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APH News: February 2014

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

Expanding the APH and Dolly Parton Imagination Library Partnership

"Our family LOVES the print/braille books Layla receives in the mail because we can read aloud to her as she follows along and feels the braille. Thank you to the donors and to APH and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for providing these books to our family. They are an invaluable resource for our daughter!"

Did you know the partnership between APH and the Dollywood Foundation is growing by leaps and bounds? Not only is the number of books being made available in print/braille format increasing, but the number of people receiving them is, as well. Participating families now receive SIX free print/braille books each year until the child reaches his/her 6th birthday. The other exciting news is that parents who are braille readers can now register for the program as well!

To find out more about how the program works, making it possible for more children and parents with visual impairments enjoy the pleasure of reading together, go to

Teach Nutrition and Food Safety!

APH now offers the USDA Food Safety icons to support MyPlate.

Everyone enjoys daily activities more when they are healthy and strong. For this reason the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) promotes physical fitness and nutrition through its products and its Physical Education website. Check out the USDA food safety icons on our PE Features Page!

Enter the 2014 APH InSights Art Competition

The Twenty-third Annual Juried Art Competition and Exhibition for Artists Who Are Visually Impaired or Blind.

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) invites visually impaired and blind artists of all ages to submit artwork to APH InSights 2014! This art competition and exhibition is exclusively for blind and visually impaired artists and draws entries from across the U.S. and around the world. Last year we received 401 entries from across the U.S.

Again this year, there are two deadlines: Student Preschool through High School must submit a completed 2014 entry form along with the original artwork (no digital images) by March 24, 2014; adults must submit their completed entry form along with their entry by April 1, 2014. Each artist may submit only one entry.

The competition is open to any person who meets the following definition of blindness: corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye (as measured on a Snellen Chart), or a visual field limited to 20 degrees or less. This includes those who function at the definition of blindness (FDB) due to brain injury or dysfunction. There is no limit on the subject or the type of materials that can be used, but the artwork must be original in concept and execution and be completed by the artist, with minimal assistance from others.

Entry forms and rules are now available on the APH website.

Contact Roberta Williams by email with questions: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

You Can Be an Unforgettable APH Star this Spring!

April 16 is the Spring Video Contest Deadline.

So spring into action! Send us your Unforgettable APH Star Videos featuring your favorite APH product by Wednesday, April 16th, and win cash prizes. By sending your video, you are also entered in to the random drawing for gift certificates!

We encourage teachers, parents, students, and all of our customers to participate.

Spring into action, but don’t forget to press the record button. Send us a video using one or more APH products and win up to $150.00 in cash.

The contest is open to individuals of all ages. The complete guidelines can be found at our contest page:

Seeking Field Evaluators for Math Graphing Kit

APH is seeking field evaluators for Math Graphing Kit, an assistive tool to facilitate graphing in elementary, middle, and high school math. As a modernization of APH’s Graphic Aid for Mathematics, the new Math Graphing Kit is designed to be more powerful and portable. For layout of calculation procedures in arithmetic, illustrating function graphics in algebra, exploring shapes and relationships in geometry, and constructing histograms and pie charts in statistics, this versatile tool makes graphing easy for students with visual impairments. Universal design also makes it good for use by teachers, parents, and sighted peers.

Field evaluators will be asked to use the prototype with multiple students with blindness and 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. Preference will be given to those who have not recently field tested an APH product. The number of prototypes is limited. Field testing will begin in March 2014 and extend to May 2014.

If you are interested in possibly serving 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 (with ages, grade levels, and primary reading media indicated)
  • your preferred medium for reading evaluation materials and completing the evaluation form
  • your complete contact information (phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address)

Send this information to Li Zhou, Core Curriculum Project Leader, at email hidden; JavaScript is required by February 21, 2014. You may also contact Li at 800-223-1839, ext. 424. Thank you!

Looking for a Rewarding Career?

The American Printing House for the Blind is the world’s largest manufacturer of products for people who are blind and visually impaired.

Can you picture yourself happy, doing good work, with good people? Then a career with APH may be right for you. We invite you to review the job listings below.

Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series

Did you know that APH offers several sizes of felt boards that meet a variety of needs when working with students who are blind or visually impaired?

All of these boards are covered with a black loop material and can be used in combination with many existing APH hook material-backed pieces (e.g., Picture Maker accessories), as well as with commercially available or teacher/parent-made manipulatives.

Starting with the largest, the Invisiboard is a 48 x 30 inch, tri-fold board with a solid white, slick material on one side and a solid black felt material on the other. In spite of its size, it is very portable because it is extremely lightweight and includes a convenient canvas carrying case equipped with both handles and a shoulder strap. This large board was designed specifically to eliminate visual clutter and block out distractions for students with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). The Invisiboard is accompanied by a User’s Orientation Manual which provides a brief explanation of CVI, a list of helpful tips for working with students who have CVI, and several sample activities. (Don’t forget that you can also go to APH’s CVI Website for additional CVI information and resources.)

The Tri-fold Board is the intermediate size offered by APH and measures 37 x 24 inches. This board can be used at its full size, folded down to one or two panels, or propped up in an easel position. Two 3/4-inch nickel plated D-rings are riveted in the top center of the two outside panels for easy hanging. This is the same board included in Tactile Town.

And finally, the Felt Board measures 13 x 20.75 inches. This is the same board included in several other APH products, such as the Picture Maker Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit, and the Word PlayHouse Kit. This board is the perfect size to be used on a student’s desk or in a lap, and it can be folded in half to fit easily into a backpack or bag.

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.

Stay Tuned for a New Series of Webcast Presentations from APH

This year, APH will be bringing you a series of monthly informative webcast presentations. These live webcasts will feature ‘Happenings around the House.’

Stay tuned for a list of scheduled presentations in 2014!

If you wish to be notified directly about these webcast opportunities, please e-mail Maria Delgado at: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Around the House:

Generous Gift to the APH/Dolly Parton Imagination Library Print/Braille Book Project

APH thanks the Fred B. and Opal S. Woosley Foundation for their gift of $4,000 to fund the Partners Print-Braille Book Program for preschoolers who are blind and are residing in Jefferson County, Kentucky. The national book program is a unique early childhood book-gifting program that delivers a new, age-appropriate print-braille book every other month to the homes of enrolled children who are potential braille users who are under the age of six OR who have a parent or guardian who is a braille user. The carefully selected print-braille books support oral language development, enthusiasm for reading, and awareness of print or braille. If you know families who meet this criteria, please visit or send them to our website at

Gheens Foundation Grants APH

Our sincere thanks to the Gheens Foundation for their $25,000 award to APH’s Accessible Tests Department. This award will be used to purchase assistive technology (AT) devices and software commonly used by students who are blind or visually impaired. APH will analyze the AT devices and software, such as refreshable braille displays, screen readers, and embossers, to determine if high-stakes computer-based assessments are accessible via these devices and accurately represent information on the computer screen. High-stakes assessments are used to make important decisions about students such as whether or not they can advance a grade level or enter higher education. The Gheens Foundation’s gift will make a difference in our students’ ability to participate and demonstrate their knowledge.

New Face in Research!

Please join APH in welcoming Carolyn Zierer to the Research Department as the new Tests and Assessments Project Leader. Carolyn is moving from the Accessible Tests Department where she served as a test editor. She began her career at APH four years ago after having 27 years of experience in the field of elementary education as a teacher and administrator in the Archdiocese of Louisville. Congratulations, Carolyn!

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: Villey, Pierre, and Alys Hallard. The World of the Blind (A Psychological Study). London: Duckworth, 1930.

“The sighted person judges the blind not for what they are but by the fear blindness inspires…The revolt of his sensibility in the face of ‘the most atrocious of maladies’ fills a sighted person with prejudice and gives rise to a thousand legends.”

Although written 84 years ago, Pierre Villey’s quote from The World of the Blind is still striking enough to have been used in Rosemary Mahoney’s January 4th The New York Times article, “Why Do We Fear the Blind?” Himself an author who was blind, Villey was said to have “revived and transformed the psychological study of the blind,” by the French Academy of Moral Science. The author strove in this work to show that blindness has no bearing on intellect, personality, or intelligence. Villey was already a literature professor at Caen University and an Academy prize recipient. But he felt that it was also his duty to make his work accessible to the general public through this book, rather than being hidden among the scholarly works of academia. The Migel Library catalog at provides links both to Rosemary Mahoney’s The New York Times article, and to our digitized version of this book at Internet Archive.

From the Barr Library: Mahoney, Rosemary. For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

At age 49, Rosemary Mahoney’s desire to learn about all aspects of blind people’s lives led her to India, where she volunteered as an English teacher at a school for blind adults. Her interest in this sort of organization was awakened during an encounter with Sabriye Tenberkenb, the woman who founded Tibet’s first training center for the blind known as Braille Without Borders. Tenberkenb serves as the author’s mentor as she embarks on her journey to India. For the Benefit of Those Who See blends the history of blindness with an ethnography of the visually impaired group that Mahoney teaches.

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

Hall of Fame Inductee Alice Raftary Answers Most of Your Questions!

For your reading pleasure, we offer another amazing and insightful interview with a legendary Hall of Fame Inductee. Presented here is an entertaining and historic discussion with 2002 Inductee, Alice Raftary, who is often called “the mother of rehabilitation teaching.”

Visit Alice’s Hall of Fame biography page ( and you will find the exclusive interview link at the bottom of the page!

Other interviews by author Michael Bina on Hall of Fame biography pages: Bill English, Phil Hatlen, and Dean Tuttle.

2014 Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field Nominations Now Being Accepted

Who should be the next inductees into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field?

If you are interested in learning more about the easy (electronic) process for submitting a nominee to join the 52 inductees, please visit:

The nomination process will close Friday, March 28, 2014.

From the Field:

2014 Through the Looking Glass Scholarship Announcement

Through the Looking Glass and its National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families are pleased to announce new scholarships specifically for high school seniors or college students who have parents with disabilities. A total of fifteen $1000 scholarships will be awarded in Fall 2014. Please go to their website, for more information, including the application form, complete application directions and an FAQ page that answers many common questions as well as offers helpful suggestions. Deadline for submission is March 17.

NOAH Sponsored Scholarship

The Michael J. McGowan Leadership Scholarship Award was established on behalf of the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH) to recognize leadership and empower young people with albinism. NOAH will award one $3,000 scholarship to a NOAH member with albinism residing in the U.S. or Canada who is enrolled in an undergraduate program at an institution of higher education in the U.S. or Canada. Please contact NOAH’s Scholarship Committee with any questions at email hidden; JavaScript is required or 800-473-2310 (U.S. and Canada).

National Braille Association (NBA) Training Opportunity

Braille Boot Camp, May 1-3, 2014, Embassy Suites Cleveland-Rockside, Cleveland, Ohio

This spring’s Professional Development Conference will take place over three days and will feature a strand of workshops called a "Braille Boot Camp." This intensive three-day training is an introduction to the basics of braille and is designed for people who currently have little or no knowledge or experience in braille. The presenters are all nationally recognized experts in their respective disciplines. A detailed schedule and description of available workshops can all be viewed online at the registration site found here: 2014 Spring Professional Development Conference Registration.

Visit the website for other information on the NBA:

Fantastic Annual Meeting 2013 Sessions Now Available on Web

Each year, APH Annual Meeting is packed with tons of helpful information. We’ve recently posted audio and video from key Annual Meeting 2013 sessions to our website. Twelve Product Input and Product Training sessions are available for streaming, as well as additional sessions such as the moving keynote by Kevin O’Connor. Our in-house and field presenters offer a wealth of information and inspiration!

Learn about APH’s Amazing Award Recipients!

APH is proud to confer five major awards for excellence in the field of vision. Learn about our most recent award recipients, as well as past recipients, on our newly updated "Awards from APH" webpage. Their stories are a testament to the dedication of our field colleagues and partners!

Our most recent winners include:

  • Virgil Zickel Award: Texas Instruments; The Lavelle Fund and Ellen Trief; and Millie Smith
  • Creative Use of Braille Award: Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band
  • Extra Mile Award: Susan Osterhouse and Venkatesh Chari

Social Media Spotlight

We’ve added several weekly posts to Facebook! On Mondays, we’ll post a bargain product currently on sale. On Tuesdays, we’ll highlight a featured product. And on Thursdays, we’ll feature a fascinating object from the APH Museum collection. All this in addition to the latest news and events from APH and around the blindness community!

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

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Karen Morgan, the District of Columbia Public Schools, replacing Norma Villanueva.

Gary Anders, the Glenwood Resource Center, replacing Zvia McCormick.

Barbara Lemen, the New York State Education Department and the New York State School for the Blind, replacing Mathis Calvin

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


February 13-14, 2014
Illinois AER 2014;
Schaumburg, IL

February 27-March 1, 2014
AFB Leadership Conference 2014;
Brooklyn, NY


March 6-7, 2014
Tactile Graphics Workshop;
Albuquerque, NM

March 12-14, 2014
Transition Tote Preconference (KAER);
Lexington, KY

March 12-14, 2014
KAER 2014 State Conference;
Lexington, KY

March 15, 2014
MACRT Board Meeting;
St. Louis, MO

March 17-22, 2014
CSUN 2014;
San Diego, CA


April 3-6, 2014
CTEBVI 2014 (California Transcribers & Educators for the Blind & Visually Impaired);
Los Angeles, CA

April 3-5, 2014
AOTA 2014;
Baltimore, MD

April 5, 2014
CIP Event: Indianapolis State University;
Indianapolis, IN

April 9-12, 2014
CEC 2014 Annual Convention & Expo;
Philadelphia, PA

April 14-15, 2014
OFB Transition Conference;
Louisville, KY

April 15, 2014
CIP Event: University of Arizona, Tucson;
Tucson, AZ

April 23-24, 2014
NIP Event: FVLMA Workshop;
Newton, MA

April 24-26, 2014
2014 National Outreach Conference;
Louisville, KY


May 28-30, 2014
VAVF (Visual Aid Volunteers Florida);
Orlando, FL


June 19-20, 2014
Visions 2014;
Denver, CO

APH Winter Wonderland Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2014, January 1—March 31. As always, first come, first served.

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.

Rogue Crew: Redwall Abbey
by Brian Jacques: T-N1939-40 — $107.50
The murderous Razzid Wearat and his horde of vermin are on a mission to seize Redwall Abbey for themselves. Abbott Thibb and his Redwallers must defend their home with the help of the Long Patrol hares and the Rogue Crew of sea otters. Grades 5-8. *(AR Quiz No. 143886, BL 5.1 Pts 17.0)

The FitzOsbornes in Exile
by Michelle Cooper: T-N1937-20 — $103.00
In these fictional journal excerpts from the late 1930s, Princess Sophia FitzOsborne of Montmaray records her royal family’s luxurious exile in England and their determination to save their island home from the occupying Germans. Sequel to A Brief History of Montmaray. Grades 8-12. *(AR Quiz No. 143320, BL 6.6 Pts 18.0)

Online Learning: A User-Friendly Approach for High School and College Students
by: Leslie Bowman T-N1920-20 — $32.00
This book has strategies and tips that every online professor wants students to know before they sign up for an online class. Bowman has provided a reference tool for students to develop self-directed learning skills that will help them become secure and knowledgeable about technology, studying, communicating online, and getting work done on time.

A Professor, A President, and A Meteor: The Birth of American Science
by Cathryn J. Prince: T-N1936-40 — $90.50
Chronicles the December 14, 1807, landing of a celestial fireball on a farm in Weston, Connecticut, and relates the ways the event changed American science. Recounts professor Benjamin Silliman’s study of the meteor and President Thomas Jefferson’s influence on the post-colonial scientific community.

Midnight’s Children
by Salman Rushdie: T-N1868-70 — $185.50
Satirical epic tale of Saleem Sinai, who is born at the stroke of midnight, August 15, 1947 — the instant of the birth of the new independent state of India. From that moment, his life is magically entwined with India’s fate as a nation. Includes a 2006 introduction by the author.

*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
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Kate Herndon, Project Manager, Research
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Monica Turner, Field Services Representative

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

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Read our blog: Fred’s Head from APH.

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

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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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