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APH News

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

January 2008

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

cover of Squire Toad's Puzzle Book

Seeking Field Evaluators for Sense of Science: Astronomy

Sense of Science: Astronomy kit

APH is currently seeking field evaluators for Sense of Science: Astronomy which is intended to complement students’ current science curriculum. The kit includes a variety of tactile/print overlays which can be used in combination with APH light boxes to reinforce concepts such as galaxy types, moon phases, relative sizes of the planets, structure of the sun, constellations, the space shuttle, and much more. If you are a teacher who has used Sense of Science modules in the past and currently work with students with visual impairments/blindness in grades 3-8, please consider evaluating the materials included in this new module. Field testing will begin in February 2008 and extend until the end of April 2008. If you would like to be considered for the field evaluation of this product, please contact Karen J. Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, at 800/223-1839, ext. 322 or email hidden; JavaScript is required for more information about this opportunity. Thank you.

APH’s Braille+ Mobile Manager Instruction Now a Hit on YouTube!

As you probably know, APH’s Larry Skutchan has presented several webcasts on the APH Braille+ Mobile Manager – with more to come. These sessions are archived on our website.

Screen shot from one of Chase and LeAnna's videos

This very popular product has now found it’s way to YouTube, thanks to an ingenious teacher and student.

Chase Crispin, a 5th grade student in Nebraska, enjoys working with his APH Braille+ Mobile Manager, teaching people about computers, and learning about new technological devices.

LeAnna MacDonald is a teacher of students with visual impairments, a low vision therapist, and an orientation and mobility specialist in the Omaha, Nebraska area.

Together, they have teamed up to bring us a series of short training sessions on the Braille+. Chase is the "on-air talent" and LeAnna serves as the "videographer."

By going to the first lesson, you will see the others listed as related videos.

Screen shot from one of Chase and LeAnna's videos
Screen shot from one of Chase and LeAnna's videos

The sessions available to date:

  • (1) APH BraillePlus Mobile Manager: Installing the Battery
  • (2a) APH BraillePlus Mobile Manager:Part 1 Buttons & Keys
  • (2b) APH BraillePlus Mobile Manager:Part 2 Buttons&Keys
  • (3a) APH BraillePlus Mobile Manager: Setting the Time
  • (3b) APH BraillePlus Mobile Manager: Synchronizing

Chase is a natural who tells us that after this series is completed he plans to produce additional instructional videos on other APH products – and then work here someday.

You may contact LeAnna at email hidden; JavaScript is required

This information and the link to these sessions will be archived on our site.


Continuous Improvements for the New APH Large Print Textbooks

Accessible Textbooks Department

The Accessible Textbook Department is pleased to announce new modifications to the new APH Large Print Textbook design. These changes are certain to further enhance textual and aesthetic visibility for students with low-vision.

Improvements will be found in textbook colors, page bars, and text boxes. Two new background fill colors have been implemented which are pearl pink and goldenrod yellow. Pearl pink will be used as a fill color for page bars as it makes the page bars jump off the page so students can locate them faster. In similar fashion, goldenrod yellow has proven to be a good contrasting background hue for text boxes and sidebars. This combination was recently used in the new APH Large Format Atlas.

To provide even greater visual orientation for the student, the page bars will also now feature two original print page numbers, situated at both margins instead of a single number at the left margin.

APH strives to improve the readability and aesthetic appeal of its Large Print products. The Accessible Textbook Department is making major changes to the proprietary software used to create the APH Large Print Textbooks that will allow for even more attractive, reader-friendly textbooks for all. Stay tuned for further updates…

Fantastic Flea Market Finds!

APH Flea Market

Yes, you can take advantage of significant savings on selected APH products by visiting the APH Flea Market for January – March, 2008. As always, first come, first served.

APH’s Newest Federal Quota Account:

Please welcome our newest Ex Officio Trustee, Tim Thornburgh, CNMI Public Schools Federal Programs Officer, representing the CNMI Department of Education.

Photo of a sandy beach with water and palm trees

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a territory of the United States, is a chain of 14 tropical islands in the Western Pacific Ocean, located just north of Guam. They are very proud of their bright turquoise skies, crystal clear waters, pristine beaches, tropical breezes, and unmatched hospitality.

For more information, visit

Our gratitude to Mr. Thornburgh and Ms. Kelly Phillips, teacher of students who are visually impaired, for making this a reality.

APH Charts a Course For Literacy

APH was a proud participant in the eighth biennial "Getting In Touch With Literacy" Conference, held November 29 – December 2 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Approximately 500 participants were on hand to hear great presentations, many by APH staff, visit the exhibit booths, network with each other and hang out at the beach!

Highlights were presentations by teachers, university personnel preparation program staff and students, international colleagues and others. Items receiving a lot of attention at the APH booth included the revised "On The Way to Literacy" handbook, the new Patterns materials, and the new materials for the Wilson Reading Program.

APH was glad to set sail for the conference, and we extend our congratulations to Kay Ratzlaff, APH Ex Officio Trustee Suzanne Dalton, and the other fine Florida folks for putting together an amazing agenda of presentations and an all around great conference. Ahoy, mates!

Enrique Oliu, color analyst for the Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Team, and his co-host for the evening, APH's Bob Brasher

Photo: Host of the Banquet and Live Auction, Enrique Oliu, color analyst for the Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Team, and his co-host for the evening, APH’s Bob Brasher, have a good time raising money for a good cause…the next Literacy Conference!

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Jonn Paris-Salb, California Department of Education, replacing Rod Brawley.

Jackie Brennan, Overbrook School for the Blind replacing Bernadette Kappen.

Tim Thornburgh, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) Department of Education.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


January 5, 2008
New York Regional Braille Challenge;
Westbury, NY

January 8-10, 2008
Work Session with Perkins Teachers on Adaptation of the Wilson Reading System for Braille Users;
Watertown, MA

January 16-17, 2008
NIP Event: Learning to Use the SLK;
North Mankato, MN

January 29-30, 2008
NIMAS Standard Board/NIMAS Implementation Council;
Orlando, FL

January 30 – February 2, 2008
ATIA 2008;
Orlando, FL


February 20-22, 2008
New Mexico AER 2008 Conference;
Albuquerque, NM

February 20-23, 2008
International Conference on Aging, Disability, and Independence;
St. Petersburg, FL

February 28-March 2, 2008
Los Angeles, CA


March 3-5, 2008
Association of Test Publishers: Innovations in Testing Conference;
Dallas, TX

March 3-6, 2008
ATP Test Security Summit (post-ATP Conference);
Grapevine, TX

March 9-13, 2008
Exhibitor 2008;
Las Vegas, NV

March 10-15, 2008
Los Angeles, CA

March 12, 2008
"Focus" On Vision Impairment & Blindness;
Taunton, MA

March 13-15, 2008
Pacific NW AER;
Tacoma, WA


April 2-5, 2008
CEC 2008;
Boston, MA

April 21-22, 2008
Power Up 2008 Conference and Expo;
Osage Beach, MO

Checked Out the Fred’s Head Tips and Techniques Database Lately?

Fred's Head Database

APH is excited to announce that we’re adding many new records to the Fred’s Head Database, and the Fred’s Head Companion blog is going through a major update.

Fred’s Head is a free-of-charge resource for finding products and services for blind students and adults, as well as tips and tricks to assist in daily living, computer usage, entertainment, and dozens of other topics.

Over two thousand Fred’s Head Database records have been recently updated with current web links, contact information, and general information. The Fred’s Head Companion blog has recently been upgraded with improved searching and category browsing.

We want your contributions! The success of the Fred’s Head comes from the people who use it. If you have a favorite piece of technology, know a way to make a chore easier, or want to brag on an accessible website, let us know. Recent articles include:

  • KidSmart™ Vocal Smoke Alarm
  • Safely Removing USB Devices From Your Computer
  • Talking Computers magazine
  • Can You Defeat the Dark Destroyer?
  • Baby’s First Year: An Online Resource

Visit the original Fred’s Head database at or the Fred’s Head Companion blog at where articles can be delivered to you via RSS feed or through email. Your suggestions and articles are always welcome, email Michael McCarty at email hidden; JavaScript is required, or call 502 895-2405 ext. 396.

NEW! ToAD: Tools for Assessment and Development of Visual Skills

Kit: 1-08152-00 — $595.00

ToAD Modules:
ToAD Object Cards (set of 168): 1-08152-01 — $24.00
ToAD Light Source Items: 1-08152-02 — $93.00
SQUIRE ToAD’s Puzzle Book, Large Print Edition: 1-08152-05 — $26.00
SQUIRE ToAD’s Puzzle Book, Braille Edition: 5-08152-05 — $26.00
ToAD Teacher’s Guidebook, Large Print Edition: 7-08152-00 — $36.00
ToAD Teacher’s Guidebook, Braille Edition: 5-08152-00 — $36.00

Related Products:
ISAVE Visual Field/Acuity Grid: 1-08540-00 — $49.00
Invisiboard: 1-08541-00 — $120.00

This set of standardized tools aids in performing functional vision evaluations or visual skills development activities. ToAD does not provide a curriculum–there are several excellent curricula available, including ISAVE from APH. The ToAD kit provides tools, toys, and puzzles that assist the educator as he or she performs assessments or activities.

In addition to its uses for assessment and for vision development skills activities, ToAD serves as the VISION MODALITY for the Sensory Learning Kit. One of the reasons ToAD was developed was to provide tools and activity suggestions for tool use, in a program that increases in complexity, yet is developmentally-appropriate as a vision modality of the Sensory Learning Kit.

ToAD components include:

  • ToAD Teacher’s Guidebook, for use with learners at a developmental level of 2.5 – 5 years
  • SQUIRE ToAD’s Puzzle Book
  • Match ‘n Sort Cards
  • ToAD Flashlight and Attachments
  • String Light with Cricket Attachment
  • ToAD LED Keychain Lights
  • ToAD Foam Puzzles
  • Mylar Pompon
  • Tangle Toy™
  • Billy Bird Puppet
  • Unbreakable Mirror
  • Bowls and Balls
  • Swirly Mats™
  • Slinky™
  • Lucite Puzzles
  • Cup, toothbrush, spoon, and many other kit materials

Most ToAD materials are designed to be used with APH’s Invisiboard and ISAVE Grid in a very softly lit environment.

NOTE: For learners 0 – 2.5 years and those with severe, multiple disabilities, the TADPOLE program is being developed.

WARNING: Choking Hazard-Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.

NEW! Braille+ Replacement Items

Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery: 1-07453-00 — $39.95
Power Sync Cable with USB-A Connector: 1-07454-00 — $24.95
AC/DC Adaptor-Charger: 1-07455-00 — $19.95
Earbud: 1-07456-00 — $7.95

Braille+ Mobile Manager

Braille+ Mobile Manager (mobile manager unit, including the above items): 1-07450-00 — $1,395.00

Braille+ Mobile Manager by APH is designed specifically for users who are blind or visually impaired. It can be held in your hand like a PDA or used on your lap or desk like a laptop.

  • Stay connected by using its web browser, wireless capability, podcasts, RSS, and email
  • Manage appointments with its calendar and address book
  • Type reports or letters on the word processor
  • Record lectures or journal the day’s events
  • Play your favorite songs or listen to books and movies-it stores thousands
  • Transfer files and synchronize appointments with your Windows® PC

NOTE: All of the replacement items listed above are included with the Braille+ unit. You may wish to replace one of these items or purchase additional items–for example, some customers find it convenient to own a second Braille+ battery.

NEW! MagneTachers Magnetic Labels

For Making Large Print Labels (0.5 inch high, includes two 120 inch rolls): 1-07417-00 — $14.95
For Making Larger Print Labels: (1 inch high, two 120 inch rolls): 1-07418-00 — $14.95
For Making Braille Labels (0.5 inch high, two 120 inch rolls): 1-07416-00 — $14.95
For Making Small Braillable Labels (includes two sheets, 18 labels per sheet): 1-07415-00 — $14.95
For Making Sherlock Labels (two sheets, 12 labels per sheet): 1-07413-00 — $14.95
For Making Sherlock Labels, Includes Sherlock Labels (two magnetic sheets, 12 labels per sheet, plus 25 self-adhesive Sherlock Labels): 1-07414-00 — $36.00

Related Products:
Braillable Labels and Sheets (self-adhesive, not magnetic):
Small Label Pack (10 Sheets, 18 labels (3.87 x 0.95)/Sheet: 1-08872-00 — $12.00
Assorted Label Pack (5 Large Sheets, 5 Small Sheets, 10 Full-Size Sheets, 30 Pin-Fed Sheets): 1-08871-00 — $35.00
Sherlock Talking Label Identifier: 1-07410-00 — $229.00
Additional Sherlock Labels (25 self-adhesive Sherlock Labels only): 1-07411-00 — $29.00

MagneTachers are magnetic labels that attach to metal objects, are easily removable, and re-attachable! You can create labels in large print, braille, and for the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (sold separately).

Uses include:

  • Create, use, store, and reuse labels for canned goods
  • Read, write, order and re-order sets of words or numbers on a classroom magnet board
  • Make labels on metal desks and file drawers that everyone can read

MagneTachers for Making Large Print Labels

can of soup with a large print MagneTacher label affixed

  • Includes two MagneTacher rolls, each 120 inches long, and instructions in print and braille
  • Select from two heights — half inch or inch, depending on the print size you need
  • Write directly on the paper side of the MagneTacher, which provides a smear-resistant surface for a bold line pen or marker
  • Cut label from the roll and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Making Braille Labels

can of soup with a braille MagneTacher label affixed

  • Includes two MagneTacher rolls, half inch tall and 120 inches long, with instructions in print and braille
  • Emboss MagneTachers with braille labelers and slates with half-inch wide alignment guides
  • Braille on the non-magnetic side of the label; its white vinyl coating helps braille dots stay firm
  • Cut label from the roll and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Making Small Braillable Labels

File storage box with a braillable MagneTacher label affixed

  • Includes two MagneTachers sheets, each holding 18 MagneTachers and instructions in print and braille
  • These MagneTachers are magnetic strips only. You can make them braille labels by adhering APH’s Braillable Labels: Small Braillable Labels to them (labels sold separately Small Label Pack, 1-08872-00 and Assorted Label Pack, 1-08871-00)
  • Small Braillable Labels hold two lines and fifteen braille cells
  • Press a completed label onto the non-magnetic side of the MagneTacher and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Use with Sherlock Labels

File storage drawer with a Sherlock MagneTacher label affixed

  • Includes two MagneTachers sheets, each holding 12 MagneTachers and instructions in print and braille
  • MagneTachers for use with Sherlock labels include an additional pack of 25 Sherlock labels
  • NOTE: You must have the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (sold separately), 1-07410-00, to use these MagneTachers
  • Use, remove, and re-use Sherlock labels on metal objects as often as you like

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 approximately 8 weeks for delivery.

The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose
by Arnold Lobel, Braille: T-N1673-90 — $24.00
Treasury of some three hundred nursery rhymes including "Mary Had a Little Lamb," "London Bridge Is Broken Down," "Sing a Song of Sixpence," "Three Little Kittens," "Simple Simon Met a Pieman," "Old Mother Hubbard," and "Who Killed Cock Robin?" Grades K-3.

Black Beauty
by Anna Sewell, Braille: T-N1646-90 — $50.00
England, 1870s: Black Beauty, a good-natured and strong stallion, tells of his adventures working with many types of people, some kind and others cruel. Written to encourage better treatment of horses. Some violence. Grades 4-7.
*(AR Quiz #8, BL 7.7, Pts. 11)

Margaux with an X
by Ronald Koertge, Braille: T-N1656-40 — $28.50
Smart but troubled high school student Margaux cannot escape a mother addicted to the home-shopping channel, a gambler father, or a secret from her past. An unlikely friendship with kindhearted Danny, also struggling with the emotional impact of family abuse, helps Margaux confront her feelings. Senior High School.
*(AR Quiz #80661, BL 3.8, Pts. 4)

The Bishop in the Old Neighborhood
by Andrew M. Greeley, Braille: T-N1646-50 — $71.50
Chicago: Bishop Blackie Ryan investigates three murders in St. Lucy’s parish, which is headed by Father Mikal Wolodyjowski. Blackie discovers a connection between the current crimes, the 1944 deaths of six college students, and Father Mikal. Some strong language. Adult.

Lewis and Clark through Indian Eyes
by Alvin M. Josephy and Marc Jaffe, Braille: T-N1656-60 — $56.50
Modern members of the tribes that Lewis and Clark encountered during their 1804-1806 western travels provide nine wide-ranging essays on the impact of the expedition on Native Americans. Contributors, including Kiowa Pulitzer Prize-winner N. Scott Momaday and Sioux professor Vine Deloria Jr., blend familial, tribal, and American history.

Rachel Ray Express Lane Meals: what to keep on hand, what to buy fresh for the easiest-ever, 30-minute meals
by Rachael Ray, Braille: T-N1661-80 — $69.50
More wholesome, easy-to-prepare meals from the Food Network television show host. Lists seventy basic but versatile ingredients, both nonperishable and frozen, to stock. Recipes supplement these staples with a few fresh items so shoppers can use the express lane. Bestseller.

*Accelerated Reader number, reading level, and point value. For more information on the Accelerated Reader program, see the January 2006 APH News or

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Tony Grantz, Business Manager, Finance
  • Michael Haynes, Prototype Developer, Accessible Textbook Department
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Scott Smith, Administrative Assistant, Business Development
  • Gwynn Stewart, Support Specialist, Communications

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 –

The APH News is a monthly publication from the American Printing House for the Blind:
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206

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

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