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

February 2009

Exciting APH Product News!

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

All-in-One board, dry erase/magnetic side
All-in-One board, VELCRO(r) brand side

Seeking Field Evaluators for Tactile Town: 3-D O&M Kit

Photo of the Tactile Town Prototype

APH is currently seeking field evaluators for Tactile Town: 3-D O&M Kit that is designed to acquaint young children with concepts related to orientation and mobility (e.g., types of intersections, traffic patterns, environmental features, route patterns, and so forth) using a three-dimensional format. Field testing will begin in March and extend until the end of May 2009. If you would like to be considered for the field evaluation of this product, please contact Karen J. Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, at 800-223-1839, ext. 322 or email hidden; JavaScript is required for more information about this opportunity. Interested field evaluators will be asked to complete a Skills Checklist for each student with whom they expect to use the prototype. Field test sites will then be selected based upon geographic location, type of setting, number of available students, and skills/concepts that will be addressed. If interested in possibly serving as an evaluator, please contact Karen by February 13, 2009.

Due to the overwhelming response to our request for field evaluators for Tactile Town, as of February 5, 2009, APH is no longer accepting offers for participation in this field test activity. However, please continue to check back for future issues of the APH News regarding upcoming field test opportunities. Thanks to those who responded so quickly to this particular request.

APH and BANA Collaborate to Improve Early Literacy Transcriptions

A team of eight dedicated transcribers, educators and producers worked together for two days at APH in January to improve the existing document, Promising Practices for Transcribing Early Literacy Textbooks and Materials.

These guidelines have been in use for several years. Through research and feedback from transcribers and educators, we have begun making changes to the document to make it stronger. Discussions on emphasis, graphics, transcriber notes, spacing, and puzzles created a clear path for change.

Later this year the final document will be submitted to the BANA Board for final approval and then made available from the APH and BANA websites for training. For more information on the Promising Practices, you can download the current version from the APH website and the BANA website.

Photo–Left to Right: Ann Kelt, Dorothy Worthington, Susan Christensen, Betsy Burnham, Jane Thompson, Diane Wormsley, Bonnie Read, Mary Nelle McLennan

Special Guests Visit Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

Michael and Brenda Nelipovich

Charter Hall of Fame Board Member Dr. Michael Nelipovich and wife Brenda spent Friday morning, January 30, in the Hall of Fame, reviewing the 42 bas relief plaques of inductees and the 140 stones on the Wall of Tribute. Michael and Brenda shown here flanking the plaque of one of his mentors: 2002 Hall inductee Alice Raftary.

Remember, your 2009 Hall of Fame nominations are due by March 27.

For details, visit

APH Visits New York Braille Challenge Regional Event

Mihir Doshi, Apprentice Group, from Princeton, NJ, listens to instructions during his challenge test.

APH Field Services Director Janie Blome was on hand in Westbury, NY, on January 10 when even the threat of an imminent snow storm couldn’t stop approximately 20 hopeful students who were competing in the regional Braille Challenge event and eager to qualify for a trip to Los Angeles and the national finals in June.

AFB President Carl Augusto provided rousing opening remarks for the event, which allowed students to compete for slots in the finals and also celebrated braille and braille readers. While the students participated in contests in reading comprehension, spelling, charts and graphs and other areas, their parents and teachers browsed the exhibits, including one hosted by APH. An informal presentation on APH products for the Expanded Core Curriculum was also a highlight of the morning.

The promised snow appeared in the afternoon, so an abbreviated agenda finished out the day with a donated pizza lunch for all and a birthday celebration for Louis Braille!

Thanks to Dr. Sheila Amato for organizing the regional event and inviting APH to be a part of the celebration!

Photo: Mihir Doshi, Apprentice Group, from Princeton, NJ, listens to instructions during his challenge test.

Wicked Weather in Wyoming

Wyoming EOT Susan Egging had planned two day-long APH product training sessions this past week: one in Cheyenne and one in Casper. Day one went well, with teachers from around the state gathering in Cheyenne to learn about APH products and services from Sandi Baker, APH Field Services Representative. ToAD, the Sensory Learning Kit, the Light Box and Math Builders topped the agenda as teachers spent the day listening, interacting, asking questions and getting excited about going back to their classrooms with new ideas.

Day two didn’t go quite as planned as Mother Nature dumped 16" of snow on Casper – schools and roads were closed, so the training in Casper had to be postponed until warmer weather.

Thanks to Susan and all who came to the Cheyenne training despite the inclement weather!

Early French Braille Translation Project in APH Museum

Photo of a page of the Recueil de morceaux d'orgue

Harvey Miller, a retired music professor from Brevard, North Carolina, recently spent a week at the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind to begin the English translation of an early French braille music book that is on exhibit in the museum.

The book, Recueil de morceaux d’orgue, was published in 1863 for student use by the Royal Institute of Blind Youth, in Paris, France, the first established school for blind students. The text is a compilation of organ pieces for church service written by blind composers who were or had been professors at the Paris school. Among the composers is Gabriel Gauthier, who met Louis Braille when they were both students at the school and who remained a close friend.

Miller, who is blind and also an organist, will return to the Museum to complete his translation later this year. He plans to have it transcribed into printed music-as far as he is aware, no printed version was ever made-and hopes that it will be performed and recorded in the near future.

APH Transcribes Presidential Inauguration Guide Book

APH was selected as the official vendor of the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Guide Book printed in braille.

APH Board Chairman Jim Lintner and wife Kathy represented APH at the Kentucky Bluegrass Ball in Washington D.C. the evening prior to the Presidential Inauguration.

The book serves not only as a guide to public activities surrounding the inauguration, but as a document that sets these events in historic context. It contains quotes from President-Elect Barack Obama, and Vice President-Elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr.; biographies of Barack and Michele Obama, and Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Dr. Jill Biden; names of the 56th Inaugural Committee; History of the Inauguration; Calendar of Official Events; 2009 Presidential Inaugural Parade Participants; United States Senate & House of Representative Leadership; Official Inaugural Balls; Security Procedures; Access for Those with Disabilities; Places of Interest in Washington D.C.; and Transportation Tips.

"To our knowledge, this is the first time the Presidential Inaugural Guide Book has been transcribed into braille," says Dr. Tuck Tinsley III, President of APH. "We are truly honored to play such an important part in U.S. history."

The guide book is 72 pages in print. The braille version is 118 pages. APH produced 150 braille copies that will be distributed to a select group of people.

In addition to distributing braille copies, the Inaugural Committee has posted an electronic version and a podcast on its website,, for visually impaired persons who wish to access the guide electronically.

Photo: APH Board Chairman Jim Lintner and wife Kathy represented APH at the Kentucky Bluegrass Ball in Washington D.C. the evening prior to the Presidential Inauguration.

APH Vice President of Development Named

Paul Zurkuhlen

On January 5, 2009, Paul Zurkuhlen was named APH’s Vice President of Development, succeeding Don Keefe who retired from the position in late 2008. A native Louisvillian, Paul left his law practice in 1999 to join APH as Director of Planned Giving. His work life has also included service in the U.S. Army, work with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in Washington, D.C., and legal work in Kentucky as a Public Defender and prosecutor. Paul is married with three grown children, enjoys his motorcycle named "Max," and–among other activities–serves on the Board of the Louisville Rowing Club. Since joining APH, he has willingly shared his knowledge of various aspects of development with other non-profit agencies serving the blind. Paul is a strong asset to APH and the fields of education and rehabilitation of the blind.

APH President Tuck Tinsley visiting his longtime friend, Tony Schenk, President of Enabling Technologies, at the company’s headquarters in Stuart, Florida. Enabling Technologies, founded in 1971, manufactures braille embossers.

APH Receives Dick Thornton Award

Gary Mudd accepts the award from Dick Thornton

APH was honored by the Kentucky School Public Relations Association (KYSPRA) with its Thornton Award for outstanding leadership and dedication to public education. Gary Mudd accepted the award on behalf of APH at a luncheon held in Lexington, Kentucky, on November 21. The award will be included in a display of items at APH relating to the 150th anniversary.

Paula Penrod, Public Relations Liaison for the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB), nominated APH for this annual award. In her introduction, Paula spoke to the members of this state chapter about a few APH achievements over the past 150 years. In particular, she mentioned the impact of products developed from the ideas of Kentucky teachers that now reach people around the world teaching daily living skills and complex scientific concepts to people who are blind and visually impaired.

Per Penrod, through leadership in research and partnerships that provide professional development for vision teachers, APH has built a reputation for "producing high quality solutions and products that work for students with disabilities." Additionally, Paula spoke of our "diligent work with Congress," advocating for and securing federal funds to provide equal access through specialized books and materials.

Photo: Gary Mudd receives the award from Dick Thornton.

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Beverly Roberson Jackson, the District of Columbia Department of Human Services, replacing Tracie Bullock Dickson.

Margaret "Meg" Stone, the Kentucky Department of Education, replacing Cathy Johnson.

Celia Vazquez Lugo, the Instituto Loaiza Cordero Para Ninas Ciegos, replacing Nilsa Alicea.

Denise Warren, the Utah State Office of Education, replacing Lorraine "Lorri" Quigley.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


February 5-6, 2009
Children & Young Adult Services Annual Luncheon for Educational Professionals at Cleveland Sight Center;
Cleveland, OH

February 9-13, 2009
Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill;
Washington, DC

February 12-13, 2009
New Mexico AER (NMAER) 2009;
Albuquerque, NM

February 24-27, 2009
Celebrating Connections;
Charleston, WV

February 24-28, 2009
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Conference;
Boston, MA


March 1-3, 2009
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) Second Annual Research Conference;
Arlington, VA

March 12-15, 2009
Burlingame, CA

March 16, 2009
Vacaville Prison On-sight Visit;
Vacaville, CA

March 16-21, 2009
CSUN 2009;
Los Angeles, CA

March 18-20, 2009
KAER 2009;
General Butler State Park, Carrollton, KY

March 19, 2009
Stepping Stones Training;

March 26-28, 2009
2009 TAER (Texas) Conference;
San Antonio, TX

March 31-April 4, 2009
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance 124th National Convention and Exposition (AAHPERD);
Tampa, FL


April 1-4, 2009
CEC 2009;
Seattle, WA

April 19-23, 2009
Visual Aid Volunteers of Florida (VAVF) Site Visit;
Orlando, FL

April 22-24, 2009
Penn-Del AER 2009;
Grantville, PA

April 23-25, 2009
National Braille Association Spring Professional Development Conference, 2009;
Boston, MA

April 23-26, 2009
AOTA 2009 Annual Conference and Expo;
Houston, TX

April 25-26, 2009
The Mid-America Conference of Rehabilitation Teachers and The Association of Southeastern Rehabilitation Teachers (MACRT-ASERT);
Chicago, IL

April 27-28, 2009
Power Up 2009;
Columbia, MO

APH Winter Wonderland Sale 2009

Winter Wonderland Sale

Explore an avalanche of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2009, January 1 – March 31. As always, first come, first served.

CLOSEOUT! Variable Intensity Study Lamp

1-08940-00 — SALE PRICE: $138.00

Variable Intensity Study Lamp

Brighten up your winter with the old-reliable Variable Intensity Lamp from APH. We are retiring this classic lamp at the end of this run, so, if it’s been a good resource for you, we encourage you to order today. This is your last chance to receive this product…and at a very attractive special price.

The Variable Intensity Study Lamp has a dimmer switch for adjustable lighting, 18.5 inch flexible neck for positioning light, 9-foot power cord for reaching desks in a classroom, and a heavy base for stability.

Weekly Reader Large Print Format Is Now in Full Color!

Cover of a Weekly Reader issue featuring the International Space Station

APH offers several editions of Weekly Reader® in both large print and braille. The large print format is now in full color. We offer: 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Senior (Grades 4th, 5th, and 6th), Current Events, and Current Science.

For costs and subscription information, please contact APH at 800-223-1839. Note that unlike the accessible formats of Reader’s Digest® and Newsweek®, we do not offer Weekly Reader free-of-charge.

New! ALL-IN-ONE Board (Magnetic, VELCRO® brand, Dry Erase)

1-08836-00 — $145.00

All-in-One board, dry erase/magnetic side
All-in-One board, VELCRO(r) brand side

APH’s new ALL-IN-ONE Board (Magnetic, VELCRO® brand, Dry Erase) is intended for classroom use with students of all ages. This multi-platform, easily-adjustable board can be used in combination with either hook-VELCRO® brand accessories or magnetic pieces (homemade, obtained from APH, or purchased commercially), as well as with dry erase markers to facilitate a variety of learning activities. The ALL-IN-ONE Board can be positioned at a variety of angles, from nearly flat to fully upright. Target populations include young children, students, and adults with visual impairments, as well as parents and teachers working with these populations.

The ALL-IN-ONE Board can be stored and carried in the included carrying-case. A starter package of dry erase markers is included, as well as a Product Information Sheet and recommended Cleaning/Care Instructions, in both print and braille.

Have You Checked Out the MaximEyes™ Video Magnifier?

Photo of a young man seated in front of a MaximEyes Video Magnifier

The MaximEyes™ Video Magnifier is the first of its kind to offer access to printed materials AND multimedia. With up to 60X magnification, you are able to display an enlarged view of whatever is placed on its work surface.


  • 60X magnification.
  • Unique 5-button computer mouse manipulation of camera.
  • PenTracker™: An amazing new technology, PenTracker is a small clip-on device that is tracked by the camera as you move your pen. This means that what is being written stays in the view of the camera automatically.
  • Access to remote audio-video presentations through provided inputs
  • With an optional Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera (not available from APH) you can see information in the distance, such as a lecturer.
  • View information from a VCR, DVD player, or compatible computers.
  • Picture-in-picture.


  • 19" LCD screen
  • Up to three additional video and one audio input
  • Five-button mouse controller
  • Includes two corded PenTrackers
  • Base of unit measures 18 inches wide x 20 inches deep — requires less space than other CCTVs
  • One year limited warranty (optional extended warranty available)

MaximEyes Video Magnifier Unit: 1-03915-00 — $3,495.00

Optional Extended Warranty (extends the included one-year warranty for an additional year, giving you two years total. Must be ordered within 60 days of the date your product was shipped): 1-03918-00 — $200.00

Replacement PenTracker™, Corded: 1-03917-00 — $40.00

Freight and Insurance Delivery: $74.00
UPS shipping fee added to all orders within the contiguous U.S. All other shipments will include actual shipping rates based on the point of destination.

NOTE: MaximEyes™ Video Magnifier, extended warranty, replacement PenTracker™, and freight & insurance delivery ARE available for purchase with Quota funds.

Did You Know APH Offers Convenient ToAD Sub-Kits?

ToAD cover

ToAD, Tools for Assessment and Development of Visual Skills, is set of standardized tools that aids in performing functional vision evaluations or visual skills development activities. ToAD does not provide a curriculum-there are several excellent curricula available, including ISAVE from APH. The ToAD kit provides tools, toys, and puzzles that assist the educator as he or she performs assessments or activities.

Many customers have inquired about ordering extra light source items or other ToAD items. APH offers ToAD replacement parts, the majority of which are packaged together in sub-kits. A few toad replacement items are available separately. All ToAD items are listed below, with the contents of each sub-kit listed.

ToAD Complete Kit: 1-08152-00 — $595.00

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

ToAD kit

Optional Items:

SQUIRE ToAD’s Puzzle Book, Braille Edition: 5-08152-05 — $26.00
ToAD Teacher’s Guidebook, Braille Edition: 5-08152-00 — $36.00

Replacement Items:

Squire Toad’s Puzzle Book, Large Print Edition: 1-08152-05 — $26.00
ToAD Teacher’s Guidebook, Large Print Edition w/CD: 7-08152-00 — $36.00

ToAD Sub-Kits:

ToAD Object Cards: 1-08152-01 — $24.00
Object Card Set, 168 Cards on 14 Sheets; 14 Clear Vinyl Pocket Pages (12 Pockets per Page)

ToAD Light Source Items: 1-08152-02 — $93.00
LED Flashlight; Light-Up Sphere, Amber; Light-Up Cube, Red; Light-Up Wand, Clear/White; String Light, Aqua; LED Keychain Flashlight, Amber (2); Cricket Sound Module; Hook-and-Loop Velcoins®, 3/4 inch (2)

ToAD Accessory Pack #1: 61-357-051 — $35.50
Small Metallic Gift Bags (2); Plastic Slinky; Mug with Handle, Blue; Teaspoon, Stainless Steel (2); Vial with Safety Cap (4); Bell Bracelet (2); Toothbrush (2)

ToAD Accessory Pack #2: 61-357-052 — $9.45
Gloves, Cotton, Black (Pair); Apron, Black; Fabric, 36 x24 inches, Black

ToAD Accessory Pack #3: 61-357-053 — $25.50
3 Balls (one each of Red, Yellow, and Blue); 3 Bowls (one each of Red, Yellow, and Black)

Foam Puzzles: 61-357-001 — $64.55
Apple, 10 x 8 inches, Yellow; Apple, 10 x 8 inches, Red; Butterfly, 10 x 8 inches, Yellow; Butterfly, 10 x 8 inches, Black; Snowflake, 10 x 8 inches, White; Snowflake, 10 x 8 inches, Blue; Sock, 10 x 8 inches, Yellow; Sock, 10 x 8 inches, Purple; Star, 10 x 8 inches, White; Star, 10 x 8 inches, Black

Mixed Foam Squares: 61-357-002 — $5.00
Red, 1.25 inch Square with 3/4 inch Hole (2); Yellow, 1.25 inch Square with 3/4 inch Hole (2); Blue, 1.25 inch Square with 3/4 inch Hole (2); Purple, 1.25 inch Square with 3/4 inch Hole (2); Black, 1.25 inch Square with 3/4 inch Hole (2)

Lucite Triangle Puzzles: 61-357-039 — $48.05
Red Triangles (2); Yellow Triangles (2); Blue Triangles (2); Purple Triangles (2); Puzzle Frames, 12.5 x 9.5 inches, Black (2)

The following ToAD items are not packaged in sub-kits, but are sold separately:

Pom-Pom, Yellow/Gold: 61-357-028 — $16.80

Tangle Toys (2): 61-257-004 — $16.00

Puppet, Red Billy Bird (2): 61-357-034 — $16.30

FVA Swirly Mats: 1-08154-00 — $46.00
3 Mats: Pink/Clear with Color Disks; Red/Yellow with Sea Life Confetti; Green/Clear with Silver Heart Confetti

CVI Swirly Mats: 1-08153-00 — $46.00
3 Mats: Clear with Color Disks; Red/Clear; Yellow/Clear

Chang Tactual Diagram Kit Is Again Available

Chang Complete Kit: 1-03130-00 — $170.00
Replacement Print Instructional Guidebook: 7-21900-00 — $24.00

Chang Tactual Diagram Kit

We are pleased to announce that the Chang Tactual Diagram Kit, which had been out of production due to a fire at one of APH’s vendors, is again available for ordering.

The classic Chang Kit is a tactile aid for teachers of orientation & mobility and other curricula, allowing the construction of diagrams and maps using a variety of bright yellow plastic pieces that adhere to a dark felt board. Includes print guidebook and carrying case.

The reintroduced kit has one improvement: the "stick person" figure has been redesigned, with the right hand now having a different shape and texture than the left and the smiley face now incised rather than embossed.

APH Braille Book Corner

APH offers a number of recreational books in braille (Quota funds can be used). Each of these titles was originally transcribed and produced by APH for the National Library Service which has graciously granted permission for this offering. As usual, these titles have been added to the APH Louis Database where you can find thousands of titles produced in accessible formats.

Note: all books are produced upon receipt of orders, therefore, please allow approximately 8 weeks for delivery.

El Salvador
by Erin Foley, Braille: T-N1714-20 — $34.50
An overview of Central America’s smallest country. Describes the geography and environment of El Salvador and the culture, lifestyle, religion, and cuisine of its people. Also examines the country’s turbulent history involving Spanish conquest and civil war, as well as twenty-first-century political and economic practices. Non-Fiction. Grades 5-8. *(AR Quiz #18062, BL 10.6, Pts. 3.0)

The Good Guy
by Dean R. Koontz, Braille: T-N1733-80 — $98.50
Timothy Carrier is having a beer at a local bar when a stranger hands him an envelope full of cash to kill a woman in a photograph. Minutes later the actual hit man approaches Tim, placing him in a moral dilemma. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller. Ficton. Upper Grades. *(AR Quiz #116033, BL 5.7, Pts. 13.0)

Wild Harmonies: A Life of Music and Wolves
by Hélène Grimaud, Braille: T-N1713-80 — $69.00
French-born concert pianist reflects on her passionate connection to music and wolves. Grimaud blends recollections of being a child prodigy with commentary on classical music and wolf lore. Describes meeting her first wolf in 1991 and establishing a sanctuary in upstate New York for her beloved threatened species. Biography.

The Light of Evening
by Edna O’Brien, Braille: T-N1713-70 — $83.50
On her death bed in a Dublin hospital, Dilly recalls her brief immigration to America in the 1920s and the accompanying love affair, her return to Ireland, her marriage, and motherhood. Meanwhile her daughter Eleanora, a divorced writer living in England, regrets her own missed happiness. Fiction.

The Interpretation of Murder
by Jed Rubenfeld, Braille: T-N1692-60 — $129.00
New York City, 1909. A serial killer is targeting the city’s wealthiest heiresses. Dr. Stratham Younger enlists the help of his idol Sigmund Freud after Nora Acton survives an attack but develops hysteria. The two analysts try to unlock her memories while they investigate the crimes. Contains descriptions of violence. Adult Fiction.

*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
  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Tony Grantz, Business Manager
  • Micheal Hudson, Director, APH Museum
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Rebecca Snider, Coordinator, Public Affairs
  • Gwynn Stewart, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Textbooks
  • Roberta Williams, Public Affairs and Special Projects Manager

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 –

The APH News is a monthly publication from the American Printing House for the Blind:
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206

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