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APH News: February 2018

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!

photo of the Orbit Reader 20

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

Treasures from the APH Libraries

Over 1,300 in-copyright items from the APH Migel Collection are now available for digital check-out from Open Library. Formerly available only in Daisy format, these items can be borrowed digitally for two weeks with a free Open Library digital library card account. Books can be viewed in your browser or downloaded in PDF or ePub format with Adobe Digital Editions. Up to five books may be checked out at a time. Each loan will expire after two weeks and be removed from your device.

Open Library is a project by Internet Archive. Their goal is to provide a webpage for every published book that brings the user as close as possible to the actual document – be it a scanned version at Internet Archive, or a link to a bookseller where a copy can be purchased. The project began in November 2007 and has added catalog records from some of the biggest libraries in the world. Open Library has 20 million records, 1.7 million digitized books, and links to external sources like WorldCat and Amazon when available.

To create an Open Library digital library card account, click the “sign up” link at the top right corner of You will be prompted to enter your full name, user name, password, and email address. Click “sign up” when you are finished, and you will receive an email requesting verification of your account. Once registered, click the “log in” link at the top right corner of any page to enter your username and password. Click on the link to display a drop-down menu; here you can edit your Profile, manage your Loans, manage the Lists you create, edit your Settings, or log out.

Open Library website displaying Migel Collection books

Previous "JAWS and MAGic Student Edition" Customers: You Can Add ZoomText for Free!

picture of three boxes:JAWS, Fusion, ZoomText

New! JAWS® – ZoomText® – MAGic® Suite

D-11001-ED — $300.00

Quota Ordering Information
Non-Quota Ordering Information

In the last issue of the News, we let you know about an exciting upgrade to the previous "JAWS and MAGic Student Edition" sold by APH. VFO™ and APH have partnered to make three access programs for Windows® computers available to all APH customers! The new product is called "JAWS® – ZoomText® – MAGic® Suite."

Did you know that if you previously purchased JAWS and MAGic Student Edition, you can add on ZoomText using your existing license AND AT NO EXTRA CHARGE!

Please visit to download ZoomText or Fusion. After installing the software of your choice, use your existing subscription information to enable the software.

JAWS – ZoomText – MAGic Suite Includes

  • Any combination of the above three applications, plus the combination ZoomText Fusion Home
  • Access to the latest versions with updates
  • Up to three installations on computers, with additional resets available at no charge
  • VFO phone support, training materials, and webinars

Software can be installed on all versions of Windows® 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, along with Windows Server 2008 and 2012. For more information on installation and support please see

Orbit Reader 20™ Now Available in Limited Quantities!

1-07419-00 — $449.00 + shipping

photo of the Orbit Reader 20

The Orbit Reader 20™ refreshable braille device is now available in limited quantities! This long-awaited product brings braille literacy to the fingertips of children and adults alike, functioning as a stand-alone reader and note-taker or connecting to a phone, tablet, or computer via Bluetooth or USB.

Because demand is high, we are limiting initial orders to two per customer or account. The Orbit Reader 20 is available with Federal Quota funds or cash. The number of units we have available is gradually increasing, and we anticipate being able to fill all orders in the coming months.

If you have questions about ordering the Orbit Reader 20, please contact customer relations at 800-223-1839 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

Field Testers Wanted

APH is seeking field evaluators for the UEB Math Tutorial. The tutorial is designed for visually impaired and sighted users, and can be used with or without a braille display. The topics covered in the tutorial begin with learning numbers and continue through to advanced mathematical concepts. The tutorial can be used with any major browser and is available on Windows®, Mac®, iOS®, and Android™ platforms. The field test is open to expert reviewers and/or students who are interested in learning about UEB math. Testing is scheduled to begin February 19th, 2018. Interested testers should complete an APH Field Test Form, and indicate your interest in testing for the UEB Math Tutorial. Thank you for your time and consideration.

APH’s Websites: We Want Your Feedback on Accessibility!

When accessing the web, are you a synthetic speech user, screen magnification user, or user of other accessible technologies? APH would like your feedback on the accessibility of our websites! If you have thoughts about the accessibility of the following: or, please email your comments to email hidden; JavaScript is required. We appreciate your time!

APH Winter Wonderland Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2018, January 1—March 31. As always, first come, first served.

APH InSights Art Competition 2018

Picture of the Mona Lisa as rendered in simulated braille dots

APH warmly invites artists who are blind or visually impaired to submit artwork for the 2018 APH InSights Art Competition and Exhibition. For 27 years, our renowned international contest has delighted the senses, provoked discussion, and allowed artists who have vision loss the opportunity to share their creative imagination with the world.

Artists may enter original artwork created in any medium, including (but not limited to) painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber, metal, and wood. DEADLINE COMING SOON: This year’s deadline for student artists from preschool through high school is March 16, 2018. The deadline for adult artists is March 23, 2018.

Rules and entry forms are available for download on the APH InSights Art webpage.

Winning artwork in nine categories and other selected pieces will be displayed at the APH InSights Art Exhibit during APH’s 2018 Annual Meeting in Louisville, October 4-6, 2018. We look forward to your participation in our competition. For more information, please e-mail email hidden; JavaScript is required, or call Rob Guillen at 502-899-2242.

STEM Corner

Announcing Animal Watch Vi Suite – Available for free from APH!

AnimalWatch VI Suite logo features a green tree frog

Animal Watch Vi Suite is a product package including a downloadable app from the App Store® with optional accompanying braille and print materials. Students at the pre-algebra level (grades 5-7) build their math word problem solving skills while learning about endangered and invasive species including the black rhino, cheetah, gray wolf, and white shark.

The Animal Watch Vi Suite includes

  • An accessible app
  • Optional print graphics for students who prefer a hard copy graphic to the screen version
  • Braille graphics designed to be used with a fuser on microcapsule paper
  • Optional braille ready files of app

To order, go to, which will direct you to a link on the App Store, along with the user guide, braille & print graphics, and braille ready files in addition to a FAQ page and information about the development of the product.

Download the app directly from the App Store:

Assessment Tip

The most important thing when giving an assessment is to know if the student understands what is being asked of them. If the student does not understand the directions, then the outcome has no meaning.

photo of a young girl wearing a green 'Braille Challenge' t-shirt reading braille.

APH has adapted two assessments which measure a child’s understanding of basic concepts such as above, below, and between. Knowledge of these concepts have been determined as an essential skill for increasing a student’s opportunity of achieving success in school. Having an understanding and grasp of these concepts helps children as they learn to describe objects, order events, and understand and describe quantities in normal everyday routines and in extracurricular activities. Children who do not understand these concepts will often struggle in the classroom.

The Boehm-3: Test of Basic Concepts, Third Edition: Preschool and Boehm-3: Test of Basic Concepts, Third Edition, K-2 are assessments which will verify a child’s understanding of these basic concepts; thus, guiding intervention. The Big Picture Edition provides accessibility for students with low vision. The Tactile Edition provides accessibility for students who have little or no vision to access information.

The Boehm-3: Test of Basic Concepts, Third Edition: Preschool measures 26 basic concepts relevant to early childhood curriculum. Each concept is tested twice to verify the child’s understanding. Boehm-3: Test of Basic Concepts, Third Edition measures 50 basic concepts relevant to school success. Results help identify students who may not have had the learning experiences necessary to develop an understanding of key concepts.

Visit for more information and a list of components included with each kit.

APH on the Road

photo of the CVI poster display.

On January 9th, our CVI Project Leader presented a poster at the Craig Hospital Brain Injury Summit in Vail, Colorado. The Summit brought together national experts and rising leaders in the field of adult and pediatric brain injury care. The meeting was designed to explore best practices and cutting edge professional interventions across a comprehensive continuum of care, and to foster discussion, discovery and professional development among attendees. APH Field Services provided support for the trip by sending Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader to staff the APH CVI Products booth. Both project leaders reported success in sharing products and information about CVI in terms of habilitation and rehabilitation of visual skills. Important contacts within the field of brain injury were made, which will support future product development for learners with CVI as they learn to look, start to pair vision with function, and begin to look to learn.

Social Media Spotlight

Social Media Spotlight logo

Important Change to Facebook

Facebook has announced an important change to its newsfeed. It will soon begin to prioritize posts from family and friends and hide posts from companies and organizations that you have liked and followed, unless the organization purchases an ad, or a post receives a large number of shares, reactions, and comments.

So how can you increase the chance of seeing APH’s Facebook updates? Please select the “see first” option while you are viewing our page. The Quick Tips video below explains the procedure to follow to choose this setting, whether you are a screen reader user or not.

Click this link to watch APH’s video about the Facebook "see first" option.

If you have any further questions, please contact Paul Ferrara, APH’s Social Media Coordinator, at email hidden; JavaScript is required

logo: Fred's Head from APH--A better living blog for people who are blind or visually impaired

We highlight new blog posts on Facebook and Twitter, and on the Fred’s Head homepage,, you can subscribe to receive blog updates via email. In addition, we welcome YOUR articles and ideas for future Fred’s Head posts! Email suggestions or articles to email hidden; JavaScript is required or tweet @aphfortheblind, and we will do our best to implement your suggestions or include your articles!

"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!

Facebook Logo

We invite you to visit our Facebook page and "Like" us! You can find APH at these social media sites: Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

APH Braille Book Corner

APH offers a number of recreational books in braille available with Quota funds. 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.

Remember Dippy
by Shirley Reva Vernick: T-N2038-40 — $70.00
After reluctantly agreeing to spend the summer helping out his older, autistic cousin named Remember, Johnny is surprised to find that they become good friends. Soon an unlikely romance and an adventure with two cunning ferrets add to the mix. Grades 5-8.

The Dream Thieves
by Maggie Stiefvater: T-N2030-50 — $181.50
Blue, Gansey, Noah, Adam, and Ronan, from The Raven Boys (BR 19571), continue their dangerous search for the powerful dead king of Glendower. However, Ronan’s ability to pull objects from his dreams places them in peril. Grades 10-12.

by Danielle Steel: T-N2035-40 — $140.50
Seventeen-year-old champion skier Lily Thomas is paralyzed in an accident despite the best efforts of neurosurgeon Jesse Matthews, who endures her own tragedy that same day. As Lily adjusts to a new way of life, her father Bill establishes a rehabilitation center for young people with spinal-cord injuries. Some Adult Content.

Junipero Serra: California’s Founding Father
by Steven W. Hackel: T-N2027-30 — $218.00
This biography of Franciscan priest Junipero Serra (1713-1784), born on the Spanish-owned island of Mallorca, traces Serra’s career as an educator and his migration to Mexico, where he enforced the Inquisition. The book chronicles his efforts to build missions in California and convert the natives to Catholicism.

by Lee Child: T-N2026-60 — $218.00
Former military policeman Jack Reacher, now a Key West drifter, learns that someone wants him dead. He finds his late commanding officer’s daughter, and the two become targets when a disfigured Vietnam vet fears his true identity will be revealed. 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

Quick Tips Corner: Your Students Can Have Fun While Learning!

Quick Tips Corner logo features a post with two street signs
APH Quick Tips logo: Short videos from APH

Help your students have fun while learning! All of the following Quick Tips focus on engaging learners in enjoyable activities which result in greater understanding of tactile skills and literacy, socialization, rules and turn-taking, motor skills, and more!

Got an idea for a Quick Tip? Contact Kerry Isham at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


February 13-16, 2018
Chicago, IL

February 28-March 3, 2018
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Washington DC

April 23-24, 2018
Charting the Cs: Cross Categorical Conference
Alexandria, MN

CIP Event

February 26, 2018
University of Arizona Presentation
Tucson, Arizona


January 30-February 3, 2018
Orlando, FL

February 3, 2018
Maryland Braille Challenge
Baltimore, MD

February 7-10, 2018
CEC 2018 National Convention & Expo
Tampa, FL

February 15-16, 2018
Illinois AER
Naperville, IL

March 2-3, 2018
Texas Focus Conference
Austin, TX

March 14, 2018
Focus on Vision Impairment & Blindness 2018
Norwood, MA

March 21-23, 2018
CSUN 2018
San Diego, CA

April 19-21, 2018
AOTA 2018
Salt Lake City, UT

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APH News Credits

Dr. Craig Meador
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Dorinda Rife, Vice President, Educational Services and Product Development
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
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Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Paul Ferrara, Social Media Coordinator, Communications
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Rob Guillen, Special Programs Coordinator, Public Relations
  • Rosanne Hoffmann, STEM Project Leader, Research
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Mary Robinson, Assistant, Field Services
  • Susan Sullivan, CVI Project Leader, Research
  • Carolyn Zierer, Test & Assessment Project Leader, Research

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Louisville, KY 40206

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