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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 2006–Happy New Year!

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

APH Flea Market

APH Flea Market Sale: January – March, 2006

A new listing of overstocked and discontinued APH products is now available at the APH Flea Market. All discounted inventory is available on a first come, first served basis. Please order early and take advantage of the extra dollars off.

APH InSights 2006 Art Competition and Exhibition

Rendition of the Mona Lisa using simulated braille dots

Artists of all ages who are blind or visually impaired are invited to submit artwork for the thirteenth annual international art competition, APH InSights 2006. Last year, 526 entries were received. From these, jurors selected eighty pieces for the exhibition, which was shown in Louisville in October.

Artists may enter artwork created in any visual art medium, including (but not limited to), painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber, metal, or wood. Award winners receive a cash award and a ribbon. They are invited to come to Louisville to receive their awards at the October meeting of Ex Officio Trustees. Last year, twelve award-winners attended the presentation. (While APH cannot pay the full travel cost of those attending, a stipend to assist with travel is available.)

There are two deadlines: April 1 is the deadline for entries from students in preschool through high school; April 15 is the deadline for entries from adult artists.

Competition rules and forms that may be printed and filled out will be posted on the website by the end of February. Artists may also contact APH to request a copy of the entry form and rules of the competition: 800/223-1839, ext. 357 or email hidden; JavaScript is required

Celebrating Louis Braille’s Birthday

Join us at the APH Callahan Museum as we celebrate Louis Braille’s birthday and National Braille Literacy Month on Saturday, January 21st with a reading from the braille version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. The reading will start at 11:00 a.m., presented by Sound Prints co-host, Carla Ruschival. Sound Prints is a weekly radio program heard in Louisville, Kentucky over Clear Channel’s WKJK AM 1080.

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field Accepting Nominations Through March 17

The Hall is now soliciting nominations for 2006 to join the 36 legends inducted since 2002.

Criteria for Hall of Fame Nomination:

  • Persons who have made significant contributions to improve the lives of persons who are blind or visual impaired.
  • Persons are eligible five years after departure/retirement from the profession in which their significant contributions were made.

Individuals from North America are eligible for nomination. (North America is defined as US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean).

If you are interested in learning more about the process and/or submitting a qualified nominee, please visit the following link on the APH web site:

If you’re interested in the history of our field and those who shaped it, please read the biographies of the legends on the Hall of Fame virtual site.

APH Gets In Touch with Literacy

Over 375 participants attended the 7th biennial "Getting In Touch With Literacy" conference December 1 – 4 in Denver, CO. APH was pleased to be a platinum sponsor of the event and to exhibit some exciting new products during the conference. Field Services staff members Janie Blome and Sandi Baker manned the exhibit booth with assistance from Educational Research staffers Fred Otto and Jeanette Wicker. Fred made two presentations during the conference and Fred and Jeanette both manned poster sessions.

Highlighting the conference were a keynote salute to Sally Mangold and Alan Koenig by Cay Holbrook, and a closing luncheon presentation by Eric Wehenmayer, mountaineer and author of Touch the Top of the World.

Cay Holbrook and Janie Humphries Blome, co-founders of the conference, were honored to present the fourth Holbrook-Humphries award to Frances Mary D’Andrea for her contributions to literacy for students who are blind and visually impaired.

Girl Scouts Enjoy a Day at APH

APH's Roberta Williams speaks to Girl Scouts and some family members

Local Girl Scouts declared the Callahan Museum "Better than Hip-Hop!" during their annual Festival of the Arts in November. The Festival is a day-long arts experience of observation and participation for Brownie through Senior Girl Scouts at sites all across Louisville.

While at the Printing House, the girls participated in a workshop, "Make a Picture for Your Fingertips." Led by tactile graphics expert Karen Poppe, the scouts used textured papers, Quick-Draw paper, and the new Draftsman to create their own tactile art projects.

In the Callahan Museum, the scouts explored the museum’s collection of historic globes, maps, books, and other visual aids created for the blind and visually impaired. After a quick lesson in the Braille alphabet, they were soon writing "secret" messages in the same tactile codes millions of visually impaired persons use to communicate every day.

This was the 33rd and last Festival planned for Louisville. In 2006, the Festival will be moving to Indianapolis.

Fred’s Head Database Webcast

Fred's Head Database: Sharing valuable tips and techniques

Start the New Year learning the newest way of getting information on tips, techniques, products, technology, cooking, recreation and more.

The Fred’s Head Webcast will be hosted by Michael McCarty, Expert Database Coordinator. He will introduce you to the Fred’s Head Companion and how APH now delivers articles from the Fred’s Head Database directly into your email, news aggregator and podcatcher. The webcast will show how Fred’s Head articles can be read aloud from the Companion site and how you can download articles to your Book Port or portable MP3 player.

The webcast will take place on Wednesday, January 18 from 1:00 P.M. Eastern Time to 2:00 P.M. To sign up and get login information, please send an e-mail to Maria Delgado: email hidden; JavaScript is required

NFB Announces the 2006 Science Academy

National Center for Blind Youth in Science

The National Federation of the Blind is pleased to announce the 2006 Science Academy, presented in two sessions, at the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore, Maryland. Each session will select twelve students to participate based on their interest in science, skills, and academic performance.

For those interested in participating, you will find applications online at The deadline for applications is March 31, 2006.

CIRCLE OF LIFE July 29 – August 5
This weeklong session for junior high students will expose blind youth to the excitement of science in real-life applications. Students will learn about the circle of life and connections between life and ecosystems through hands-on experiences dealing with dinosaurs, the Chesapeake Bay and sea life, and environmental data, to name a few. The students will go on various field trips to get a full understanding of the materials they are studying.

ROCKET ON! July 14-22, 2006
This nine-day session provides blind high school students with a unique opportunity to experience science as a vehicle for adventure, exploration, and innovation, and as a career option in their future. Participants will develop, build, and launch a ten and one-half foot rocket off the Eastern Shore of Virginia at the Wallops Flight Facility and analyze the results against their predictions. Visits to centers of scientific innovation such as the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center will be incorporated into the program to enhance the learning experience. In addition, participants will interact with blind and sighted NASA scientists and engineers to learn about the rewards of pursuing a career in science and what it takes to get there.

Please let those students with whom you are acquainted know about these exciting opportunities! Also, encourage motivated blind mentors to apply to be facilitators. For more information, or if you have questions, please contact Mary Jo Thorpe at 410-659-9314, ext. 2407, or by email at email hidden; JavaScript is required

APH Reading Survey

The American Printing House for the Blind is assessing the need for reading materials and reading programs for students who are blind or visually impaired. This survey is in response to the interest expressed by Ex Officio Trustees, focus groups, and individuals who have submitted Product Submissions for specific reading programs. We are planning at least two surveys that address different issues relating to reading. The first survey addresses Remedial Reading Intervention Programs. The second survey will address supplemental reading materials including leveled reading materials. If you are an Ex Officio Trustee, a classroom teacher, itinerant teacher of a child who is visually impaired or family member of the student, we would appreciate your response to this survey. Fill out Survey #1 at

Hot Off the Press: Free Online Assessment Compendium

Lighthouse International’s 2005 revision of the Assessment Compendium: Instruments for Assessing the Skills and Interests of Children with Visual Impairments is now available on the VisionConnection professional resources page. The compendium includes an index and cross-referenced listings for each test, including publisher, publication date, type of instrument, target audience, qualifications of administrator, normative and standardization data, and special adaptations for visually impaired individuals. To review or download all or part of this informative assessment tool, visit

Introducing Our New APH Ex Officio Trustees!

Please join us in welcoming:

  • Charles E. Young at The Hadley School for the Blind, replacing Dawn Turco.
  • Katrina M. T. Celes at the Guam Department of Education, replacing Vincent Leon Guerrero.
  • Nancy Wise at the Idaho Commission for the Blind, replacing Heidi Cook.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


January 6, 2006
Texas Regional Service Center Product Training;
San Angelo, TX

January 16-17, 2006
NIMAS Development Committee;
Orlando, FL

January 17-21, 2006
ATIA 2006;
Orlando, FL

January 24-25, 2006
Making Tests Accessible Workshop;
APH in Louisville, KY


February 13-16, 2006
DC/MD AER Conference 2006;
Baltimore, MD

February 23-25, 2006
National After School Conference;
Louisville, KY


March 10-12, 2006
Anaheim, CA

March 16-19, 2006
ASA/NCOA Conference 2006;
Anaheim, CA

March 21-25, 2006
Los Angeles, CA

New! Periodic Table of Elements, Print/Braille Version

view of full table

Periodic Table of Elements Reference Chart: 1-08855-00 — $54.00
Periodic Table of Elements Reference Booklet, Print: 7-08855-00 — $19.00
Periodic Table of Elements Reference Booklet, Braille: 5-08855-00 — $19.00

close-up view shows the tactile features

This frequently requested reference item is now available in a durable and colorful print/braille version. The chart comes with a reference booklet in print and in braille (also available separately) that contains additional tables listing the elements by name, atomic number, electron configurations, etc. Measures approximately 22 1/2 x 13 inches.

MaximEyesTM for Internet Explorer®

MaximEyes Software: D-00500-00 — $59.95
Not available on Federal Quota.

MaximEyesTM is a plug-in for Internet Explorer® that adds a toolbar that allows you to control the size of website text and images.


  • Magnify web pages from 1x to 16x
  • Customize the colors of the background, text, and links
  • Large mouse pointer and cursors
  • Large toolbar buttons and dialog boxes
  • Speak text aloud using the Click-and-Speak synthetic speech tool

Requirements to Run

  • Windows® 2000 or Windows XP (Service Pack 2 Recommended)
  • Internet Explorer® 6.0
  • Pentium® II or faster processor
  • 128 MB RAM
  • Sound card and speakers required for speech output

NEW! Crafty Graphics II

Crafty Graphics II Kit: 1-08852-00 — $62.00

Items Available Separately
Clear SimBraille Stencil: 1-00077-00 — $21.00
Clear Plastic Pocket Braille Slate/Stylus: 1-00078-00 — $7.00
Three Spur Wheels and One Compass with Spur Wheel: 1-08852-01 — $18.00

Crafty Graphics Kit (original): 1-08844-00 — $120.00

The original Crafty Graphics Kit is a set of tools and a manual to help you create tactile graphics by dry pressure embossing. The new Crafty Graphics Kit II provides supplemental tools to be used with the original kit. Some items can be purchased separately, as noted above.


  • Clear SimBraille Stencil: can be used for making simulated print braille dots. 40 cells, 4 lines.
  • Clear Plastic Pocket Braille Slate/Stylus: allows you to see where to place braille labels.
  • Three plastic stencils: Point symbol stencil, Multi-line stencil, Directional line stencil.
  • Graphic Boundary Frame: helps with placement of graphics for thermoforming.
  • Three Spur Wheels and One Compass with Spur Wheel: use for making tactile lines and circles.

NEW! Braille Book Corner
Recreational Braille Books

These and other braille and enlarged type recreational reading books can be found in the APH Bookstore Catalog-request your free copy today by emailing email hidden; JavaScript is required or calling 1-800-223-1839.

Why I Sneeze, Shiver, Hiccup, and Yawn
by Melvin Berger
Braille — T-N1535-70 — $9.00
This simple introduction to automatic reflexes of the human body uses familiar examples to explain why we cough, sneeze, shiver, hiccup, yawn, and blink. (Grades 2-4)

Gus and Grandpa Go Fishing
by Claudia Mills
Braille — T-N1540-20 — $8.50
Gus goes fishing for the first time and receives expert guidance from his grandfather. Grades K-3

Flight to Freedom
by Ana Veciana-Suarez
Braille — T-N1563-30 — $35.00
Writing in her diary, thirteen-year-old Yara describes life with her family in Havana, Cuba, their escape from the communist island, and their new life in Miami, Florida. (Grades 6-9)

The Bald Eagle: Returning Wildlife
by John E. Becker
Braille — T-N1563-90 — $13.00
This book discusses the near extinction and restoration of the bald eagle, its role in nature, and the future of the protected bird. (Grades 4-7)

Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope
by Beverley Naidoo
Braille — T-N1536-60 — $31.50
Seven stories show South Africans of different eras, races, and ethnic groups as they cope with apartheid. In "The Playground" Rosa is the first girl to integrate the local school. Foreword by Desmond Tutu. (Junior high and older)

Accelerated ReaderTM Information for Braille Book Corner Titles

Title AR No. Grade Points
Why I Sneeze, Hiccup, and Yawn AR#41753 3.9 0.5
Gus and Grandpa Go Fishing AR#72210 2.6 0.5
Flight to Freedom AR#64502 5.6 6.0
The Bald Eagle AR#63718 7.6 1.0
Out of Bounds: 7 Stories of Conflict & Hope AR#65079 5.4 5.0

Accelerated Reader is a service offered by the Renaissance Learning company.

  1. Student Reads a Book. The student reads a library or textbook selection.
  2. Student Takes a Quiz. The quizzes provided by Renaissance Learning generate assessment information to help you motivate reading, monitor progress, and target instruction to accelerate reading growth.
  3. You Get Information. You receive reports on the reading level and comprehension skills of each student to guide instruction and help the student select more reading materials.

For more information on Accelerated Reader, visit

CORRECTION: Mini Rib-It-Ball NOT Available on Quota

four Rib-It Balls arranged largest to smallest

The listing for the Mini Rib-It-Ball (1-07512-00 — $14.00) in the Family Life Catalog 2005-2006, page 51, left off the statement that the Mini Rib-It is NOT available for purchase with Federal Quota funds.

The other three Rib-It-Balls and replacement bladders ARE available for purchase on Quota:
Jacob’s 14" Rib-It-Ball: 1-07513-00 — $23.00
14" Replacement Bladder: 1-07513-01 — $3.00
Jacob’s 18" Rib-It-Ball: 1-07514-00 — $39.00
18" Replacement Bladder: 1-07514-01 — $6.00
Jacob’s 30" Rib-It-Ball (with foot pump): 1-07515-00 — $68.00
30" Replacement Bladder: 1-07515-01 — $12.00

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site 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
  • Barbara Henderson, Project Leader, Accessible Tests
  • Mike Hudson, Museum Director
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field services
  • Becki Moody, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Jeanette Wicker, Core Curriculum Project Leader, Research
  • Roberta Williams, Public Affairs and Special Projects Manager

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

December Issue –
November Issue –
October Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –

Please share this web link or any items that appear in this publication with anyone who might benefit.

Thank you.

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