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APH News: June 2017

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!

cover of the Boehm-3 Big Picture Manual features three cartoon children sitting on a tree stump. A small dog and a frog are on the ground next to the stump.

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

Connecting with Partners: The MATT Connect Is Coming!

photo of the MATT Connect

APH is pleased to announce a new partnership that will result in our customers getting the tools they need to be successful! Several months ago, APH began exploring options for developing a tablet-based digital magnification system that would combine the power of a tablet with the ability to view distant and near objects as well as clarifying those images using OCR (optical character recognition) technology. Through that exploration, another partnership was born. This month, the American Printing House for the Blind and HumanWare™ will announce the availability of the MATT Connect™: a tablet-based digital magnification system made unique by bundling APH and other low-vision-friendly apps into the tablet’s customized software system.

This partnership, and others, provides APH access to another avenue to meet the needs of all our stakeholders, including teachers, parents, students, school staff, adult service providers, and consumers. The MATT Connect is designed primarily to meet classroom needs, but it will also be useful to many people whose day takes them through a variety of settings.

As the sole distributer of the MATT Connect, APH will be working in collaboration with the extensive HumanWare network within the United States. While all sales will go through APH’s Customer Service department, training, technical support, and repairs will be provided by HumanWare. APH and HumanWare share the goal of promoting independence and allowing individuals with visual impairment to learn alongside their peers in any setting.

One of Helen Keller’s most famous quotes tells us, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” APH’s partnership with HumanWare puts the newest technology into the hands of individuals to increase independence and improve access. This is just the latest in a series of partnerships that promote APH’s mission and expand choices for individuals with visual impairment, blindness, and deafblindness. As APH continues to develop partnerships with other organizations and companies, it allows us to provide great products to our customers. However, the “products of the product” are the relationships formed, the efficiencies gained, and the enhanced offerings to all those we serve.

NEW! Boehm-3: Test of Basic Concepts, Third Edition: K-2

cover of the Boehm-3 Big Picture Manual features three cartoon children sitting on a tree stump. A small dog and a frog are on the ground next to the stump.

K-2 Big Picture Kit: 1-03883-00 — $359.00

K-2 Tactile Edition Kit: 1-03884-00 — $489.00

Related Items

Boehm-3 Preschool Big Picture Kit — $239.00

Boehm-3 Preschool Tactile Edition Kit — $475.00

Replacement Items, Boehm-3 K-2:

Parent Letter:
English (25-pack): 61-212-045 — $121.70
Spanish (15-pack): 61-212-046 — $82.10

Big Picture Kit:
Manual, Large Print: 7-03883-00 — $39.00
Record Form: 61-212-047 — $183.00

Tactile Edition Kit:
Manipulatives Pack: 61-212-033 — $5.00
Record Form: 61-212-048 — $198.30

Boehm-3 K-2 is an easy-to-administer tool that helps identify children who need help with basic relational concepts.

Boehm-3 measures 50 basic concepts relevant to school success. Results help identify students who may not have had the learning experiences necessary to develop an understanding of key concepts.
Developed for easy use with English- and Spanish-speaking students.

Boehm-3 Big Picture Kit Includes

  • Big Picture Manual
  • Test Administration and Scoring Directions
  • Record Form (25-pack)
  • Parent Letter
    • English (25-pack)
    • Spanish (15-pack)

Boehm-3 Tactile Kit Includes

  • Three binders containing tactile stimuli
    • Getting Ready Binder: An introduction to tactile stimuli used in the assessment
    • Binder 1: Practice Items A-C, Test Items 1-25
    • Binder 2: Practice Items A-C, Test Items 26-50
  • Manipulatives Pack for performance test items
  • Test Administration and Scoring Directions
  • Record Form (25-pack)
  • Parent Letter:
    • English (25-pack)
    • Spanish (15-pack)

Recommended ages: K–2nd Grade.

Visit for list of free downloadable brf files.

Notes: Boehm-3 Examiner’s Manual is available through Pearson at:

Full reliability and validity data for children without visual impairment can be found in the Examiner’s Manual (see link above), but does not apply to this adaptation. Everything needed to administer the test to children with visual impairment is included in these kits.

The Boehm-3 Kits can be used with students diagnosed with CVI by applying the same accommodations that they use in school. There is no background complexity, and the drawings have already been simplified for use with low vision students.

We Have Textbook Capacity, Send Us Your Orders!

Painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware River with the slogan 'order fall 2017 textbooks now!' superimposed on the right side

Hello Ex Officio Trustees,

We are excited to let everyone know that we are officially in the textbook season! Orders are trickling in but we need them to flood in by this time of year. APH has capacity for your braille, large print, enlargement and digital textbook orders. The sooner we get them the sooner your students will have them for the new school year.

Remember, when ordering your textbooks from APH you have options.


  • Hard copy braille textbooks, both new translations and re-orders of previously transcribed textbooks
  • Digital downloads of previously transcribed textbooks from the APH File Repository (great for embossing locally or using on refreshable braille displays)
  • Graphic only packets to accompany your digital .brf downloads

APH Large Print

  • Your students’ favorite!
  • Hard copy large print textbooks in standard textbook size! Full color and in 18-point font minimum. These books are hard cover bound and custom made to order!
  • You can also order this style in digital format only! (Perfect for iPads, Kindles, laptops, desktops and all screen readers)
  • Digital downloads of previously ordered large print textbooks with value added! Many of these files already contain image descriptions written by professional editors on staff at APH.

APH Traditional Enlargement

  • Hard copy enlarged textbooks. Full color and hard cover bound.
  • Best for lower grade textbooks!

APH has worked hard to keep textbook prices down for our customers by assuming all the translation costs for braille textbooks, and by purchasing all of the hard copy standard print textbooks for you! This makes ordering even easier, all you need to do is send us your APH Textbook Order Form, a photo copy of the front and back of the book and the front and back of the title page, your FQ Order form or Purchase Order and we do the rest.

When buying textbooks from APH you only pay for embossing or printing and binding, this stretches your federal quota funds and textbook budgets so that all students get their books on time! Don’t forget, when ordering from APH you are allowed to spend up to 50% more than your quota allocation and we never turn down textbook orders. Students need textbooks and APH is responsive to that need. Send your orders in now so that we can deliver them to you before school starts!

For questions regarding the textbook ordering process contact us at 1-800-223-1839 or email us at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

We have on our waders, let the flooding begin!

Field Tests and Surveys

Wheelchairs, Light Boxes, Mounting Systems? You Tell Us.

Would your students or clients who use reclining wheelchairs or spend a portion of their awake hours in a bed benefit from using a light box? If yes, please participate in this product-specific survey.

Assessment Team Members: APH Needs Your Input

Personnel involved in the assessment of students and clients who are blind and/or visually impaired are asked to complete a Survey Monkey form on “Assessment of Students and Clients Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired.” Your input is extremely valuable in helping APH design and develop needed products with accompanying services as well as providing your state and neighboring states with useful information. These products, services, and information will assist your students and clients with visual impairments to be prepared to access tests and assessments that are administered to them.

Go to 2016-2017 Assessment of Individuals Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired: questions for personnel involved in assessment of students or clients who are blind and/or visually impaired in each state.

Any questions? Contact Debbie Willis at email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 502/899-2311 until Friday, June 23, 2017. For assistance after June 23, 2017, please contact Jane Thompson at email hidden; JavaScript is required

A note from Debbie Willis:

I will be presenting at CCSSO in Austin after June 23, 2017, and will retire while in Texas on Friday, June 30, 2017. I have enjoyed and appreciated the countless opportunities to work with you during the past 43 years at APH. Many thanks and best wishes to all of you serving babies, toddlers, students, and clients who are blind and visually impaired!

APH’s Websites: We Want Your Feedback on Accessibility!

When accessing the web, are you a synthetic speech user, screen magnification user, or user of other accessible technologies? APH would like your feedback on the accessibility of our websites! If you have thoughts about the accessibility of the following:,, or, please email your comments to email hidden; JavaScript is required. We appreciate your time!

APH Spring Fever Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Spring Fever Sale 2017, April 1—June 30. As always, first come, first served.

Save the Date for Annual Meeting 2017!

group photo
Attendees at APH Annual Meeting 2016 chat with keynote speaker Denna Lambert. Our 2017 keynote presenter will be announced soon!

For the 149th time, APH will host the Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests on October 12-14, 2017, in Louisville, Kentucky. Soon we’ll be announcing an exciting keynote speaker to set the tone for this year’s meeting. Other highlights will include sessions spotlighting APH products, roundtable discussions for your input, the APH Product Showcase, the APH InSights Art Awards Banquet, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and a variety of related meetings. We will once again be at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville. Registration information will be available soon. We hope that you can join us to learn, share, and enjoy comradery!

Announcing the Winners of the APH InSights Art Competition 2017!

the Mona Lisa rendered in simulated braille dots featuring a yellow streak across the image at Lisa's eye level

We are proud to announce the winners of the 2017 APH InSights Art Competition, including the artists whose work will be displayed during APH’s Annual Meeting in October. A complete list of winners appears on the APH InSights Art webpage. We are very grateful for all the compelling, creative pieces received from participating artists. This year, APH received 377 entries from across the United States, as well as entries from England and China.

The APH InSights Art Exhibit will be open for viewing from October 12 to 14, at the Hyatt Regency, Downtown Louisville, as part of the festivities for APH’s Annual Meeting.

Congratulations to our talented winners!

Deadline Approaches for Tactile Illustrated Book Competition

Typhlo and Tactus 2017 logo

The deadline for submissions to the Typhlo & Tactus Tactile Illustrated Books Competition is August 10, 2017. That’s not too far away! Now is an excellent time to start assembling your entry to this international competition. The American Printing House for the Blind is the U.S. contact for this competition.

The Typhlo & Tactus Competition showcases the world’s best tactile illustrated books made for children ages 3 to 12 who use touch to read a story. Contest information, rules, and hints about creating tactile illustrated books are detailed at

Questions about Typhlo & Tactus? Contact APH’s Robert Guillen, 502-899-2242 or

Disney Makes STEM Accessible with Disney Youth Programs!

STEM Corner

Interested groups of students, instructors, and parents are invited to participate the Disney Youth Education Series. Professionals at Disneyland in California or Walt Disney World in Florida will adapt these immersive, hands-on, and educational adventures for students with visual impairments. All activities are approximately 3 hours long:

  • Energy and Waves Physics Lab (Grades 3-12 and ages 8-18)
  • Properties of Motion Physics Lab (Grades 3-12 and ages 8-18)
  • Discovering Marine Life Conservation (Grades 3-7 and ages 8-13)
  • Sustainable Practices in Wildlife Conservation (Grades 6-12 and ages 11-18)
  • Everyday Chemistry (Grades 4-9 and ages 7-15)
  • Techniques of Teamwork Through Improvisation (Grades 9-12 and ages 14-19)

For more information see

Here is a link providing access to 17 Brain Boosting Podcasts that will delight young children (and their parents) – Six of these are dedicated to science!

Robert Smithdas and William B. Wait to be Inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2017

Induction Ceremony

The ceremony to induct Smithdas and Wait will take place at the 149th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in October, 2017. Joining the 58 outstanding legends previously inducted are these two remarkable figures whose innovations changed lives. Their stories of accomplishment are powerful.

The Class of 2017

Robert Smithdas, 1925-2014

Robert Smithdas

Robert Smithdas served as Associate Director of Services for the Deaf-Blind, Helen Keller National Center. His eloquence, example, and lobbying led to the development of legislation enacted in the 1967 Amendments to the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, and which authorized the establishment of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults.

Smithdas was awarded four honorary doctoral degrees, was named Handicapped American of the Year, served on the President’s Committee on Employment of People Who Are Disabled, was awarded AFB’s Migel Medal and the Peter J. Salmon Memorial Award, was inducted into the National Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities, and was the Poetry Society of America’s Poet of the Year.

I saw firsthand the effect he had on visitors, professionals in the fields of education and rehabilitation, parents of children who are deaf-blind, and, most importantly, the deaf-blind individuals themselves. He was a role model for students who came to HKNC, a person they looked up to and would often visit with to discuss their goals and the day to day challenges they faced. Joseph J. McNulty

William B. Wait, 1839–1916

William B. Wait

William Wait was Superintendent of the New York Institute for the Blind for forty-one years and heavily involved with the American Association of Instructors of the Blind. He invented and promoted the tactile writing method, New York Point.

In addition to leading the Institute and writing books on the education of the blind, Wait developed a method of musical notation, invented equipment to produce his point materials, developed the kleidograph for embossing his New York Point system on paper, invented the sterograph for embossing metal plates for producing books, developed a method of embossing New York Point on both sides of a piece of paper, and developed and patented a method of binding books in New York Point that improved their durability and reduced the cost of producing the books.

In 1879, he was spokesman for a committee that successfully lobbied the US Congress for the first allocation of federal funds to the American Printing House for the Blind, in order to produce embossed books for individuals who were blind.

It is amazing to think that one person could accomplish so much. The Institute prospered under his direction and his contributions to the field of blindness were so important to the future of literacy and education for children who are blind. Bernadette Kappen

Visit the Hall of Fame website for information on the Hall and those inducted.

APH on the Road

APH Shares in the Fun of the Eye Can Derby!

APH display table includes catalogs and products

Field Services Representative Kerry Isham provided some APH-centric fun at the third annual Eye Can Derby in Bowling Green, KY. Wendy Strode-Ross, Regional Outreach Consultant, the event planner made sure the approximately 50 school children with blindness and visual impairments, their parents, and vision professionals had plenty of exciting activities available to them. APH provided pop music by way of the JOY Player, opportunities to color with the Color By Texture Marking Mats, other creative enjoyment with The Picture Maker, and a chance to play catch and keep-away with an 18-inch Rib-It Ball. A wonderful time was had by all at this yearly event, and APH was delighted to be a part of it!

CIP Event at the University of Arizona!

Dr. Irene Topor

As part of APH’s Collaborative Instructional Partnership (CIP) Program, on April 25th, Field Services Representative Kerry Isham presented for Dr. Irene Topor’s very enthusiastic University of Arizona methods class in Tucson. The presentation began with an overview of APH. Following that was a discussion of APH products for the core curriculum and the expanded core curriculum. Then everyone enjoyed some hands-on time with products (including Touch, Label and Learn Human Skeleton; STACS; and Tactile Town) while participating in a group exercise. After that, the students’ knowledge of APH products was tested in a spirited game of “APH Products Jeopardy.” Lots of fun and learning took place as the dedicated university students eagerly listened, asked questions and tried out products.

Social Media Spotlight

Stay Up to Date with APH on Facebook!

Have you “Liked” APH on Facebook? You’ll receive posts about new APH products, Quick Tips videos, our museum on Throwback Thursday, news from the field of blindness, and much more! Check out our page at

Screen capture of an APH Facebook post
Social Media Spotlight logo

We appreciate you “Liking” our page, and we want to make sure that you see all of our posts. If you want to see APH’s posts first in your newsfeed, please follow the directions in this Quick Tip video. We have provided directions for screen reader users and mouse users alike.

Find APH at Our Other Social Media Pages!

You can find APH at these social media sites: Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

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.

Word After Word After Word
by Patricia MacLachlan: T-N2131-20 — $26.00
Visiting author Ms. Mirabel teaches a fourth-grade class about the power of words and writing. Grades 3-7

Stations of the Tide
by Michael Swanwick: T-N2129-60 — $101.50
A bureaucrat is sent to the planet Miranda to track down the renegade scientist and magician, Gregorian, who has acquired forbidden technologies for unknown purposes. The bureaucrat must unravel the ecological mysteries of Miranda’s Jubilee Tides, the melting of the planet’s icecaps every 200 years.

Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania
by Frank Bruni: T-N2083-20 — $95.00
New York Times columnist examines the lives of people who worked toward admission at Ivy League and other elite colleges and were rejected. Discusses the ways those rejections impacted them and how they often thrived. Explores the culture of education in the twenty-first century.

Good as Gone
by Amy Gentry: T-N2165-10 — $110.50
Eight years ago, thirteen-year-old Julie was abducted from her bedroom. Julie miraculously returns, but her story doesn’t make much sense. While her mother struggles with an ex-cop’s suspicions, alternating chapters take the returned Julie backwards through her ordeal. Some Adult Content.

by J.M. Lee and Chi-Young Kim: T-N2164-70 — $138.00
Now a prisoner of American occupiers, former prison guard Watanabe Yuichi recounts his experiences with prisoner Yun Dong-Ju and his investigation of the murder of fellow guard Sugiyama Dozan. What Watanabe uncovers alters his view of himself and the work he does. 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

The Best Quick Tips for Summer!

Quick Tips Corner logo features a post with two street signs

It’s summer, and you know what that means: It’s time to go outside and play! In keeping with this seasonal sentiment, the following are our best Quick Tips to help you get out and get moving!

Once you’ve come in from playing in the sun, do something else constructive – Shoot your own Quick Tip and send it to Kerry at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

APH Quick Tips logo: Short videos from APH

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


June 6-8, 2017
Illinois School for the Visually Impaired: Opening Doors Parents-Infants Conference
Jacksonville, IL

June 16 – 17, 2017
National Braille Challenge Finals
Los Angeles, CA

June 28-30, 2017
CCCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment
Austin, TX

June 30-July 7, 2017
ACB 2017 Convention
Reno, NV

July 10-15, 2017
NFB Convention 2017
Orlando, FL

July 17-22, 2017
AHEAD 2017
Orlando, FL

July 19-22, 2017
AER International – O&M Conference 2017
Pittsburgh, PA

July 26-29, 2017
ENVISION 2017 Conference
Glendale, AZ

July 26-29, 2017
CHARGE Syndrome Conference 2017
Orlando, FL


June 25-July 1, 2017
Deaf-Blind Young Adults in Action Leadership Class
Washington, DC


June 24-July 1, 2017

Camp Abilities Summer Camp
Brockport, NY

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APH News Credits

Dr. Craig Meador
email hidden; JavaScript is required

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
  • Rob Guillen, Special Programs Coordinator, Public Relations
  • Lauren Hicks, Internal Communication Coordinator, Public Relations
  • Rosanne Hoffmann, STEM Project Leader, Research
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Martin Monson, Project Leader, Research
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities/Physical Education Project Leader, Research
  • Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Tests and Textbooks
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

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The APH News is a monthly publication from the American Printing House for the Blind:
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Louisville, KY 40206

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