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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.

March 2011

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

Accessible Textbook Webcasts Coming this Spring

The Accessible Textbook Department will be offering several webcasts in April. The webcasts will be posted for three weeks for transcribers, teachers, paraprofessionals, prison braille programs and others to view at their convenience. In May we will present a live webcast to answer any questions you may have from the posted webcasts.
Presentations will vary from 30-60 minutes and will include the following topics:

  • Important Tactile Skills for Literacy, by Karen Poppe, APH Tactile Graphics Project Leader. Karen will discuss teaching methods, skills and products used to teach tactile reading literacy.
  • Teachers and Transcribers Speak Out on Consumable Materials: APH Survey Results Revealed, by Jayma Hawkins, Accessible Media Editor. Jayma will share the results of a survey posted by APH on consumable textbooks and materials. She will also share techniques that will enhance teachers’ and transcribers’ ability to present this challenging text.
  • Techniques for Designing Meaningful Tactile Graphics, by Yan Zhang, Tactile Graphics Designer. This presentation will take you through the basics of designing meaningful graphics for textbooks.
  • APH Tactile Graphic Library + Graphic Freeware= Meaningful Cost Efficient Graphics, by Anthony Slowinski, Tactile Graphic Designer. Not everyone has Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw software to manipulate electronic graphics. Anthony will demonstrate shortcuts to use the TGIL with graphic freeware.

More information on these webcasts and how to register for them will be in the April issue of the APH News and posted on our website.

ISAVE Webcast Archives Now Available

The archived ISAVE training, conducted by APH Field Services Representative Monica Turner, January 28th, is available to view in our webcast archive page at:

Minds Return to APH!

No, it wasn’t that our wandering minds returned to us, but the collective brain power of 38 university preparation program faculty, staff and students converged in Louisville, February 6 – 8, to attend the fourth Meeting of the Minds!

With all that brain power in the room, it was certain that APH would seek input on new product ideas! The group shared current research and projects taking place at the universities, and APH took the chance to shine as we shared information about partnerships between APH and the university programs, including those resulting in new products. Project Leaders shared current and upcoming products, and the group discussed creative ways in which they use APH products to develop instructional activities for the students they are preparing for our field.

Dr. Rosanne Silberman Honored by APH

Tuck Tinsley (L) and Bob Brasher (R) present the APH Exemplary Advocate Award to Rosanne Silbermann

On February 7, during the Meeting of the Minds conference, Dr. Rosanne Silberman (Hunter College) received the APH Exemplary Advocate Award.

Rosanne was singled out for inspiring and strongly promoting the establishment of the APH Product Loan Program that has benefited hundreds of students in university programs over the past decade. (In-house, we call it the Silberman Initiative.)

For information on how you can have APH products in your classes, contact Janie Blome (email hidden; JavaScript is required)… and thank Rosanne when you see her….. smiles…

Getting In Touch With Literacy Call for Papers!

The Tenth Biennial Getting in Touch With Literacy will take place right here in Louisville December 7 – 10, 2011, and you are needed to make it the best "Literacy Conference" ever. This grass roots conference is looking for workshops from professionals just like you, filled with practical solutions, cutting edge information and research, and the tricks, tips and techniques you use every day! Presentations are 60 – 90 minutes in length.

A call for papers for presentations and poster sessions is now available on the GITWL website,

Presentations should focus on all areas of literacy including braille, print, the use of assistive technology and other literacy tools, research, and practice. A range of age levels and all ability levels should be addressed. Presentations are encouraged that deal with topics related to infants and toddlers, school aged students, and adults.

Never been to "the Literacy Conference"? Then be sure to join us in 2011 and find out what you’ve been missing! You’ll love the charming historic Seelbach hotel in downtown Louisville. The 2011 event will also herald the return of the celebrity auction, so you’ll want to be here to bid on autographed items from your favorite celebs!

BANA Invites Guests to Spring Board Meeting in Cincinnati

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) will hold its spring meeting on April 1 – 3, 2011, in Cincinnati, Ohio. This meeting is being hosted by The Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CCBVI), a BANA member organization. Meetings will take place at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati and on site at Clovernook.

BANA will hold an OPEN FORUM on Thursday, March 31 at 6:00 P.M. at the Hyatt Regency. This forum provides opportunity for participants to learn more about the workings of BANA and to provide feedback to the Board. BANA Board members want to hear participants’ views about issues surrounding braille and its future. Consumers, teachers, and producers of braille are invited and encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to participate in a round-table discussion and to engage in a dialogue with the members of the BANA Board.

To reserve your space at the Open Forum and to help ensure accurate counts for handouts, contact Judy Dixon at 202-707-0722 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Guests are welcome to attend the BANA Board meetings and observe the deliberations. Space is limited, so to reserve a seat, please contact BANA Chair Judith Dixon to register your desire to observe any or all of the BANA sessions.

For additional resource information, visit

Oldies but Goodies
The "Established" APH Product Series

by Monica Turner

Reclaiming Independence: Staying in the Driver’s Seat When You No Longer Drive is a product developed by Penny Rosenblum, Ph.D. and Terrie Terlau, Ph.D., released in 2007. This kit includes a large print resource guide, a cassette recording of the resource guide, and a DVD or VHS video. The 45-minute video follows six older persons, who stopped driving because of vision loss, as they continue to lead active, independent lives. These individuals discuss issues such as dealing with loss, and finding low vision, rehabilitation, and transportation resources that allow them to become successful non-drivers. The accompanying resource guide provides information about understanding visual impairment, services for adults with vision loss, transportation options and strategies for using them successfully, and finding resources that work. This product can offer people with low vision and their families validation, role models, information, examples of positive outcomes, and hope. The link below will allow you to watch an 8-minute complimentary preview trailer of the video.

If you know of anyone who might benefit from receiving a DVD copy of this complementary preview along with an informative brochure, we do have a limited supply available. Please contact Terrie Terlau at email hidden; JavaScript is required with their mailing information. If you have any suggestions for other products you would like to see highlighted in this monthly feature, please send your comments to Monica Turner at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Have you visited Louis lately?

Louis is a database that can be accessed from the APH website ( that compiles more than 370,000 records of accessible media materials for people who are blind or visually impaired. These records include the most recent publications of more than 140 different specialized media agencies. Contributors to the Louis Database include volunteer, government, non-profit, and commercial agencies from all over the nation. This database provides one quick, complete, and centralized source of information of materials in accessible media.

The Louis Database is not only speech-friendly, but easy to use for both sighted and visually impaired individuals. Simply enter a few keystrokes and you will be able to find information about books in different media, such as braille, large print, computer file, or sound recording. In addition, you can find information about braille music and tactile graphics.

The Louis Database also provides you with the description and updated price of all the products manufactured by the American Printing House for the Blind. Some of these products include educational materials, such as braille transcribing, and computer-related items, as well as products especially designed for effective use of functional vision and orientation and mobility.

For questions or to learn more about Louis, please contact the APH Resource Services department via email email hidden; JavaScript is required or phone 1-800-223-1839 x705.

Last Month to Nominate!
2011 Nomination Process for the Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

The Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations for 2011 induction consideration. If you are interested in learning more about the process for submitting a nominee to join the 46 inductees, please visit: The nomination process will close March 31, 2011.

"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."

BANA Announces Results of NUBS Evaluation

The Braille Authority of North America, (BANA) has concluded a two-year evaluation study of the Nemeth Uniform Braille System (NUBS). BANA will soon publish the complete results of the study on its website.

NUBS is an outgrowth of the Nemeth Braille Code of Mathematics and Science Notation, which was first published in 1965. Its developer, Dr. Abraham Nemeth, reports that this new system has been in development for ten years and is capable of rendering both literary and technical texts.

Positive comments about NUBS included:

  • reference to the concept of a single code rather than three separate ones;
  • ease of learning due to familiarity with Nemeth;
  • preference for dropped numbers;
  • and potential for increasing the accuracy of transcription into braille.

Negative comments included

  • the increased bulk of NUBS compared to the current code;
  • lack of necessity for changes since the current code works well;
  • dislike for certain symbols of NUBS such as the modes; cumbersomeness of NUBS for writing;
  • and concern about needing to show all the print indicators.

Other questions and concerns raised included

  • the potential impact on children learning braille and on current braille readers, particularly adults;
  • the cost of implementation;
  • the cost of producing books;
  • the fact that no other country is considering the use of NUBS;
  • and the lack of transcribers and teachers who know NUBS.

When the complete evaluation report is posted on its website, BANA will send a notification to the subscribers of the BANA-Announce e-mail list that disseminates official BANA information. To join this one-way e-mail list, send a blank email message to email hidden; JavaScript is required and follow the directions in the confirmation email that will be sent in response.

For additional resource information, visit

New Braille+ Video!

Student Chase Crispin writes to tell us some exciting news: "We just posted a new video about setting up email accounts on the Braille+. You can view it at:"

Lighthouse Scholars Program

Lighthouse International is now accepting applications for its 2011 Scholarship and Career Awards program. Please visit to complete the online application.

These scholarships reward academic excellence, recognize accomplishments and help students who are blind or partially sighted pursue their academic and career goals. The three scholarship award categories, each with a $10,000 prize, are College-bound, Undergraduate, and Graduate.

The application and all requested documentation must be submitted online no later than Sunday, March 13, 2011. If you have any questions regarding the Scholarship and Career Awards program, please contact Danielle Penabad at 212-821-9225 or email her at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

"Aloha Braille!"

This was the theme for the Central Florida Regional Braille Challenge held February 18 at the Lions Eye Institute in Tampa, Florida. Fifty participants were greeted by volunteers, receiving silk Hawaiian leis, tee-shirts, and goodie-bags. Prior to beginning their competition, the group was treated to a variety of musical entertainment, including a neighboring elementary school Steel Drum Band which had everyone jumping! "Pumped" and ready for action, the competitors were on their way. Those scoring in the top twelve spots in each age group will have the opportunity to qualify for the finals, which are held in Los Angeles in June.

Parents, other family members, and teachers accompanying their children were treated to workshops and exhibits during the day, including one from APH. In addition to the participants there were over 150 other individuals on hand for the day! Parents were excited to see products like the Jump Rope for Fitness Kit, Math Flash educational software, Book Port Plus, and Scattered Crowns. Congratulations to Sue Glaser and Ex Officio Trustee Suzanne Dalton and staff from the Florida Instructional Materials Center for coordinating another successful Braille Challenge!

The Tools of…New York Point

This wood and nickel-plated brass desk slate was set up to write in the New York Point system.

Our APH museum has a lot of braille-writing tools. We have the first successful mechanical braille writer, invented in Illinois in 1892. We have handwriting guides and slates in many shapes and sizes. We even have tools for writing in other systems that competed with the Braille system in the 19th century. So when Lisa Parker of Wellston, OH went online in search of information about her great grandmother’s strange old clipboard and that stack of dotted cards, it did not take her long to stumble across our website.

Her great grandmother, Maude Gilliland Burton, had had an interesting life. Blinded at birth by a doctor’s mistake, she had attended the Ohio School for the Blind in Columbus from 1900-1907 but returned home to graduate. She married a local farmer, Walter Burton, raised a son on the family farm they bought from her parents, and from all accounts lived and worked a normal life. Her family remembered her abilities to cook and work around the farm as "almost magical." But her time in Columbus was a virtual unknown to the family. And how the metal frame with its odd little windows fit into that story was another mystery.

Parker had done her homework. She thought the dots on the stack of cards looked different from the braille we use today. We were able to confirm that the cards were written in New York Point, a dot system introduceded at the New York Institute for the Blind in 1868. Most schools for the blind in the U.S. used New York Point, and it was taught in Ohio until replaced by braille after 1910. Maude Burton’s wooden and nickel-plated brass desk slate was set up to write in the New York system.

The Parker Family decided to donate the slate to the Printing House Museum in memory of Maude Gilliland Burton. One of the embossed cards contained a cryptic cookie recipe that you can find here

"Cookies Smedley"

Transcribed from a manuscript written in New York Point by Maude Gilliland Burton, ca. 1905. New York Point was a dot reading and writing system that competed with braille in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

1 qt. flour
2 c. sugar
1 lb. lard
1 ts. bp {baking powder}
2 ts. soda
2 c. buttermilk
Mix as any other cookies

"Like" APH at Our New Facebook Page, Now with More Features!

We invite you to visit our brand new Facebook page and "Like" us! The previous APH Facebook page has been removed. The new page has added features, such as better integration with Twitter and Flickr photo sharing! You can find APH at these social media sites: Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Warren Hayes, the Orientation Center for the Blind in California, replacing Linda Woodbury.

Lee Speer, the South Carolina Department of Education, replacing Marty McKenzie. Note: Marty is still an Ex Officio Trustee to the South Carolina School for the Deaf, Blind and Multihandicapped.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


March 1-2, 2011
Making Online Assessments Accessible;
Salem, OR

March 5, 2011
Down Syndrome of Louisville Provider Expo;
Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, KY

March 7-11, 2011
Appropriation: Various Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill as Scheduled;
Washington, DC

March 10-13, 2011
CTEBVI 52nd Annual Conference;
Oakland Marriott City Center in Oakland, CA

March 11-12, 2011
Josephine Taylor Leadership Institute;
Seattle, WA

March 16, 2011
Focus on Vision Impairment & Blindness;
Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood, MA

March 16-20, 2011
San Diego, CA

March 23-25, 2011
KAER 2011;
Carrolton, KY

March 24-26, 2011
TAER 2011 Conference (Texas AER);
Sheraton Dallas North in Dallas, TX

March 29-30, 2011
Braille Plus and Book Port Technology Training;
Columbus, OH

March 29-April 2, 2011
National AAHPERD 2011;
San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA


April 8-10,2011
Iowa Family Conference;
Adventureland Inn in Altoona, IA

April 9, 2011
University of Arizona—Las Vegas APH Overview & Product Training;
Las Vegas, NV

April 12, 2011
University of Arizona—Tucson APH Overview & Product Training;
Tucson, AZ

April 14-15, 2011
NBA Spring Conference 2011;
DoubleTree San Diego/Del Mar in San Diego, CA

April 14-16, 2011
AOTA 2011;
Philadelphia, PA

April 18-21, 2011
ESAC 2011;
APH in Louisville, KY

April 25-28, 2011
CEC 2011;
National Harbor, MD (close to DC)

April 27-29, 2011
Penn-Del AER Conference 2011;
Holiday Inn in Grantville, PA

April 29, 2011
FVLMA Product Training at North Dakota AER State Conference (not NIP);

April 30, 2011
Early Connections Childhood Conference for Families (28th Annual): Taking Care of Our Children-Taking Care of Ourselves;
Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA


May 1-5, 2011
EPAC 2011;
APH in Louisville, KY

May 16-17, 2011
Arkansas AER 2011;

May 23-25, 2011
Expert Review Panel & Onsite Visit;
APH in Louisville, KY


June 2-3, 2011
Talladega/Alabama School for the Blind Association Assistive Technology Symposium;
Talladega, AL

June 3-5, 2011
Family Café—13th Annual Conference;
Disney Coronado Springs in Orlando, FL

June 19-24, 2011
American Association of the Deaf-Blind;
Drawbridge Inn in Fort Mitchell, KY

June 23-26, 2011
Visions 2011-Foundation Fighting Blindness;
Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, MD

June 24-25, 2011
Texas Parent to Parent 2011;
San Marcos, TX

Winter Wonderland Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2011, January 1—March 31. As always, first come, first served.

New Downloadable Product Manuals Added

Get the manual you need instantly! APH offers a selected list of product manuals available for free download ( You may print or emboss these as needed.

Newly added manuals include:

  • Light Box Activity Guide Level One, Large Print (7-08670-00)
  • Light Box Activity Guide Level One, Spanish Edition (7-08670-SP)
  • Light Box Activity Guide Level Two, Spanish Edition (7-08680-SP)
  • Light Box Activity Guide Level Three, Spanish Edition (7-08690-SP)

NEW! Early Braille Trade Books Wright Group—TWiG Books® Kit 2, Upper Emergent

Contracted Braille Kit: 3-00207-00 — $184.00
Uncontracted Braille Kit: 3-00208-00 — $184.00

Replacement Items

Contracted Braille Label Packs (labels only): 3-00207-CL — $115.00

Uncontracted Braille Label Packs (labels only): 3-00208-CL — $115.00

Related Products

TWiG Books® Kit 1:
Contracted Braille Kit: 3-00205-00 — $152.00
Uncontracted Braille Kit: 3-00206-00 — $152.00

Finding the right book for young students is now easier!

Young readers will be inspired by these emergent-level nonfiction books about the natural world and everyday life. These books are easily integrated across the curriculum especially in science and social studies.

The Early Braille Trade Books Project provides commercially available books with braille labels for beginning readers. This kit includes books, braille labels, and access to an interactive website, please visit:


  • Contracted or uncontracted braille labels
  • Match books to a student based on braille knowledge
  • The interactive website allows you to:
    • Search for books by genre, core curriculum, or expanded core curriculum
    • Access a book summary and activities designed for braille readers
    • Maintain a listing and percentage of contractions learned by each student — great for documentation at IEP meetings
    • Share or transfer student records to other teachers

TWiG Books Kit 2 Includes 11 books, braille label packs, and a Quick Start Guide:

  • Amazing Magnets
  • Baby Animals at Home
  • Balancing
  • Boats
  • In the Rain Forest
  • Our School
  • Spider Legs
  • To the Ocean
  • Touch
  • Whisper and Shout
  • Who Says?

Note: Customer applies the included braille labels. A user ID and password are required to access interactive website.

NEW! Tactile Food Pyramid: Primary and Secondary

Tactile Food Pyramid Kit:
Primary: 1-03016-00 — $39.00
Secondary: 1-03018-00 — $64.00

Replacement Items

Primary Desktop Food Pyramid, blank (10-pack): 1-03017-00 — $30.00
Secondary Desktop Food Pyramid, colorful/tactile (5-pack): 1-03019-00
— $55.00

Note: Tactile Food Pyramid is now available for sale. It will appear on our shopping site in the near future. You may also order via Federal Quota order form, via purchase order, or by calling our 800 number and using a credit card.

APH’s Tactile Food Pyramid helps you make healthier choices.

Primary Tactile Food Pyramid

Teaches primary grade children to make smart choices for an 1,800 calorie diet.


  • USDA’s colorful 24 x 36 inch classroom poster, MyPyramid for Kids with braille documentation
  • 10 blank desktop tactile pyramids
  • 10 punch & paste sheets; pieces are applied with glue (not included)

Students follow the key and gradually build a tactile pyramid, by gluing the punch & paste pieces to the blank desktop tactile pyramid sheet, as they learn about the different food groups. When complete, students have a "take home" item to share with family and friends. Printed and embossed on heavy paper.

Secondary Tactile Food Pyramid

Teaches teens and adults to make smart choices for a 2,000 calorie diet.


  • USDA’s colorful 24 x 36 inch classroom poster, MyPyramid: Steps to a Healthier You with braille documentation
  • 5 desktop tactile pyramids

The colorful/tactile desktop pyramids are a great educational aid that can be used in the classroom and at home. Printed and thermoformed on plastic.

Both Tactile Food Pyramids are intended to be used as educational aids with your state or school district educational standards. Teachers, parents, and students are encouraged to visit to find classroom lessons and exciting activities to help teach about healthy food choices and exercise.

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.

Annie and Snowball and the Prettiest House: The Second Book of Their Adventures
by Cynthia Rylant: T-N1830-80 — $8.50
Annie lives with her dad in a simple, plain house. But Annie likes pretty things. Her cousin Henry suggests moving the fancy lamps and chairs from his attic to Annie’s house. And their parents agree! Three short chapters. Grades K-3. *(AR Quiz #120046, BL 2.5, Pts. 0.5)

The Slave Dancer
by Paula Fox: T-N1836-40 — $33.50
Kidnapped from New Orleans by the crew of a ship bound for Africa, thirteen-year-old Jessie Bollier discovers to his horror that he is on a slaver and his job entails playing his fife during the exercise periods of the human cargo. Newbery Medal. Grades 5-8. *(AR Quiz #82, BL 6.0, Pts. 6.0)

The Returning
by Ann Tatlock: T-N1832-00 — $70.50
Andrea Sheldon awaits her husband John’s return from a five-year prison sentence for vehicular homicide. Their son with Down syndrome welcomes John, who is now religious, but their two daughters reject him. Over the summer, the family members adjust to new roles amid personal turmoil. Fiction.

The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama
by Gwen Ifill: T-N1833-30 — $94.00
Editor and television pundit profiles the post-civil-rights generation of African American male politicians. Analyzes a trend in black politicians’ abilities to successfully attract white support in local and state elections and Barack Obama’s campaign for presidency. discusses race-gender clashes, legacy politics, and up-and-coming elected officials.

Best Friends Forever
by Jennifer Weiner: T-N1846-80 — $91.50
Onetime chums Addie and Valerie reconnect after Valerie vengefully strikes a former classmate with her car at their fifteen-year high school reunion. Addie, once fat and bullied, and Valerie, a television weather girl, run from the police together. Strong language and mature content. Adult Fiction.

*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
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Micheal Hudson, Museum Director
  • Cathy Johnson, Field Services Representative
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field services
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Mary Nelle McLennan, APH Representative to BANA
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Becky Snider, Coordinator, Public Affairs
  • Gwynn Stewart, Administrative Assistant, Communications
  • Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Textbooks
  • Monica Turner, Field Services Representative

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

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Read our blog: Fred’s Head from APH.

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

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