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

March 2004

Everything’s Bigger In Texas!

The National Instructional Partnerships

APH, along with the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI), hosted our biggest National Instructional Partnership (NIP) event ever, as Dr. Christine Roman presented "Cortical Visual Impairment: What You See Is Not Always What You Get" to an enthusiastic crowd of 300 in Austin, TX, February 27 and 28!

The audience, composed of teachers of the visually impaired, early intervention specialists, parents, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, and others, were welcomed by Dr. Phil Hatlen, Superintendent and Ex Officio Trustee representing TSBVI. Jim Durkel, TSBVI Coordinator of Statewide Staff Development, hosted the event and welcomed attendees from Texas, Louisiana, Washington, New Jersey, and other states.

Janie Humphries, APH Field Services Director, led the group through an activity to collect ideas for new products, or adapted existing products, based on information shared by Chris Roman during her presentation. Chris provided techniques for using APH products and materials during assessment and intervention with students who are cortically visually impaired.

If you would like to host a NIP event featuring the use of APH products across a particular curriculum area, please contact Janie Humphries, email hidden; JavaScript is required

APH Staff and Others Lend A Hand for Braille!

The National Braille Challenge Invitational, hosted by the Braille Institute of America, is a nationwide competition designed to honor students who demonstrate outstanding braille skills. Students participate in preliminary exams in their home states or regions, and submit those to the Braille Institute for judging. Students with the top scores in each of five age groups are then invited to the Braille Institute of America in Los Angeles to participate in the national event in June.

Several employees and friends of APH donated time and expertise on Saturday, February 28, to assist in the monumental task of scoring the individual tests submitted for the national competition. Janie Humphries, Sandi Baker, and Cindy Amback were assisted by Will Evans and Jane Thompson in planning for our first "Braille Challenge Scoring Day" at the Kentucky School for the Blind.

APH employees participating in the "scoring day" included Dena Garrett, Debbie Hacker, Jayma Hawkins, Ann Hill, Laura Myers, Jean Moore, Phil Moore, Fred Otto, Terrie Terlau, Debbie Willis, Rose Zinious, and Ted Zinious. They were joined by Kristeen Hughes and Kathy Szinnyey.

The Braille Institute wishes to thank everyone who helped to make the day a success, and for helping to make the National Braille Challenge Invitational possible for our outstanding braille students across the country.

APH Resource Services Announces New Librarian

Virginia Smith

We are excited to announce that Virginia Smith joined APH on March 1 as the new Systems Librarian for Resource Services!

Virginia comes to APH with more than 6 years experience in the information industry. Most recently, she has worked as a webmaster and librarian for the Gemini Observatory and as a reference librarian for the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Her Master’s in Library and Information Science is from the University of Hawaii. Her experience in effectively using technology to meet the information needs of researchers, students, teachers, and the general public will prove to be a real asset for APH. Please join us in welcoming Virginia to APH!

Too Late for the Oscars:
Crafty Graphics Video

Crafty Graphics Stencil Embossing Kit

APH will soon release the first in a series of "Home Grown" videos – short informational videos about APH products. The videos in this series will be produced "in house" at APH, and will provide information on what the product is, who might use it, what uses it has, and how to use it! These 10 to 20 minute "Home Grown" videos promise to be informational as well as entertaining!

Watch for "Crafty Graphics" video to be released soon! Check the APH web site at for its release.

ENVISION and ISAVE to Make Their Way to Oregon


Teachers of the Visually Impaired in Oregon will have the opportunity to learn about two APH products in March.

ENVISION training will take place in Portland on March 29 for teachers in the Columbia Regional Program. Participants will learn about teaching students with low vision to use near magnification and distance devices as they engage in hands-on basic use and enrichment activities using the devices themselves.


Teachers in the Willamette Educational Service District will learn about ISAVE on March 30 in Salem. This training will provide an overview of all components of ISAVE, a functional vision assessment tool, as well as provide more in-depth information on the components that address assessing students with more significant neurological impairments along with a visual impairment. This training will feature the video "Good Lookin’" and will introduce the new APH video "ISAVE 101".

The Tactile Graphics Grapevine

Thanks, in part, to a graphic design student in Canada, who contacted APH Research staff with questions about tactile graphic design, APH has made contact with fellow researchers at the Reginald Phillips Research Programme (Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, UK). As a part of the Research Programme, Dr. Frances Aldrich, Ms. Yvonne Hindle, and their staff are conducting a six year investigation into tactile graphics in an effort to bring about " . . . a principled approach to the design, use and teaching of tactile graphics in school."

In our first sharing of information, APH requested and received six papers from the Reginald-Phillips Programme concerning their activities and results of their studies. They, in turn, were "very keen" to learn more about APH and our efforts in the area of tactile graphic production and design, particularly the design of tactile graphics for young children and development of the abilities necessary for successful "reading" of tactile graphics.

Suzette Wright has provided them with samples and information, and we have referred them to the APH website and the Research Department’s Annual Report. Suzette will also serve as APH’s contact for the Tactile Books Work Group, also based in the UK. This group is just underway and has, among its many aims, the objective of providing information about appropriate design of tactile illustrations especially in regard to the creation of tactile books. Both Dr. Aldrich and Ms. Hindle are advising the group, which is composed of representatives from RNIB, Clearvision Library, the National Centre for Tactile Diagrams, and the Linden Lodge School in Wimbleton.

APH Celebrates the Seussentennial

The following is a quote from

In commemoration of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s 100 birthday on March 2, 2004, Seussentennial is a yearlong tribute to the man known and loved by generations of Americans as Dr. Seuss. "Seussentennial: A Century of Imagination" will celebrate Geisel’s creativity, imagination, and his invaluable contributions to American society that live on today through his beloved books and iconic characters.

Kicking off in January 2004, the events and activities comprising Seussentennial will celebrate all aspects of Geisel’s life, from his celebrated books, like Green Eggs and Ham and How The Grinch Stole Christmas!, to his much lesser known work in advertising and his award-winning film work.

According to Inge Formenti, Department of Resource Services staff, the APH Louis database contains 63 Dr. Seuss related records.

March 2 is also Read Across America Day, which is sponsored by the National Educational Association(NEA). The NEA web page states, "Started in 1998 as a way to get kids excited about reading, NEA’s Read Across America has become the nation’s largest reading event. The year-round program culminates each year on or near Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2)." (
APH staffers will be involved in reading their favorite book to children in the community. Sometime during 2004, APH encourages you to read your favorite book to a child.

Newest Museum Exhibit Available for Display at Your Event!

Maryland School for the Blind, Baltimore, 1853

Our newest exhibit, BUILDING A FUTURE: U.S. Residential Schools for Blind and Visually Impaired Students is now available to schedule for conferences, meetings, and workshops in 2005.

The exhibit requires a space of 8′ x 13′ and can be set up by two people. It is packed in two large and one small plastic shipping boxes. Shipping cost is about $200.

Students from the Colorado School enjoy exploring the exhibit

APH’s Jane Thompson was the first person to take the exhibit "on the road" to a workshop at the Colorado School last month and came back with an enthusiastic report. Jane can vouch for the ease of unpacking and installing the exhibit.

An illustrated fact sheet about the exhibit is available on request and most of the illustrations from the exhibit are on our web site:

To reserve the exhibit, please call Anne Rich (800/223-1839, ext. 364) to get on the calendar. Then print out and complete the reservation form and send it to the museum.

Photos: Maryland School for the Blind, Baltimore, 1853 (top); Students from the Colorado School enjoy exploring the exhibit (bottom).

What’s New on Louis?

Louis Database

The new Louis interface has a helpful feature that allows you to quickly see all the new items added to Louis in the last 10 days. Choose the "Browse new items added to Louis in the last 10 days" link at the bottom of the menu of Louis search options. This will give you a list of all items added to Louis within that time period, regardless of format. On February 26, 2004, a quick check of this option revealed we had added 486 new items to Louis within the last 10 days! Thank you to all our contributing agencies for helping Louis continue to grow!

And speaking of new interfaces, we will only have the new interface for Accessible Media Producers Database (AMP) available after March 31. We will no longer provide access to the older AMP interface after March 31, 2004. If you are using an older browser that does not work well with the new interfaces, please be sure to upgrade soon.

For more information on the new interfaces and where to upgrade your older IE and Netscape browsers, see

Workshop on Making Tests Accessible

Mark your calendars! On September 15 and 16, 2004, APH will host a workshop for test publishers, test developers, and state assessment personnel on "Making Tests Accessible to Students with Visual Impairments." APH consultant Dr. Carol Allman (FL) will facilitate the workshop on test development and adaptation to help ensure access to test items by visually impaired students so that "No Child is Left Behind." Registration, instructors, workshop materials, planned meals and local transportation will be provided.

For more information, to register, or to suggest individuals who should be notified of this workshop, please contact Gage Brogan in the Accessible Tests Department, 800/223-1839, ext. 280, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required or email hidden; JavaScript is required

APH participates in a "Spaced Out" Conference

Conference planners Mary Sandy and Gail Henrich with Marion McHugh (center), winner of the greatest door prize in the galaxy: A Talking Telescope, donated by Bushnell.

"Space Science the Special Way with a little twist from Assistive Technology," February 12 and 13, 2004, Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

This special conference was aimed at educators and support staff responsible for teaching Earth/Space Systems in the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) curriculum to Visually Impaired and Hearing Impaired students. Over 130 persons attended. Timing for such a gathering couldn’t have been better with world-wide attention being drawn to outer space due to NASA’s successful Mars landing.

Featured speakers included NASA scientists and program directors, WGBH/Media Access Group in Boston, the Mars Imaging Project, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, visually impaired and hearing impaired students and several university professors. Barbara Henderson, APH’s Test & Assessment Project Leader in the Accessible Tests Department, presented "Accessible Computerized Testing" during the plenary session. Rosanne Hoffmann, APH Research Assistant, gave a demonstration of APH’s new book reading device, Book Port, during a breakout session.

Photo: Conference planners Mary Sandy and Gail Henrich with Marion McHugh (center), winner of the greatest door prize in the galaxy: A Talking Telescope, donated by Bushnell.


Presently, there are approximately 1,300 surveys being entered into
the new database. Once these surveys have been entered, training will begin to give participating agencies the option of entering surveys on-line. In addition, they will be able to extract their own data whenever they choose.

In the past year, the following states have submitted surveys for the first time: Kentucky, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Eight additional states received training during this past year, but none have submitted surveys to date. It is hoped, and anticipated, that twenty-five states will be submitting surveys by October 1, 2004. Burt Boyer and Deborah Hatton will be presenting the status of the Babies Count Project at the International AER Conference in Orlando, Florida.

ENVISIONED In Idaho and Arizona

Burt Boyer traveled to the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind in Gooding, Idaho, in late January to provide ENVISION training to the Outreach staff of the Idaho School for the Blind. Dr. Paul Ajuwon, Director of Outreach and EX-Officio Trustee of APH, arranged the training for his staff. The eighteen participants indicated that the hands-on activities were very important to the training.

Burt also provided training for the Babies Count Project for nine staff members who are responsible for services to birth to three year olds in Idaho. This training opportunity demonstrates once again how APH staff and EX-Officio Trustees can work together to make staff working directly with children more aware of APH products and how they can best be used.

Burt then traveled to Tucson, Arizona, on February 25, 2004, to provide training on ENVISION to students in the University of Arizona teacher training program and staff at the Arizona School for the Blind.

Seventeen students, and others interested in ENVISION, participated in the training on Thursday, February 26. Twenty-five staff participated in training from the Arizona School for the Blind on Friday, February 27.

Hands-on activities got the greatest responses from both groups. Participants had opportunities to practice correct techniques in the use of monoculars (distance vision aids) and magnifiers (near vision aids). The hands-on activities provided participants the opportunity to get a feel for what their students experience when using distance and near vision aids.

The Arizona School for the Blind has an excellent low vision program that is available to all students in Arizona through on-campus and outreach services.

St. Joseph School for the Blind To Provide Model Outreach Education Programs

The St. Joseph School for the Blind, in partnership with state and local agencies in New Jersey, will offer statewide model outreach education programs for under-identified and underserved children with visual and other disabilities. Serving as their National Education Advisor for the project is Lou Tutt, Principal, and Ex Officio Trustee, of the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Details of this comprehensive training initiative may be found in the latest Council of Schools for the Blind (COSB) newsletter, Howe’s Now, or by going to the COSB web site:

March 15 is the
Census Deadline

For help with your Federal Quota census data or the SRS Program, contact Karen Blaker at 502-899-2300 or email hidden; JavaScript is required

APH Travel Calendar—March

March 2-4, 2004
Big East Education Cooperative;
Ashland, KY

March 4, 2004
AFB Solutions Forum;
Washington, DC

March 4, 2004
Columbus, OH

March 4-7, 2004
Jo Taylor;
Washington, DC

March 6-8, 2004
National Association of Adults with Special Learning Needs (NAASLN);
Tampa, FL

March 6-7, 2004
MACRT/ASERT Business Meeting and Conference Planning;
Indianapolis, IN

March 10, 2004
Cal State LA Student Inservice;
Los Angeles, CA

March 10-12, 2004
Louisville, KY

March 11, 2003
Beyond the Guidelines Pre-Conference Workshop at CTEVH;
Los Angeles, CA

March 11, 2004
Preschool Consortium Babies Count;
Los Angeles, CA

March 12-14, 2004
Los Angeles, CA

March 15, 2004
Braille Institute Babies Count Database Training;
Los Angeles, CA

March 16, 2004
Blind Children’s Learning Center Babies Count Database Training;
Los Angeles, CA

March 15-20, 2004
Los Angeles, CA

March 24, 2004
Vanderbilt Student Visit;
APH, Louisville, KY

March 28-29, 2004
International Preschool Seminar;
Sedonia, AZ

March 29, 2004
Columbia Regional Program Envision Training;
Portland, OR

March 29 – April 2, 2004
Legislative Visits;
Washington, DC

March 30, 2004
Williamette VI Teachers Training;
Portland, OR

March 30, 2004
Reading Promotion Partners meeting;
Washington, DC

New Chrissy’s Collection Print/Braille Book Now Available

A new children’s book has been released in our popular print/braille series "Chrissy’s Collection." These classic commercial books have been rebound with frosted plastic braille pages overlaying the colorful print pages.

On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather is a charming book about what is happening around the world on the same spring day. Words and illustrations feature scenes from Antarctica, Texas, Egypt, Australia, and many other interesting places. For ages 4 to 8.

9-15007-00 — $25.00

Calendars 2004 Promotion

Find big savings on our 2004 calendars! The sale includes:

  • APH InSights Large Print/Braille Art Calendar
  • EZ Track Large Print Calendar
  • Braille DateBook

Available only while supplies last.

New APH Catalogs Coming Soon!

  • Products Catalog 2004-2005 is a complete listing of APH educational and daily living products (except for our textbooks). We offered a record number of products in last year’s catalog, and this year’s catalog will be even bigger!
  • New Textbooks in Accessible Media, Spring 2004 is a listing of the latest textbook titles available from APH. A complete list of APH textbooks can be found by searching the Louis Database at

These publications will be available in May, in print and on the web. In the summer, these publications, along with our current Adult Life and Family Life catalogs will be available on our accessible APH Demo Disc CD-ROM.

Request your free copies by emailing email hidden; JavaScript is required, or calling 1-800-223-1839.

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research Department
  • Karen Blaker, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Monica Coffey, Editor, Accessible Tests
  • Barbara Henderson, Project Leader, Accessible Tests
  • Janie Humphries, Director, Field Services
  • Becki Moody, Communications Support Specialist
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Artina Paris, Assistant, Field Services
  • Jane Thompson, Director, ATIC
  • Carol Tobe, Director, APH Callahan Museum
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests
  • Suzette Wright, Early Literacy Consultant, Research Department

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

February Issue –
January Issue –
December Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –