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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 2012

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

Are Additional Sense of Science Modules Needed? We Need Your Feedback!

APH is seeking advice from Teachers of the Visually Impaired regarding the need for additional Sense of Science modules. If you are familiar with this science series and would like to give feedback regarding future modules, please request a short survey from Karen J. Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, at email hidden; JavaScript is required or call her at (502) 899-2322. Thank you!

A Prescription for Earth Science

Are you interested in Earth Science products tailored to your students with visual impairments? If yes, please send the following information in an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

  • the grade(s) level(s) you teach that particular topic,
  • what educational materials you currently use to teach it, and
  • the presentation format you would like to see developed, for example
    • full color thermoformed tactile graphics and/or
    • interactive presentation with manipulatives
      (Both formats would incorporate full color and labels in large print and braille, as in APH’s Life Science Tactile Graphics and Sense of Science.)

Please indicate the topics in earth science that you teach during a given school year:

  • Earth’s internal structure
  • Mineral types and rock cycle
  • Earth landforms (coastlines, mountain ranges, glaciers, etc.)
  • Volcano types
  • Plate tectonics
  • Scale of geologic time integrating evolution of organisms and physical changes of the earth
  • Earthquakes/faults
  • Soil & erosion
  • Surface water, groundwater & glaciers
  • Weather & climate
  • Other

If there are specific images or concepts within any of these categories you would like to see represented, please describe them.

Again, please send your response to email hidden; JavaScript is required. Thank you! Rosanne Hoffmann, STEM Project Leader

Product Need Survey

APH is considering the development of a kit of materials, tentatively titled SPORTS COURTS, to familiarize students with visual impairments and blindness with the physical court/field layouts and game rules of common outdoor and indoor sports using an interactive format. We invite your early input to determine the ideal product design prior to extensive product development and formal field testing. If you are interested in providing feedback, please request a copy of the survey from Karen J. Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Thank You!

The Perkins-APH Brailler Improves!

Perkins Products just announced the following significant improvements to the Perkins-APH Brailler!

  • Paper feed mechanism is improved which results in easy, accurate input of paper
  • Sturdier carriage button to address breakage
  • Line spacer now has stronger steel to resist bending
  • Mechanical improvements to back spacer to ensure functionality
  • More robust margin guides for smoother movement
  • Reformulated housing material for resiliency

Questions? Comments? Contact email hidden; JavaScript is required or (617) 972-7308

BE A STAR! The Deadline is February 13!

You can still be a Winter 2012 Unforgettable APH Star. The deadline to send your Unforgettable Videos featuring APH products is February 13, 2012. Remember you can be the winner of the $150.00 cash prize, as well as eligible to enter the drawing for gift certificates.

For more contest information and to watch the Winter 2012 Promo Video go to:

We can’t wait to see your video creations!

APH’s Refreshabraille 18 Becomes a Teaching Tool!

Here’s a YouTube video about using an iPad2 with APH’s Refreshabraille 18:

Demonstration of how the iPad and a Refreshabraille 18 can be used as an instructional tool for parents and regular education teachers.

Sign Up Early for Sports Camp

Shorts and T-shirt weather is just around the corner. See the new 2012 list of camps on the APH Physical Education Website!

Two new reports!

Thank you to everyone who completed one of the two recent multiple disabilities product needs surveys. Both reports are available on the APH Website.

From the Field:

Perkins School for the Blind values your opinion. Can you take a few minutes to complete a survey to help them better understand the needs of educators and parents of students who are blind and visually impaired?

Survey participants will be entered into a drawing to win one of two free iPads to be awarded on Friday, February 17. A summary report of the survey will also be given to participants if they choose. Take the survey:

2012 Nomination Process for the Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

The Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations for 2012 induction consideration. If you are interested in learning more about the process for submitting a nominee to join the 48 inductees, please visit: The nomination process will close March 30, 2012.

"The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is dedicated to preserving, honoring, and promoting the tradition of excellence manifested by the specific individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame and through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired."

Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series

The Tactile Treasures Kit unlocks the treasures that make learning math and language concepts fun for young children with visual impairments. Tactile Treasures is an informal assessment and teaching tool for use with children from preschool through elementary school. It helps develop an early understanding of basic concepts and vocabulary that are prerequisites for reading and math. By pairing the tactile graphics of thermoformed real objects with included descriptive scripts/stories, over 90 concepts related to shape, size, comparison of two or more objects, amount, position, and page orientation can be introduced and reinforced.

Tactile Treasures is packaged as a complete kit consisting of three individual binders housing a total of 79 white thermoformed sheets, measuring 8 1/2 x 11 inches, and a teacher’s guidebook (both print and braille versions provided) with two suggested scripts or stories for each concept introduced. The guidebook also gives a general overview of the materials, instructions for use, and extended activities. The types of thermoformed objects are numerous: from pretzels, buttons, and rings to zippers, scissors, and shells. The variety of objects depicted adds interest, encourages exploration, and helps broaden vocabulary.

The tactile graphics contents of each binder are as follows:

  • Binder I: Shape and Size Concepts
  • Binder II: Comparing and Amount Concepts
  • Binder III: Position and Pre-Reading Concepts

Tactile Treasures can be adapted for a child with low vision by outlining the thermoformed objects with a permanent marker, or even by cutting out items and presenting them on a high-contrast background. In addition, cut-out materials could be presented on a Work-Play Tray. Because of the versatility of the tactile pages, they can also be used to introduce related concepts other than those presented in the provided scripts. For example, thermoformed objects can be paired with the real objects for students who are still learning to transition to the use of thermoformed tactile graphics. (See photos below for examples.)

Tactile shapes have been outlined in marker
this Work Play Tray contains a tactile graphic of raised dots paired with an equal number of small round pieces of candy

Please note that this product is currently on sale for $150 (original Price: $165.00). This sale ends March 31, 2012.

If you have any suggestions for other products you would like to see highlighted in this monthly feature, please send your comments to Monica Turner at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

APH Library Treasures!

The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is the largest collection 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

Two of the many "Treasures from the APH Libraries" are described below.

Migel Library Treasure

James Holman, A Voyage Round the World: Including Travels in Africa, Asia, Australasia, America etc. London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1834.

Beginning in 1819, James Holman, also known as the “Blind Traveler,” set out on a series of unprecedented adventures, the accounts of which are published in this multi-volume set. While serving in the British Royal Navy, Holman contracted an illness that rendered him blind at the age of 25. Although the illness additionally caused him to suffer from debilitating pain and limited mobility, he refused to accept the sedentary life prescribed for him with the lifetime grant of care at Windsor Castle. Holman proceeded to request leaves of absence to study medicine and literature, and began to undertake tours of Europe, eventually aiming to make a circuit of the world from west to east, an incredible feat at the time for any solo traveler. This expedition was foiled in Russia where he was suspected by the Czar of being a spy. Not one to be discouraged, Holman regrouped and set out again, eventually achieving his goals and publishing this series that describes his ground breaking travels and method of “human echolocation.”

Online versions of several of the volumes may be found at the Internet Archive, as well as at Project Gutenberg. A Wikipedia article found at has links to further information. Additionally, many public libraries carry A Sense of the World, How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler, a 2006 biography by Jason Roberts, also available through NLS in braille and as a downloadable Talking Book.

Barr Library Treasure

Jean Piaget and Barbel Inhelder, The Psychology of the Child. New York: Basic Books, 1969.

Which of the following two lies does a young child consider “naughty”: telling your family you got a good mark in school when you weren’t called on to recite, or saying that a dog that frightened you was as big as a horse or a cow? Why do many children between the ages of four and six believe the moon follows them, or even that they force it to follow them? When does the need to have definitive, final answers to our perpetual “why” questions abate? In The Psychology of the Child, Jean Piaget and Barbel Inhelder offer an accessible summary of the developmental psychology Piaget elaborated over forty years, offering anecdotal stories along the way.

Described in Wikipedia as a “super-classic,” this work is a concise overview of Piaget’s key ideas and the stages he believed children to progress through as they interact with the world around them. What really shines through are the many examples of children’s behavior along the way, such as the girl who translates her interest in the mechanics of church bells while on vacation to making deafening noises next to her father’s desk. Her response when told she’s bothering him? “Don’t talk to me. I’m a church.” Or the same girl being so impressed by a plucked duck on the kitchen table that she imitates it on the sofa, causing her family to believe her to be sick until she says in a far away voice, “I’m the dead duck!” Although many of Piaget’s ideas have been improved upon in subsequent years, he remains one of the most influential developmental psychologists and The Psychology of the Child is an excellent starting place for researchers and lay readers alike.

In addition to holdings in both the Barr and Migel Libraries, The Psychology of the Child is available at many public libraries as well as Learning Ally.

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

Enter Soon! APH InSights Art Competition 2012

The Little Grass Shack on the Ocean
Artist: Steve Stahl
First Place Winner, Sculpture Category
APH InSights 2006

Visually impaired and blind artists of all ages are invited to submit artwork for our twenty-first annual international art competition, APH InSights 2012.

Last year, nearly 400 entries were received. From these, jurors selected 83 pieces for the exhibition, which was shown in Louisville at the Annual Meeting last October. From the 83 works selected for display, 32 award winners were chosen and 13 of them came to Louisville to receive their awards in person at the annual meeting.

Artists may enter original artwork created in any medium, including (but not limited to) painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber, metal, or wood.

The deadline for entries from students in kindergarten through high school is March 26. Adult artists have until April 2 to send in their entries.

Complete rules and entry forms will be posted on the APH website by the end of February 2012. You may also contact Roberta Williams at 502-899-2357 or email hidden; JavaScript is required to receive a copy of the rules and application forms by email, or a hard copy in print or braille.

Fascinating Presentations from Annual Meeting 2011 Now on Web

Each year, APH employees and others from the field of blindness present excellent workshops at the APH Annual Meeting. Some of these outstanding presentations are now available on our website in audio format. Topics include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Adult Multiple Disabilities, Building on Patterns, Cortical Visual Impairment, and more.

We invite you to explore these presentations from October, 2011. In the future, we will be posting additional presentations from previous Annual Meetings.

"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, YouTube, Flickr, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


February 4, 2012
Long Island Regional Braille Challenge 2012;
Long Island, NY

February 8, 2012
FVLMA Workshop (in conjunction with Minnesota and Minnesota South Central Service Cooperative);
South Central Service Center in North Mankato, MN

February 8, 2012
NIP Event: Adaptive PE;
Orlando, FL

February 10, 2012
Western Michigan University Faculty and Student APH Site Visit;
Louisville, KY

February 10, 2012
Webcast: ISAVE Product Training;
presented from APH in conjunction with Ex Officio Trustee Kim Stiles in New Hampshire

February 20-24, 2012
Appropriation: Various Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill as scheduled;
Washington, DC

February 27-March 3, 2012
CSUN 2012;
Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, CA


March 1, 2012
APH Products, Services, Resources, and More Training
Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD

March 4-8, 2012
Exhibitor’s Conference 2012;
Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV

March 6, 2012
Webcast: Sense of Science Product Training;
presented from APH in Louisville, KY, in conjunction with Ex Officio Trustee Kim Stiles in New Hampshire

March 14, 2012
Focus on Vision Impairment & Blindness Conference: Meeting the Needs of Individuals with Intellectual Disability and Vision Loss;
Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood, MA

March 15-18, 2012
CTEBVI 53rd Annual Conference (California Transcribers & Educators for the Blind & Visually Impaired;
Los Angeles Airport Marriott in Los Angeles, CA

March 16, 2012
West Virginia Braille Challenge;
Romney WV

March 21-23, 2012
KAER (Kentucky AER) 2012 Conference;
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in Kentucky

March 22, 2012
NIP Event – SLK;
Ocean City, MD

March 29-30, 2012
APH Product Fair in conjunction with Massachusetts AIM Library;
Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA

March 30-31, 2012
NIP Event: Adaptive PE;
Columbus, OH


April 2-5, 2012
ESAC Committee Meeting;
at APH in Louisville, KY

April 11-14, 2012
CEC 2012;
Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO

April 13, 2012
Webcast: Braille Literacy Product Training;
presented from APH in Louisville, KY, in conjunction with EOT Kim Stiles in New Hampshire

April 18, 2012
Webcast: Digital Lightbox Product Training;
presented from APH in Louisville, KY, in conjunction with EOT Kim Stiles in New Hampshire

April 20, 2012
Vanderbilt Faculty and Student APH Site Visit;
Louisville, KY

April 22-26, 2012
EPAC Committee Meeting;
at APH in Louisville, KY

April 25, 2012
NIP Event: Adapted PE with Lauren Lieberman;
Baltimore, MD

April 26-28, 2012
Indianapolis, IN

April 26-28, 2012
NBA Spring 2012 Professional Development Conference;
St. Louis, Missouri

April 30 – May 1, 2012
NIP Event – CVI;


May 3-5, 2012
AFB Leadership Conference/Florida AER;
Tradewinds Island Resort located at St. Pete Beach, Florida

May 4, 2012
Webcast: BookPort Product Training;
presented from APH in Louisville, KY, in conjunction with EOT Kim Stiles in New Hampshire

APH Winter Wonderland Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2012, January 1—March 31. As always, first come, first served.

New Downloadable Manuals Available

Get the manual you need instantly! APH offers a selected list of product manuals available for free download ( You may print or emboss these as needed. We will continue to package hard copies of these manuals with their products and sell hard copy replacements.

Newly added manuals include:

  • The Color Beam Book (7-08390-00)
  • Light Box Activity Guide Level Two, Large Print (7-08680-00)
  • Light Box Activity Guide Level Three, Large Print (7-08690-00)
  • Teaching Touch: Manual, Large Print (61-173-006)
  • Teaching the Student with a Visual Impairment: A Primer for the Classroom Teacher (61-205-001)

NEW! Building on Patterns: Primary Braille Literacy Program: Second Grade Level: Unit 3 Kit

Print Kit: 8-78470-U3 — $219.00
Braille Kit: 6-78470-U3 — $219.00

Replacement Items

BOP Second Grade Unit 3 Teacher’s Edition:

Print: 8-78471-U3 — $119.00
Braille: 6-78471-U3 –$119.00

Second Grade Unit 3:

  • Student Textbook: 6-78473-U3 — $17.00
  • Consumable Unit Assessment Packet (print & braille): 8-78476-U3 — $39.00
  • Lesson Monitoring Sheets (print & braille): 8-78473-U3 — $17.00
  • Worksheets Pack: 6-78474-U3 — $23.00

"Family and Friends"

Building on Patterns (BOP) is a complete primary literacy program designed to teach beginning braille users all language arts — reading, writing, and spelling.

Note: Building on Patterns: Second Grade replaces Patterns Second and Third Reader Levels.

The Building on Patterns series addresses phonemic awareness (ability to hear and interpret sounds in speech), phonics (the association of written symbols with the sounds they represent), comprehension, fluency, and oral vocabulary, all of which have been identified as important for reading instruction.

This program also addresses specific skill areas needed by the child who is blind, such as language development, sound discrimination, tactual discrimination, and concept development. Braille contractions are introduced from the beginning along with sound and letter associations. Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) skills such as using tactile graphics and technology are also included.

New Features

  • Timed reading in each lesson
  • Simplified lesson-monitoring sheets
  • More independent reading suggestions
  • Spelling Dictionary
  • Quick Read for silent reading and reading comprehension practice

BOP Second Grade includes more worksheets, part-word braille contractions and other remaining literary contractions and symbols and rules for using them, emphasis on syllables and multisyllabic words and the effect of certain letter combinations on vowel sounds, and the foreign origin of at least one spelling word in each lesson.

Prerequisite: Building on Patterns: First Grade or equivalent skills.

Recommended Ages: 7 to 8 years

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.

Moonlight on the Magic Flute
By Mary Pope Osborne: T-N1833-00 — $19.00
When Jack and Annie magically arrive in 1762 Vienna, Austria, their mission is to help a brilliant artist bring joy to the world. But six-year-old Wolfie keeps interfering. Grades 2-4. *(AR Quiz No. 129309, BL 3.7, Pts. 2.0)

Eleven Birthdays
by Wendy Mass: T-N1836-00 — $49.00
After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again. Grades 4-7. *(AR Quiz #128370, BL 4.1, Pts. 7.0)

The Magnificent Ambersons
by Booth Tarkington: T-N1836-30 — $87.00
George Amberson Minafer is the pampered but pitiful scion of a dynasty spanning three generations. When industrialization transforms his small midwestern town, George finds his family’s fortune threatened not only by a new breed of entrepreneur, but by his relatives’ arrogance and greed.

One Hundred and One Designer One-Skein Wonders
by Judith Durant: T-N1837-80 — $83.00
Offers a variety of designers’ knit projects — scarves, bags, hats, shawls, socks, and even toys — for which you can use your orphan skeins. Patterns are arranged by yarn weight: lace, fingering, sport, worsted, mohair, and novelty.

Dead Air: A Jessie Drake Mystery
by Rochelle Majer Krich: T-N1836-20 — $104.00
After radio talk-show doctor Renee Altman has LAPD detective Jessie Drake investigate a stalker, a kidnapper takes Renee’s daughter Molly and taunts Renee on air. While racing to find Molly, Jessie deals with feelings for her ex-husband and accepting her Jewish heritage. For adult readers. Some descriptions of violence.

*Accelerated Reader quiz number, book level, and point value. For more information on the Accelerated Reader program, see the January 2006 APH News or

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Rosanne Hoffman, STEM Project Leader, Research
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Linda Turner, Technical Services and Digital Resources Manager, Resource Services
  • Monica Turner, Field Services Representative

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

Visit APH on

Read our blog: Fred’s Head from APH.

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

January Issue –
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Archive of all previous issues –

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

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