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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.

July 2007

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

Curious George book

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

APH Annual Meeting, "Expanding the Core,"
October 11-13, 2007
Marriott Hotel, Louisville, KY

Annual Meeting 2007 October 11-13 Louisville, Kentucky

Watch for the tentative agenda and registration information for the APH Annual Meeting—coming to our site and your mailbox within the next few weeks!

Braille+ Mobile Manager Training Webcast Scheduled for July

picture of the Braille+ Mobile Manager

Maria Delgado announces that Larry Skutchan’s third Braille+ training session, "the Braille+ Mobile Manager and the Internet," will take place Wednesday, July 11 at 1:00 PM (eastern). To register and receive log-in instructions, please email Maria at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

The second Braille+ training presentation with Larry, that took place on June 12, "Introducing the Word Processor and Navigation Chords," is now archived and available at

What is the Braille+ Mobile Manager that’s taking the country by storm?
Visit the May APH News.

University Students Are Honored Guests

On Tuesday, June 26, Dr. Sheri Trent and a group of students from the vision program at Middle Tennessee State University visited with us for the day. After a tour of the plant, museum, and Hall of Fame, the group settled in for a working lunch with APH staffers who shared information on a variety of products and the services that support them.

photo of the students and Dr. Trent standing in front of the Wall of Tribute in the Hall of Fame

Photo: The students and Dr. Trent standing in front of the Wall of Tribute in the Hall of Fame.

APH Flea Market of Surplus and Discontinued Inventory

The APH Flea Market

A new listing of overstocked and discontinued APH products is now available at

This discounted inventory is available on a first come, first served basis. Please order early to take advantage of the extra dollars off.

Assessing the Situation in Alabama

National Instructional Partnerships

Teachers of the visually impaired in Mobile and across the state of Alabama met on June 14 and 15 for the National Instructional Partnerships event "Functional Vision Assessment/Learning Media Assessment". The workshop was presented in Mobile by Dr. LaRhea Sanford and was broadcast through videoconferencing to several sites around the state.

Dr. Sanford focused on techniques for assessing both functional vision and learning media using her upcoming APH product, co-authored with Dr. Rebecca Burnett. Workshop participants were able to view draft copies of the product, practice using the materials, and provide feedback on the prototype of the product.

APH was pleased to offer the workshop in partnership with Carol Allison and Mary Jean Sanspree and the personnel preparation program of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

National Instructional Partnerships events are designed to showcase the use of APH products across the areas of the Core Curriculum and the Expanded Core Curriculum. If you are interested in hosting such an event it your area, please contact Janie Blome, 800-223-1839, ext 367, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Don’t Know Where You’re Going? Find Out With APH!

Electronic travel aids offer the opportunity for significant improvements in obstacle avoidance and landmark location. Two products available from APH, the Miniguide US and the ‘K’ sonar, can substantially augment information available to travelers who are blind or visually impaired.

APH is offering interested Ex Officio Trustees the option of hosting a National Instructional Partnership event in your area to provide training on the basic and advanced skills involved in teaching and using electronic travel aids, primarily those available from APH.


  • Acquire a working knowledge of divergent technical concepts and processes involved in these two travel aids;
  • Distinguish similarities and differences between these aids in terms of user interface and information provided;
  • Avoid obstacles and locate landmarks while using devices under blindfold with instruction from a trained instructor;
  • Teach, under supervision, one component skill involved in using these devices to a student with a visual impairment or to an instructor under blindfold.

Does this sound important to you? Is this an event you would like to co-sponsor with APH? If you are an Ex Officio Trustee and would be interested in partnering with us to host this exciting event, please contact Janie Blome, email hidden; JavaScript is required, or call 800-223-1839, ext 367. If you are not a Trustee, please contact the Ex Officio Trustee in your area and ask them to get in touch with Janie!

APH Mini-Workshop at CCSSO: Making Test Items Accessible

At the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO): Large Scale Assessment Conference, in Nashville, TN, Dr. Carol Allman and Accessible Tests staff provided a half-day workshop for 25 participants. The June 20 mini-workshop focused on issues related to making test items accessible when presented as braille, tactile graphics, large print, and audio media.

Students Meet the Challenge at the NATIONAL BRAILLE CHALLENGE in Los Angeles

Fifty-seven braille reading students, ages six through 19, participated in the final competition of the Braille Institute of America’s 7th Annual National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles on June 23. Students, their families, and teachers enjoyed a beach party reception on Friday evening with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck from nearby Universal Studios. Saturday events included competitions in the areas of braille comprehension, speed, and accuracy in reading and writing, spelling, and charts and graphs. The day ended with an awards dinner where guests were delighted by the humor of Stephen Hillenburg, the voice of Sponge Bob Square Pants, as he and Nancy Niebrugge gave the top three winners in each age category their awards. Nancy Niebrugge is an APH Ex Officio Trustee (EOT) and the Braille Challenge Director.

APHer Sandi Baker attended the Challenge events and displayed APH products for students, families, and teachers. Janie Blome, APH Director of Field Services, sits on the Braille Challenge National Advisory Committee.

APH congratulates all competitors and top three finishers in the finals of the Braille Challenge, along with the 2007 Teacher of the Year, Sandy Serventi, from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind!

Photo (from left to right): Massachusetts students Morgayne Mulkern, Marisa Parker, and Daisy Russell; and Karen Ross in back. Karen is Vice President for Educational Services at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA.

Above students attend public school and are active participants in the CarrollKids/CarrollTeens programs. These students are also regulars at the Carroll Center’s Regional Braille Literacy Celebration where students from the six New England states take the BRAILLE CHALLENGE qualifying tests.

APH in Washington, D.C.

Gary Mudd and Congressman Jackson

Vice President of Public Affairs Gary Mudd recently met with Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. during a week’s visit to "the Hill." During their stay in D. C., Gary and Nancy Lacewell shared the APH mission with many legislators and their staffers.

For more of the story, with additional photographs, visit Congressman Jackson’s website:

Gulliver’s Travels Again Available from APH…70 Years Later!

Terry Hayes Sales

Gulliver’s Travels, recorded in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the National Library Service at APH last November, is now available from the Callahan Museum. The book was recorded in the original 1936 studio at the Printing House in a fourteen hour talking book marathon by narrators from five local studios as well as community volunteers. Familiar APH voices on Gulliver include Terry Hayes Sales, Milton Metz, Mitzi Friedlander, Barry Bernson, Lou Harpenau, Roy Avers, Butch Hoover, and Jack Fox. APH President Tuck Tinsley and our then Executive in Residence Cay Holbrook also took turns.

Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift, was the first talking book produced at the Printing House. It was originally recorded in 1937, narrated by Louisville radio pioneer Hugh Sutton. The 2006 version is abridged. As museum director Mike Hudson joked, "We started recording at 7 a.m. Fourteen hours later we finished the third section. We thought we’d leave the final voyage to the Houyhnhnms for the NLS centennial celebration in 2031."

The commemorative version includes the work of over forty Louisville area narrators, including APH professionals and volunteer readers from the Audio Studio for the Reading Impaired, the Kentucky Talking Book Library, Central Kentucky Radio Eye, and Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic. The file is stored in an MP3 format on a compact disc playable on Microsoft Windows Media Player. The format may be incompatible with other media players. Copies are available for $5.00 by calling Mike Hudson at 800/223-1839, ext 365. Proceeds from the sale will help fund future museum education programs.

Photo: APH narrator Terry Hayes Sales

APH: Help Wanted!

APH is searching for good people to make textbooks accessible.

To learn about other employment opportunities at APH, please visit:

Welcome New APH Ex Officio Trustees

Dorothy Goodman, Texas Education Agency, replacing Richard Poe.

Jerri L. Johnston-Stewart, District of Columbia Public Schools, replacing Vielka Scott.

Jennifer Buster, South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, replacing Mary Ann Perry.

Marc Ashton, Arizona State Deparment of Education PNP and Ingeborg K. Durre, Arizona State Department of Education. Marc and Inge replace Chris Tompkins.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


July 7, 2007
Portland State Teacher Prep Program Product Training;
Portland, OR

July 12-15, 2007
Literacy for All;
Louisville, KY

July 13-15, 2007
Families Connecting with Families National Conference;
Omaha, NE

July 17-21, 2007
AHEAD Conference 2007;
Charlotte, NC

July 20-22, 2007
Visions 2007;
Kansas City, MO

July 24-26, 2007
Gateways for Independence;
KSB in Louisville, KY

July 26, 2007
Visual Impairment and Autism;
KSB in Louisville, KY

July 28-August 3, 2007
BANA Formats Committee Meeting;
Watertown, MA


August 9-12, 2007
Envision 2007 Conference;
Kansas City, MO

August 14-18, 2007
BVA 2007;
Albuquerque, NM

August 16-18, 2007
Learning to Use the Sensory Learning Kit held in partnership with Diana Lewis;
Watertown, NY

In Memoriam: Nick Necaise

Nick Necaise

Nick C. Necaise, who was born in 1943, died June 22, surrounded by his family after a ferocious battle against cancer.

Nick was tireless in his dedication and work with the state of Texas to support teachers of students with visually impairments. For many years Nick was APH’s direct and valued link with the Texas Department of Education in purchasing products with federal quota funds.

Memorials may be made to the St. Francis by the Lake Episcopal Church Building Fund or Hope Hospice of New Braunfels, TX. Cards or letters may be sent to his wife, Keren Necaise, at 201 Shady Hollow, New Braunfels, TX 78132.

Photo: Nick Necaise at a recent Relay for Life rally

New HTML Editions of Accessible Catalogs Available

APH Products Catalog 2007-2008

The HTML editions of the APH Products Catalog 2007-2008 and the first-ever Assessment Catalog 2007-2008 are now available online. These editions are designed with the speech user in mind (they don’t contain product photographs) and are easy to navigate with links throughout. Check out new and classic APH products in these catalogs!

NEW! Students Who Are Deafblind Using APH Products Video

VHS Version: 1-30017-00 — $10.00
DVD Version: 1-30017-DVD — $10.00

Cover image of the video shows Tyler, one of the four deafblind students featured in the video

This latest video in APH’s Homegrown Series features four students who are deafblind, ages 2 to 15 years, using various APH products in home and school settings. It provides the viewer with information about how students who are deafblind or who are visually impaired with additional disabilities may benefit from the use of APH products.

Watch Blake, Samuel, Tyler, and Lynn interacting with various APH products, including On the Way to Literacy books, Web Chase game, Rib-It-Balls, and the Perkins Braillewriter. Parents and teachers talk about their children’s vision and hearing loss, some of their educational goals, and how their children benefit from APH products.

Running time: approx. 20 minutes. Closed captioned.

Now Available! APH InSights Print/Braille Art Calendar 2008

APH InSights Art Calendar 2008: 5-18971-08 — $7.50

APH InSights Calendar 2008 featuring artwork by visually impaired and blind artists American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.

These calendars are available on Federal Quota; customized calendars for fund-raising purposes are not.

These print/braille calendars always sell out quickly, so guarantee your purchase by ordering early! Each of the 12 monthly calendar pages features artwork by a visually impaired artist and includes holidays and moon phases. The spiral-bound calendar can be used at a desk or hung on a wall.

A customized version of these calendars make a great fund-raiser for your school or organization. Your group’s name will be printed and brailled on a special version of the calendar cover. If you have questions about fund-raising or if you wish to place an order, please contact Contract Administration at 1-800-223-1839. Note that calendars ordered for fund-raising purposes may not be purchased with Federal Quota funds.

About the APH InSights Art Competition

Each year APH sponsors a juried art competition and exhibition exclusively for blind and visually impaired artists of all ages. The call for entries goes out each spring. For more information, please contact APH’s Public Relations Manager at email hidden; JavaScript is required

NEW! Chrissy’s Collection Print/Braille Book:
Curious George by H.A. Rey

Print/Braille: 9-16363-00 — $25.00

Curious George book

In this first book in the classic Curious George series, the monkey George comes to live with the man in the yellow hat, where his curiosity gets him into a number of adventures.

Other Chrissy’s Collection Print/Braille Books:

On the Same Day in March
by Marilyn Singer: 9-15007-00 — $25.00

Some from the Moon, Some from the Sun
by Margot Zemach: 9-14017-00 — $25.00

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
by Simms Taback: 9-12003-00 — $25.00

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle: 9-12015-00 — $25.00

Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak: 9-16352-00 — $25.00

NEW! Verbal View™ Tutorial Series adds Verbal View of Online Mail
D-10515-00 — $50.00

Verbal View Web Online Mail

The Verbal View tutorial series provides software training specifically designed for visually impaired users. The new Verbal View of Online Mail builds on the information in VV of the Net and Web, explaining how to use your computer to send email. Topics include:

  • Microsoft Outlook Express®
  • Mail Messages
  • Contact Information
  • Mail Options

Also Available:
Verbal View™ of Windows® XP: D-10500-00 — $50.00
Verbal View of Word®: D-10510-00 — $50.00
Verbal View of Word® Advanced: D-10511-00 — $50.00
Verbal View of the Net and Web: D-10512-00 — $50.00

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.

Fly Like a Bumblebee: A Blind Magician Shares his most Powerful Secrets
by R.W. Klamm: Braille: T-N1628-20 — $29.00
Witty and humorous book reveals how magic helped build self-confidence for living with congenital optic atrophy disorder. Explains easy tricks. Adult. (AR not available.)

You Can Do the Math: Overcome Your Math Phobia and Make Better Financial Decisions
by Ron Lipsman: Braille: T-N1628-30 — $84.50
Professor offers introduction to the mathematics of personal finance, including car buying, home ownership, credit cards, taxes, and more. Includes links to web calculators. Adult. (AR not available.)

Eyes of the Emperor
by Graham Salisbury: Braille: T-N1647-00 — $49.00
Eddy and his friends join the US Army in 1941, but after the attack on Pearl Harbor, their Japanese ancestry causes them to become targets themselves. Some violence. Grades 6-9. (AR#89207, RL 3.9, Pts. 6)

Permanent Rose
by Hilary McKay: Braille: T-N1627-40 — $46.00
While trying to locate her friend, Tom, eight-year-old Rose learns an important secret about her adopted sister, Saffy. Sequel to Indigo’s Star. Grades 4-7. (AR#87995, RL 4.7, Pts. 6)

Geogra – Fleas! Riddles All Over the Map
by Joan Holub: Braille: T-N1656-80 — $10.50
Riddles about dogs and geography include oceans, planets, land formations, US facts, and more. Uncontracted braille. Grades 3-6. (AR not available.)

*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
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Tony Grantz, Business Development Manager
  • Micheal Hudson, Director, APH Museum
  • Becki Moody, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

June Issue –
May Issue –
April 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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