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APH News

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

January 2004—Happy New Year!

Dr. Christine Roman Joins APH

Christine Roman

We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Christine Roman as the first APH Project Leader in the area of Cortical Visual Impairments. The part-time nature of the position will allow Chris to work with APH and continue her duties as Director and Assistant Professor of the Program in Visual Impairment at Marshall University.

Over the past two years, Chris—a well-known educator, author, and lecturer—has provided a number of National Instructional Partnerships events for APH in the area of CVI as it relates to APH products. She is a member of our CVI Synergy focus group, and was instrumental in helping us develop and refine last year’s new "FDB" (Functions at the Definition of Blindness) category in the Federal Quota Student Registration System.

Dr. Roman’s responsibilities at APH will include the development of new products and the review of existing products for this population, as well as assisting other APH staff in the development of products with CVI in mind as appropriate. She will continue to provide National Instructional Partnerships events that will incorporate the use of these new products for students with cortical visual impairments.

Additional exciting plans will be shared in the near future, so please keep reading the APH News!

APH Flea Market Update

Beginning the first of 2004 and running through March 31, 2004, we are making a number of APH products available at extra discounts. All are either overstocked or discontinued items and are available only while supplies last.

You will want to take advantage of these exceptional buys! Visit our web site Flea Market today for catalog numbers, descriptions, and sale prices:

If you have any questions, please contact the APH Customer Service Department at 800/223-1839.

APH Participates in Historic O&M Conference

Over 600 professionals attending the first National Orientation and Mobility Conference in New Orleans in December, had the opportunity to learn about APH’s Orientation and Mobility products and to share information about product needs. Janie Humphries, Field Services Director, and Scott Blome, Communications Director, demonstrated the Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit and other related products at the APH exhibit booth.

Terrie Terlau, Adult Life Project Leader, co-presented a poster session reflecting APH’s interest in applications of new electronic travel Devices. Terrie also facilitated two discussion groups: Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Intersections and Concept Development in Congenitally Blind Children. In general, information obtained from conference participants and from the conference program supports APH’s current O&M product development directions and suggests additional avenues for product exploration.

APH Gets In Touch With Literacy

APH staff members were among the nearly 400 people attending the "Getting In Touch With Literacy" conference December 4 – 6 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

APH products were on display in the exhibit hall during the entire conference. Presentations were made by numerous APH staff members, including Ralph Bartley, Bob Brasher, Janie Humphries, Gary Mudd, Eleanor Pester, Jane Thompson, and consultant Carol Allman.

Related meetings, hosted by APH, focused on the development of early print/braille books for very young children and the current revision of the APH Patterns reading series.

APH offers sincere congratulations to Dr. Alan Koenig, Texas Tech University, winner of the 2004 Holbrook – Humphries Literacy Award, presented to him by 2002 winner Dr. Sally Mangold.

Large Print, Color Atlas Workgroup Convenes

On December 12 and 13, Lane Koniak (OR), Kathy Krause (AZ), and Judy Strauss-Schwartz (NY), consultants with experience in both low vision and geography, met with APH staff to work on the first section of the Atlas. The Atlas will be divided into three sections, developed, produced and released as three sibling products. The first section is nearly ready for testing of the format and packaging. The group finalized formatting options, explored packaging issues, and edited the first three chapters of the section that will be included in the field test. They also outlined the subsequent chapters and made assignments for the writing and editing.

The Large Print, Color Atlas is a priority project identified by the Educational Products Advisory Committee, and the Educational Services Advisory Committee, as one that will fill a significant need in educating students about geography. Sixty-nine special guidelines have been developed by the 2001 Large Print Atlas Focus Group, which are being closely followed by those designing and developing the Atlas. These guidelines conform to the National Standards for Education in Geography. APH plans to share those guidelines with manufacturers of accessible maps at the appropriate time. It is expected that these guidelines will be a valuable contribution to map making and to our society’s efforts to serve people with visual impairments.

Census 2004

The "As Of" date has come and gone, so we imagine Ex Officio Trustees are feverishly working on the 2004 Census. If you have questions about the SRS Program or any of the changes made this year, contact Karen Blaker at (800) 223-1839, ext. 300 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Web Demos of the New Interfaces for Louis and AMP Databases!

Web-based demos of the new interfaces for the Louis Database of Accessible Materials for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired and the Accessible Media Producers Database (AMP) are now available on the APH web site!

The demos highlight some of the enhancements we have made to our Web interfaces for Louis and AMP. These features were added to make searching easier, especially for those who use speech software, and to provide a more user-friendly design for those with low vision.

Please take a look at the demos, which are located here:

Be the Next Pop Star! Enter the APH InSights 2004 Art Competition!

Self-Portrait Orange, Andy Warhol, 1966

Applications will soon be available for the 2004 APH InSights Art Competition. Keep an eye on our web site and on your mailbox. The application will be posted on the web by Monday, January 12, and print applications will be mailed before the end of the month. If you are not on the mailing list to receive an application and would like to be, or if you have questions, please call Roberta Williams at 1-800-223-1839 ext. 357 or email at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

The APH InSights Art Competition and Exhibition is exclusively for blind and visually impaired artists of all ages. Any artist meeting the definition of blindness may submit one two- or three-dimensional work in any visual art medium. View previously submitted works from the competition on the virtual art gallery accessed from the APH Perspectives page:

Consulting with Test Developers to Ensure Accessibility of Alternate Assessment Items

Meeting participants hard at work

On Dec. 12, 2003, staff members of APH’s Accessible Tests and Research Departments worked with staff from Measured Progress on making alternate assessment items accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired.

Debbie Willis, Barbara Henderson, and Monica Coffey of Accessible Tests reviewed draft-phase assessment items with Dr. Sue Bechard, Director of Special Education, and Chris Beeso, Special Education Specialist, of Measured Progress. Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader in Research, demonstrated a number of tactile products and discussed the use of augmentative communication methods. Consultant Suzette Wright provided information and products that address early literacy and pre-reading skills. After much sharing of information, suggestions were offered on ways to adapt performance-based alternate assessment items. Two Measured Progress staffers will participate in the upcoming workshop on Making Tests Accessible to Blind and Visually Impaired Students. Chris Beeso says, "We look forward to a sustained relationship with APH."

TVI Specialization Program Announcement: University of Northern Iowa

Beginning with the Spring 2004 semester, the University of Northern Iowa will offer courses for teachers in the area of education for students with visual impairments. For additional information on the program content, contact Dr. Sunggye Hong at 319-273-795 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

APH Travel Calendar


on the road with APH

January 13, 2004
ISAVE Training for VI Teachers;
Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX

January 14-17, 2004
Orlando, FL

January 15-16, 2004
State Assessment Workshop;
APH, Louisville, KY

January 21-23, 2004
SC AER Conference;
Charleston, SC

January 23, 2004
ISAVE Training for San Francisco State and San Francisco School District;
San Francisco, CA

January 29-30, 2004
Idaho School for the Blind Envision and Babies Count Training;
Gooding, ID


February 2-4, 2004
Technology in Testing: Advancements and Best Practices-ATP;
Indian Wells, CA

February 9-13, 2004
Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill;
Washington, DC

February 22-25, 2004
Beyond the Guidelines, Phase II;
Colorado Springs, CO

February 26-27, 2004
Envision Training for ASDB and FBC Staff, Univ. of Arizona students;
Tucson, AZ


March 4-6, 2004
National Association of Adults with Special Learning Needs (NAASLN);
Tampa, FL

March 5-7, 2004
Jo Taylor;
Washington, DC

March 6-7, 2004
MACRT/ASERT Business Meeting and Conference Planning;
Indianapolis, IN

March 10-12, 2004
Louisville, KY

March 11, 2004
Beyond the Guidelines Pre-Conference Workshop at CTEVH;
Los Angeles, CA

March 12-14, 2004
Los Angeles, CA

March 15-20, 2004
Los Angeles, CA

New Parts Catalog Now Available Online!

The APH Parts Catalog 2003-2004 is now available online in HTML, text file, and PDF formats. The Parts Catalog lists the most commonly requested replacement items for popular APH products. The PDF edition contains pictures of all products to help you identify the parts you need.

Locate APH Product Parts in Louis!

Have you ever had trouble finding the name or number of the part you needed? You can find that information through the Louis Database. Search for the complete product by catalog number or name. Any available replacement parts will be listed with the product, including their part numbers and prices.

Braille DateBook Now Available

On November 24, 2003, the following products became available for sale from the American Printing House for the Blind:

  • Braille DateBook 2004, Catalog Number 1-07899-04, Price $53.00
  • Braille DateBook Filler Paper and Tabs, Catalog Number 1-07897-00, Price $10.00
  • Braille DateBook Calendar Tabs, Catalog Number 1-07898-04, Price $13.00.

Braille DateBook

The Braille DateBook is a planner/organizer developed exclusively for braille users of all ages. A sturdy, burgundy padded vinyl binder with a hook/loop material closure offers the look and feel of a planner and protects 4" x 6" braille pages that are stored inside. It can be used with either a braille writer or a slate and stylus. Additional features include: pockets for storing a stylus and braille slate; a tabbed braille calendar and organizer for storing appointments; filler paper; organizer tabs; and a print and braille guide book.

The DateBook is completely customizable. It can be set up as an appointment book; a family calendar; an address book; an organizer for financial, medical or other records; any combination of the above – and much more. Although developed with transition and adult users in mind, the Braille DateBook can also serve as a classroom planner/assignment book and can help elementary and secondary students acquire and use good organizational skills.

Additional Way to Use the Prevocational Skills Development Materials

Prevocational Skills Development Materials kit

The Prevocational Skills Development Materials are designed to help students with multiple disabilities develop manipulative skills such as matching, sorting, counting, assembling, and packaging.

The Sorting and Assembly Tray can also be used as a calendar box system. Calendar boxes are used to teach daily schedules, improve communication, increase anticipation, and develop the concept of time. Each divided section represents a specific period of time. An object placed within that area represents an activity to be worked on during that time period.

APH’s Sorting and Assembly Tray is especially useful for this purpose because it is durable and can be expanded from one or two activities per day to a more advanced calendar box by simply adding additional green dividers.

The Sorting and Assembly Tray is a component of the complete Prevocational Skills Development Materials Kit, or it can be purchased separately.

Prevocational Skills Development Materials (Complete Kit): 1-08000-00 — $419.00
Sorting and Assembly Tray only: 1-08030-00 — $98.00

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley III
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Designed by:
Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator
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Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Karen Blaker, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Monica Coffey, Editor, Accessible Tests
  • Tony Grantz, Manager, Business Development
  • Janie Humphries, Director, Field Services
  • Elaine Kitchel, Low Vision Project Leader, Research
  • Becki Moody, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Artina Paris, Assistant, Field Services
  • Terrie Terlau, Adult Life Project Leader, Research
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

Edited by:
Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research
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For additional recent APH News, click the following:

December Issue –
November Issue –
October Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –