive technology.

Day two included a demo of an accessible computer system, more discussions, and a tour of APH’s production areas. By its close, paths leading to accessibility had been explored; expressions of appreciation, emails, perspectives, information, and resources had been shared; a new network and synergy had been formed.

Photo of workshop participants

NIMAC Partners with OverDrive to Deliver NIMAS Files

NIMAC The National Instructional Materials Access Center

APH is pleased to announce a partnership with OverDrive, Inc. to provide the technology solutions for the National Instructional Materials Access Center. OverDrive Inc. ( is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and has been in the business of providing ebooks and digital audio books since 1986.

OverDrive is also the vendor of choice for a multi-state beta test of delivery of audio books to those who are blind or visually impaired: We are confident that OverDrive Inc. will provide an accessible, secure system for the NIMAC that is easy to use.

To keep you informed of center progress, APH has added a NIMAC informational page to the web site. The address is

APH InSights 2006 Art Competition and Exhibition – Reminder

Rendition of the Mona Lisa using simulated braille dots

Get your artwork ready, the time to enter is almost here.

Artists of all ages who are blind or visually impaired are invited to submit artwork for the fifteenth annual international art competition, APH InSights 2006.

There are two deadlines: April 1 is the deadline for entries from students in preschool through high school; April 15 is the deadline for entries from adult artists.

Competition rules and forms that may be printed and completed will be posted on the web site by the end of February ( Artists may also contact APH to request a print or braille copy of the entry form and rules of the competition. You may contact Roberta Williams at 800/223-1839, ext. 357 or email hidden; JavaScript is required

APH Participates at ATIA

Photo of students from the Florida School singing at an ATIA session

In January, Sandi Baker, Field Services, Julia Meyers, Resource Services, Rodger Smith, Larry Skutchan, and Tristan Pierce, Educational Research, attended the 2006 ATIA Conference (Assistive Technology Industry Association) in Orlando, FL. Julia provided an update on the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC). Larry presented sessions covering what producers can do with software and NIMAS files, the state of the art in e-book access from a Kentucky perspective, and an information and training session on Money Talks’ accessible financial management software. Tristan presented how to use the electronic assessment database of the new Sensory Learning Kit. All APH staff worked in the exhibit hall and enjoyed meeting conference attendees and introducing new APH products.

Photo: Students from the Florida School singing at an ATIA session

Family of Russ Williams Donates Artifacts

Russell Williams

An important collection of material was added to the Callahan Museum collection this winter from the family of Russell Williams, a 2002 Hall of Fame inductee recognized for his contributions to orientation and mobility training. Williams (1918-2001) was blinded in WWII in France. He served as a counselor in the rehabilitation program at Valley Forge Army General Hospital when Richard Hoover was developing techniques of the use of the 44" long cane. In 1948, Williams began the Blind Rehabilitation Center at the V.A. Hospital in Hines, IL. While there he refined standard techniques for mobility instruction. By 1959, Williams was the Chief of Blind Rehabilitation for the V.A. in Washington. The collection includes photographs, award plaques, certificates, and one of William’s white canes. His wife Jean donated the cane with the note, "This is one well used artifact that Russ used for years."

APH Museum Celebrates National Braille Awareness Month

The Callahan Museum hosted a special program in January in recognition of National Braille Awareness Month. Carla Ruschival, co-host of the Louisville radio program Sound Prints and ACB Board Member, read from the Braille edition of the C.S. Lewis classic, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Seated on pillows and blankets in front of the reader in the museum’s reception hall, the children were entranced as she began the tale of four children who stumble into a magical land behind the doors of their uncle’s musty wardrobe.

The literacy awareness program was part of a series of Saturday educational programs at the Callahan Museum in 2006. Upcoming programs include a Valentine’s Day card making workshop on February 11, a walking tour of the Printing House neighborhood of Clifton in March, champion fiddler Michael Cleveland in April, and storyteller Kathy Claus in May. For more information, call the museum at (502)899-2364 or see our website at

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

Hall of Fame News:

Robert B. Irwin Now in the Hall

Robert Irwin's Hall of Fame Plaque

The bas relief plaque of Robert Irwin, long-time Executive Director of the American Foundation for the Blind and founder of Helen Keller International, is now installed in the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field. During his tenure as director of AFB, which spanned from 1929 to 1949, Irwin built it into one of the most important agencies in work for the blind.

To learn more about the amazing career of Mr. Irwin, visit his biography page on the Hall of Fame web site at

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

Wall of Tribute Stones Now Viewable on Web Site

Natalie Barraga Superb Mother Teacher Mentor

Approximately 100 engraved stones now appear in columns on the Wall of Tribute in the Hall of Fame. The wall, which acknowledges your mentors and organizations, serves as the primary fund raising method for the Hall of Fame.

To view the listing, as well as the actual stones, visit and click on New! See the Wall of Tribute Stones.

APH Reading Survey Two

The American Printing House for the Blind is assessing the need for reading materials and reading programs for students who are blind or visually impaired. This survey is in response to the interest expressed by Ex Officio Trustees, focus groups, and individuals who have submitted Product Submissions for specific reading programs. The first survey addressed Remedial Reading Intervention Programs. The second survey addresses supplemental reading materials including leveled reading materials for guided reading. If you are an Ex Officio Trustee, a classroom teacher, itinerant teacher of a child who is visually impaired or family member of the student, we would appreciate your response to this survey. Fill out Survey #2 at

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

James Sucharski, the Missouri School for the Blind replacing T. J. Hunt.

Ruth E. Otero, the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind of Puerto Rico, replacing Milagros Lopez.

David E. Parmer, the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, replacing Frank Ruzycki.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


February 5-8, 2006
Association of Test Publishers Conference;
Kissimmee, FL

February 13-16, 2006
DC/MD AER Conference 2006;
Baltimore, MD

February 21, 2006
University of Arizona Teacher Training Program Inservice;
Tucson, AZ

February 23-25, 2006
National After School Conference;
Louisville, KY


March 2, 2006
IDEIA and You: Implementing NIMAS-Jo Taylor Pre-meeting;
Atlanta, GA

March 3-5, 2006
Jo Taylor Leadership Institute;
Atlanta, GA

March 9-12, 2006
CTEVH Conference;
Anaheim, CA

March 21-25, 2006
Los Angeles, CA

March 22-24, 2006
KAER 2006;
Lexington, KY

Find Accessible APH Catalogs at

All of our catalogs are available in accessible formats on our website. They can be read on screen or downloaded to your computer.

  1. From our home page,, click the word "Products" (third link in the left-hand column).
  2. On the "APH Products" page, the third section down is titled "Catalogs." The first link is "APH Accessible Catalog Download Center," which takes you to all of our catalogs. The links just below this go directly to each individual catalog.

Types of Catalog Files Offered

  • HTML: Primarily for synthetic speech users or large print users. You can navigate by links. This version does not contain photos.
  • Text: Primarily for synthetic speech users. This version contains no styles, photos, or links.
  • PDF: Primarily for regular print or large print users. Looks exactly like the page in the print catalog, complete with photos. Is divided into sections for faster download. Requires Adobe® Acrobat® Reader (a free program, we provide a link to Adobe).

Two Quality Levels of PDF Catalogs

  • High Bandwidth PDF: has better quality photos, files are larger and take longer to download.
  • Low Bandwidth PDF: has lower quality photos, files are smaller and download faster.

Catalogs We Offer Online

  • APH Products Catalog: Contains our full line of products, including a list of replacement parts. Most useful for schools or other similar organizations.
  • APH Adult Life Catalog: Contains products and services for daily living, including recreational items, writing supplies, and electronics. Designed to promote independent living for all consumers.
  • APH Family Life Catalog: Contains products and services for families with visually impaired children of all ages. Contains a resources list for families.
  • APH Bookstore Catalog: APH produces recreational reading titles in addition to our textbooks. This catalog lists only a sampling of the many enlarged print and braille titles we offer.

Free Catalogs on CD-ROM

APH Demo Disc: In addition, APH offers all of the above catalogs on a free CD-ROM. The CD also contains demo versions of our educational and recreational software titles. Write email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 1-800-223-1839 for your copy.

NEW! Multi-Purpose Cart

Multi-Purpose Cart: 1-02593-00 — $32.00
Not available for purchase with Federal Quota funds.

This rugged steel luggage-type handcart will make it easier for you to transport your large teaching kits, such as APH’s Sensory Learning Kit or Light Box and Materials Kits. It folds up to store neatly in your car or a closet.

  • 155 pound capacity
  • Deck expands to hold large loads
  • Telescoping handle
  • Elastic straps hold items in place
  • Size:
    • Open (H x W x D): 39.5" x 19.5" x 17"
    • Closed (H x W x D): 23" x 6" x 14.5"

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Mike Hudson, Museum Director
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field services
  • Becki Moody, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Jeanette Wicker, Core Curriculum Project Leader, Research
  • Roberta Williams, Public Affairs and Special Projects Manager
  • 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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