Visit Our House!

APH Logo

APH News

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

March 2009

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

PATTER Assessment Guide Curriculum Tool

Your Feedback Requested:
Survey on Planned Pattern Matching Cards for APH’s Giant Textured Beads

photo of the giant textured beads

Karen Poppe, APH Tactile Graphics Project Leader, is currently developing tactile/print pattern matching cards for use with APH’s Giant Textured Beads. If you currently own this product and would like to complete a survey about planned accessories for it, please contact Karen at email hidden; JavaScript is required to receive a copy of the 10-question survey. Thanks.

Field Test Opportunity:
Child-guided Strategies: The van Dijk Approach to Assessment for Understanding Children and Youth with Sensory Impairments and Multiple Disabilities

APH is seeking 12 field test sites for a 3-month trial. Each field tester (the assessor), in cooperation with the principal caregiver(s) and educator(s), create situations for the learner where he/she is given the opportunity to show his/her abilities. Each field test site requires access to a computer with a DVD drive. The product consists of a training DVD and a guidebook complete with sample and blank assessment forms. Multiply disabled children and youth who participate in the field test should be nonverbal and have sensory impairments, including visual impairment, blindness, or deafblindness.

This new training assessment was developed by Dr. Catherine Nelson, Dr. Jan van Dijk, Teresa Oster and Dr. Andrea McDonnell. Dr. Nelson will be the field test consultant. To apply for this opportunity, contact Tristan Pierce at email hidden; JavaScript is required by April 1.

Attention Students:
2009 Sports Camp Resource!

Find the camp nearest you and register early. Do you like swimming, goalball, judo, skiing, canoeing, or horseback riding? Each camp offers a variety of sports and recreation activities to keep you happy and healthy. Camp is a great way to meet new friends and try new sports. Check out the 2009 sports camp list on the APH PE Website at

NIP Events Spread Learning Across the Country – Or At Least The Southeast!

The National Instructional Partnerships

Two National Instructional Partnership (NIP) events gathered teachers in the southeast part of the country for opportunities to hear experts discussing APH products in February. Ex Officio Trustees Suzanne Dalton (FL) and Marty McKenzie (SC) partnered with APH to provide outstanding training events to professionals in their areas.

Chilly Florida Provides Warm Reception for Millie Smith

It may have been cold outside, at least by Florida standards, but the excitement inside was hot when Millie Smith presented a 1½ day workshop for Florida teachers on using the APH Sensory Learning Kit February 6-7. Approximately 80 teachers and other professionals learned about the kit materials, how to use them in their classrooms, and how materials in the kit could assist in providing functional vision assessments for students at the sensorimotor learning level. The Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired provided kits for use during the training and then allowed grateful participants to keep the kits for use in their school districts. And thank you, Kay Ratzlaff, for all of your assistance and support for this event!

Hail, Columbia!

Approximately 55 teachers of students with visual impairment gathered in Columbia, SC, on February 20 for a NIP event featuring the APH FVLMA assessment tool. Product author Dr. LaRhea Sanford captivated the audience while describing and demonstrating the functional vision assessment materials. Workshop participants worked in pairs and small groups to complete sample tasks and practice assessments. FVLMA kits were provided for audience members to share in the workshop and will be provided later for all who were in attendance!

National Instructional Partnerships (NIP) events are designed to highlight the use of APH products across the areas of the core curriculum and the expanded core curriculum. If you are interested in hosting such an event in your area, please contact Janie Blome, email hidden; JavaScript is required, or call 800/223-1839, ext. 367.

Upcoming NIP Event:
Administering and Scoring the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ III ACH) for Braille Readers

Dr. Lynne Jaffe

We are pleased to announce an upcoming National Instructional Partnership Event. This 2-day event will be conducted at the Desert Valleys Regional Cooperative in Phoenix, Arizona, August 28-29. The instructor will be Dr. Lynne Jaffe and the target audience includes psychologists, educational diagnosticians, teachers of visually impaired individuals and graduate students in visual impairment preparation programs.

Day 1 will focus on administration and scoring of the regular print WJ III ACH and interpretation of scores. Day 1 is required for examiners who have not had this training. Day 2 will focus on administration of the WJ III ACH: Braille Adaptation, working with an ancillary examiner (non-braille reader working with a braille reader), and special considerations and cautions when testing individuals who are blind. Visit for more information or contact Rachel Goodman (email hidden; JavaScript is required) or Debbie Willis (email hidden; JavaScript is required) in Accessible Tests.

APH and NMAER "Come TogethAER in New Mexico"

On February 12 and 13, teachers of the visually impaired gathered in Albuquerque for the annual New Mexico AER Conference, to "interact with colleagues, enjoy exciting presentations and learn about the latest technology and materials". Dr. Dean Stenejhem, APH EOT and Superintendent of the Washington State School for the Blind, gave the keynote address titled "Expanding Learning Opportunities Doesn’t Have To Be Elusive–If We Work Together." This was followed by break-out sessions on topics ranging from Assessment of the Expanded Core Curriculum to Braille music to transition planning, early literacy and more.

APH Field Services Representative Sandi Baker had the opportunity to share information on some of APH’s newest products in the exhibit hall at the 2-day conference. The APH Perkins Braillewriter: Next Generation was a big hit with conference-goers, as were ToAD, MathBuilders (Geometry), and the new APH Sound Source.

Got Art?
Get an Entry Form and Enter APH InSights Art 2009

Anastasiya Andreyeva

Visually impaired or blind artists of all ages are invited to submit artwork for our eighteenth annual international art competition, APH InSights 2009. Last year, nearly 500 entries were received. From these, jurors selected eighty-three pieces for the exhibition, which was shown in Louisville at the Annual Meeting last October. Artists may enter original artwork created in any medium, including (but not limited to), painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber, metal or wood. The deadline for entries from students in kindergarten through high school is April 1. Adult artists have until April 15 to send in their entries.

Complete rules and entry forms now are posted on the APH website:

You may also contact Roberta Williams at 502-899-2357 or email hidden; JavaScript is required to receive a hard copy of the rules and application forms in print or braille.

Korean Visitors Brave Weather to Visit APH

Yang-su Cho (third from left), Assistive Technology Specialist from Washington State Department of Services for the Blind, organized this visit for several Korean groups that provide services for the blind, including Hasang Rehabilitation Center and Seoul National School for the Blind, on January 27. The group spent a half day at APH touring and discussing issues and production processes with APH’s Ralph Bartley and Roberta Williams.

Archived Webcast Opportunity:
Considerations for Making Test Items Accessible

screen capture of the conference website

If you want:

  • to make test items accessible for students who are blind or visually impaired,
  • some braille basics or the roles of the test editor, transcriber, and proofreader when producing a test in accessible media,
  • some answers to tactile graphics issues,
  • guidelines for large print and color, or

to make use of these materials for an in-service, please visit the archived conference at

Select from various speakers such as Dr. Carol Allman, Karen Poppe, Elaine Kitchel, and other experts presenting for 20-70 minutes on various assessment-related topics.

New Video Presentations Available on Demand

In November of last year, APH broadcasted a live video presentation for the North Carolina Conference on Exceptional Children. Elaine Kitchel, our Low Vision Project Leader, gave a detailed overview of two popular products: Address Earth, APH’s large format atlas, and ToAD, our Tools for Assessment and Development of Visual Skills. The recorded version of these two videos are now available to view on demand in our webcast archive page at:

APH Tactile Graphics Image Library
Did You Know…?

APH Tactile Graphics Image Library

You can register for the APH Tactile Graphic Image Library (TGIL) at!

The free images in the database are templates for you to create your own custom tactile graphics! Never have to draw that state outline, thermometer or clock face again! Check out the hundreds of images in all subject areas. Great for teachers, transcribers, parents and students!

For more details contact Chris Graham at email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 800-223-1839. New graphics added every month!

2009 Nomination Process for the Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field Ends March 27!

Annie Sullivan,
Plaque sponsored by Perkins School for the Blind

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is accepting nominations for 2009 induction consideration through Friday, March 27.

If you are interested in learning more about the qualifications for nominees or the process for submitting a nominee to join the 42 inductees, please visit: The nomination process will close Friday, March 27.

"The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is dedicated to preserving, honoring, and promoting the tradition of excellence manifested by the specific individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame and through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired."

The 2008 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Now Available on the Hall Website!

Visit the Hall link and view the Hall of Fame Inductions of Dr. Sally Mangold and Dr. Richard Welsh.

National Geographic Society offers advice and expertise to APH during production of Address: Earth, the APH Large Format Atlas

On February 17, Tuck Tinsley, Gary Mudd, and Nancy Lacewell met with staff at the National Geographic Society (NGS) in Washington, DC, to thank NGS for assistance provided during production of Address: Earth, Section 1 – the first installment of the APH Large Format Atlas. Released in the fall of 2007, this unique educational aid presents maps in separate layers, enabling low vision readers to easily access information about our world that they may have never seen before. To date, 553 copies of Address: Earth, Section 1, have been sold to schools, resources centers, and senior centers across the U.S.

This world atlas is divided into three sections, each featuring different parts of the world:

  • Section 1 – Earth Features, North America, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent, was released in the fall of 2007.
  • Section 2 – Europe, Nordic Countries, Middle Ease, Russia, and Eastern Europe, is scheduled for release in 2010.
  • Section 3 – Africa, South America, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean, is scheduled for release in 2012.

During the development stage of the first section of the atlas, APH Large Print Project Leader Elaine Kitchel conducted extensive research, utilizing the expertise of many accomplished professionals in the field of vision. She identified 70 issues with regular print maps that are problematic for people with low vision, and created guidelines to produce accessible maps. Address: Earth is the first mapping project at APH to use these guidelines.

Since APH has no expertise in either geography or cartography (creating maps), NGS agreed to advise APH in these areas. Carl Mehler, NGS Director of Maps, and several of his staff members reviewed maps and made changes prior to production.

Said Mehler, "Vital tenets of National Geographic’s mission include inspiring people to care about the planet, encouraging education, and promoting natural and cultural conservation using various dynamic media. Working with the American Printing House for the Blind on their Address: Earth atlas allowed us to share our geographic information and map making experience to reach a new audience and extend geographic knowledge through an innovative medium. The large format atlas for low vision readers effectively communicates invaluable worldly information and is a much needed and worthy project."

NGS has graciously agreed to continue assisting APH through development and production of Sections 2 and 3 of the Atlas.

Photo: (left to right) John Fahey, NGS President; Steve Gardner, NGS Map Editor, Tuck Tinsley, APH President, Gary Mudd, APH Vice President of Public Affairs, and Carl Mehler, NGS Director of Maps met to give NGS staff a copy of Address: Earth, Section 1. Fahey called the project "fascinating" and "extremely well produced." Prior to work on this project, NGS had never developed large format maps. Staff was pleased to reach a new audience with geography information and to collaborate with APH on this unique atlas.

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustee

Kelly Brodie, the Glenwood Resource Center in Iowa, replacing Thomas J. Hoogestraat.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


March 1-3, 2009
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) Second Annual Research Conference;
Arlington, VA

March 5, 2009
Kentucky Center for Mathematics Numeracy Conference;
Hyatt Regency, Louisville, KY

March 5-7, 2009
Josephine L Taylor Leadership Institute;

March 11, 2009
The Hatlen Center for the Blind Site Visit;

March 12-15, 2009
Burlingame, CA

March 16, 2009
Vacaville Prison On-sight Visit;
Vacaville, CA

March 16-21, 2009
CSUN 2009;
Los Angeles, CA

March 18-20, 2009
KAER 2009;
General Butler State Park, Carrollton, KY

March 19, 2009
CVI Product Training at Stepping Stone Day School;
Flushing, NY

March 23-27, 2009
Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill;
Washington, DC

March 26-28, 2009
2009 TAER (Texas) Conference;
San Antonio, TX

March 31-April 4, 2009
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance 124th National Convention and Exposition (AAHPERD);
Tampa, FL


April 1-4, 2009
CEC 2009;
Seattle, WA

April 19-23, 2009
Visual Aid Volunteers of Florida (VAVF) Site Visit;
Orlando, FL

April 22-24, 2009
Penn-Del AER 2009;
Grantville, PA

April 23-25, 2009
National Braille Association Spring Professional Development Conference, 2009;
Boston, MA

April 23-26, 2009
AOTA 2009 Annual Conference and Expo;
Houston, TX

April 25-26, 2009
The Mid-America Conference of Rehabilitation Teachers and The Association of Southeastern Rehabilitation Teachers (MACRT-ASERT);
Chicago, IL

April 26-29, 2009
Educational Services Advisory Committee 2009 at APH;
Louisville, KY

April 27-28, 2009
Power Up 2009;
Columbia, MO


May 10-14, 2009
Educational Products Advisory Committee 2009 at APH;
Louisville, KY

Order Fall 2009 Textbooks Now!

Photo of a sample page from an APH textbook with 18pt type. Features a painting of George Washington.

You can help us help YOU receive your textbook orders faster by ordering your fall 2009 textbooks ASAP. By reducing the crush of orders later in the year, APH is able to more effectively meet textbook orders for everyone. Find more textbook ordering information here:

Fred’s Head Transitions from Database to Blog

Fred's Head Blog: Sharing Valuable Tips and Techniques

Fred’s Head, the free service from APH that publishes tips, articles, and resources for blind or visually impaired people, is changing format. The traditional Fred’s Head Database will be discontinued in March. The current Fred’s Head Companion blog will continue and will now be called simply Fred’s Head (

The Fred’s Head blog is one of the first places you’ll find announcements about new APH products. We also publish articles and links on dozens of topics of interest to blind people. A few of these are: adjusting to blindness, assistive technology, clothing, deafblind resources, dog guides, employment, family life, health, kitchen hints, organization skills, safety, and transportation.

All of the thousands of Fred’s Head articles that were in the database have been published to the blog. You will still be able to search the blog for a specific article or topic. In addition, you can browse the articles using the subject listings that are located toward the bottom of the blog page.

The Fred’s Head blog offers many functions that were not available in the original database. You can receive newly published articles via email, RSS, or Twitter. Articles are self-voicing, just click on the speaker icon and the text is automatically read to you. If you find an article you want to share, send it to a friend’s in-box with just one click.

YOU Can Contribute to Fred’s Head!

Please contact us if you have suggestions for updating an existing article or adding a new article. Email us at email hidden; JavaScript is required. You can also comment on articles by using the provided link at the bottom of each posting.

Fred’s Head and Blind Cool Tech Win Blind Bargains Access Awards

Two APH-related websites have won "Best" awards from the Blind Bargains 2008 Access Awards. The awards recognize the achievements of companies and individuals in the assistive technology arena and beyond and were decided by visitors to, a leading online resource for the blind and visually impaired.

The APH-operated blog Fred’s Head won Best Blindness-Related Blog for the second year in a row. The Fred’s Head blog contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Fred’s Head is managed by Michael McCarty.

Blind Cool Tech was voted the Best Blindness-Related Podcast or Radio Program. Blind Cool Tech is an independent podcast site operated by APH’s Larry Skutchan in his spare time. It publishes podcasts containing educational and fun programming such as interviews, audio sight-seeing tours, and information about accessible technology.

Congratulations Michael and Larry!

Variable Intensity Study Lamp

1-08940-00 — SALE PRICE: $138.00

Variable Intensity Study Lamp

This is your very last chance to order this classic lamp…and at an attractive special price. Due to the spike in February, we have fewer than 20 left to sell! So, if it’s been a good resource for you, we encourage you to order today before the inventory is totally depleted! First come, first served!

The Variable Intensity Study Lamp has a dimmer switch for adjustable lighting, 18.5 inch flexible neck for positioning light, 9-foot power cord for reaching desks in a classroom, and a heavy base for stability.

APH Winter Wonderland Sale 2009

Winter Wonderland Sale

Explore an avalanche of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2009, January 1 – March 31. As always, first come, first served.

Closeout Sale on Classic Board Games!

Product Name Catalog Number Regular Price Sale Price
Baseball Game: 1-08100-00 $172.00 $156.00
Game of Squares: 1-08430-00 $48.00 $40.00
Take Away Game: 1-08900-00 $128.00 $89.00
Ten Spot Game: 1-08920-00 $114.00 $89.00

Save on classic APH board games, which are available only while supplies last!

Baseball Game

Baseball Game: Players learn about the layout of a baseball diamond, the positions of players, and baseball terms while using math skills to keep score and to track balls, strikes, outs, and innings. 8 years and up.

Game of Squares
Game of Squares: Teaches basic game skills. Is an adaptation of the two-player pencil and paper game in which dots are connected to make squares. 6 years and up.

Take Away Game
Take Away Game: Two-player game helps children learn basic game skills. Players alternate spinning the spinner to determine how many pieces may be taken from the opponent. 5 years and up.

Ten Spot Game
Ten Spot Game: Helps teach basic game skills, such as following directions, taking turns, and practice in simple addition. The object is to be the first to land on spaces whose numbers add up to 10. 6 years and up.

NEW! PATTER: Preschool Attainment Through Typical Everyday Routines

Large Print Guidebook with CD and DVD: 8-76001-00 — $23.00
Braille Guidebook with CD and DVD: 6-76001-00 — $23.00

PATTER Assessment Guide Curriculum Tool

This curriculum and assessment tool from APH is designed to facilitate skill development by children who are visually impaired in the areas that preschoolers are expected to master through involvement in typical household routines. PATTER is appropriate for use with children with varying degrees of visual impairment, as well as those with additional impairments.

Based on simple task analysis, PATTER breaks down an everyday activity into its component parts and allows for measurement of a child’s level of participation during each step. Continuous teaching and assessing through the use of PATTER will help preschoolers:

  • Learn basic positional, quantitative, and temporal concepts
  • Learn the foundation for complex play skills
  • Learn meaningful language
  • Participate meaningfully with their families
  • Become "doers" who don’t develop learned helplessness

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.

Dragon of the Red Dawn: Magic Tree House, Book #37
by Mary Pope Osborne, Braille: T-N1714-70 — $21.50
Merlin the magician is feeling old and full of sorrows, so siblings Annie and Jack time travel to ancient, feudal Japan to find one of the four secrets of happiness. In the land of the samurai, Annie and Jack find Basho, the haiku poet. Fiction, Grades 2-4. *(AR Quiz #113517, BL 3.9, Pts. 2.0)

Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
by Brad Barkley, Braille: T-N1692-10 — $68.00
Calliope travels around the country with her nomadic, jewelry-making mother, while Eliot lives at a North Carolina Christian fat farm run by his born-again father. The two fifteen-year-olds meet and fall in love as they struggle to grow up. Fiction, Middle to Upper Grade readers. *(AR Quiz #107189, BL 5.4, Pts. 10.0)

Make Money, Not Excuses: Wake Up, Take Charge, and Overcome your Financial Fears Forever
by Jean Sherman Chatzky, Braille: T-N1692-00 — $104.00
Advice for women about short- and long-term investing. Offers four basic tips to improve one’s immediate monetary picture and to guide future spending. Explains financial terminology, stock selection, retirement plans, and hiring a financial planner. Includes practical guidelines based on experience.

Dumb Witness: A Hercule Poirot Mystery
by Agatha Christie, Braille: T-N1714-60 — $84.50
Belgian detective Hercule Poirot receives a two-month-old letter from wealthy spinster Emily Arundell requesting his investigative assistance. Upon arriving at the estate, Poirot discovers Miss Arundell has died. Convinced of foul play, Poirot compiles a list of suspects, including Miss Arundell’s spendthrift brother and her meek companion. Mystery.

Banner of Souls
by Liz Williams, Braille: T-N1674-40 — $95.00
Martian Matriarchy elders send warrior Dreams-of-War to Earth to protect Lunae, a genetically engineered girl who can manipulate time. Perceiving the child as a threat, rival clan leader Elaki orders her niece Yskatarina to kill Lunae and destroy the Matriarchy’s power. Some descriptions of sex and some violence. Science Fiction, Adult readers.

*Accelerated Reader quiz number, book 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
  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Artina Paris Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Nancy Lacewell, Director, Government and Community Relations
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Rebecca Snider, Coordinator, Public Affairs
  • Gwynn Stewart, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Textbooks
  • Roberta Williams, Manager, Public Affairs and Special Projects
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

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 –

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.

Thank you.

Subscribe to the APH News!
Get convenient email reminders every month when a new issue of the APH News is released.

It’s Easy!

  1. Create an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required
  2. Leave the subject blank
  3. Type the word ‘subscribe’ (without any quote marks) in the body of the message
  4. Send it.