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APH News: July 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!

Building on Patterns Writers Meet to Begin Kindergarten Revision

The Building on Patterns (BOP) writing group returned to APH for their annual meeting June 20-24, and welcomed new writers Mary Filicetti and Becky Peek from Virginia. This is the 13th annual summer gathering of the BOP group, which is embarking on a complete revision of the Kindergarten level of the BOP curriculum. This will be the first revision of the Kindergarten level since 2006. After a long week of work, the group established a detailed framework for the Kindergarten curriculum. Participants also heard presentations by two braille researchers: braille literacy researcher Mackenzie Savaiano discussed braille efficiency and letter introduction, and linguist Robert Englebretson discussed research on the cognitive processing of braille. This information helps BOP writers keep up with the latest research so that BOP remains cutting edge.

Front: Anna Swenson (VA), Robin Wingell (CA), Deanna Scoggins (KY), Mary Filicetti (VA)
Middle: Kate Dilworth (OR), Cay Holbrook (British Columbia), Cathy Senft-Graves (APH), Becky Peek (VA), Sue Schimmelpfennig (OR), Jo Ellen Croft (AR)
Rear: Kristie Smith (APH National Instructional Partnerships presenter, TX), Luanne Blaylock (AR)

Special Event at AER International: “Touching Tomorrow”

NOTE: TIME CHANGE! Event is now 6:00 pm — 7:00 pm

hand reaching for cloth covered mystery thing

Please join us for a special “Touching Tomorrow” APH event at the AER International Conference 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida, including an exclusive digital tactile graphics announcement!

Groundbreaking Developments:

Orbit Reader 20 • BrailleBlaster • “Touching Tomorrow” Exclusive Announcement!

When: Thursday July 21, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Where: Grand Ballroom, Section 7, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville – Riverfront

Join Craig Meador, President, American Printing House for the Blind, for a special session previewing three exciting upcoming APH products that will change the direction of electronic braille and braille production:

  • Orbit Reader 20 logoOrbit Reader 20™: A 20-cell refreshable braille device with a breakthrough low cost! Use as a stand-alone device or connect to a computer, tablet, or smartphone. See and touch our advanced prototype!
  • BrailleBlaster logoBrailleBlaster™ Software Beta: Revolutionary editing tool for braille transcribers that gives them the ability to quickly and efficiently produce quality braille. Can double a transcriber’s output!
  • “TOUCHING TOMORROW” EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL ANNOUNCMENT: APH will make a major new digital tactile graphics product announcement at this event — don’t miss your chance to “touch tomorrow!”

Orbit Reader

DRAWING FOR AN ORBIT READER 20! Attend our event and you could win a certificate to receive a free Orbit Reader 20 when they are released late in 2016! One Orbit Reader 20 will be given away. Must be present to win.

BrailleBlaster Focus Group

APH hosted a focus group of extremely talented and experienced transcribers in June. They came to Louisville to give us input on the development of BrailleBlaster, an exciting piece of software that APH hopes to roll out later this year. Among its many advantages, BrailleBlaster significantly decreases the time needed to transcribe braille. Pictured left to right: Katrina Ostby (CA), Barbara Taffet (NY), Randy Davis (GA), Dena Garrett (KY), and Beverly North (TX). We thank you for your time and insights!

Bold…Strong…Together! Annual Meeting 2016

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Following Goethe’s advice, we have begun planning for the 2016 APH Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees, to be held October 6 – 8 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville. The theme for the 2016 Annual Meeting, “Bold…Strong…Together”, illustrates APH’s commitment to bold leadership through strong partnerships and collaborations. You will want to join us as we build and strengthen the bonds that promote excellence in our combined work to provide outstanding products and services, and maybe even boldly go where no one has gone before!

Highlights of the meeting will include round table discussions about a variety of topics, opportunities to provide input on APH products in development, training on APH products, services and initiatives, special events for Ex Officio Trustees, the APH InSights Art awards banquet, the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and much, much, more!

Denna Lambert, Annual Meeting 2016 Keynote Speaker

The Thursday night opening session will be a story of success as our keynote speaker, Denna Lambert, shares her personal journey of boldness, strength, and the power of working together to reach goals. Denna, a lifelong user of APH products, holds degrees from The University of Arkansas and The George Washington University, where she earned a Masters of Public Administration degree. She is a Program Manager with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where she coordinates the Center’s efforts in developing and launching their Information and Collaboration Center (GIC2), with a mission to encourage and facilitate collaboration for the country’s largest collection of research earth and space scientists. Her subject matter expertise includes disability law, special education policy, STEM recruitment, and program compliance with federal laws, and she spearheaded many of GSFC’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.

Registration information will be available on the APH website,, within a few weeks, or contact Field Services Director Janie Blome, email hidden; JavaScript is required, for additional information!

Beat the Ironmen – Make Your Reservations NOW!

Reservations for rooms at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville are now available for the APH Annual Meeting. Rooms are $150 per night for a single or double room, and $175 per night for a triple or quad room. We are sharing the hotel with the Louisville Ironman competition once again, so make your reservations early! APH rates are available from October 1 – October 12.

Hotel reservations can be made using the following link:
Reserve early and often!

AUGUST IS COMING FAST! “Tailoring the Reading Experience” Library Conference in Louisville, 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 conference, which is being held in Columbus, Ohio.

Online registration for Tailoring the Reading Experience is now closed, but you may still register at the door beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday August 11 at the Galt House Hotel, Louisville.

APH Needs Your Help with Transition and O&M

We know you need products to help with transition, orientation and mobility, and adult life issues – and we want to develop the products that you need. To do this, we need to know what you need, and we need your expertise. If you have a product idea or a problem that a product might solve, APH is asking for your input.

If you work with transition students, adults, or provide orientation and mobility services, please contact Terrie Terlau with unmet product needs or ideas for products that would help you and your students. Terrie can help you submit your product needs or ideas to APH to be considered for development. If you are not sure whether your issue will lead to a product, please contact Terrie to discuss it. Product ideas often emerge when discussing such concerns. You can reach Terrie by email at email hidden; JavaScript is required and by phone at (502) 551-6382. Please provide your email address and your phone number so that Terrie can reach you to talk with you about your ideas.

APH Needs Your Feedback about PAIVI!

In September of 2015, we were very excited to release PAIVI 2nd Edition. If you are using the new revised PAIVI 2nd Edition, we would love to hear from you in order to find out how this product is meeting your needs. Please consider taking this anonymous short six question survey:

Celebrations and Congratulations!
Going PLACES Now Available Online

What better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a popular book and to honor two of the authors for receiving the prestigious 2016 Warren Bledsoe Award later this month at the AER Biennial Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, but to give the book away (yes, that means free). In 2006, the American Printing House for the Blind published a new book, titled Going PLACES: Transition Guidelines for Community-based Physical Activities for Students who Have Visual Impairments, Blindness, or Deafblindness. This book addresses the six national content standards on physical education established by the National Association for Sports & Physical Education. Teachers quickly recognized that students in early middle school should complete Going PLACES as part of their expanded core learning. Teachers felt that early awareness would allow students and TVIs the time and longitudinal opportunities to explore, develop, and become engaged in the aspects covered in the book. APH was fortunate to work with four outstanding professionals: lead authors Lauren J. Lieberman, PhD, and Scott J. Modell, PhD; and contributing authors Paul Ponchillia, PhD, and Ileah M. Jackson, B.S. Going PLACES guides readers through Preferences, Leisure sport and fitness, Awareness, Choices, Exploration, and Skill development. The book is an excellent resource for transitioning to the community and learning self-advocacy. It describes 44 sports and shares 26 personal stories, including tai chi, sailing, and power wheelchair soccer. Free downloads (PDF, HTML, and BRF) of Going PLACES are available online:

If you attend the 2016 AER Biennial Conference, join Drs. Lieberman and Ponchillia at the AER Awards Luncheon on Friday, July 22, 2016, when AER recognizes them (and the late Susan Ponchillia, PhD) for their book, Physical Education and Sports for People with Visual Impairments and Deafblindness, published by AFB. If you cannot attend the luncheon, be sure to congratulate Drs. Lieberman and Ponchillia when you pass them in the exhibit hall or attend one of their presentations.

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: Christenson, Hazel. Color: How Would You Describe Color to a Blind Child. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Instructors of the Blind, 1965.

The title of this work appears to have come from an assignment given to a group of 5th grade students in Lansing, Michigan. Compiled by their teacher, the paper includes 18 students’ poems, each describing a color to a child who could not see it. The compilation was reprinted and distributed by the American Association of Instructors of the Blind in 1965. It is noted that the original booklet had each description printed on a page of the same color. This reprint was printed on decorative paper as well, which has become very brittle and discolored over the past 50 years. After being de-acidified, the booklet was digitized for Internet Archive at

From the Barr Library: Showers, Paul, and Robert Galster. Find Out by Touching. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1961.

Fostering an appreciation for the sense of touch, this picture book invites the reader to play a sensory game. The activity consists of putting a variety of objects into a box, having the children close their eyes, fishing out and then guessing what each item is. Visually, the illustrations employ many different textures and line thicknesses to support the overall theme. Although not specifically related to blindness, the book represents an excellent introduction to tactile learning through its message that “your fingers tell you many things.” Currently out of print, this title is part of the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science series.

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

Help! We Need Beta Testers for the Talking Typer™ App (for iOS)!

If you have an iOS® device, such as an iPad, that is running iOS 8 or later, we need your help to assess the new Talking Typer app from APH.

This new software is an accessible typing tutorial app with a keyboard game to increase speed and accuracy. Students learn to type or improve typing skills with drills, practice lessons, keyboard explorer, and a keyboard game.

The APH Talking Typer app is designed for students who are blind or visually impaired, but it can also be used by sighted students. The app is self-voicing and accessible using Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader, and it can also be used with a refreshable braille display. This makes it a great tool for the whole class!

To test this new app, you will need the following:

  1. An iOS device running iOS 8 or later
  2. A download of the TestFlight app and Talking Typer app
  3. A subscription to the Talking Typer app email list for providing feedback
  4. Completion and submission of a short survey at the end of testing

Testing with a student is not a requirement, but the additional feedback would be welcome.

If you are interested in beta testing the Talking Typer app, just fill out the APH Field Tester form at Be sure to indicate the Talking Typer app as the product you are interested in testing. We look forward to working with you.

Social Media Spotlight

APH on YouTube: Video Variety with Info You Can Use!

Have you checked out our YouTube videos lately? Did you know that we have over 250 videos covering a variety of topics, such as our weekly Quick Tips videos, product demonstrations, and Unforgettable APH Star Contest winners, and historical videos? While you are there, don’t forget to “Like” your favorite videos and subscribe to the APH YouTube channel so you can receive updates when we upload new content. Start watching now!

"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, LinkedIn, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

APH Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale 2016, July 1—September 30. As always, first come, first served.

New Downloadable Manuals Available

Get the manual you need instantly! APH offers a selected list of product manuals available for free download ( You may print or emboss these as needed. In most cases, we will continue to package hard copies of these manuals with their products and sell hard copy replacements.

Newly added manuals include:

  • Going PLACES
  • Light-Touch Perkins Brailler
  • Building on Patterns Teacher Supplements

Scholastic News® Subscriptions 2016-2017 Now Available!

For decades, APH has been proud to offer braille and large print editions of Weekly Reader®. Weekly Reader® is now Scholastic News® and you can order your 2016-2017 subscription via APH offers accessible Scholastic News® at a cost comparable to regular print subscriptions. And Federal Quota funds may be used!

Note: To facilitate our internal processing, please order magazine subscriptions on separate orders from other APH products and books.

Note: Orders for the 2016-17 school year will be accepted until the end of February 2017.

Subscription Rates for the 2016-2017 School Year, Per Student

Braille Scholastic News® No. of Issues Catalog No. Annual Price
Grade 2 32 ZW-SN2-B $5.25
Grade 3 24 ZW-SN3-B $5.25
Grade 4 24 ZW-SN4-B $5.25
Grade 5-6 24 ZW-SN5-B $5.25
Junior Scholastic® (Grades 6-8) 16 ZW-JRS-B $8.49
Science World® (Grade 6-10) 12 ZW-SSW-B $9.49
Large Print Scholastic News® No. of Issues Catalog No. Annual Price
Grade 2 32 ZW-SN2-LT $5.25
Grade 3 24 ZW-SN3-LT $5.25
Grade 4 24 ZW-SN4-LT $5.25
Grade 5-6 24 ZW-SN5-LT $5.25
Junior Scholastic® (Grades 6-8) 16 ZW-JRS-LT $8.49
Science World® (Grades 6-10) 12 ZW-SSW-LT $9.49

Questions About a Subscription? If you have questions about a subscription, please contact Dawn Eadens in Customer Service at 1-800-223-1839 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Scholastic News, Junior Scholastic, Science World, and Weekly Reader are registered trademarks of Scholastic, Inc.

NEW! Swirly Mat Sets II

CVI: 1-08158-00 — $79.00
FVA: 1-08159-00 — $79.00

Related Products

Swirly Mat Sets (original versions):
CVI: 1-08153-00 — $61.00
FVA: 1-08154-00 — $55.00

1-08541-00 — $152.00

Mini-Lite Box:
1-08661-00 — $135.00

Durable, non-toxic Swirly Mats II™ come in two sets: Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) and Functional Vision Assessment (FVA).

The Swirly Mats II are an extension of Swirly Mat Sets. Swirly Mats II CVI™ have added elements for more complexity; Swirly Mats II FVA™ have added elements and different color choices. Both sets can be used for locating, tracking, color discrimination, etc. Try them with APH’s Mini-Lite Box (sold separately) or on one of the durable tabletop mats included in the kits. Each set includes three tabletop mats (yellow, black, and white), print and braille instructions, three hook & loop dots, and a plastic carrying case.

Swirly Mats II CVI for Use During Functional Vision Evaluation: These mats can be used to assess the characteristics of color preference, need for movement, visual latency, visual field preference, levels of visual complexity, need for light, distance viewing, visual novelty, and visually-guided reach. Includes:

  • CVI Mats, 1 ea.
  • clear with black disks and stars
  • yellow/clear with smiley faces
  • red/clear with disk confetti
  • silver/clear with star confetti

Swirly Mats II FVA for Use During Functional Vision Evaluation or Visual Skills Development Activities: These mats can be used to assess the characteristics of color preference, visual detail, visual contrast, detail and number discrimination, levels of visual complexity, ability to cross midline, visual novelty, and visually-guided reach. Swirly Mats II FVA in order of complexity are: Turquoise, Scarlet, Orange, and Clear. Includes:

  • FVA Mat, 1 ea.
  • scarlet/clear with heart confetti
  • turquoise/clear with sea life confetti
  • clear with white, silver, and blue snowflake confetti
  • orange/clear with pumpkin confetti

Note: Always provide adult supervision when using Swirly Mats with young children. Mats are completely sealed; however, in the event of a rupture, small pieces inside the mats may present a choking hazard. Liquids are non-toxic but will stain. Use Caution.

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.

The Secret Promise
by Paula Harrison: T-N2090-10 — $29.00
When Princess Emily and her other royal friends discover that someone is trying to hurt the deer in Mistberg Forest, they use their wits and ninja skills to rescue them. Grades 2-4. *(AR Quiz No. 159143, BL 4.5, Pts. 2.0)

David Copperfield: Oxford World’s Classics
by Charles Dickens: T-N2074-50 — $498.00
Autobiographical classic first published in 1849-50. Chronicles David’s life, from a childhood marked by his mother’s death and his stepfather’s cruelty through his success as an author. Also an exposé of the abuse of children in nineteenth-century England. Contains supplementary material placing the book in its historical context. Some Adult Content.

Metaphysical Dog: Poems
by Frank Bidart: T-N2042-60 — $30.50
Thirty-nine poems examining life’s conflicts. "Queer" reflects on the coming-out process for a gay man who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s. "Race" explores the poet’s feelings about his immigrant grandmother’s racism. Some Adult Content

Come Rain or Come Shine, A Mitford Novel
by Jan Karon: T-N2124-80 — $95.00
Dooley Kavanagh, adopted son of Mitford’s beloved Father Tim, has returned home from veterinary school to open an animal clinic. He’s also planning his wedding to sweetheart Lace Harper, and all of Mitford is invited. Sequel to Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good.

River of Smoke
by Amitav Ghosh: T-N2122-20 — $235.00
Amid a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, three vessels, and the diverse occupants within, converge on Canton’s Fanqui-Town, or Foreign Enclave, which is a powder keg awaiting a spark to ignite the Opium Wars. 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

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


July 1, 2016
Dominican College Training
Orangeburg, NY

July 1-6, 2016
ACB 2016 Conference & Convention
Minneapolis, MN

July 8-9, 2016
American Conference on Pediatric Cortical Visual Impairment
Omaha, NE

July 10-13, 2016
CreativePro Conference
Minneapolis, MN

July 11-16, 2016
Indianapolis, IN

July 14-17, 2016
NOAH Conference 2016
Pittsburg, PA

July 18-24, 2016
AER International 2016
Jacksonville, FL


August 2-3, 2016
NIP: Building on Patterns: Strategies & Products for Developing Skills in Reading & Braille
Baton Rouge, LA

August 3-4, 2016
NIP: Math with Susan Osterhaus
Louisville, KY

August 8-10, 2016
Association of Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Professional Development Conference
Birmingham, AL

August 11-12, 2016
IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations)
Louisville, KY

August 22-25, 2016
2016 BVA National Convention
Milwaukee, WI


September 1, 2016
Tactile Graphics Training
Northern KY

September 7-9, 2016
KY Rehabilitation Association Meeting
Lexington, KY

September 16, 2016
7th Annual Independence Science Learning A New Direction (IsLAND) Conference
Lafayette, IN

September 22-23, 2016
NIP: Building on Patterns: Strategies & Products for Developing Skills in Reading & Braille
Tampa, FL

September 24, 2016
Family Conference
Columbus, OH

September 30, 2016
VRATE 2016
Glendale, AZ

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APH News Credits

Dr. Craig Meador
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Dorinda Rife, Vice President, Educational Services and Product Development
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Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Paul Ferrara, Social Media Coordinator, Communications
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Emmy Malinovsky, Special Collections and Cataloging Librarian
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services-NIMAC
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Mary Robinson, Assistant, Field Services
  • Cathy Senft-Graves, Braille Literacy and Technology Project Leader, Research
  • Larry Skutchan, Director, Technology Product Research
  • Terrie Terlau, Adult Life Project Leader, Research
  • Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Tests and Textbooks
  • Dawn Wilkinson, Early Childhood Project Leader, Research

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June Issue
May Issue
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Louisville, KY 40206

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