APH News: January 2003
Your monthly link to the latest information on APH products, services, and training opportunities.
Malcolm Turner Named Web Site Coordinator
We are very pleased to announce that Malcolm Turner has been named APH’s Web Site Coordinator. Malcolm began with APH in March of 2001 as the Expert Database (Fred’s Head) and Web Site Associate. He has made enormous contributions both to the Web site and to the Fred’s Head Database of Tips and Techniques.
For the Web, Malcolm has designed many pages and sections, as well as made the site easier to navigate. For Fred’s Head, Malcolm wrote a fun and useful "how-to" on using the database, as well as numerous Fred’s Head records. Malcolm has also redesigned and improved both the Web and print editions of the APH News that you’re now reading!
Malcolm’s role will continue to expand as he develops, designs, and maintains our Web site. We have exciting plans for the site in 2003 and, as always, welcome your comments and ideas.
NEW! Denver the Guide Dog Video
It’s a great day at APH as Heathcliff, APH Vice President Gary Mudd’s hard-working guide dog of twelve years "hands over his harness" to Denver, the young up-and-comer. Produced by the Discovery Channel cable network for the Animal Planet® Pet Stories series, this video is for anyone who would like to know more about guide dogs or would just like to meet Denver.
Celebrate with Heathcliff as he’s honored for his faithful service, and meet the new dog on the block—Denver! During this half-hour, see how Denver got his start, "made the cut" at guide dog school, and was matched with Gary. Be amazed at how hard the two of them have worked to become the team they are. There’s not a dry eye in the house during the reunion scenes when Denver’s puppy trainer returns to find such a confident and capable guide dog!
Denver the Guide Dog VHS: 1-30010-00 – $15.00
NEW! Termite TorpedoTM Software
Termite Torpedo is an arcade-style game designed especially for low vision users. Termites are eating their way through Woodville! Only you can save the city—you must clear the playing field of 12 levels of termites!
Termite Torpedo gives low-vision students practice in the visual skills of locating, fixating, tracking, aligning, and following. It features:
- Bright, high-contrast colors for game elements
- Full audio accompaniment, including directional information, allows use by players who are totally blind
Termite Torpedo requires:
- PC compatible computer running at least Windows 95®
- Internet Explorer® 5.5 or later
- Sound card and speakers
- CD-ROM drive
Termite Torpedo CD Version – D-03470-00 – $39.00
Termite Torpedo Electronic Download – D-03470-ED – $39.00
Download the demo (which can be turned into a full copy by purchasing the electronic distribution option) at tech.aph.org. Note: Unlike some other APH software, there is no site license available for this product.
APH Flea Market
Do you enjoy finding product bargains? Check the APH Flea Market on the web site at www.aph.org/products/fleamarket.html.
Interested in Field Testing a New Tactile Board Game?
APH’s Research Department is seeking interested field test sites for a new tactile board game intended for students with visual impairments and blindness, ages 5-11. The game’s primary purpose is to encourage the development of hand skills (tracking, systematic searching), tactile skills (shape recognition, texture discrimination), and spatial concepts all within a fun, recreational context.
Field testing will occur between February-March, 2003 and evaluators will be expected to complete an evaluation packet. Field test sites will be selected based upon type of setting, number of students, and demographic representation.
Test Central Takes Its Place on the APH Web Site!
The back parking lot of APH isn’t the only place on the grounds where construction has been occurring! Construction is also taking place on Test Central’s web site, which is now available for browsing.
According to Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator, the site will be "comprehensive, yet easy to use, with the dynamic nature of the Internet allowing us to keep our content current." Highlights of the site will include "Test Tech Support," information concerning new research and partnerships, ideas from the field, links to useful sites, position papers, and an annotated bibliography that will be updated quarterly. The Test Central web site can be found at www.aph.org/tc/index.html.
Also under development for Test Central is a logo. Before handing the task to a local graphics design firm for final preparation, Test Central received several creative suggestions from APH employees, whose ideas will help shape the final look of the new logo. Test Central is expected to reveal the completed logo near the end of January.
Dean and Naomi Tuttle Join Cast In All-Star Production of "Loving Me"!
APH is pleased to announce that Dean and Naomi Tuttle will join Billy Brookshire to present the upcoming National Instructional Partnerships (NIP) event "Loving Me: Secrets of Self-Esteem," April 21 and 22, 2003, in New Mexico. Dean, author of the classic book Self-Esteem and Adjusting with Blindness also authored the introduction to APH’s Loving Me materials. Naomi, instructor with the Hadley School for the Blind, is co-author of the second edition of Self-Esteem and Adjusting with Blindness.
Billy is the creator of the new APH curriculum Loving Me, designed to facilitate workshops that promote self-esteem in students and adults who are visually impaired. He recently presented a mini-workshop of the Loving Me materials in Orlando, Florida, and garnered rave reviews.
If you’re interested in learning techniques to help your students and clients increase self-esteem, then this event is for you!
Registration details, along with the exact location of the workshop, lodging and other information will be available soon from APH. Watch for exciting updates at www.aph.org/aphnew/index.html.
Cortical Visual Impairment: What You See Is Not Always What You Get
The American Printing House for the Blind is pleased to present a National Instructional Partnerships event, featuring Dr. Christine Roman, in the Northern California area. APH will partner with Ex Officio Trustee Rod Brawley, director of the Clearinghouse for Specialized Media and Technology (California Department of Education), and the California Transcribers and Educators for the Visually Handicapped (CTEVH) to present this event. APH also gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Ex Officio Trustee Mike Cole, administrator of the Orientation Center for the Blind of CA, without whom this event might not have happened!
Information covered during the two-day meeting will focus on a wide variety of materials for intervention using selected APH products, along with techniques for assessment and identification. The material covered is appropriate for children of all ages.
The workshop will be held March 5-6, 2003, two days immediately preceding the annual CTEVH conference. We will meet at the conference hotel, the San Francisco Airport Marriott in Burlingame, California. We encourage teachers of the visually impaired, parents, occupational therapists, physical therapists, early interventionists, eye care professionals, and others interested in cortical visual impairment to attend. There will be no registration fees for the conference, but a materials cost of $25 will be included. The materials fee will be waived for those also attending the CTEVH conference.
ISAVE Training a Success Despite Icy Weather
Field Representatives Burt Boyer and Sandi Baker traveled to Fairfax, VA (in the midst of an ice storm) in December to provide a training workshop on ISAVE. Thirty teachers of the visually impaired, early interventionists, and therapists braved the weather to attend the day and a half training hosted by the VA Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Participants were eager and enthusiastic, and quite interactive with the trainers! There were ISAVE kits—provided by the training host—for each participant to have to interact with throughout the training, which made the learning experience more meaningful. Participants had the opportunity to engage in discussions with one another to further enhance their learning.
VA has invited APH back to present at their "Workshop on Blindness and Visual Impairments" in March to talk about ISAVE and other APH products.
National Braille Challenge
The National Braille Challenge Invitational has been created as a unique, one-day competition for visually impaired school-aged children who read and write braille, and designed to motivate students to excel in their braille skills. As a national event, the contest will also raise public awareness about the importance of braille for students and adults who are blind and visually impaired.
Frances Mary D’Andrea (AFB National Literacy Center), Dr. Cay Holbrook (University of British Columbia) and Karen Ross (Carroll Center for the Blind) join APH’s Janie Humphries (Director, Advisory Services) on the Braille Challenge National Advisory Committee to provide consultation and guidance for the content of the contest and qualifying events, and to develop strategies for using the contest as a way to track national braille literacy trends.
The program was created by the Braille Institute of America in 1999 as a local California event. This year, Ex Officio Trustee Vicki Liske and other staff members at the Braille Institute will host the first National Braille Challenge Invitational at their headquarters in Los Angeles. Contestants will first compete in local preliminary rounds and those achieving the top fifty scores across the country will be treated to a three-day trip to Los Angeles for the national event. Fun activities for the contestants and their families will precede and follow the actual contest slated for Saturday, June 28.
The Braille Challenge is a series of four contests demonstrating proficiency in braille reading and writing, comprehension, spelling and use of tactile graphics. Contestants are divided into five groups designed for students who are performing at grade level. In the preliminary round, teachers of students who are visually impaired will be asked to administer contest materials individually or at their own regional events. Teachers are encouraged to select students who are prepared for this rigorous academic challenge.
Packets and brochures are available from the Braille Institute through January. Preliminary packets must be ordered by February 16, 2003, and completed contests returned to the Braille Institute by March 25, 2003. Call 800/BRAILLE for more information, or visit their web site at www.brailleinstitute.org. You may also contact Vicki Liske or Nancy Niebrugge at 323/663-1111, or Janie Humphries at 800/223-1839, ext. 367.
Compiled by: Bob Brasher, Vice President, Products and Services
Designed by: Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator
For additional recent APH News, click the following:
Thanks to the following APH staff members for their contributions to this effort:
- Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
- Scott Blome, Director of Communications
- Tony Grantz, Business Manager
- Janie Humphries, Director of Advisory Services
- Elaine Kitchel, Low Vision Project Leader
- Artina Paris, Advisory Services Assistant
- Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader
- Kris Scott, Test Central Test Editor
- Debbie Willis, Manager of Test Central