APH News: March 2014
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!
Read on to learn about these new products – now available!
Learning to Administer the FVLMA in Massachusetts—and More!
APH and The Carroll Center for the Blind are partnering to provide a two day workshop focusing on the Functional Vision and Learning Media Assessment tool (FVLMA) available from the American Printing House for the Blind. The FLVMA is an assessment instrument to help practitioners gather, store, track, and analyze information regarding functional vision and appropriate learning media. Also included will be assistive technology assessments and an APH Products Showcase, highlighting recently released items as well as new and expanded features of the APH website!
The two-day workshop will take place at The Carroll Center for the Blind in Newtown, Massachusetts, April 23 – 24, 2014. Presenters will include Cathy Johnson, APH Contract Field Services Representative, Eileen Curran, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, and Bob McGillivray, Certified Low Vision Therapist. Day one of the event will provide hands-on training in administering the FVLMA. Highlights on the second day will include an APH Product Showcase and information about a collaborative model for assistive technology assessments.
Let the Games Begin! Initiation of SPORTS COURTS
On January 9-10, 2014, Dr. Lauren Lieberman, Director of Camp Abilities Brockport and Co-Director of The Institute of Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments, worked with Karen Poppe, APH Tactile Graphics Project Leader, to get the “ball rolling” on the design of a new product tentatively titled SPORTS COURTS. This product will present tactile/print layouts of various court and field layouts with interactive, magnetic pieces. [The tactile tennis court that Lauren holds in this photo was constructed by Tom Poppe, APH Pattern/Model Maker.] The tactile layouts will be complemented by a guidebook that focuses on adaptations for students with visual impairments and blindness and co-authored by a team of experts. Look for more information to be announced later this year regarding field test opportunities.
Snapshot of the National Prison Braille Network
There are currently over 35 braille production facilities in prisons across the U.S. Inmates learn braille, earn certifications, and transcribe print materials into braille for people with vision loss across the country. Priority is given to textbooks and other educational materials for blind and visually impaired students.
Since 2000, when APH established a prison braille program in a women’s prison in Kentucky, APH has served as coordinator of the National Prison Braille Network (NPBN). Our primary function is to host a Forum for NPBN members each fall in conjunction with APH’s Annual Meeting that gives professionals in both vision and corrections an opportunity to network, discuss the challenges they face, and celebrate their accomplishments.
For a snapshot of the prison braille program in South Dakota, check out this recent news video: http://www.kdlt.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33757&Itemid=57
Seeking Field Evaluators for Braille Compass
APH is seeking field evaluators for a new braille compass, an assistive tool that allows students with blindness to draw circles in math classes. Using it together with a rubber mat or the DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board, students can draw tactile circles on braille paper and plastic films. Tactile markings on the compass showing both inches and centimeters also enable students to easily measure circle radii. This compass is a modernization of the one currently available through APH.
Field evaluators will be asked to use the prototype with multiple students with blindness. Evaluators will then complete and return a product evaluation form at the end of the testing period. Field test sites will be selected based upon geographic location, number of available students, and type of instructional setting. Preference will be given to those who have not recently field tested an APH product. The number of prototypes is limited. Field testing will begin in April 2014.
If you are interested in possibly serving as a field evaluator, please provide the following information:
- your name, title, school/agency, and type of setting (e.g., residential, itinerant)
- number of available students (with ages, grade levels, and primary reading media indicated)
- your preferred medium for reading evaluation materials and completing the evaluation form
- your complete contact information (phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address)
Professional Review Opportunity: Motor Skill Development Video
The American Printing House for the Blind is working on a motor skill development curriculum based upon the research of Dr. Lauren Lieberman and Dr. Pamela Haibach, both at the College at Brockport SUNY. This video will be supplemental but integral to the curriculum. Before APH applies professional narrative voiceover and captioning to the video, we would appreciate feedback on the educational content of the video from physical education professionals, teachers of students with visual impairments, and coaches. The video is 32:09 minutes. If you would like to participate, go to the APH PE website.
Enter the 2014 APH InSights Art Competition
The Twenty-third Annual Juried Art Competition and Exhibition for Artists Who Are Visually Impaired or Blind.
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) invites visually impaired and blind artists of all ages to submit artwork to APH InSights 2014! This art competition and exhibition is exclusively for blind and visually impaired artists and draws entries from across the U.S. and around the world. Last year we received 401 entries from across the U.S.
Again this year, there are two deadlines: Student Preschool through High School must submit a completed 2014 entry form along with the original artwork (no digital images) by March 24, 2014; adults must submit their completed entry form along with their entry by April 1, 2014. Each artist may submit only one entry.
The competition is open to any person who meets the following definition of blindness: corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye (as measured on a Snellen Chart), or a visual field limited to 20 degrees or less. This includes those who function at the definition of blindness (FDB) due to brain injury or dysfunction. There is no limit on the subject or the type of materials that can be used, but the artwork must be original in concept and execution and be completed by the artist, with minimal assistance from others.
Entry forms and rules are available on the APH website.
Final Weeks to Submit Nominations for the Hall of Fame (2014)
The Hall of Fame is still accepting nominations for 2014 induction consideration. IT’S VERY EASY. To learn the simple process for submitting a nominee to join the 52 inductees, please visit: www.aph.org/hall/nominate/.
The nomination process will close Friday, March 28, 2014.
"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."
You Can Be an Unforgettable APH Star this Spring!
April 16 is the Spring Video Contest Deadline.
Send us your Unforgettable APH Star Videos featuring your favorite APH product by Wednesday, April 16th, and win cash prizes. By sending your video, you are also entered in to the random drawing for Amazon.com gift certificates!
We encourage teachers, parents, students, and all of our customers to participate.
The contest is open to individuals of all ages. The complete guidelines can be found at our contest page: www.aph.org/contest
Great New Service for Braille-Reading Parents
The APH Partners Print/Braille Book Program, a program related to our partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, has added a great new service. If you are a parent of a child age five years or younger and you are a braille reader, you are eligible to receive six free print/braille children’s books per year!
To be eligible for this program:
- You -or- your child must meet the definition of blindness
- Your child must be age 5 or under
- Both you and your child must reside in the U.S. or its outlying areas (American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Applications for the books will be accepted on a first come/first served basis. All others will be placed on the program’s waiting list. Find out more about this exciting program today!
Premier of Hall of Fame Video Theater!
Bob Brasher, curator of the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, is proud to announce the grand opening of the Hall of Fame Theater! This new station in the Hall allows visitors to play four different short videos featuring such Legends as Helen Keller & Anne Sullivan Macy, Morris Frank, and Abe Nemeth. APH staff from several departments worked together to make some of our Legends come alive on the silver screen. We hope you can visit the Hall Theater soon to be inspired by the "Oscar®" winners of the blindness field!
Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series: READING STANDS
GrandStand: Portable Reading Easel
Desk Top Reading Stand
Shafer Reading Stand
APH offers several different reading stands. These reading stands differ in material, size, and in function to allow you to choose the one that fits your needs the best.
Are you looking for a reading stand that is light-weight, portable, and inexpensive? The GrandStand: Portable Reading Easel is waterproof, colorful, durable, and weighs only 2 1/3 lbs. This reading stand is easy to lift, carry, and lock into position. It folds up when not in use and the top surface measures only 15 x 14 1/2 inches. The adjustable shelf may be raised and lowered to accommodate the height of the reader. It does include two clips for holding book pages open that can be placed in any position.
The larger Desk Top Reading Stand has a reading surface that measures 23 3/4 x 18 inches. This reading stand is made of durable white plastic. It is portable and holds reading material at a proper position for low vision users. It features a bookshelf that runs the width of the stand, attached adjustable page clamps, a built-in carrying handle, and five tilt angles.
The Shafer Reading Stand is an adjustable, heavy-duty self-supporting stand for large print publications. It has a tripod base with a 42-inch shaft and a 4-joint, adjustable swivel arm/book rack that attaches to it. The book rack measures 16 x 11 1/2 inches. The swivel arm can be locked at any height along the shaft, and the book rack can be rotated or tilted in many different positions. This book stand features all-metal construction, except for nonslip rubber feet and is APH’s most versatile stand that can be used while sitting or standing. Watch a student-made video in which reading and performing music is made easier with the Shafer Reading Stand.
And finally, although it isn’t an Oldie, we feel certain that you’ll agree the new ReadWrite Stand is a Goodie. This bright blue stand can be used by students and adults with visual impairments for both reading and writing tasks. The ReadWrite Stand measures 18 x 14 1/8 inches and has a metal apparatus mounted on the back that accommodates three additional angles apart from the resting angle of five degrees. It weighs approximately 2 1/2 lbs. and has two built-in handles for portability. Its solid, sturdy surface accommodates both reading and writing tasks. It features a low-profile clip that secures reading/writing materials to the stand during use. An LED book light is provided and can be positioned by the user along the upper edge of the reading stand.
Historic Refreshable Braille Displays
While Museum Director Mike Hudson was in Boston doing research last fall, he met Brian Charlson, the technology director at The Carroll Center for the Blind. Mike mentioned to Brian that APH was looking for early braille embossers from Triformation Systems. Brian told Mike that unfortunately, the Center had put one in the trash just that morning. Technology that costs tens of thousands of dollars and represents pioneering breakthroughs when introduced can become just so much junk filling a storeroom only a few years later.
But the incident put Brian on alert, and in February, he sent two important examples of early refreshable braille displays to the APH Museum, a Clarke & Smith Brailink and a Blazie Engineering PowerBraille 65. The Brailink was an early computerized notetaker and solonoid-based refreshable braille display that stored data on mini-cassette tapes. It was conceived by John Clarke at Clarke and Smith in Wallington, England as early as 1971, but did not appear on the market until 1982. At more than $8,000.00 USD, it was too expensive for most consumers; by the time it was discontinued in 1996, only 60 had been sold worldwide.
According to Deane Blazie, "[We] purchased the blindness division of Telesensory Systems (TSI) in about 1998. [The PowerBraille] had been in the TSI product lineup for a few years and we sold a lot of them including the 65 which was a strange size. Most displays of that era were 40 and 80 cells. The 65 was a compromise between price and ease of use."
Around the House:
New Staff Member in Development
Please join APH in welcoming Kristi Farmer to the Development Department as the new Veteran Outreach Coordinator. She joins APH as a Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA). VISTA is a government program that places paid volunteers with nonprofits for a year of service. Kristi is a native Louisvillian and received her BA in Biology from Lindsey Wilson College. Kristi said: “I’m looking forward to my year with the American Printing House for the Blind and hope that I have a positive impact!”
Tune into “Happenings around the House,” our New Series of Webcast Presentations
Twice a month, we invite you to join Maria Delgado via webcast, as she brings you a new way to experience what’s happening at the American Printing House for the Blind. These interactive presentations will feature topics that will give you a glimpse into the past, present, and the future of APH.
The second Wednesday of every month, Maria Delgado and Museum Director, Mike Hudson, will take you back in time and allow you to virtually “Touch the APH Museum.” Your hosts will conduct hands-on exploration of some of the most interesting collections currently on display. Collections include Tactile Maps, Books, Braille Writers, Audio Devices, and Math Tools.
The fourth Wednesday of each month, Maria will join one of our many in-house experts to talk about their current projects. In-house presenters include APH Studio Narrators and Braille, Technology, and Tactile Graphics experts. During the presentation, participants will be able to talk directly with presenters to ask questions, or share ideas that may guide the future of APH projects.
In the month of March, we will take you back to the year 1877, when Thomas Edison was already thinking about the first Talking Books. Later in the month, we will have a conversation with one of our award winning Studio Narrators, Mitzi Friedlander.
To view the schedule of webcast presentations, go to: www.aph.org/advisory/webcast.html
Stay tuned for instructions on how to receive these presentations via podcast!
APH on the Road
Celebrating Northern Illinois University program!
Rose Halpin and Ralph Bartley
Rose Halpin, Illinois teacher of students who are blind/low vision, and Ralph Bartley, APH Director of Research, were present at the Illinois AER to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Northern Illinois University teacher preparation program for educating students who are blind/low vision. Rose and Ralph are proud NIU alumnus, and graduated in the 1970’s. As Principal of the Kansas State School for the Blind, Ralph hired Rose for her first teaching position in the field of blindness. Reuniting at the Illinois AER conference gave them an opportunity to discuss the "good old days" at Kansas and NIU. Go Eagles! Go Huskies! APH was also represented by Monica Turner of Field Services, who provided information on APH products to over 300 participants.
From the Field:
BANA Spring Meeting to Be Held in Philadelphia
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA), which meets face-to-face semiannually, will hold its 2014 spring meeting April 3–5 in Philadelphia, PA. This meeting will be hosted by Associated Services for the Blind (ASB), a BANA member organization. Meetings—including an Open Forum on Saturday, April 5—will take place at ASB, which is located at 919 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107. Items on the Board’s agenda include updates of BANA’s many ongoing projects. The Board will review formal reports from all of BANA’s technical committees such as music, math, foreign language, and tactile graphics and will take action when appropriate.
BANA continues to plan for the transition to Unified English Braille (UEB.) in the United States. In-depth reports will be presented by BANA’s UEB Task Force, which is made up of Kim Charlson (ACB), Frances Mary D’Andrea (AFB), Judy Dixon (NLS), Jennifer Dunnam (NFB), Cindi Laurent (NBA), Mary Nelle McLennan (APH), and Sue Reilly (CTEBVI).
On Saturday, April 5, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, BANA will host an Open Forum at ASB. This forum provides a venue for participants to discuss braille with the Board and to learn more about the workings of BANA. Open Forum participants are encouraged to express their views and suggestions surrounding braille and its future. Braille readers, teachers, and students as well as producers and distributors of braille are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to participate in a round-table discussion with the members of the BANA Board. To reserve your space at the Open Forum and to help ensure accurate counts for handouts, contact Frances Mary D’Andrea as indicated above.
For additional information and resources, visit BANA’s newly redesigned website at www.brailleauthority.org.
Web Accessibility Training Day
2014 Dakotas AER Conference
“AER IS OZ-SOME”
May 7-9, 2014
Aberdeen, South Dakota
Location: Ramada Inn
Remember, AER members do have hearts, brains, and courage!
Featured Presenters and Topics Include:
- Ike Presley (AFB) – Overview of Technology, Tools and Strategies for Audio Supported Reading, What to Teach When
- Kerry Isham (APH) – Early Childhood, ToAD, APH Products
- Diane Brauner – Teaching Auditory Object Perception, Putting Orientation Back in O&M, Making Tactile Maps, Circle Time Braille Kits
Aberdeen, South Dakota
2727 6th Ave SE
Aberdeen, South Dakota 57401
Phone: (605) 225-3600
Fax: (605) 225-6704
- Room block is reserved under “AER”
- State rates are available to ND and SD state employees with a state ID
- Non-state employee rates are $72.00 plus tax per night
- The block of rooms will be held until April 6, 2014
Screen Magnification Survey
Researchers at North Carolina State University are conducting a survey designed to gauge the extent of use of screen magnification, or enlargement tools, by persons with visual impairments, and to find ways in which this technology can be improved for usability and productivity. It is part of ongoing accessibility research by the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. The intended audience for this survey is persons with visual impairments that use or have used screen magnification in some form on electronic devices.
Treasures From the APH Libraries
The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to blindness in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, arrangements can be made to use the materials on-site. In addition, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will continue to make materials available through the online catalog at http://migel.aph.org.
From the Migel Library: Schrader, A. Von., Paul Fortier Jones, and Henry Pomeroy Davison. The Armies of Mercy: The Vast Relief Work in All the Nations. New York: Harper, 1920.
Of great significance on the centennial of the First World War’s start, The Armies of Mercy begins its history of relief work in WWI with a detailed account of the Red Cross. Not only was the Red Cross the largest of the relief organizations, but it was also where then-Major M. C. Migel first encountered soldiers who had been blinded in the War—an experience that shaped his future life’s work. The book goes on to detail efforts by organizations such as the YMCA, Knights of Columbus, Salvation Army, and US Army Medical Corps. Aspects from triage in the trenches to rehabilitation after the war are discussed. Smaller, spontaneous organizations with names such as the American Women’s War Relief Fund and the National Allied Relief Committee are outlined as well. The Permanent Blind Relief War Fund, among other organizations for soldiers who were blinded, are more thoroughly discussed in a chapter called “Eyes for the Blind.” The Armies of Mercy has been digitized for the Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/armiesofmercyvas07unse.
From the Barr Library: Schmall, Eric. Striving for Excellence in the Social Sector: A Decade of Distinction. Louisville: Old Stone Press, 2010.
Chronicling the triumphs of over 50 recipients of the Pyramid Awards in Excellence, Eric Schmall’s book celebrates the organizations that comprise Louisville’s non-profit sector. Schmall, the Director of Consultation at the Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNPE), underscores the ways in which these organizations have enriched our community’s social capital in the realms of vision, leadership, governance, collaboration and diversity. Some of the past winners of this esteemed award include Home of the Innocents, YouthBuild of Louisville, and the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky. The author contends that once we reimagine social ills such as poverty, disease, and exploitation, “as not so much as inevitable, but simply unacceptable, we take the first critical step toward engendering change.”
APH is working with the Internet Archive to digitize portions of the M.C. Migel Library. Search the phrase “full text” to find these items at http://migel.aph.org. The digitized texts are available in a variety of formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, etc.
Social Media Spotlight
Do you use Twitter? We tweet and retweet assistive technology news, accessibility information, tips, APH news and products, and much more! Even if you don’t use Twitter, you can still see what we’ve posted by going to our Twitter page: https://www.twitter.com/APHfortheBlind. And if you do use Twitter, please be sure to follow us!
"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!
APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees
Daniel Wenzel, Blind, Inc. in Minnesota, replacing Shawn Mayo.
Melanie Turek, Oak Hill School in Connecticut, replacing Patrick J. Johnson, Jr.
APH Travel Calendar
March 6-7, 2014
Tactile Graphics Workshop;
March 12-14, 2014
Transition Tote Preconference (KAER);
March 12-14, 2014
KAER 2014 State Conference;
March 15, 2014
MACRT Board Meeting;
St. Louis, MO
March 17-22, 2014
San Diego, CA
April 3-6, 2014
CTEBVI 2014 (California Transcribers & Educators for the Blind & Visually Impaired);
Los Angeles, CA
April 3-5, 2014
April 5, 2014
CIP Event: Indianapolis State University;
April 9-12, 2014
CEC 2014 Annual Convention & Expo;
April 14-15, 2014
OFB Transition Conference;
April 14 -18
April 15, 2014
CIP Event: University of Arizona, Tucson;
April 23-24, 2014
NIP Event: FVLMA Workshop;
April 24-26, 2014
2014 National Outreach Conference;
May 28-30, 2014
VAVF (Visual Aid Volunteers Florida);
June 19-20, 2014
APH Winter Wonderland Sale
Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2014, January 1—March 31. As always, first come, first served.
NEW! Permanent Fine Point Marker
5-pack: 1-07913-01 — $7.50
Not available with Quota funds.
Pens for users with low vision. These bold line Fine Point Markers make handwriting easy to read. Bold black felt-tip marker with permanent ink provides high contrast against light-colored backgrounds. Markers are AP nontoxic certified and contain 100% postconsumer recycled materials.
Note: This is a permanent marker and may bleed through a single sheet of paper. We recommend placing several sheets of paper underneath the sheet on which you are writing or writing on top of a blotting pad or clipboard.
APH carries a variety of bold line paper and notebooks. Please visit our shopping site for more information.
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.
Amazing Animal Journeys
by Laura Marsh: T-N1938-00 — $10.00
Introduces the topic of animal migration by presenting facts about zebras, red crabs, and walruses, including their yearly travels and the reasons for these journeys. Part of the Great Migrations series. Grades 2-4.
*(AR Quiz No. 153006, BL 4.4 Pts 0.5)
Just Another Hero
by Sharon M. Draper: T-N1937-60 — $64.00
Arielle struggles with her new controlling stepfather while Kofi tries to quit his addiction to pain killers. Other problems occur at school, but when someone pulls the fire alarm, deadly events are set in motion. Grades 9-12.
*(AR Quiz No. 132194, BL 4.3 Pts 9.0)
Through Veterans’ Eyes: The Iraq and Afghanistan Experience
by Larry Minear: T-N1937-00 — $99.00
Commentary from post-9/11 veterans collected from the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and supplemented by author interviews. Covers reasons for enlisting; dealing with combat, local populations, and contractors; and living with post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury. Some adult content.
by Zoe Heller: T-N1919-30 — $96.00
After left-wing attorney Joel Litvinoff’s stroke leaves him comatose, his prickly British wife learns unsettling facts about him. Meanwhile their adopted son has a drug relapse and their two grown daughters grapple with life-changing issues — one contemplates Orthodox Judaism and the other, an affair. Some adult content.
by: Joseph Wambaugh: T-N1918-70 — $102.00
Cop Nate "Hollywood" Weiss watches the mansion of director Rudy Ressler and his fiancée Leona Brueger while the couple vacations. Meanwhile, teenage burglars known as the Bling Ring, a pair of drug addicts, and Leona’s shady art dealer target the home’s museum-quality paintings. Some adult content.
APH News Credits
Dr. Tuck Tinsley
Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
Thanks to the following APH staff:
- Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
- Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
- Bob Belknap, Vice President, Development
- Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
- Scott Blome, Director, Communications
- Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
- Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
- Micheal Hudson, APH Museum, Director
- Nancy Lacewell, Government and Community Affairs, Director
- Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
- Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
- Mary Nelle McLennan, APH Representative to BANA
- Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
- Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
- Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
- Monica Turner, Field Services Representative
- Roberta Williams, Manager, Public Affairs and Special Projects
Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research
Read our blog: Fred’s Head from APH.
For additional recent APH News, click the following:
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.
Subscribe to the APH News!
Get convenient email reminders every month when a new issue of the APH News is released.
- Leave the subject blank
- Type the word ‘subscribe’ (without any quote marks) in the body of the message
- Send it.