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APH News June 2003

Your monthly link to the latest information on APH products, services, and training opportunities.

APH Narrator Barry Bernson Honored with Alexander Scourby Award

Barry Bernson

It was recently announced that Barry Bernson, co-anchor of Louisville’s top-rated noon news and Kentuckiana’s best-known human interest reporter, will receive the coveted Alexander Scourby Award for the Narration of Non-Fiction for 2003. Since 1970, Barry has been a professional narrator of Talking Books for the National Library Service of the Library of Congress through APH. To date he has narrated more than 300 fiction and non-fiction works.

The Scourby Awards, presented annually by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), were founded in memory of its most popular narrator, Alexander Scourby, who recorded for the Talking Books program for nearly 50 years. Members of the Talking Book audience, who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled, select the recipients of this award.

Barry has also received three Midwest Regional EMMY awards from the
National Television Academy (most recent: May 2003); "best feature" awards from the Associated Press in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois; and has been a multiple winner in the feature news category of the Metro Louisville Journalism awards.

Congratulations Barry.

Attention Ex Officio Trustees: ORDER NOW

Please place your Federal Quota orders as soon as possible to avoid processing delays and backorder situations. This is the perfect time to purchase your forecasted supplies and products.

Annual Meeting: October 16-19, 2003

The Joy of the Journey

Additional information is now available on the web site regarding the 135th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, "The Joy of The Journey." Now available is a tentative agenda, registration form, and Brown Hotel information sheet. We hope that this information helps you as you make your fall plans to join us in Louisville.

Advisory Committees Advise APH

Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) and APH staff enjoy a meal at a local restaurant

May was an exciting month at APH as both the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) and the Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) joined us for their respective spring meetings. Members of both committees, made up of Ex Officio Trustees, met with APH staff to discuss the many projects, products, and services now underway. Both committees heard reports from the APH Braille Committee, and from ATIC and the Accessible Tests Department.

ESAC Chair Dan Boyd and committee members Lou Tutt, Teresa Lacey, Jerry Kitzhoffer, and Stuart Wittenstein joined Advisory Services, Communications, and Resource Services Department staff to review progress, discuss new projects, and report on the activities of the respective departments.

EPAC Chair Dotta Hassman and committee members Mike Cole, Rosie Pridgen, Carol McCarroll, Kenalea Johnson, Larry Brown, and Kathy Brown met with project leaders and others in dialogs about product development and processes, new and existing products, and to approve a number of products for purchase with Federal Quota funds.

The reports of each Advisory Committee, including their commendations and recommendations, will soon be available on the APH web site.

Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) and APH staff enjoy a meal at a local restaurant

The following items received Federal Quota approval during the spring EPAC meeting. Look for further information and availability announcements soon.

  • Braille Datebook
  • Lots of Dots: Learning My ABCs
  • Talking GlowDice
  • Intellitactiles: USB Overlay Companions
  • Web Chase
  • Book PortTM
  • Verbal View of Windows®
  • Book WizardTM Producer
  • Book WizardTM Reader
  • Kaufman Functional Academic Skills Test® (K-FAST)
  • Braille Transcribers’ Kit: US Maps

Photos: Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) and APH staff enjoy a meal at a local restaurant (top photo); Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) and APH staff enjoy a meal at a local restaurant (bottom photo)

You Gotta Love It!

APH and Ex Officio Trustee Vicki Liske of the Braille Institute of America are teaming up to present Billy Brookshire, author of the APH product Loving Me, in a two day event focused on activities and strategies to increase self-esteem and social skills for students and adults who are blind and visually impaired. The techniques and activities presented in this hands-on event are part of Billy’s Loving Me: A Guide to Creating and Presenting Workshops on Self-Esteem, now available from APH.

The workshop will be held June 23 – 24, 2003, in Los Angeles, CA, at the Braille Institute of America. Consumers (ages 14 and up), older individuals with blindness, educators, rehabilitation teachers, rehabilitation counselors, parents, and other family members should attend this hands-on event guaranteed to leave all who participate with enhanced self-esteem and improved social skills!

Online registration and further information are available on the Advisory Services page of the APH web site,

CVI Synergy Goes West

Dr. Jan and Dr. Matsuba

CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment) Synergy met at APH in May 2002. Dr. Jim Jan, of British Columbia’s Children Hospital, was unable to attend but has contributed via telephone and e-mail to the development of the upcoming APH web site dedicated to cortical visual impairment.

During an e-mail discussion on delayed visual maturation, the legendary Dr. Jan invited Tristan Pierce, APH Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, to Vancouver for a discussion on the definitions surrounding CVI and the development of the new web site. Dr. Jan graciously hosted CVI Synergy West in his home. Also attending the synergistic discussions were Dr. Maryke Groenveld, Dr. Roger Freeman, Dr. Carey Matsuba, Dr. Linda Mamer, and Dr. Christine Roman. Dr. Roman also attended the CVI Synergy meeting at APH and has conducted several CVI workshops through APH’s National Instructional Partnership project.

The group concluded that two definitions for CVI are needed, one for medical purposes and another for educational purposes. The group also reviewed a list of misnomers that are applied to CVI that were found through a basic Internet search. APH’s upcoming CVI web site will attempt to clarify terms associated with CVI.

We are extremely appreciative to Dr. Jan for hosting this meeting and to all the participants for taking the time to attend.

Photo: Dr. Jan and Dr. Matsuba.

APH Presents ISAVE on TV!

Distance Education in Alabama via satellite TV, that is.


Janie Humphries and Sandi Baker will be presenting ISAVE to students in Mary Jean Sanspree and Carol Allison’s vision classes at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on June 12 and 13. Teacher trainees will be participating from six sites – the main base in Talladega and five remote locations across the state. The satellite TV format of this training will allow Janie and Sandi to be interactive with participants at all sites throughout the two days. Each site will have an ISAVE kit available so that participants can have a hands-on experience with the product.

Founders Day at Kentucky School for the Blind

On May 9, 2003, the Kentucky School for the Blind celebrated 161 years of providing quality services to blind and visually impaired children in Kentucky. APH staffers Gary Mudd, Vice President of Public Affairs, and Burt Boyer, Field Services Representative, participated in this important event. Burt talked about his experiences and what life was like in the 1950s. Gary talked about his experiences and what was happening in the 1960s. Given the turmoil that the school has faced over the past year, it was positive to hear stories of success and the feelings of love that these two, and many others, shared for the school.

Babies Count On the Move

The new database for the Babies Count Registry will soon be completed and APH will be entering all surveys received since January 1, 2001. We estimate that over 900 surveys have been received, and they just keep coming!

Six additional states have completed training and will be participating in the future. These states include Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, and West Virginia. The Outreach Program at the New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped is joining with the Preschool Program in Albuquerque, also part of the NMSVH, resulting in the entire state now participating. Training was conducted at the Arizona School for the Deaf and the Blind, enabling them to now join with the Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix to provide coverage to all of Arizona. Burt Boyer will next travel to the Florida School for the Blind on June 14, to provide training to the Outreach Program Staff—welcome aboard Florida!! The field of blindness is demonstrating clearly that "We Will Leave No Babies Behind!"

Saluting Families at the Indiana School for the Blind

On April 26, 2003, the Indiana School for the Blind held a family weekend with the theme, "Saluting Families." Field Service Representative Burt Boyer served as keynote speaker. Because of the lifelong role parents play in the lives of their children, Burt titled his talk, "The Joy Is In The Journey." Burt shared some of his own experiences, and the "tough love" choices his grandmother made concerning his education—especially sending him to the Kentucky School for the Blind when he was eleven years of age. Burt emphasized the role parents must play in the education of their children because they truly know them better than anyone. One of the most moving workshops involved families working together to create tactile squares to be part of the "American Quilt." Seventy-five families participated in the workshop.

First Book in the Test Access Series Now Available in Accessible Formats!

Test Access: Guidelines for Computer Administered Testing

States that are beginning to investigate moving to computer-based delivery of their yearly assessments are beginning to ask: "How can students with visual impairments be included?" In response, the American Printing House for the Blind has published Test Access: Guidelines for Computer Administered Testing. The document is available as a free download from the APH web site.

Those who seek to create, publish, or administer computer-based tests for visually impaired persons, including state departments of education, service agencies, software developers, and individuals would benefit from this guideline commentary. This document provides a general overview of testing accommodations for paper and pencil tests, as well as those for computer-based tests. Other topics include design considerations for computerized and online tests, and ensuring the accessibility of images, graphs, charts, and maps. Finally, a complete bibliography, web sites for low vision and blindness information, and a glossary of terms are provided. Visit the APH web site to download the document in either .HTML, .BRF, or .PDF formats at

Staying in Touch with National Goals

On Friday-Sunday, May 16-18, Burt Boyer and Debbie Willis participated in a National Agenda Meeting in Austin, TX. The National Agenda supports the efforts of teachers, parents, and administrators as they work to assure a quality education for children and youth through the school years. National Agenda goal statements represent a wide spectrum of issues that impact the quality of services for students in educational programs.

Burt Boyer will co-chair Goal 1: Referral with Chris Tompkins (Foundation for Blind Children). Debbie Willis will co-chair Goal 6: Assessment with Dr. Mary Ann Lang (National Center for Vision and Child Development, Lighthouse International, Inc.).

Two new goals have been added to the original eight goals. For a list of these 10 goals and other relevant information, visit the web site of the "National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities" at

To discuss National Agenda issues or goals, contact Dr. Karen Wolffe at AFB, 512/707-0525.

120th Anniversary of the 1883 APH Building Dedication, June 12, 2003

Photo of the original APH building

On June 12, 1883 at 3 p.m., students of the Kentucky Institute for the Education of the Blind led a procession from the school to the new APH building. As reported in the next day’s newspaper, they sang while marching "along the avenue and up the broad flight of stairs until the second story was reached, and in the large room, intended for the book-bindery, the services were held." The ceremony concluded with a benediction, and "the whole audience then repaired to the press-room, where Judge Bullock [President, Board of Trustees] formally started the engines, the revolution of which meant so much happiness to humanity."

With funding from the state, the APH Board purchased a 6.8-acre lot, west of the Kentucky School for the Blind, for $9,520 and, in 1883, built the building at an additional cost of $11,695.30. The brick and stone building had a three-story front, a two-story wing, and a fireproof vault on the eastside for storing stereotype plates. The newspaper account of the dedication described the building as the "first ever erected in the world for the sole purpose of printing for the blind . . . and in one of the prettiest sites that could be conceived of .."

Numerous additions have been made to the 1883 building during the past 120 years, but remnants of the original structure are still evident. Two windows, a decorative column, and gaslight fixtures from the original building can be seen in the room where the dedication ceremony was held. Renovated in 1994, the room is now the reception area for the Callahan Museum. The inscribed lintel that was over the original main entrance was preserved and installed on the front lawn of APH in 1992.

Complete New APH Catalogs Available on the Web

New catalogs are available in several file formats on the APH web site: speech-friendly HTML; speech-friendly text file; and PDF, which reproduces the print catalog pages exactly with all text and photos.

  • Products Catalog 2003-2004 is available in HTML, text, and PDF file formats.
  • New Textbooks in Accessible Media, Spring 2003 is available in HTML and text file formats.

New Products

REVISED! Materials Carry-All

This sturdy, lightweight container for storing and transporting materials of all types has been completely revised. Now the hinged lid is attached to the base and includes integrated plastic latches for convenience and ease of use. The side-opening design provides more usable space with better visibility of contents. Measures 10 1/2 x 27 x 16 inches.

Materials Carry-All: 1-02592-00 — $47.00

NEW! Flat Stylus

This thin stylus can be easily kept in the pocket of a notebook or binder and is flat to prevent rolling. It comes in two color-coded sizes.

Large Yellow Flat Stylus: 1-00121-00 — $2.50
Small Green Flat Stylus: 1-00122-00 — $2.50

NEW! QuickBraille Kit

The QuickBraille kit consists of a six-line by 19-cell slate, a six-section sheet of perforated fanfold paper, and APH’s new Flat Stylus housed in a pocket pouch. By treating each of the perforated slips as a separate page, it is possible to use the paper to write a braille note or letter and have no braille on the crease. You can load one six-section sheet of paper into the slate and put it in the pocket pouch ready for use in an instant to jot down telephone numbers, reminders, directions, etc.

QuickBraille Kit: 1-00086-00 — $12.50

Accordion Paper Refill (10 sheets of 6 notes each): 1-00086-01 — $3.00

Replacement Lightweight Aluminum Slate, 19 cell, 6 lines, includes Flat Stylus — 1-00083-00 — $9.95

Compiled by: Bob Brasher, Vice President, Products and Services
Designed by: Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

May Issue –
April Issue –
March Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –

Thanks to the following APH staff members for their contributions to this effort:

  • John Aicken, Management Assistant, Research
  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative, Advisory Services
  • Karen Blaker, Support Specialist, Advisory Services
  • Scott Blome, Director of Communications
  • Burt Boyer, Field Services Representative, Advisory Services
  • Barbara Henderson, Project Leader, Tests and Assessments, Accessible Tests
  • Janie Humphries, Director of Advisory Services
  • Artina Paris, Advisory Services Assistant
  • Tristan Pierce, Project Leader, Multiple Disabilities, Research
  • Carol Stewart, Studio Director
  • Carol Tobe, Director, Callahan Museum
  • Debbie Willis, Director of Accessible Tests