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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.

June 2008

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

Celebrating Our New Look

One of the new informational signs in the APH front yard
Two visitors examine a light box in the APH museum

The "big dig" on the front lawn of the Printing House gave way to flowers and sunshine during dedication ceremonies for the companies’ front lawn renovation on May 16th. The company broke ground on the project in March. For most of the last three months, the main entrance has been marked by an immense pile of dirt, busy workers, and construction barriers. A reception honoring the company board, city officials, neighbors, donors, and other supporters introduced the "wayfinding" project and officially reopened the building’s main entrance.

Wayfinding involves visual, tactile, and audible "clues" that guide people from one place to another. Hallmarks of the redesigned entrance include clear signage, well-lit pathways, comfortable seating areas, and attractive landscaping.

"APH is located in a beautiful, historic neighborhood," said President Tuck Tinsley. "Through this project, we hope to better connect with our neighborhood and welcome all our visitors-from both the local community and around the world."

A new museum exhibit celebrating one hundred and fifty years of service and innovation opened the same night. History in the Making: APH Past to Present provides an exciting new doorway into the APH Museum. It explores, in a uniquely accessible way, how a small company operating in a school basement grew into the largest supplier of educational and daily living aids for blind and visually impaired people in the world. For more information about the company’s wayfinding efforts or the new exhibit contact the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind at (502)899-2365.

Building Independence
Your Washington D.C. Exhibit Invitation

The American Printing House for the Blind presents a traveling museum exhibit, In Touch with Knowledge: The Education History of Blind People.

Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda
1st and C Streets, NE
Washington, DC 20510
Tuesday, June 17, through Thursday, June 19
8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily
Free and open to the public

Please stop by for a "hands on" experience of how people who are blind and visually impaired learn reading, writing, science, geography, and math.

APH staff will guide you as you explore tactile and audio learning methods, write your name in braille, and see the growing impact of technology on educational and career opportunities for people who are blind and visually impaired.

Founded in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1858, APH promotes the independence of blind and visually impaired persons by providing specialized materials, products, and services needed for education and life.

Since 1879, APH has worked I partnership with the Federal Government to provide the unique learning tools needed by our nation’s legally blind students below college level. Through an appropriation from Congress and the U.S. Department of Education, APH conducts research and manufactures specialized educational aids. Print materials are transcribed into braille for students who are blind and transformed into large print for those with low vision. APH staff provides training to teachers, parents, and vision professionals across the country on the use of these unique products.

This APH sesquicentennial event is hosted by the American Printing House for the Blind with the support of Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.

For more information, contact Nancy Lacewell at APH–email email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 502-895-2405, ext. 339

APH Calls for Field Testing of SAM

APH is seeking four teams to field test SAM: Symbols and Meaning during the 2008-09 school year. This is a 9-month commitment.

What is the intention of SAM? To build a conceptual foundation leading to successful symbol use including words, objects, tactual symbols, pictures, and graphics. It is for students with visual and multiple impairments and preschool children with visual impairments who are just beginning to use symbols in the late sensorimotor, early preoperational stage of cognitive development (3-5 year cognitive level).

Through games the concept categories of people (the self and others), objects (tangible things), actions (body movements of the self and others), and places (where things are, context for groups of things) are introduced.

Each team is made up of a student, a classroom teacher, a teacher of students who are visually impaired, a parent, an occupational therapist and/or speech language pathologist (if student is receiving these services), and a diagnostician (optional).


The team leader must participate in an online training conducted by author Millie Smith. This is a training of trainers workshop. The team leader will be responsible for training the other members of the team. Other team members are welcome to participate in the online training. The training is scheduled for the second week in August, 2008.

The TVI or diagnostician conducts the pre-assessment of the student.

The team uses the product throughout the academic year.

The TVI or diagnostician conducts the post-assessment of the student.

Technology requirements for the online training:

Broadband internet connection, Windows® Operating System, Administrative rights to download/use software and stream audio and video


  • Computer microphone
  • Computer speakers
  • Projector (optional for larger groups)


  • Windows Messenger
  • Windows Media Player
  • TC Conferencing

Are you willing to participate? Questions? Please contact Research Associate Tristan Pierce at email hidden; JavaScript is required or 800/223-1839, ext. 380.

New and Improved NIMAC Presence on the Internet!

NIMAC: National Instructional Materials Access Center

The re-designed NIMAC website is now available at! You will find the same helpful resources as before, but with a design that allows NIMAC authorized users, publishers, accessible media producers and others to choose the section of the NIMAC website that is just for them! We will be busy posting new content to the site over the next few days so please check out our new design soon!

NIMAC at 8,000!! That is correct! NIMAC now has over 8,000 NIMAC file sets ready for download and conversion to braille, large print or other specialized format! And there are thousands more in process! We are thrilled with the response from state and local educational agencies who are requesting that publishers deposit their NIMAS file sets with NIMAC. We are also grateful to the publishing community for responding so quickly and converting so many of their textbooks and other educational materials into NIMAS. We are grateful for your patience as we experience growing pains: over half those 8,000 NIMAS files were reviewed and accepted in just 6 months! This is more than we reviewed and accepted in the entire first year of operation, and more than twice as many as were expected during our first 18!

APH Braille+ Mobile Manager Tutoring on YouTube!

Our young instructor, Chase, has posted a new Braille+ tutorial. Look for lesson (4d), APH Braille+: Changes in Address Book at:

View all nine videos at

WANTED: Braille Literacy Product Development Project Leader II

Under the immediate supervision of Dr. Ralph Bartley, Director of Research, this project leader will primarily develop, field test, and produce braille literacy products for teachers and rehabilitation staff to use with students and adult consumers who are blind/visually impaired. The position is also responsible for the modernizing of existing APH products.

To read the full job description and how to apply for this exciting NEW position, please visit

Advisory Committees Offer Good Advice

ESAC Committee: Frank Simpson (NY), Barb Perkis (IL), Jackie Denk (KS), Michael Bina (MA), and Angyln Franquemont (AR)
EPAC Committee: Nancy Niebrugge (CA), Dean Stenehjem (WA), Jim Downs (GA), Joe Catavero (NY), Lorri Quigley (NM), Tom Winton (NC), Stacy Grandt (WI), and Steven Rothstein (MA)

APH’s two standing Ex Officio Trustee advisory committees, the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) and the Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) met in Louisville May 18 – 22 for their annual spring meetings. The committee members spent many long days meeting with key APH staff to discuss our processes, projects, and products. Committee members heard reports on NIMAC, Accessible Textbooks, Accessible Tests, the APH website, Louis, product training, product development, and many other exciting projects now underway or coming soon to APH. Vice Presidents Bill Beavin, Bob Brasher and Jack Decker led a lively discussion on ways to best leverage federal funds and forecast purchases.

The two Committees, led by chairs Jackie Denk (ESAC) and Tom Winton (EPAC) provided staff with preliminary reports citing commendations for past achievement and recommendations for future improvements. Both reports will be posted on the APH website in their final forms in upcoming months.

Photos: ESAC Committee(upper picture): Frank Simpson (NY), Barb Perkis (IL), Jackie Denk (KS), Michael Bina (MA), and Angyln Franquemont (AR). EPAC Committee (lower picture): Nancy Niebrugge (CA), Dean Stenehjem (WA), Jim Downs (GA), Joe Catavero (NY), Lorri Quigley (NM), Tom Winton (NC), Stacy Grandt (WI), and Steven Rothstein (MA).

Did You Know?…

The 140th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests of the American Printing House for the Blind will take place at the historic Seelbach Hotel in downtown Louisville. As we celebrate APH’s 150th year of building independence for people with visual impairments, you’ll have the opportunity to walk where celebrities, legends, and the infamous once walked.

The Seelbach Hilton is a grand hotel that has attracted the rich and famous for almost 100 years. F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the hotel’s most significant visitors, as he references the hotel in his book "The Great Gatsby." The Seelbach Hilton’s storied past is filled with tales of 1920s gangsters, U.S. presidents and even…a ghost!

In the 1920s, Prohibition contributed to the wealth of underworld kingpins who were drawn to the most glamorous spots for cards and leisure. The Seelbach, as the grandest hotel in Louisville and the center of Kentucky’s bourbon and whiskey country, attracted some of the most famous gangsters.

Al Capone, probably the most legendary gangster of the 1920s, used to visit The Seelbach frequently for blackjack, poker and bootlegging. Today, you can dine in a small alcove in The Oakroom where Capone would play cards. The famous gangster even sent a large mirror from Chicago, still in the room today, so that he could watch his back! Capone’s favorite room also has two hidden doors behind special panels, leading to secret passageways. If the police came on a raid, Capone could slip out the concealed passageways — one way led down to Fourth Street — another led to tunnels under the hotel.

In the basement, the Bavarian-style Rathskeller, built in 1907, was also one of Capone’s favorite places to do business. During Prohibition, the Rathskeller bar was still open to its elite patrons. Our Saturday night social event will give you the opportunity to relive the glory days of the Rathskeller, so you won’t want to miss this one!

Stay tuned to further editions of the APH News to find out more about the illustrious past and present of this Louisville landmark! Also, visit the Annual Meeting page on the website for the latest developments. Hotel reservation information will soon be posted. and visit the Annual Meeting page on the website.

CCSSO ASES Members Visit APH

Forty-six members of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Division on Assessment of Special Education Students (ASES) visited APH for an exciting and informative half-day workshop during their two-day meeting in Louisville. It was this group’s first time meeting in Louisville and first time visiting APH. They toured the facilities and were offered presentations which included an overview of assessment issues, some braille basics, an explanation of the roles of the Test Editor, Transcriber and Proofreader, enhanced print as well as tactile graphics issues and guidelines. The workshop ended with demonstrations of editing regular print test items for presentation in braille, tactile graphics, enhanced print, and audio formats. Some of the thoughtful questions and concerns expressed by ASES members included the readability of tactile graphics, what can be used when sighted students are using their graphing calculators, and use of color and gray-scale for students with color-blindness or low vision. It was a fun and productive day for everyone involved.

CCSSO ASES members pose before the new wall in the APH front yard

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


June 13-15, 2008
Montana Family Learning Weekend;
Great Falls, MT

June 15-19, 2008
Washington DC 150th Celebration Event;
Washinton , DC

June 16-18, 2008
Texas Focus Conference;
Austin, TX

June 19-21, 2008
Georgia Project of Assistive Technology (GPAT) Summer Institute;
St Simons Island, GA

June 27-28, 2008
National Braille Challenge;
Los Angeles, CA

June 29-July 5, 2008
NFB National Convention;
Dallas, TX


July 4-12, 2008
ACB 2008 National Convention (BITS) Luncheon;
Louisville, KY

July 10-13, 2008
NOAH 2008(National Organization for Albanism & Hypopigmentation Conference);
Las Vegas, NV

July 22-27, 2008
2008 AER-International Conference;
Chicago, IL


August 2, 2008
Portland State;
Portland, OR

August 8-10, 2008
Visions 2008;
Washington, DC

August 11-16, 2008
63rd BVA National Convention;
Phoenix, AZ

August 13-15, 2008
Pathways to Possibilities;
Virginia Beach, VA


September 4-6, 2008
Envision Conference;
San Antonio, TX

September 27, 2008
Indiana Vision Expo;
Indianapolis, IN

Two Giants to Enter the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2008

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field announces that two remarkable individuals will join the 40 members inducted since 2002. The 2008 Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday evening, October 3, in conjunction with APH’s Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests.

The Class of 2008:

  • Sally Mangold, Ph.D.

    Sally Mangold
    Sally Mangold was a passionate proponent and champion of braille literacy throughout her career. According to AFB President Carl Augusto, "Sally Mangold’s writings, technological breakthroughs, and teachings have not only enabled children and adults who are blind or visually impaired to learn braille, but also have raised awareness to the critical importance of braille literacy."

  • Richard L. Welsh, Ph.D.

    Richard L. Welsh

    During his illustrious career, Rick Welsh has served as an orientation and mobility specialist, a college instructor and professor, a counselor, a coordinator of rehabilitation services, and an agency administrator, most notably as President of both the Maryland School for the Blind and Pittsburgh Vision Services. Frances Mary D’Andrea observes, "Rick has that rare ability to take the long view, and with remarkable foresight to forge a vision of what could be–and then work hard to make it a reality."

To view the full press release, visit "What’s New at the Hall" at the Hall of Fame website:

Soon there will be additional information regarding the 2008 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on the APH website, under the 2008 Annual Meeting Banner.

NBA Announces Fall Conference

NBA wishes to invite all transcribers, teachers, and paraprofessionals to its Fall Professional Development Conference. This fall, in Lexington Kentucky, NBA plans to offer two strands of workshops:

  • Focus on Solutions for Providing Quality Braille Materials to Students
  • Overview of the Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation

Lexington, Kentucky is proudly known as the "Horse Capital of the World". Visit for more information about this great Bluegrass Region of the State of Kentucky. The conference hotel is the Marriott Griffin Gate Hotel and Spa which is situated amid the rolling meadows of Bluegrass Country offering plenty of southern hospitality.

Make plans now to attend October 29 – November 1, 2008. Plan to join us the first night on October 29th as the "gates will open" and the horses will "run for the dots". There will be time for networking with fellow braillists. Then buckle down to serious workshops for 3 days. Watch the NBA Website for further details and registration information.

The National Braille Association is a sponsor of the Braille Authority of North America.

Hadley Basketball Project

The Hadley School for the Blind is collaborating with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to create an audible basketball for individuals who are blind. The engineering students working on the project would welcome feedback to survey questions from visually impaired individuals who have an interest in such a basketball. Please contact Mitchell Thomas, who is leading the project team, at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Additional Product Manuals Available for Free Download!

Selected APH products now have manuals available for free-of-charge download. You may print or emboss these manuals as needed.

The following manuals were recently posted to our manual download page,

  • Braillewriting Dot by Dot, Teacher’s Manual, Braille: 5-17401-00
  • Crafty Graphics: Stencil Embossing Kit, Large Print Guidebook: 7-08844-00
  • Crafty Graphics: Stencil Embossing Kit, Braille Guidebook: 5-08844-00
  • IntelliTactiles: Pre-Braille Concepts User’s Guide, Print: 7-08516-01
  • IntelliTactiles: Standard Overlay, User’s Guide, Braille: 5-08515-00
  • IntelliTactiles: USB Overlay, User’s Guide, Braille: 5-08513-00
  • Let’s See: Sensory Activities Kit, Braille Manual: 5-08141-00
  • Let’s see: Perceptual Activities Kit, Braille Manual: 5-08151-00
  • Tactile Treasures : Math and Language Concepts for Young Children with Visual Impairments, Braille Guidebook: 5-08842-00

We will continue to package hard copies of these manuals with their products and sell hard copy manuals as replacement items. If, however, we have posted the manual as a free download, we will not carry inventory on the shelf for immediate delivery. If you purchase one of these manuals it will be considered a special order product and will normally be shipped within three weeks.

The ‘K’ Sonar Curriculum Handbook is Here and Available for Free Download!

K Sonar unit

Many orientation and mobility instructors and their students have come to know and appreciate the ‘K’ Sonar, an electronic travel aid sold by APH that expands the perceptual sphere of persons with little or no functional vision. For additional information about the ‘K’ Sonar, please visit

We are delighted to share the news that the ‘K’ Sonar Curriculum Handbook is complete and ready for free download in PDF file format. Written by Dr. William M. Penrod, Coordinator of the Orientation and Mobility Program at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, and by Dr. Terrie (Mary T.) Terlau, the adult life project leader in APH’s Educational Research Department, this handbook provides orientation and mobility instructors both a theoretical framework for understanding the integration of the cane and the ‘K’ Sonar and a practical curriculum of sequenced learning activities that build ‘K’ Sonar skills from beginning to advanced levels. Instructor Notes and Procedure sections of each exercise offer background information and in-depth explanations of learning activities helpful when preparing ‘K’ Sonar lessons; and exercise summaries, printable on one double-sided sheet, provide a quick reference guide for instructors to consult during a ‘K’ Sonar lesson.

The ‘K’ Sonar Curriculum Handbook is available as a free PDF file download. To download the handbook, please visit

Special Hot Pricing for Your Summer Reading Enjoyment!

Receive 10% off the Handi II, and Table Top Recorder/Players, and Cases.

Also, Receive 50% off accessories listed below.

Effective June 1 thru September 30, 2008

Product Number Description Original Price Promotion Price
Handi-Cassette II Tape Recorder/Player

– plays and records at standard or Talking Book speed
1-07085-00 Handi-Cassette II $185.00 $166.00
1-07085-01 Handi-Cassette II International $175.00 $157.00
1-07084-00 Handi-Cassette II Carrying Case $19.00 $17.00
Accessories for Handi-Cassette II
1-07083-00 Instructional Cassette $2.50 $1.25
1-07086-00 Battery Clip $8.00 $4.00
1-07082-00 Battery Pack NIMH $12.00 $6.00
Table Top Cassette Recorder/Player
– plays and records at standard or Talking Book speed
1-07150-00 Table Top Cassette Recorder/Player (US) $225.00 $202.00
1-07150-01 Table Top Cassette Recorder/Player (UK) $225.00 $202.00
1-07150-02 Table Top Cassette Record/Player (Europe) $225.00 $202.00
1-07010-00 Table Top Carrying Case $12.00 $10.50

**Note: All Sale Items Available While Supply Lasts**

NEW! Jumbo Work/Play Tray

Jumbo Work/Play Tray with insert: 1-03764-00 — $42.00

Jumbo Work/Play tray in use with a hammock
Jumbo Work/Play tray in use with a HOPSA dress

The Jumbo Work/Play Tray is designed to provide learners who have visual impairments and significant challenges with a tool in which they can play, explore, and learn independently. The large size tray (24" x 24") allows ample space for active learning and prevents toys from rolling out of reach.

Can be used with:

  • A HOPSA Dress™ or similar device so a child uses his or her feet on the tray
  • A swing, hammock, or foam wedge while the child is prone and uses his or her hands on the tray
  • A child sitting on the tray

A yellow liner accompanies the tray for additional color contrast. Adhesive foam (included) can be cut and placed on the bottom of the tray to protect floors or prevent sliding.

NEW! Loving Me: An Overview Video

Loving Me cover

VHS: 1-30021-00 — $10.00
DVD: 1-30021-DVD — $10.00

This video in APH’s Homegrown Series takes the viewer to a workshop conducted by Billy Brookshire, author of the Loving Me self-esteem workshop guide. Blind and visually impaired students and adults, parents, teachers, and other professionals participate in workshop activities designed to enhance self-esteem.

Brookshire talks about Loving Me: A Guide to Creating and Presenting Workshops on Self-Esteem, the intended audience, and some of the activities seen in the video. In his down-to-earth style, Brookshire sets the tone for a fun, engaging, and informational workshop, as a student, a parent, and a teacher tell us about their workshop experience.

NEW! Crashing Through Now Available in Braille
A-B0606-00 — $187.00

APH now offers a braille edition of the acclaimed book Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See. This is the inspirational story of Mike May, who was blinded in a childhood accident, but never hesitated to try anything he wanted to experience: driving a motorcycle, hiking alone in the woods, downhill skiing. Later, May decided to have a new stem-cell and cornea transplant procedure that partially restored his vision. Join May on his remarkable journey as he adjusts to his medical miracle, lives with disappointments as well as joys, and engages life with exuberance.

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.

Kidnapped at the Capital: Capital Mysteries, Book 2
Ron Roy, Braille: T-N1681-30 — $12.50
While KC and her best friend, Marshall, attend the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., KC’s mother and the president of the United States are kidnapped. And the ransom demanded is the International Space Station! Juvenile Fiction. Grades 2-4. *(AR Quiz #74863, BL 3.7, Pts. 1.0)

The Homework Machine
Dan Gutman, Braille: T-N1659-00 — $28.50
Fifth-grade class geek Brenton figures out how to get his computer to do his homework for him. His mistake is letting his seating group (the class clown, the teacher’s pet, and a slacker) in on his secret. Juvenile Fiction. Grades 3-6. *(AR Quiz #103771, BL 4.8, Pts. 4.0)

Born to Rock
Gordon Korman, Braille: T-N1692-70 — $54.00
Young Republican Leo Caraway loses his Harvard scholarship on a technicality and learns that his biological dad is a legend–former punk rocker "King Maggot." Hoping for college money, Leo joins King’s comeback tour as a roadie and grows up along the way. Fiction. Junior and Senior High readers. *(AR Quiz #105987, BL 5.3, Pts. 8.0)

Eavesdropping: A Life by Ear
Stephen Kuusisto, Braille: T-N1691-20 — $54.00
The author of Planet of the Blind, who has been legally blind since birth, explains how he perceives the world around him through listening. In these essays he describes childhood influences, adult travels, artful eavesdropping, and love of poetry and Caruso’s singing. Biography. Adult.

The Alibi Man
Tami Hoag, Braille: T-N1690-90 — $92.50
Horse trainer Elena Estes, a former narcotics detective, discovers the body of her coworker Irina Markova in a canal. Elena’s investigation leads to her previous Palm Beach, Florida, circles, where she finds ties to the Russian mob and society elite, including Bennett Walker–her ex-fiancé. Violence and strong language. Fiction. Adult.

*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 Website Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Jan Carroll, Braille Transcription Services Director
  • Frank Hayden, Technical Research Manager, Research
  • Nancy Lacewell, Director, Government and Community Relations
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Michael McCarty, Fred’s Head Expert Database, Communications
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services and NIMAC
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Gwynn Stewart, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Tuck Tinsley, President
  • 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

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