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APH News: February 2016

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

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

APH Proclaims that 2016 is the Year for Braille

In light of the recent, official adoption of the Unified English Braille (UEB) code in the United States, we offer a brief (and hopefully interesting) history and review of APH software efforts in concurrence with the transition over the past few years.


Liblouis is an open source library that translates text in multiple languages into many braille codes. It has been in development and use for several years. It provides the translation services for familiar programs, such as JAWS, NVDA, DAISY Pipeline,, and more. (See

Liblouis is an incredible international effort that exemplifies the power of collaboration: providing a truly useful tool through mutual cooperation. APH first used Liblouis in 2012 to introduce experimental support for UEB on the braille Android™ device called Braille Plus 18. We called it experimental because while it got many of the UEB rules right, there were also several problems.

Software engineers from APH worked with the Liblouis code maintainers to correct the tables, enhance the rules, and provide exceptions; however, it became clear fairly quickly that fundamental architectural modifications were required to fully support some of the new UEB constructs, especially where UEB streamlined consecutive capitalized words and in regards to the treatment of emphasis.

APH programmer Mike Gray worked with international partners to introduce new operation codes, add expression matching, and obsolete unused status bits. While it was our intention to have these modifications released by the official UEB implementation date of January 4, 2016, the process of balancing radical changes while preserving support for dozens of languages and braille codes proved a bit more challenging than first imagined. The good news is that it works, and it works well; and you can use it today, even before the official APH release. Here is how:

Go to and install Send To Braille. Send To Braille is a free-of-charge Windows Send To shortcut that lets you point to a document from File Explorer, select Send To from the context menu, and then pick Braille to translate the file into quality UEB.

Disclaimer: Send To Braille produces "Quick and Dirty" braille. It does not perform any formatting except to preserve line breaks. It also cannot do anything with inaccessible images and other inaccessible complex file elements; however, if you have a simple document, such as a letter, the Send To Braille shortcut creates an accurate rendering of that file in UEB.

Send To Braille uses the APH beta version of Liblouis to translate the document. The quality is there; now the challenge is to continue carefully merging these changes back into the existing Liblouis body of code.


While Send To Braille gives the average user a “quick and dirty” method to get accurate braille, textbook quality braille is essential for educational purposes. This is where BrailleBlaster comes in. BrailleBlaster is an open source project that uses Liblouis for the translation tasks it performs. BrailleBlaster is an editing tool for braille transcribers that gives them the means to translate; format; split into volumes; add transcriber notes; describe images; create braille tables of content, glossaries, and preliminary pages; and input direct braille for particularly difficult operations. In other words, BrailleBlaster provides all the tools necessary for a trained transcriber to efficiently produce a quality embossed braille textbook from an original publisher file, using the raw translation from Liblouis. Preliminary testing results indicate a substantial increase in the number of textbooks that can be produced compared to the current methods.

The development of BrailleBlaster and modifications to Liblouis are part of the REAL Plan (Resources with Enhanced Accessibility for Learning). The REAL Plan is an ongoing initiative of the American Printing House for the Blind to improve the conversion and delivery of braille and other accessible formats to students who are blind.

Transforming Braille

The APH Technology Product Research and Educational Product Research departments are currently guiding the design and field testing of a new, inexpensive braille reader called the Transforming Braille Display. (See The Transforming Braille Group, LLC, with APH’s Larry Skutchan at the helm as CEO, is holding a sales meeting at the 2016 California State University, Northridge (CSUN) Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference to find wholesalers for the device, which costs one-fifth the price of current refreshable braille technology on the market and can be used on its own as a reader or by connecting to other devices, such as computers, phones, and tablets that support braille input and output.

Nemeth Tutorial

Nemeth is the braille code for mathematics. It has been difficult to find certified teachers and training material for learning Nemeth. APH partnered with Dr. Gaylen Kapperman of the Research and Development Institute and Northern Illinois University to create a universally accessible, online tutorial for learning Nemeth. (See This free-of-charge tutorial includes over 50 interactive lessons. It features an accurate braille font, support for MathML, six-key braille input from a QWERTY keyboard, and full support for refreshable braille displays on any modern Web browser with screen reader support.

Braille Buzz

APH designed and is currently field testing a new early childhood toy for learning braille called Braille Buzz. Reminiscent of oldies like the Speak & Spell™ by Texas Instruments, this simple toy includes a braille keyboard, synthesized speech output, braille embossed letter buttons, and interactive braille games.

Braille Calculator

In August of 2015, APH released a firmware upgrade for the Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator that includes support for refreshable braille displays. For the first time ever, a student can use this advanced calculator and get output in both UEB and Nemeth braille. (See

Visual Brailler

During the transition to UEB, braille transcribers working on the National Library Service (NLS) certification expressed a desire for a way to perform the exercises on an iPad. The Visual Brailler app for iPad serves that purpose. It performs the same functions as a traditional mechanical braillewriter, with the exception of embossing paper, and enables the transmission of lessons through email.

Visual Brailler is free on the Apple® App Store® online store. (See

Refreshabraille 18

Refreshabraille 18 is an economical and high-quality 18-cell refreshable braille display and braille keyboard used to connect to a host device such as a computer, phone, or tablet.

In November 2015, APH released the 3rd generation of this device, which includes enhancements such as a better USB connection, improved navigation control, simple Bluetooth pairing, and more ergonomic keys. (See

Braille Plus 18

APH recognizes the value in directly integrating a braille display and keyboard into a portable device running a modern mobile operating system; however, in 2015, we regretfully temporarily terminated future production of the braille centric Android smart/phone/tablet called Braille Plus 18. APH is mindful of the value of such a tool; we continue to learn remarkable amounts of relevant information concerning the development of this device. (see

What Else

As you can see from this list of software related activities, APH’s commitment to braille education continues. Similar or greater efforts parallel this dedication in the areas of policy, production, research, and education to name a few.

Louis Braille Book Unveiling

In 1829, Louis Braille opened the door for people who are blind to read and write. Now, we have the original book in which Braille gave his gift to the world. The book, Procédé pour écrire les paroles, la musique et le plain-chant au moyen de point, or Method for Writing Words, Music, and Plainsong in Dots, will be on permanent display at APH. We will unveil this rare and treasured piece of history at APH on February 11, 2016. After the February 11 unveiling, the book will be available for public viewing in the APH Museum until the end of March. After this time, the book will be temporarily placed in storage as we build a special new exhibit area to showcase this extraordinary artifact.

In Memoriam: Dr. Philip H. Hatlen

We are sad to report the passing of a giant in the field of blindness: Philip H. Hatlen. Dr. Hatlen’s numerous accomplishments included the development of the Expanded Core Curriculum, the ground-breaking idea that students with visual impairments require additional disability-specific strategies to access the general education curriculum. Hatlen had many connections to APH, including acting as an Ex Officio Trustee and our Executive in Residence. Hatlen was the recipient of APH’s highest honor, the Wings of Freedom Award.

Hatlen earned his Doctorate Degree in Education at the University of California, Berkeley. He had a distinguished career as Principal of the California School for the Blind, as founder of the Living Skills Center for the Visually Impaired, as Executive Director of Blind Babies Foundation in San Francisco, as Professor of Special Education at San Francisco State University, and as Superintendent of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin.

Hatlen was passionate in his dedication and advocacy for children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. He served as a member of many organizations, boards, and committees, including Alliance of and for Visually Impaired Texans, All Blind Children of Texas, and as President of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Council of Schools for the Blind.

Hatlen was recognized by his peers with countless awards and honors. In addition to the Wings of Freedom Award, he received the prestigious Migel Medal from the American Foundation for the Blind. Hatlen was a friend and inspirational mentor to his many students and colleagues world-wide. He was considered a visionary of change and a political force in legislation for his profession.

You can read more about the amazing accomplishments of our friend and colleague Phil Hatlen at the Hall of Fame site.

ENTER SOON! 25th Anniversary APH InSights Art Competition

Girl with a Pearl Earring
Johannes Vermeer, 1665

2016 is the 25th anniversary of the APH InSights Art Competition and Exhibition. Open to students in kindergarten – high school and to adults who are students or independent artists, this international juried competition has received thousands of entries over the past twenty years. Please spread the word among your artistic students and friends that the rules and entry forms for this year will be available in February. Deadlines are March 25, 2016, for students, kindergarten through twelfth grade, and April 1, 2016, for adults. If you would like to have a copy emailed to you, contact Roberta Williams email hidden; JavaScript is required

REGISTRATION IS OPEN! APH Co-Sponsors Satellite Library Conference in Louisville in August, 2016

APH is proud to co-sponsor the conference "Tailoring the Reading Experience to Meet Individual Needs," August 11-12, 2016, in Louisville, Kentucky. This is a satellite meeting of the prestigious World Library and Information Congress 2016 (WLIC) sponsored by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The Louisville satellite conference will immediately precede the full WLIC conference, which is being held in Columbus, Ohio.

The satellite conference "Tailoring the Reading Experience" is co-sponsored by the IFLA standing committee Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities, which is developing the conference content. This exciting conference will feature an international array of speakers on topics such as:

  • Facilitating the book selection process
  • Changing the role of the librarian from the Marrakesh perspective
  • Finding and sharing accessible materials and collections
  • Accessible audio book technologies
  • Serving the full spectrum of print disabilities
  • Creating inclusive communities for people with disabilities through programming and events
  • The added value of an analog service in the heart of the digital era
  • Promoting Braille literacy

Find out more about this exciting conference and register today for Tailoring the Reading Experience!

APH Accepts the Challenge!

APH was pleased to be a part of the recent West Virginia Regional Braille Challenge in Romney, WV, on January 14, 2016. Field Services Director Janie Blome offered opening remarks to the 28 contestants and administered the Braille Challenge pledge to all who competed.

During the day, students, teachers, and others visited the APH exhibit to view new products and to learn more about APH. Product highlights included Braille Beads: APH Starter Kit, the Interactive U.S. Map with Talking Tactile Pen, and the Touch, Label, and Learn Poster: Human Skeleton.

New Episode of TGTV!

APH’s Fred Otto has created a new episode of the fun video series “Tactile Graphics TV.” This is the fourth episode in the series and focuses on understanding the intent of tactile graphics. Enjoy Fred’s unique sense of humor and his tactile graphics expertise as you learn how to create great graphics for your students!

Building Your Building On Patterns Skills

An upcoming National Instructional Partnerships event will provide training on the APH Building on Patterns (BOP) reading curriculum. Held in partnership with three Ex Officio Trustees, the event will take place at the South Dakota School for the Deaf in Sioux Falls, SD, on February 22–23, 2016.

Ex Officio Trustees Marje Kaiser (SD), Paul Olson (ND), and Sally Giittinger (NE) are partnering with APH to provide the training, which will be led by Texas TSVI Kristie Smith. The two-day event will provide an overview of the curriculum, instructional activities, ways to incorporate other APH products into teaching strategies, updates on UEB, and more.

The cost for the workshop is $15, and lunch is included. Registration forms and hotel information can be obtained by contacting Janie Blome, email hidden; JavaScript is required, or Marje Kaiser, email hidden; JavaScript is required

Read Newsweek and Reader’s Digest on Your iDevice

APH Talking Books Studio provides recorded versions of Reader’s Digest® and Newsweek®, which are available for free to qualified National Library Service (NLS) patrons on the APH website. For several years, these titles have only been available for listening on the NLS supplied player or on a variety of third-party Digital Talking Book machines. Now they are available through the BARD Mobile app!

With the latest release, in October 2015, all issues dated October 2015 and newer are available for play on the BARD Mobile app. One addition to the latest version is the ability to play content from sources other than the NLS website. This software upgrade, along with a new keying system, enables users to enjoy these titles on the iOS® app version of BARD Mobile. For information and updates about the Android™ app version of BARD Mobile, contact NLS directly.

For more information about BARD and BARD Mobile, see

For more information about the magazines recorded at and made available through APH, see

Around the House:

Congratulations to Li Zhou

APH is pleased to announce that Li Zhou, Core Curriculum Project Leader, earned his certification in Literary Braille Transcribing, EBAE. As a transcriber who is blind, Li scored a 98 using an e-book and text-to-speech software! Congratulations, Li!

Another Year, Another Video, Another Star!
Announcing the Unforgettable Star Video Contest, Spring 2016

We are happy to announce the next Unforgettable APH Star Product Video Contest. Take out your new gadgets — smartphone, tablet, or camcorder — and send us a short video telling us about your favorite APH products. You may win up to a $150.00 cash prize! This contest is open to students, parents, teachers, administrators, rehab instructors, and all APH customers.

The deadline for the Spring 2016 contest is Wednesday, April 13, 2016. You have two ways to send us your video. You can upload it, or you can mail us a copy via US Postal Service. Here’s more information and contest guidelines. If you have questions about the contest, please contact Maria Delgado at: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Make 2016 an “Unforgettable” year by submitting your video!

2016 Hall of Fame Nominations Now Being Accepted

Who should be the next inductees into the Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field?
If you are interested to learn more about the easy (electronic) process for submitting a nominee to join the 56 inductees, please visit:

The nomination process will close Thursday, March 31, 2016.

New at the Hall of Fame Website

The Wild Initiative
The Provision of APH Products for University Research

In May 2015, the American Printing House for the Blind announced a new initiative to provide products to researchers. Researchers struggle to get the tools they need to conduct research, and APH continually seeks feedback in order to improve the products we develop. Our University Loan Program gives researchers the opportunity to borrow APH products in order to collect invaluable research data on product effectiveness.

If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact Kate Herndon at email hidden; JavaScript is required or 502-899-2234. We look forward to partnering with you in this new way to benefit those we serve.

Typhlo & Tactus Book Contest Update

The American Printing House for the Blind was the U.S. national contact for Typhlo & Tactus 2015, the international biennial competition created to encourage improvement of the quality and quantity of tactile books for young children with visual impairments. The book selected to represent the United States at the competition was created by Lori Gellhaus from South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Her tactile book, Sammy the Sardine, follows the adventures of a small fish as he swims along, dodging a shark and finding a new friend.

The results for the international competition have been announced! Books were sent from 15 countries, including EU countries, Great Britain, Columbia, Chile, and Iran (participating for the first time).

The winning international book I, You, and Our Hands by Marcella Basso of Italy was designed to be shared by a child who is vision impaired and a child with typical vision. Each reader puts his/her hand inside a pocket where they feel/move something, read, and encounter the hand of the other. LDQR plans to produce a limited number in French.

Congratulations to all who entered! The next competition will be held in 2017, so begin your plans to enter now!

Camps, Camps, and More Camps…Find One Close to You

Does the winter cold have you dreaming of some fun in the sun? Whether soaring down a ski slope is your ultimate dream or you prefer paddling a canoe on a lake and swimming until sunset, APH can help you find the perfect place to go. Check out the 2016 Sport Camps. Start planning your fun now!

The sports camp section is a part of APH’s extensive physical education pages—explore them today!

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

Researchers and visitors to the Barr Library may now listen to the works of musicians who are visually impaired. Thanks to The H. W. Wilson Foundation, a listening station has been installed in the library that is filled with works from the Migel Library’s Blind Musicians collection. Visitors can use headphones to listen to each of the albums that have been added to our iTunes account from the Migel’s music collection.

From the Migel Library: Wait, William B. New Aspects of the Uniform Type Folly: An Analysis of the Scheme to Destroy New York Point, American Braille, Roman Line and Moon Type, Together with Their Vast Accumulated Resources of Every Kind, Secure the Adoption of British Braille, and Create a Type Trust under the Control of an International Committee Composed of Only English-speaking Members, with Headquarters in a Foreign Country. New York: Bradstreet, 1916.

As might be inferred from its title, William Bell Wait’s argument against a uniform type is passionate, opinionated, and vivid. As the inventor of New York Point, Wait compared the "imposition" of a uniform type to a treasonous surrender to the British Empire. W.B. Wait believed that no authority, including the Uniform Type Committee, had the qualifications or authority to determine what type was best for visually impaired users, or to force that type upon the world. He warned of the dangers of the use of a uniform type, and called the motives of the committee “diabolical and destructive.” One hundred years later, his arguments can be viewed through the Migel Library’s Internet Archive page:

From the Barr Library: Helping Rehabilitate the Handicapped Child Through Successful Physical Play. Long Island City, N.Y: Playground Corp. of America, 1969.

The reports contained within this book were circulated at a press symposium in 1969, introducing the national media to innovative models for helping rehabilitate children with disabilities through successful physical play. Clarifying the advantages of using playscapes, the authors impart valuable insights into techniques for rehabilitating children who are blind. One section of particular interest, “Play…A Way to Help Realize the Potential of Sightless Children,” describes how the play program at the Children’s Division of the Lighthouse for the Blind involved enacting “fantasy” games on the stationary playscape equipment. This aspect of the program functioned as a means to engage the children in a cooperative, success-oriented process that built confidence in becoming familiar with the unseen. For visually impaired children, the play apparatuses actuated personal development, adaptation, and independence outside of the classroom.

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

Seeking Field Evaluators: Talking Typer iOS

The Technology Product Research Department is seeking field evaluators for the new iOS Talking Typer app. The requirements to qualify as a field evaluator are simple: 1) must have an iPad or iPhone with iOS version 8.0 or above, 2) have or can install the TestFlight app, and 3) have an external keyboard that will provide the best experience (optional). If you responded for the call for Beta Testers in June 2015, there is no need to re-apply.

Field evaluators will be asked to use the software prototypes with multiple students with visual impairments and blindness. Evaluators will then complete an online product evaluation form at the end of the testing period. Field testing will begin in February 2016 and extend through the end of April 2016.

If you meet these requirements and are interested in being a field evaluator, download and complete the APH Field Test Form (.doc) on the APH website. Return the completed form to: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

We appreciate your valuable input.

Please Be Our Quick Tips Valentine!

Since it’s February, gentle Quick Tip viewer, consider this article a Valentine’s Day greeting from the APH heart! How do we at Quick Tips HQ love you? Let us count the ways:

  1. We love you so much that we make brief videos for you. We know you’re busy and you want to get your information in manageable portions!
  2. We love you so much that we make said videos full of useful, practical information!
  3. We love you so much that we know YOU love APH, so we create Quick Tips loaded with APH-centricity!
  4. We love you so much that we post a new APH Quick Tip weekly at
  5. We love you so much that we gladly use YOUR requests (which you send to email hidden; JavaScript is required) when we produce Quick Tips, so we can provide information relevant to YOU!

And if THAT’S not enough, we love you so much that we’re listing the last four Quick Tips just for you!

  • Interactive U.S. Map with Talking Tactile Pen – If you want to be a U.S. geography whiz, this APH product is for you!
  • Let’s Talk Limbic – This DVD examines the role of a major part of the human emotional brain, the limbic system, in the well-being of persons with multiple sensory impairment.
  • APH on Facebook – Not getting APH’s updates on Facebook? Here’s how to make sure you are receiving our posts!
  • NIMAC – Find out about the National Instructional Materials Access Center from metadata specialist, Johanna Argo!

Now that we at Quick Tips HQ have expressed our unwavering, brief, informational, and APH-centric love, we’re eager to ask you that one big question: Will you be our Quick Tips Valentine?

Social Media Spotlight

APH would like to welcome Paul Ferrara (and his dog guide Jeremiah) to the Communications Department — Paul is our new Social Media Coordinator. He will be telling APH’s story via our multiple social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the "Fred’s Head from APH" blog. Paul has worked for APH on a contract basis for the Accessible Tests and Textbooks Department, but is now a full-time employee in Communications. Paul previously worked for CitiBank where, besides doing collections and customer service, he tested new software for accessibility with screen readers. He enjoys music and sports and co-hosts a weekly sports show on the internet. Paul brings a wealth of experience to this position, both as a professional and a consumer, and we are excited to have him on board. Welcome Paul!

APH would like to thank Marissa Stalvey, our former Social Media Coordinator. Marissa made many improvements to our social media during her time with APH and was a strong representative of our company. She continues to be very interested in working for the blindness community or another disability community and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors! Thanks for being a great voice for APH, Marissa!

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

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustee

Heidi Henshaw, the Rhode Island Department of Education, replacing Susan Mitchell.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


February 2-6, 2016
ATIA 2016
Orlando, FL

February 12, 2016
Western Kentucky Co-op Meeting
Princeton, KY

February 10-13, 2016
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
New Orleans, LA

February 18-19, 2016
Illinois AER
Shaumburg, IL

February 22-26, 2016
Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill
Washington, DC

February 26, 2016
NIP Event: Adapted Physical Education for Students with Visual Impairments
Roseville, MN

February 26-28, 2016
2016 T3 International Conference
Orlando, FL


March 2-5, 2016
SREE Conference
Washington, DC

March 3-4, 2016
North Carolina Conference on Vision Impairments & Blindness (NCCVIB)
Chapel Hill, NC

March 3-5, 2016
AFB Leadership Conference
Arlington, VA

March 8-11, 2016
Virginia AER, 2016
Virginia Beach, VA

March 9, 2016
Focus On Vision Impairment & Blindness
Norwood, MA

March 11-13, 2016
WCBVI 2016 Preschool Family Conference
Green Lake, WI

March 13-15, 2016
SOMA 50th Anniversary Conference
Chattanooga, TN

March 14-18, 2016
Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill
Washington, DC

March 20-23, 2016
ATP Innovations in Testing 2016
Orlando, FL

March 21-26, 2016
CSUN 2016
San Diego, CA

March 22-24, 2016
Kentucky AER
Berea, KY

March 29, 2016
University of AZ CIP Event
Tucson, AZ


April 7-9, 2016
AOTA 2016
Chicago, IL

April 7-10, 2016
Los Angeles, CA

April 11-15, 2016
Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill
Washington, DC

April 13-15, 2016
Dakotas AER

April 13-16, 2016
CEC Convention and Expo 2016
St. Louis, MO

April 24-27, 2016
International Preschool Seminar
Pacific Grove, CA

APH Winter Wonderland Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2016, 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:

  • Building on Patterns supplements
  • Swirly Mats II CVI
  • Swirly Mats II FVA

NEW! Building on Patterns: Second Grade, Units 4, and 6–UEB

Note: We anticipate BOP: Second Grade Units 5 and 7 will be released this spring.

Note: Each Second Grade student kit listed below includes Lesson Monitoring Sheets, Consumable Unit Assessment Packet, Student Textbooks, and Worksheets Pack.

BOP Second Grade, Unit 4, Just for the Fun of It

Student Kit–UEB: 6-78570-U4 — $179.00

Teacher’s Edition (includes Reference Vol.):
Print: 8-78571-U4 — $59.00
Braille: 6-78571-U4 — $189.00

Building on Patterns Second Grade, Unit 4 UEB Teacher Supplement

Important! Use the information in this free-of-charge supplement to mark up your teacher’s editions:

Replacement Items, Second Grade, Unit 4

Student Textbook–UEB: 6-78573-U4 — $45.00
Consumable Unit Assessment Packet (print & braille): 8-78476-U4 — $79.00
Lesson Monitoring Sheets (print & braille): 8-78473-U4 — $29.00
Worksheets Pack–UEB: 6-78574-U4 — $45.00

BOP Second Grade, Unit 6, A Walk on the Wild Side

Student Kit–UEB: 6-78570-U6 — $179.00

Teacher’s Edition:
Print: 8-78471-U6 — $59.00
Braille: 6-78471-U6 — $189.00

Building on Patterns Second Grade, Unit 6 UEB Teacher Supplement

Important! Use the information in this free-of-charge supplement to mark up your teacher’s editions:

Replacement Items, Second Grade, Unit 6

Student Textbook–UEB: 6-78573-U6 — $45.00
Consumable Unit Assessment Packet (print & braille): 8-78476-U6 — $79.00
Lesson Monitoring Sheets (print & braille): 8-78473-U6 — $29.00
Worksheets Pack–UEB: 6-78574-U6 — $45.00

Overview: Building on Patterns – UEB

APH is now offering UEB-compliant Building on Patterns (BOP) so teachers can continue to use the current Building on Patterns program while teaching Unified English Braille (UEB)! The student materials have been re-transcribed in UEB as needed and teacher supplements have been created inform the teacher about UEB changes.

Note: You do NOT need to buy new Teacher Editions. Just download the free-of-charge supplements and use them to mark up your existing Teacher’s Editions:

We are also now packaging all the materials needed for a student in a “Student Kit.”

  • Kindergarten Student Kit includes: Posttest Consumables, Textbook Assessment Check-up Forms, set of 7 Student Textbooks, and Color Me Book.
  • First and Second Grade Student Kits include: Student Textbook, Worksheets Pack – UEB, Lesson Monitoring Sheets in print and braille, an Assessment Check-Up in print and braille.

The print and braille teacher’s editions and other posttest materials are sold separately.

Future BOP Releases: Additional BOP Second Grade materials will be released by early 2016.

Note: The English Braille American Edition versions of BOP are no longer available for sale.

About Building on Patterns

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

NEW! Student materials and posttest now updated for Unified English Braille (UEB).

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.

BOP Second Grade builds on the components of BOP First Grade and contains additional activities.

New Features

  • Timed reading in each lesson
  • More independent reading suggestions
  • Simplified lesson monitoring sheets
  • Quick Read for silent reading and reading comprehension practice
  • Special section with information on individual contributors (authors, illustrators, etc.) to BOP in each unit

BOP Second Grade includes more worksheets, part-word braille contractions, and other remaining literary contractions and symbols along with the rules to use them. The curriculum also emphasizes syllables and multisyllabic words, and the effect of certain letter combinations on vowel sounds. For optional map work, each lesson gives the foreign origin of at least one spelling word.

Recommended ages: 7 to 8 years and up.

Prerequisite: BOP First Grade or equivalent skills.

Reference Volume for BOP Second Grade Level — Included in Unit 1 Teacher’s Edition!

The Reference Volume, included in the Second Grade Unit 1 Teacher’s Edition, is packed full of features to help a teacher understand the program and teach a young braille reader:

  • Background information and teaching philosophy
  • Teaching guides for literacy, tactile graphics, and technology skills
  • Setting priorities and teaching the required skills
  • Detailed explanations of the unit sections
  • Suggested additional materials from APH
  • Index of skills and concepts taught in the second grade level
  • Master lists of new reading words, braille contractions, Dolch words, and more!

Posttest Assessment for BOP Second Grade Level — updated for UEB

Unlike the Unit Check-ups, included in the student’s textbooks, the posttest is a separate item that assesses the concepts and skills covered throughout that whole level of the program. A set of consumable forms are provided in braille for use by the student and in print and braille for use by the teacher in a separate package. The teacher’s manuals, available in both print and braille editions (sold separately), give complete instructions for administering and scoring the tests and analyzing the results. An answer key is provided in the back for quick checking. Results can be recorded in an accompanying graph showing target scores for each subtest. This sheet makes it easy to see areas where the student excels as well as areas where remediation may be needed.

Both the unit tests and the posttest assess the following critical areas of literacy development:

  • Phonemic awareness & phonics
  • New reading word recognition
  • Dolch word recognition
  • Braille symbol recognition
  • Reading & comprehension
  • Reading & fluency
  • Spelling
  • Passage miscue assessment for speed & accuracy
  • Language: grammar
  • Braillewriting

Revised! White Fanfold Tractor-Feed Braille Transcribing Paper, 11 1/2 x 11 inches, Unpunched, 1000 sheets

1-04139-01 — $50.00

This low dust paper is designed to be used with computer-driven braille embossing devices. It has a smooth surface. Tractor-feed holes may be torn off. Due to availability, the previous 100# weight paper (1-04139-00, now discontinued) has been replaced with 90# paper.

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.

Clementine’s Letter
by Sara Pennypacker: T-N2094-60 — $28.50
While finding new vegetable names to call her little brother, eight-year-old Clementine hatches a plan to prevent her beloved teacher from being selected to go on a once-in-a-lifetime research trip to Egypt. Grades K-3. *(AR Quiz No. 121948, BL 4.0, Pts. 2.0)

Ratscalibur: Chronicles of the Low Realm (Part One)
by Josh Lieb: T-N2093-40 — $58.00
When Joey is bitten by a rat, he goes from aspiring seventh-grader to three-inch tall rodent, and unwittingly unlocks the sword Ratscalibur. Grades 4-7. *(AR Quiz No. 177199, BL 4.8, Pts. 5.0)

Reclaiming Travel
by Ilan Stavans and Joshua Ellison: T-N2089-80 — $70.50
Stavans, professor of Latin American and Latino culture, and Ellison, a publishing professional, expand upon a 2012 opinion piece in the New York Times on the changing meaning of travel. They examine historical ideas of travel and tourism and posit that modern tourism has become performance.

An Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir: T-N2082-50 — $170.00
Laia is a scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy to find a way to save him. Some Adult Content.

Act of God
by Jill Ciment: T-N2089-70 — $65.50
Recently retired librarian Edith and her identical twin discover mushrooms sprouting from the walls of a hall closet, as do their landlady and the woman hiding in her apartment. As the deadly infestation spreads across the city, the four women become caught up in a nightmare. Some Adult Content.

*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. Craig Meador
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Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Kate Herndon, Director, Education Research
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Heather MacKenzie, Technology Product Research – Program Manager
  • Emmy Malinovsky, Special Collections and Cataloging Librarian, Resource Services
  • Tristan Pierce, Project Leader, Multiple Disabilities, Physical Education
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader
  • Mary Robinson, Assistant, Field Services
  • Larry Skutchan, Director, Technology Product Research
  • Rebecca Snider, Coordinator, Public Affairs
  • Denise Snow, Technology Product Specialist
  • Monica Vaught-Compton, Project Consultant

Dr. Craig Meador

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