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APH News: January 2016

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!

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

A Message from the New President

photo of Dr. Craig Meador

The nature of the business of the corporation shall consist of the publication and distribution of books for the blind; the production and distribution of tangible apparatus that is now in use or that hereafter may be used for the benefit of blind persons; research of all kinds for the benefit of blind persons; and any and every activity which is consistent with its purposes as an agency devoted to the promotion of the education, rehabilitation and welfare of blind persons.

Charter of the American Printing House for the Blind, January 23, 1858.

I am both humbled and honored to be selected as the 9th President of APH, an agency that has not swerved from its original mission established over 150 years ago. It is my goal to uphold the Charter and build upon the strong foundations that have been laid by the previous presidents and staff at APH. APH has long relied on the support of Ex Officio Trustees and professionals in the field to produce products that help students achieve their highest levels of independence. You have been our strongest supporters and have provided honest feedback regarding products and services. As a result, APH has been able to provide effective products that support the education and rehabilitation of people who are blind and visually impaired. I look forward to the opportunities ahead and hope that all of you will continue to partner with us in this mission.



APH Co-Sponsors Satellite Library Conference in Louisville in August, 2016

APH is proud to co-sponsor the conference "Tailoring the Reading Experience to Meet Individual Needs," August 11-12, 2016, in Louisville, Kentucky. This is a satellite meeting of the prestigious World Library and Information Congress 2016 (WLIC) sponsored by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The Louisville satellite conference will immediately precede the full WLIC congress, which is being held in Columbus, Ohio.

"Tailoring the Reading Experience" is co-sponsored by the IFLA standing committee Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities, which is developing the conference content. This exciting conference will feature an international array of speakers on topics such as:

  • Facilitating the book selection process
  • Changing the role of the librarian from the Marrakesh perspective
  • Finding and sharing accessible materials and collections
  • Accessible audio book technologies
  • Serving the full spectrum of print disabilities
  • Creating inclusive communities for people with disabilities through programming and events
  • The added value of an analog service in the heart of the digital era
  • Promoting braille literacy

"Tailoring the Reading Experience" offers a rare opportunity for professionals from a variety of disciplines to discuss the challenges and solutions to providing timely accessible materials in appropriate formats to the people we serve. We invite librarians from special libraries for the blind, as well as from public libraries serving blind and print-disabled patrons; educators; accessible instructional materials providers; professionals from university disability offices; and others with an interest in these topics to come together to learn, to share, and to discuss.

Registration and hotel information will be announced soon! Join us in Louisville in August for this lively conversation!

Art Competition Reaches 25th Year

2016 is the 25th anniversary of the APH InSights Art Competition and Exhibition. Open to students in kindergarten – high school and to adults who are students or independent artists, this international juried competition has received thousands of entries over the past twenty years. Please spread the word among your artistic students and friends that the rules and entry forms for this year will be available in February. Deadlines are March 25, 2016, for students, kindergarten through twelfth grade, and April 1, 2016 for adults. If you would like to have a copy emailed to you, contact Roberta Williams email hidden; JavaScript is required

Another Year, Another Video, Another Star!
Announcing the Unforgettable Star Video Contest, Spring 2016

We are happy to announce the next Unforgettable APH Star Product Video Contest. Take out your new gadgets — smartphone, tablet, or camcorder — and send us a short video telling us about your favorite APH products. You may win up to a $150.00 cash prize! This contest is open to students, parents, teachers, administrators, rehab instructors, and all APH customers.

The deadline for the Spring 2016 contest is Wednesday, April 13, 2016. You have two ways to send us your video. You can upload it or you can mail us a copy via US Postal Service. Here’s more information and contest guidelines. If you have questions about the contest, please contact Maria Delgado at: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Make 2016 an “Unforgettable” year by submitting your video!

2016 Hall of Fame Nominations Now Being Accepted

Who should be the next inductees into the Hall of Fame for the Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field? If you are interested in learning more about the easy (electronic) process for submitting a nominee to join the 56 inductees, please visit:

The nomination process will close Thursday, March 31, 2016.

New at the Hall of Fame Website

  • Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Information at “About Us.”
  • New engraved stones on the Gallery of All Stones!

Social Media Spotlight

Throwback Thursdays for a Time Trip!

Every Thursday, be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages to see fascinating items from our APH Museum collection and to learn some amazing history of the field of blindness!

"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!

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

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


January 21, 2016
APH Presentation "Philantropic Educational Organization for Women"
Louisville, KY


February 2-6, 2016
ATIA 2016
Orlando, FL

February 10-13, 2016
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP
New Orleans, LA

February 26-28, 2016
2016 T3 International Conference
Orlando, FL


March 3-4, 2016
North Carolina Conference on Vision Impairments & Blindness (NCCVIB)
Chapel Hill, NC

March 3-5, 2016
AFB Leadership Conference
Arlington, VA

March 8-11, 2016
Virginia AER, 2016
Virginia Beach, VA

March 11-13, 2016
WCBVI 2016 Preschool Family Conference
Green Lake, WI

March 13-15, 2016
SOMA 50th Anniversary Conference
Chattanooga, TN

March 20-23, 2016
ATP Innovations in Testing 2016
Orlando, FL

March 21-26, 2016
CSUN 2016
San Diego, CA

March 22-24, 2016
Kentucky AER
Berea, KY

APH Winter Wonderland Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2016, January 1—March 31. As always, first come, first served.

Treasures From the APH Libraries

The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to blindness in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, arrangements can be made to use the materials on-site. In addition, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will continue to make materials available through the online catalog at

From the Migel Library: The School of the Understanding Heart: The Fiftieth Anniversary, 1889-1939. Hong Kong: Ming Sum School for the Blind, 1939.

The 50th anniversary of the Ming Sum School for the Blind came at an extremely tumultuous time. With the invasion by Japanese troops and eventual fall of the city, the school’s grounds were evacuated to make way for a refugee camp. For 16 weeks, the students had to live on a small fleet of boats protected by U.S. Navy gunboats. Academic life continued as well as could be expected until the refugees abandoned the site, and the students could return to their school. Courses focused on English braille, which was then used to sound out Mandarin and Cantonese braille. Students also performed in a choir that sang along using braille music. Finally, vocational training in massage and knitting were provided to the students for their post-academic life. The book presents an engaging history through its personal essays and remembrances, along with a large collection of photographs. It is very easy for the reader to feel a relationship with the school through this work, which is available at Internet Archive:

From the Barr Library: Coombs, Norman. Making Online Teaching Accessible: Inclusive Course Design for Students with Disabilities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010.

Written by the CEO of Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI) Norman Coombs, this guide is geared toward faculty members and course designers who don’t necessarily possess backgrounds in assistive technology or universal design, but who wish to learn more about delivering ADA compliant, accessible content to students with visual and hearing impairments. Coombs asserts the reason that more strides haven’t been made toward achieving superior access to students with disabilities is because most explanations become bogged down in “arcane technical details”; this book serves as remedy to that dilemma. Divided into eight sections, it covers everything from advice on effectively communicating with disabled students to practical step-by-step guidance for creating accessible PDFs, Word documents, and PowerPoint presentations. Not only does the author share information about making distance learning accessible to students with disabilities, he provides strategies with the objective of boosting the quality of education for all students.

APH is working with the Internet Archive to digitize portions of the M.C. Migel Library. Search the phrase “full text” to find these items at The digitized texts are available in a variety of formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, etc.

Contact Library staff: email hidden; JavaScript is required, 800-223-1839, ext. 705

Seeking Field Testers

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is currently seeking field evaluators for Social Thinking® CONNECTIONS: A Thinksheet Curriculum for School-Aged Students with Visual Impairments and Blindness by Brett Page, Ed.S., NCSP.

Social Thinking® CONNECTIONS provides educators, a hands-on curriculum designed to help students with vision impairment or blindness think about and apply Social Thinking® concepts developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, Founder & CEO Social Thinking, M.A., CCC-SLP. The curriculum is designed to help these students learn how to independently adapt their behavior effectively based on the specific social situation. To accomplish this, Thinksheet lessons will help these students think about how to better utilize available social sensory information (auditory and visual) to improve their perspective taking, social inference, and social interpretation skills. Development of these skills are critical to core content and expanded core content skills including: 1) self-regulation/emotional control, 2) effective communication, 3) personal problem solving, 4) organization, 5) written expression, 6) reading comprehension, and 7) math problem solving.

The prototype set of materials includes the following:

  • Set of Thinksheets, each with a measurable Social Thinking concept objective using a 4-point rubric scale for documenting individual student progress toward understanding, application, and generalization of Social Thinking vocabulary and concepts. The rubrics are designed to help educators align Thinksheet content with state content standards.
  • Materials to complement Thinksheet activities include the following:
    • “Should I/Shouldn’t I” cards with pop-dot rating cards
    • “Thinking About You” game cards
    • “Conversation Starter Cards”
    • “Emotion Cards”
    • “Hidden Agenda Cards”
    • Tunnel Vision Goggles
    • Soccer Sound Ball
    • Package of Wikki Stix®
    • Brightly-colored yarn

Field testing will be initiated in mid-February and extend through end of May 2016. Ideal field test sites will be able to implement the Thinksheet curriculum with multiple students with visual impairments and blindness. The number of prototypes is limited. Field test sites will be chosen based upon location, type of educational setting, number of students per site, and age/grade level of students. Teachers who have not field tested for APH in the past are especially encouraged to participate. All evaluators will be asked to complete and return a Product Evaluation Form and related student outcome data by the end of the field test session.

If you would like to be considered as a possible field evaluator of Social Thinking® CONNECTIONS, please forward the following information to Karen J. Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, at email hidden; JavaScript is required by January 20, 2016.

  • Your full name
  • Your professional title
  • School or Agency Name
  • Type of setting (e.g., Residential, Resource, Itinerant)
  • School or Agency mailing address including city, state, and zip code
  • Your preferred reading medium (print, large print, braille, electronic)
  • Email address
  • Best phone number to reach you
  • Number of your students who are able to participate
  • Students’ ages and grade levels
  • Short explanation of your interest in wanting to field test this product with your students

Nearby Explorer Online: Now Available for Free on the Amazon App Store

The online version of Nearby Explorer is now available to download for free from the Amazon App Store. It contains no onboard map data, so there are no licensing fees to pay, therefore, it is free to you! While Nearby Explorer Online is potentially very useful as a tool everywhere, the online version does require a device with a network connection to use. The original Nearby Explorer is still available through the Google Play Store, and APH plans to continue supporting and developing the original version. The original version does not require a network connection.

For complete details about Nearby Explorer Online, see

To install, see

NEW! Building on Patterns: Second Grade, Units 1, 2, and 3–UEB

Note: Each Second Grade student kit listed below includes Lesson Monitoring Sheets, Consumable Unit Assessment Packet, Student Textbooks, and Worksheets Pack.

BOP Second Grade, Unit 1, That’s So Silly

Student Kit–UEB: 6-78570-U1 — $179.00

Teacher’s Edition (includes Reference Vol.):
Print: 8-78571-U1 — $59.00
Braille: 6-78571-U1 — $219.00

Building on Patterns Second Grade, Unit 1 UEB Teacher Supplement

Important! Use the information in this free-of-charge supplement to mark up your teacher’s editions:

Replacement Items, Second Grade, Unit 1

Student Textbook–UEB: 6-78573-U1 — $45.00
Consumable Unit Assessment Packet (print & braille): 8-78476-U1 — $79.00
Lesson Monitoring Sheets (print & braille): 8-78473-U1 — $29.00
Worksheets Pack–UEB: 6-78574-U1 — $45.00

BOP Second Grade, Unit 2, At Your Service

Student Kit–UEB: 6-78570-U2 — $179.00

Teacher’s Edition:
Print: 8-78471-U2 — $59.00
Braille: 6-78471-U2 — $189.00

Building on Patterns Second Grade, Unit 2 UEB Teacher Supplement

Important! Use the information in this free-of-charge supplement to mark up your teacher’s editions:

Replacement Items, Second Grade, Unit 2

Student Textbook–UEB: 6-78573-U2 — $45.00
Consumable Unit Assessment Packet (print & braille): 8-78476-U2 — $79.00
Lesson Monitoring Sheets (print & braille): 8-78473-U2 — $29.00
Worksheets Pack–UEB: 6-78574-U2 — $45.00

BOP Second Grade, Unit 3, Family and Friends

Student Kit–UEB: 6-78570-U3 — $179.00

Teacher’s Edition:
Print: 8-78471-U3 — $59.00
Braille: 6-78471-U3 — $189.00

Building on Patterns Second Grade, Unit 3 UEB Teacher Supplement

Important! Use the information in this free-of-charge supplement to mark up your teacher’s editions:

Replacement Items, Second Grade, Unit 3

Student Textbook–UEB: 6-78573-U3 — $45.00
Consumable Unit Assessment Packet (print & braille): 8-78476-U3 — $79.00
Lesson Monitoring Sheets (print & braille): 8-78473-U3 — $29.00
Worksheets Pack–UEB: 6-78574-U3 — $45.00

Overview: Building on Patterns – UEB

APH is now offering UEB-compliant Building on Patterns (BOP) so teachers can continue to use the current Building on Patterns program while teaching Unified English Braille (UEB)! The student materials have been re-transcribed in UEB as needed and teacher supplements have been created inform the teacher about UEB changes.

Note: You do NOT need to buy new Teacher Editions. Just download the free-of-charge supplements and use them to mark up your existing Teacher’s Editions:

We are also now packaging all the materials needed for a student in a “Student Kit.”

  • Kindergarten Student Kit includes: Posttest Consumables, Textbook Assessment Check-up Forms, set of 7 Student Textbooks, and Color Me Book.
  • First and Second Grade Student Kits include: Student Textbook, Worksheets Pack – UEB, Lesson Monitoring Sheets in print and braille, an Assessment Check-Up in print and braille.

The print and braille teacher’s editions and other posttest materials are sold separately.

Future BOP Releases: Additional BOP Second Grade materials will be released by early 2016.

Note: The English Braille American Edition versions of BOP are no longer available for sale.

About Building on Patterns

Building on Patterns (BOP) is a complete primary literacy program designed to teach beginning braille users all language arts — reading, writing, and spelling.

NEW! Student materials and posttest now updated for Unified English Braille (UEB).

The Building on Patterns series addresses phonemic awareness (ability to hear and interpret sounds in speech), phonics (the association of written symbols with the sounds they represent), comprehension, fluency, and oral vocabulary, all of which have been identified as important for reading instruction.

This program also addresses specific skill areas needed by the child who is blind, such as language development, sound discrimination, tactual discrimination, and concept development. Braille contractions are introduced from the beginning along with sound and letter associations. Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) Skills such as using tactile graphics and technology are also included.

BOP Second Grade builds on the components of BOP First Grade and contains additional activities.

New Features

  • Timed reading in each lesson
  • More independent reading suggestions
  • Simplified lesson monitoring sheets
  • Quick Read for silent reading and reading comprehension practice
  • Special section with information on individual contributors (authors, illustrators, etc.) to BOP in each unit

BOP Second Grade includes more worksheets, part-word braille contractions, and other remaining literary contractions and symbols along with the rules to use them. The curriculum also emphasizes syllables and multisyllabic words, and the effect of certain letter combinations on vowel sounds. For optional map work, each lesson gives the foreign origin of at least one spelling word.

Recommended ages: 7 to 8 years and up.

Prerequisite: BOP First Grade or equivalent skills.

Reference Volume for BOP Second Grade Level — Included in Unit 1 Teacher’s Edition!

The Reference Volume, included in the Second Grade Unit 1 Teacher’s Edition, is packed full of features to help a teacher understand the program and teach a young braille reader:

  • Background information and teaching philosophy
  • Teaching guides for literacy, tactile graphics, and technology skills
  • Setting priorities and teaching the required skills
  • Detailed explanations of the unit sections
  • Suggested additional materials from APH
  • Index of skills and concepts taught in the second grade level
  • Master lists of new reading words, braille contractions, Dolch words, and more!

Posttest Assessment for BOP Second Grade Level — updated for UEB

Unlike the Unit Check-ups, included in the student’s textbooks, the posttest is a separate item that assesses the concepts and skills covered throughout that whole level of the program. A set of consumable forms are provided in braille for use by the student and in print and braille for use by the teacher in a separate package. The teacher’s manuals, available in both print and braille editions (sold separately), give complete instructions for administering and scoring the tests and analyzing the results. An answer key is provided in the back for quick checking. Results can be recorded in an accompanying graph showing target scores for each subtest. This sheet makes it easy to see areas where the student excels as well as areas where remediation may be needed.

Both the unit tests and the posttest assess the following critical areas of literacy development:

  • Phonemic awareness & phonics
  • New reading word recognition
  • Dolch word recognition
  • Braille symbol recognition
  • Reading & comprehension
  • Reading & fluency
  • Spelling
  • Passage miscue assessment for speed & accuracy
  • Language: grammar
  • Braillewriting

NEW! Touch, Label, and Learn Poster: Human Skeleton (Anterior View)

1-08976-00 — $169.00

Replacement Items

Print-Embossed Number Labels, 1–21, 2 Sets: 61-236-024 — $9.85

Print-Embossed Skeletal Bone Name Labels, 2 Sets: 61-236-027 — $22.50

Picture Maker Storage Panel (also used for Human Skeleton Poster): 1-08838-03 — $19.00

Related Product

Basic Tactile Anatomy Atlas: 1-08845-00 — $189.00

The Touch, Label, & Learn Poster: Human Skeleton (Anterior View) provides an interactive presentation for reviewing the names, locations, and relationships of human skeletal bones. The dual tactile/color design of the poster, measuring 16.5 x 23.5 inches, is ideal for use by students with visual impairments and blindness in a classroom setting with sighted peers. Using the provided print/braille labels, a student can build a key that correctly corresponds with the numbered parts of the human skeleton. The poster is best used in combination with the included three-dimensional model of the human skeleton. A self-checking "Skeleton Answer Key" with permanent name labels is available for the student to check his/her assembled poster.


  • Human Skeleton Poster Note: Self-adhesive loop rectangles (for key setup) and coins (for skeleton number positions) are provided for customer application
  • 38 Print/embossed bone name labels, 2 sets
  • Print/embossed 1–21 number labels, 2 sets
  • Skeleton answer key
  • Storage panel for labels
  • 3-D skeleton model Note: Minimal customer assembly needed
  • Instruction booklet, in large print and in UEB braille

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

Recommended ages: 8 years and up.

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 several weeks for delivery.

I Knead My Mommy and Other Poems by Kittens
by Francesco Marciuliano: T-N2055-50 — $23.00
A book of confessional poems about the triumphs, trials, and daily discoveries of being a kitten. From climbing walls to claiming hearts, these little cats bare all in such instant classics as "And Then You Said ‘No’,” "Ode to a Lizard I Didn’t Know Is Also a Pet in This House,” and "I Will Save You." With adorable photos of the poetic prodigies throughout, this volume gives readers a glimpse into their confused and curious feline minds as they encounter the world around them.

Like Water on Stone
by Dana Walrath: T-N2062-70 — $101.50
Inspired by a true story. Siblings Sosi, Shahen, and Mariam survive the Armenian genocide of 1915 by escaping from Turkey over the mountains. Some adult content. Grades 8 and up. *(AR Quiz No. 174475, BL 4.2, Pts. 3.0)

The Sound Book: The Science of the Sonic Wonders of the World
by Trevor Cox: T-N2051-00 — $181.50
With forays into archaeology, neuroscience, biology, and design, Cox explains how sound is made and altered by the environment, how our body reacts to peculiar noises, and how these mysterious wonders illuminate sound’s surprising dynamics in everyday settings, from your bedroom to the opera house.

Moonlight Mile
by Dennis Lahane: T-N2046-90 — $138.50
Twelve years after finding kidnapped Amanda McCready, investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro are married and have a child. Then Amanda’s aunt shows up and tells Patrick that Amanda, now a sixteen-year-old honors student, is missing again. Some adult content.

by Scott Westerfeld: T-N2053-80 — $230.50
In alternating chapters, eighteen-year-old Darcy Patel navigates the New York City publishing world while Lizzie, the heroine of Darcy’s novel, slips into the "Afterworld" to survive a terrorist attack and becomes a spirit guide, as both face many challenges and both fall in love. 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

In 2016, Resolve to Watch More Quick Tips!

Happy New Year! This, my friends, is a time for celebrating new beginnings and putting your best foot forward! It’s the time of year for making resolutions – and SWEARING we’re going to keep them! So, what’s YOUR New Year’s resolution? Lose weight? Stop smoking? Get to work earlier? Stop yelling at your dog?

If you’re searching for the perfect pledge for 2016, we at Quick Tips HQ have just the thing: WATCH MORE QUICK TIPS! Indeed! Can you think of anything more edifying??? No – I’m sure you can’t!! To begin the year right, here are APH’s four most recent Quick Tips for your viewing pleasure:

So, there you have it! The perfect start to keeping your New Year’s resolution! If that’s not enough Quick Tips to get you started, check out the archive at! And, as always, if you’ve got any questions and comments about Quick Tips you can write to Kerry at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

APH News Credits

Dr. Craig Meador
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Heather MacKenzie, Technology Product Research – Program Manager
  • Emmy Malinovsky, Special Collections and Cataloging Librarian, Resource Services
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader
  • Rebecca Snider, Coordinator, Public Affairs
  • Monica Vaught-Compton, Project Consultant

Dr. Craig Meador

Visit APH on

Read our blog: Fred’s Head from APH.

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

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