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

June 2007

APH Products of Interest

picture of the K Sonar

Read on to learn about these products!

139th Annual Meeting—Expanding the Core

Annual Meeting 2007 October 11-13 Louisville, Kentucky

October 11-13, 2007
Louisville, Kentucky

We invite you to attend APH Annual Meeting 2007, themed "APH and Ex Officio Trustees: Expanding the Core."

Keynote speaker Dr. Phil Hatlen, Texas, will share his core beliefs as a life-long educator. APH staff and product authors will provide information on exciting new and upcoming products. There will be a major presentation on the eagerly-awaited results of the ABC Braille Study. Always a highlight, the banquet will honor APH InSights artists and Hall of Fame inductees.

Information and a tentative agenda will soon appear on the Annual Meeting Website and in the APH News.

Wise Ex Officio Trustees Advise APH!

APH’s two standing Ex Officio Trustee Advisory Committees, the Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) and the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) met at APH May 6 – 10, 2007. For the first time in many years the two committees were in-house together, allowing them time to meet jointly as well as in their respective committees.

The members of EPAC, chaired by Ex Officio Trustee Joe Catavero (NY), are charged with reviewing product development processes and priorities. Committee members met with Project Leaders and other key APH staff to discuss current products and those under development. Dialogs between committee members and APH staff were a highlight for this group.

Educational Products Advisory Committee as of May, 2007 (left to right): Nancy Niebrugge, CA; Tom Winton, NC; Lorri Quigley, UT; Dean Stenehjem, WA; Jean Small, Alternate, ME; Joseph Catavero, Chair, NY; Bernadette Kappen, PA. EPAC member Steven Rothstein, MA was unable to attend.

The members of ESAC, chaired by Ex Officio Trustee Jean Martin (MN), are charged with providing oversight and leadership in the planning, evaluation, and delivery of services in support of APH products. Members of this committee met with key APH staff in Advisory Services to discuss current programs and projects as well as those needed for the future.

Educational Services Advisory Committee as of May, 2007 (left to right): Barbara Perkis, IL; Jackie Denk, KS; Jean Martin, Chair, MN; Mike Bina, MA. ESAC member Jim Downs, GA, was unable to attend.

Each committee developed a draft of a written report with stated commendations and helpful recommendations for APH. A verbal report was given prior to the departure of the committees and we expect final written reports from each committee in the coming weeks.

If you are an Ex Officio Trustee with three years of experience and have not served on an Advisory Committee within the last three years, you, too, are eligible to serve on one of the committees. A nominations committee of Ex Officio Trustees prepares a slate of nominees at each year’s annual meeting. If you are interested in serving on one of the committees, please contact Janie Blome, email hidden; JavaScript is required, or call 800-223-1839, ext. 367.

Congratulations to the 2007 APH Scholars

During their May meeting, the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC), met to select the five dedicated service providers who will be honored as APH Scholars during the 2007 Annual Meeting in October.

The committee, made up of five Ex Officio Trustees, had the difficult job of choosing the final five from an excellent field of twenty candidates nominated by Ex Officio Trustees. The five first time attendees who will be attending Annual Meeting this fall are:

  • Carol Bogue, MA
  • Marsha Clark, AR
  • Linda Havlik, MO
  • Juli Hintz, NE
  • James Olson, CO

Congratulations to our winners, and to all who were nominated! Thanks to all of the Ex Officio Trustees who nominated worthy candidates. Please nominate again next year!

Second Braille+™ Mobile Manager Training Set for June 12

picture of the Braille+ Mobile Manager

APH Technology Project Leader Larry Skutchan will be hosting a second webcast on the Braille+ on June 12 at 1:00 PM EST. For sign-up and log-in instructions please contact Maria Delgado at email hidden; JavaScript is required

For more information on this exciting new PDA from APH, see the May issue of the APH News.

Upcoming NIP Events

National Instructional Partnerships

An upcoming National Instructional Partnerships (NIP) event, held in partnership with Ex Officio Trustee Cathy Johnson and the Kentucky School for the Blind, will feature Marilyn and Jay Gense highlighting the use of APH products for students diagnosed with autism and visual impairments. The workshop will be held July 26 on the campus of the Kentucky School for the Blind in Louisville, KY, in conjunction with the Gateways 2007 conference.

Registration information is available from Cathy Johnson by email, email hidden; JavaScript is required

Future NIP events include:

  • "Learning to Use the Sensory Learning Kit", held in partnership with Diana Lewis and the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, August 16 – 18, Watertown, NY
  • "Learning to Use the Sensory Learning Kit", held in partnership with Ex Officio Trustee Sally Giittinger and the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, October 24 – 26, Nebraska City, NE
  • "Cortical Visual Impairment", held in partnership with Ex Officio Trustee Jackie Denk and the Kansas Instructional Resource Center for the Blind, November 7 – 9, Wichita, KS

For information of any of these upcoming events, or if you’d like to schedule a NIP event highlighting the use of APH products across the areas of the core curriculum or the expanded core curriculum in your area, please contact Janie Blome, email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 800-223-1839, ext. 367.

Workshop: Making Test Items Accessible

On Wednesday, June 20, Accessible Tests staff will provide a half-day post-conference workshop on "Making Test Items Accessible for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired." It will be conducted from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel [Lincoln C] in Nashville, Tennessee, as part of the Council of Chief State Officers (CCSSO) Conference on Large-Scale Assessment. Participants may attend this workshop without registering for the CCSSO Conference. For additional information, go to

Students, Parents and Teachers Love "Loving Me"!

Photo of group; Billy Brookshire is at the far left

"Every parent of a child who is visually impaired should attend this workshop" said parent Laura Sanders after she attended a "Loving Me" Workshop in Louisville, KY on May 15. "I was feeling a little intimidated before coming to the workshop" stated 17-year old Samantha Sanders, "but Billy was excellent" and he put everyone at ease. "Attending this workshop with my students was helpful for me" to learn more about my students, said teacher of the visually impaired Cheryl Harrington, and it was "very relaxed". These are just a few of the comments heard following the "Loving Me" workshop conducted by Billy Brookshire, author of the APH product that is a guide to creating and presenting workshops on self-esteem.

Thirty students who are visually impaired, their parents, teachers, adult consumers and rehabilitation counselors for the blind attended the one-day workshop at the Charles W. McDowell Rehabilitation Center in Louisville. EOT Derrick Cox generously offered the site for the workshop, and appreciated the opportunity to partner with APH for this event.

Participants in the workshop will also appear in the future HomeGrown Video "Loving Me", as taping for the video took place throughout the day’s many activities.

Photo of group; Billy Brookshire is at the far left

ABC Braille Study Researchers Meet in Louisville

May 21 and 22 were days of focused and spirited discussion on the data collection and future reporting of the ABC Braille Study results. This 5-year longitudinal study, conducted by a collaborative group of prominent researchers in the field of blindness, is in its final year. Most of the student assessments have been completed. The researchers discussed the details of the writing assignments and possible dissemination activities. The first dissemination activity will be conducted at the APH Annual Meeting in October 11-13 in Louisville KY. The research questions which will be discussed are:

  • Are there differences in reading rate and comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, word recognition, and reading achievement levels of children who are initially taught contracted braille as compared to those who are initially taught uncontracted braille?
  • Are there differences in writing, vocabulary, and spelling abilities of children who are initially taught contracted braille as compared to those who are initially taught uncontracted braille?
  • Are there differences in the quality and quantity of literacy and interactive experiences in general education classrooms, the home environment, and in the community of children who are initially taught contracted braille as compared to those who are initially taught uncontracted braille?
  • Are there differences in attitudes towards reading and writing in children who are initially taught contracted braille as compared to those who are initially taught uncontracted braille?

In addition to these research questions, additional information will be provided on the collaborative model that was used to conduct the research. Also, recommendations for future research will be discussed. APH looks forward to receiving the final report.

Tessa Wright Carlsen (Vanderbilt University, NCLVI Fellow), Stephanie Herlich (TVI, CA), Robert Wall Emerson, Ph.D. (Western MI University), Sharon Sacks, Ph.D. (CA School for the Blind), Cay Holbrook, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia), Anne L. Corn, Ed.D. (Vanderbilt University), Liz Barclay, (CA School for the Blind), Jane Erin, Ph.D. (University of AZ), Debbie Sitar (TVI, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA), Frances Mary D’Andrea (University of Pittsburgh, NCLVI Fellow), Diane Wormsley, Ph.D. (NC Central University), Cheryl Kamei Hannan, (CA State University-LA), Eleanor Pester (APH).

Did you know?

When you order APH braille and large print textbooks you now receive an acknowledgement informing you of the APH catalog number, the estimated size of the book, estimated cost and estimated delivery.

Well it’s true! APH implemented this process several months ago to keep our customers up to date on the progress of their textbook orders.

If you have any questions regarding your textbook order be sure to contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required for braille orders and email hidden; JavaScript is required for large print orders.

NIMAC Reaches 1,000th File Mark!

NIMAC National Instructional Materials Access Center

Now in its 6th month of operations, the NIMAC now has well over a thousand files in the repository. Thanks to the hard work of staff Charliann Becker and Anne Ledford, the NIMAC currently has reviewed and accepted 1054 files from 17 publishers. We’ve also registered state coordinators in 37 states and territories, and now have 46 Authorized Users from 26 states and territories.

New Accessible Test Editor Joins APH

Kerry Isham

Kerry Isham began work as an APH Accessible Test Editor in May. Kerry received her M.A. degree in experimental psychology from the University of Toledo in Ohio. Her prior work experiences have helped Kerry develop skill sets needed to work with people in a number of different settings, and in more analytically-oriented contexts. She is excited to combine these skills with this new opportunity at APH.

Cartographers Join APH Large Format Atlas Staff

Two new cartographers have joined APH staff for work on the Large Format Atlas Project. Adam Coomes and Kevin Devine, both from the University of Louisville’s geography department, have combined their skills with those of existing staff to develop maps of Africa, South America, Caribbean countries, as well as ocean floor topography.

Adam Coomes

Adam (pictured at right) is a recent graduate in geography with specialization in environmental analysis. Kevin is a senior, majoring in geography with a specialization in geospatial information systems. Both are hard workers and have already produced some stunning maps which meet the 70 guidelines developed by the 2001 Atlas Focus Group.

The Large Format Atlas will be released in three sections, consecutively. Section One includes North America, China, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Indonesia. It will feature full color maps and photographs when released. Keep watching the APH News for release dates!

New Ex Officio Trustees

Janet Ford, Louisiana Department of Education,replacing Eric Guillory.

Moeolo Vaatausili, the American Samoa Department of Education, replacing Jane French.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


June 1-3, 2007
KSB Alumni Association 2007;
KSB in Louisville, KY

June 4-7, 2007
Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill;
Washington, DC

June 16-19, 2007
RESNA 2007 (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America);
Phoenix, AZ

June 17-20, 2007
Council of Chief State School Officers 2007 Large Scale Assessment Conference (CCSSO);
Nashville, TN

June 19-20, 2007
NIP Event-Teaching Math to the Blind;
Jackson, MS

June 22-23, 2007
Braille Challenge;
Los Angeles, CA

June 30-July 6, 2007
NFB Convention 2007;
Atlanta, GA

June 30-July 7, 2007
ACB 2007;
Minneapolis, MN


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 18-20, 2007
Kentucky Rehabilitation Association Conference 2007: Bridging Kentucky Resources;
Lexington, KY

July 20-22, 2007
Visions 2007 (Foundation Fighting Blindness);
Kansas City, MO

July 24-26, 2007
Gateways for Independence;
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 13-15, 2007
BVA 2007;
Albuquerque, NM

Two Giants to Enter the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2007

The Hall of Fame, which belongs to the entire field of blindness, is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired.

Joining the 38 inductees of the Hall is the Class of 2007, made up of two remarkable individuals who are to be inducted in October at a ceremony that will be held in conjunction with APH’s 139th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests.

The Class of 2007:

  • Charles F.F. Campbell (1876-1935)

    Charles F.F. Campbell

    Charles Campbell led the development of modern vocational rehabilitation for blind adults through the establishment of work stations that demonstrated to blind people and the public the many and varied jobs that could be done without sight. In 1907, he launched a journal which has become the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, and he led the creation of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) to continue the journal and to take on other projects of national significance. He then persuaded Helen Keller to dedicate her life to the support of AFB. "While I was still at Radcliffe College, his eloquent pleadings convinced my teacher and me that there was something we could do to better the condition of the adult blind." — Helen Keller, 1936

    "The modern conception of work for the adult blind throughout the entire country owes more to his inspirational, vivacious initiative than to any other single factor." — C. W. Holmes 1936

  • Everett "Butch" Hill (1943 – 1994)

    Everett 'Butch' Hill

    Dr. Hill’s significant contributions to our body of literature include his work in spatial positional concepts, preschool orientation and mobility, and the classic textbook: Orientation and Mobility Techniques: A Guide for the Practitioner, co-written with Purvis Ponder. For the last 14 years of his life he served as Professor at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University where his teaching and mentorship of O&M practitioners was legendary. As recognition to his competence in this area, he received the first Outstanding Teaching Award from Peabody in 1986. "In his all too short 28 years with us, he single-handedly accomplished what he set-out to do when he entered the field of O&M, which was to heighten the awareness and recognition of the field of O&M by creating a well defined base of research literature." — George Zimmerman

    "Through his early work on concept development with children who were congenitally blind, Dr. Hill helped to build the bridge between the approach to the systematic delivery of orientation and mobility training as it was developed for adventitiously blinded adults and O&M services for congenitally blind children." — Rick Welsh

For more information on these two giants, visit "What’s New" on the Hall of Fame web site:

Where Has All the Vinyl Gone?

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped announced in April that their network libraries will no longer be required to maintain collections of books recorded on vinyl records. A few larger centers will continue to carry vinyl. For many NLS libraries, the decision is a formality, as demand for talking books on records has been low for years.

The decision does highlight the need to preserve important examples of the first generation of books recorded for people with visual impairments. The first "talking books" were developed by the American Foundation for the Blind in 1933. By 1936, the American Printing House had established its own recording studio and issued its first five books: Gulliver’s Travels, Silas Marner, Treasure Island, The Sketch Book, and Pinocchio. Today, the museum at the Printing House has a copy of only one of these pioneering books.

Most of these early books are not available in a digital format. If all copies of the original record are lost, famous voices such as George Patterson, Terry Hayes Sales, Jim Walton, and Livingston Gilbert might be silenced forever. Fortunately, NLS archives a large collection of its own books in Washington. APH is actively seeking to save these immortal voices as well. Currently, the museum holds a collection of over 2600 talking book records. If you know where copies of important books are preserved, in private homes, residential schools, or libraries, drop us a line. Call our museum director, Mike Hudson, at 800/223-1839, ext 365 or send email to email hidden; JavaScript is required

Photo: The Sketch Book, by Washington Irving, was narrated by George Patterson at APH in 1936.

NBA Offers Braille Opportunities

The National Braille Association is offering you two exciting braille opportunities:

  • Professional course work with CEUs in the areas of Literary Braille, Nemeth Code, Music Braille, Tactile Graphics, Formatting Educational Materials, and Transcription Software.
  • "Ask the Experts" from the new website at

For additional information contact NBA Secretary Jan Carroll at email hidden; JavaScript is required and visit the NBA website.

National News Interview Touts the APH Book Port

Picture of the Book Port

CNN recently quoted American Foundation for the Blind Vice President Paul Schroeder on his devotion to APH’s Book Port. Paul said, "The Book Port is easy to use, extremely portable and well-designed as an audio player and text-to-speech converter."

For the full story, and much more on the Book Port, visit:

First-Ever APH Assessment Catalog!

Assessment Catalog Cover

APH introduces a new catalog featuring standardized accessible tests, tools and manipulatives that can be used in assessment situations, as well as information about APH’s custom production of assessment materials.

The Assessment Catalog 2007-2008 is available in regular print, on an accessible CD-ROM (the APH Demo Disc), and in accessible editions on our website. Not on our mailing list? Request your free copy by emailing email hidden; JavaScript is required, or calling 800-223-1839.

Did You Get Your Free Catalog? APH Products Catalog 2007-2008 Now Available!

Products Catalog Cover

The Products Catalog 2007-2008 contains our complete line of products, excluding textbooks. It also includes a catalog of commonly requested replacement parts. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive our print or disc edition catalog, please email email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 800-223-1839. APH catalogs are also available online in accessible editions.

Over 30 new and revised products featured in the catalog include:

  • Building on Patterns: Kindergarten Level — This complete revision of the popular Patterns braille program helps teach beginning braille users to read, write, and spell.
  • Woodcock-Johnson® III, Tests of Achievement, 2001: Large Print Edition — This widely-used assessment is now available in a full-color large print version.
  • Talking Watch — Available in a leather or stretch band version, this easy-to-use watch announces the time in clear speech.

Get "Hands On" with APH Products at the NFB and ACB Conferences

We invite you to come by our booth this July at the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) conference in Atlanta, or the American Council of the Blind (ACB) conference in Minneapolis. APH will display many products for demonstration and sale. This is your chance to get a first-hand look at such items as the Braille+™ Mobile Manager, MaximEyes™ Video Magnifier, the newest print/braille children’s books, and much more. Come visit, we’d love to meet you!

Technology on Sale:
Braille ‘n Speak Scholar and ‘K’ Sonar

Braille ‘n Speak Scholar on Sale
A Student’s First Notetaker

Braille 'n Speak Scholar

Braille ‘n Speak Scholar® now over 60% off! Effective June 4, APH is again dropping the price of the Braille ‘n Speak Scholar. Inventory is available on a first come, first served basis.

1-07320-01 — SALE PRICE: $500.00 — Over 60% off of original price!

Also on Sale:

Replacement Item:
Serial Interface Cable for connection to a PC (9-pin female to mini-din 8 male): 1-07319-00 — $28.00

Cables Available Separately:
Parallel Printer: 1-07318-00 — $88.00
ImageWriter®: 1-07317-00 — $28.00

Introduce younger braille users to the world of electronic notetakers with the Braille ‘n Speak Scholar from APH and Freedom Scientific. The Scholar’s simpler interface and new lower price makes it the ideal for first-time users.


The Scholar will help students or adults create and organize their work with these features:

  • Input with a braille-type seven-key keyboard
  • High-quality synthetic speech output
  • Advanced word processor with file organizing
  • Hard copy output in braille or print, includes braille-to-print back translator
  • Talking clock, countdown timer, stopwatch, phone directory, calendar, appointment book, and scientific graphing calculator
  • Interaction with PCs


  • Soft leather carrying case
  • Battery Charger / AC Adapter
  • Earphone
  • Serial Interface Cable for connection to a PC (9-pin female to mini-din 8 male)
  • Braille and print reference manuals
  • Cassette Tape Tutorial with demos
  • A more extensive manual on CD-ROM
  • WinDisc® and WinPrint® software
  • One year warranty

Recommended ages: 8 years and up.

‘K’ Sonar Sonic Perceptual Aid on Sale

‘K’ Sonar: 1-07000-00 — SALE PRICE: $500.00 — 29% off of the original price!
‘K’ Sonar Replacement Headphones: 1-07001-00 — $45.00

'K' Sonar

The ‘K’ Sonar is a small, affordable, electronic travel device that can be used independently or attached to a standard long cane. By listening to the sounds produced by the ‘K’ Sonar, the user can determine the distance, location, and even some of the features of an object.

The included headphones provide audio feedback–the pitch produced by the ‘K’ Sonar changes to indicate the distance to the object being scanned. Different objects create different sounds, which in some cases can be identified as specific items.

The ‘K’ Sonar comes with:

  • Headphones
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Power adapter

Note: ‘K’ Sonar should be used along with a sighted guide, dog guide, or cane because it does not detect drop-offs and does not provide sufficient information on its own to ensure safety.

APH Braille Book Corner:
Pirates, Nursery Tales, and Safety — Books for All Ages and Interests

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.

Piratica: Being a Daring Tale of a Singular Girl’s Adventure upon the High Seas
by Tanith Lee: Braille: T-N1627-20 — $83.50
Artemesia runs away from Angels Academy to return to the high seas, where she encounters a rival for the title of pirate queen. Grades 6-9. (*AR#82281, RL5.0, Pts. 12)

Nursery Tales Around the World
by Judy Sierra: Braille: T-N1634-30 — $22.00
International collection of eighteen folktales in six different categories contrast cultural variations in stories. Grades 3-6. (AR#70868, RL 4.6, Pts. 2)

Medical Marvels
by Catherine Nichols: Braille: T-N1656-90 — $12.50
Depicts four unusual medical events. Uncontracted braille. Part of True Tales Series. Grades 3-6. (AR#82450, RL 4.8, Pts. 0.5)

How to Avoid Falling: A Guide for Active Aging and Independence
by Eric Fredrikson: Braille: T-N1628-10 — $21.50
Provides information on fall-proofing your home, negotiating stairs, avoiding hazards, and recovering after a fall. Adult. (AR not available.)

Two Little Girls in Blue
by Mary Higgins Clark: Braille: T-N1646-20 — $72.00
After the ransom is paid, only one of the kidnapped twins is returned with a note claiming the other child is dead. But could she still be alive? Adult. (AR#106297, RL 5.7, Pts. 13)

*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
  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Jan Carroll, Manager, Contracts Administraton
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Tony Grantz, Business Development Manager
  • Micheal Hudson, Director, APH Museum
  • Elaine Kitchel, Low Vision Project Leader, Research
  • 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:

May Issue –
April Issue –
March 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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