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APH News: March 2017

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

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

Photo of the VisioBook carrying bag.

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

Focus on Accessibility

by Dorinda Rife

APH is abuzz these days around the topic of accessibility. Access is at the root of our tagline, “Building Independence since 1858,” but what does it really mean? We asked APH employees that very question in a recent company-wide survey, and this is what people said:

  • Independence “It includes the ability to achieve the desired result independently, and with dignity and anonymity if wanted.”
  • Design “Designing or adapting products, devices, services, or environments to be fully usable for people who experience differing abilities.”
  • Equality “The degree to which and ease with which something (e.g. tool, software, space) can be accessed and utilized by someone who is considered ‘disabled’ to achieve an outcome comparable with someone who is not considered ‘disabled’.”

There is one definition of accessibility that resonates with me as a teacher and administrator: the quality of being easily understood or appreciated. When I think of my time as an itinerant teacher, I remember dozens of conversations with classroom teachers, principals, and other team members. The sole purpose of my communication was to help the team understand and appreciate the unique qualities each student would add to their school. It’s a simple request, but with it came numerous tools: braille, low vision devices, assistive technology, assistance from other professionals, APH products… the list goes on. In nearly every case, the feedback I received was that the student’s contributions outweighed the tools and time invested in their education.

Now that’s accessibility. The newly formed Accessibility Committee at APH will be taking these concepts and developing them into a set of belief statements that will help us model accessibility inside and out. We welcome any feedback on how APH can strengthen accessibility in our products and services.

NEW! VisioBook Carrying Bag

1-03917-00 — $54.00

Photo of the VisioBook carrying bag.

Note: Last month we announced the new optional VisioBook Carry Bag. The catalog number for this item has changed. The new number is 1-03917-00.

This handy padded carry bag with zipper pockets makes it easier to take your VisioBook and power cord from class to class, from home to office, or wherever you use the versatile VisioBook Electronic Magnifier!

Note: The VisioBook continues to include a protective sleeve. The VisioBook will not fit in the optional Carrying Bag while it is in the included sleeve.

Customer Notification

Building on Patterns Second Grade Unit 6 Student Textbook (6-78573-U6)
Building on Patterns Second Grade Unit 6 Student Kit (6-78570-U6)

Cover image of 'A Walk on the Wild Side' features and elephant, a ladybug, and a monkey.

This notice applies to products shipped from August 2016 to the present.

Some of the copies of the Student Textbook, A Walk on the Wild Side, sold individually and in the BOP Second Grade Unit 6 Student Kit are missing some braille dots on some pages.

Building on Patterns Kindergarten Student Textbooks (6-78553-00)
Building on Patterns Kindergarten Student Kit (6-78550-00)

This notice applies to products shipped from November 2016 to the present.

Cover image of 'For a Ride' features a rocking horse

Some of the copies of the book For a Ride in the sets of BOP Kindergarten Student Textbooks sold individually and in the BOP Kindergarten Student Kit are missing some braille dots on some pages.

We apologize for any inconvenience these errors may cause. Please contact Customer Service (800-223-1839) if you need a replacement for either student textbook.

Field Tests and Surveys

Tactile Graphics for Health Education

To all teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs) who teach health education and related topics:

Please suggest ideas for health education tactile graphics to accompany a teacher’s guidebook that covers the following topics:

  • Diet and Nutrition
    Nutrients, measuring portion sizes, food labels, body image
  • Personal Health
    Personal hygiene & grooming; medical maintenance; physical activity & health; mental, emotional & social health
  • Sex Education
    Anatomy & physiology; sexuality and birth control; sexually transmitted diseases
  • Diseases and Disease Prevention
    Communicable diseases; noncommunicable diseases; seeking medical help, vaccines
  • Injury Prevention and Safety
    Water, gun, and fire safety; CPR & first aid; social media; travel safely

E-mail all suggestions to Monica Vaught-Compton at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

All-In-One Board Product Feedback and Ideas

Photograph of two All-In-One Boards featuring both the dry-erase magnetic side and the VELCRO brand loop side.

APH invites your feedback regarding your current use of the ALL-IN-ONE Board (large size and/or student model) with students with visual impairments and blindness. Please take a moment to complete this short survey and share your comments and recommendations regarding accessories needed for the ALL-IN-ONE Board(s).

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

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

APH Winter Wonderland Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2017, January 1—March 31. As always, first come, first served.

STEM Corner

drawing of a green stem with five leaves

The STEM Project Leader, Rosanne Hoffmann, announces the availability of explainer videos for APH science products including the DNA Twist and the DNA-RNA Kit. The following videos have been published on YouTube:

Next month look for DNA-RNA Kit Video 3, which introduces RNA and how to make a strand of messenger RNA from a DNA template. Future videos will introduce the soon-to-be-released Protein Synthesis Kit and instructions for making a strand of linked amino acids (a protein) from a segment of messenger RNA.

Time to “Dive In” and find a summer camp near you!

cartoon drawing of a boy swimming

The Winter camps are coming to a close so now is the time check out the 2017 Summer camps. There are camps in many states for individuals of just about any age. Go with a friend or strike out on your own with a goal to make three new friends for life.

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

  • Kim Alfonso, The Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind.
  • Carrie Brasier, The Carroll Center for the Blind.

Here’s a handy link to the full directory of Ex Officio Trustees.

Treasures From the APH Libraries

What do accessibility and archives have in common, beyond the power of alliteration?

In 2010, APH began working with Internet Archive to create digital copies of items in our collection that are not restricted under U.S. Copyright terms. This includes items published before 1940—the parameter for libraries—as well as government publications, which are not covered under copyright, and items published before 1978 that do not bear a copyright notice.

Digitization has been instrumental for our collections not only in terms of preservation, but also for providing access. By making the content of our items, over 4,500 documents to-date, available off-site, we have greatly increased their utility. Many of our most popular items on Internet Archive have thousands of downloads, and our collection download total exceeds 1,037,000. That’s right: items in our collection have been downloaded over one million times.

The other component of accessibility through digitization involves the opportunity to create digital copies in a variety of formats. The Internet Archive process produces not only the PDF that is displayed on the record’s page, but also DAISY, EPUB, Kindle, and full-text files. For items in the collection that are copyright-restricted, we are able to choose an alternate output of only a protected DAISY file that may be accessed by individuals with visual impairments using a key issued by the NLS. We are currently exploring methods to insert Image Descriptions into the files, which will further enhance accessibility.

Below is an image of the record displayed when you access an item in our Internet Archive collection. On the right side of the screen you can see the list of available file formats.

Screen capture of the Internet Archive record of Song of the Stone Wall by Helen Keller. The top half of the image shows a photo of the open book, the bottom half of the image has the publication information on the left side and the download information on the right side.

Social Media Spotlight

Social Media Spotlight logo

There’s Always a Sale at APH!

Did you know that each issue of APH News contains a list of all of our items currently on sale? In addition, we feature one of these sale items every Monday on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well as our Pinterest APH Sale Items board. Many of these sale items are only available while supplies last, so check ’em out today!

"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!

Facebook Logo

We invite you to visit our Facebook page and "Like" us! You can find APH at these social media sites: Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

APH Braille Book Corner

APH offers a number of recreational books in braille (Quota funds can be used). Each of these titles was originally transcribed and produced by APH for the National Library Service which has graciously granted permission for this offering. As usual, these titles have been added to the APH Louis Database where you can find thousands of titles produced in accessible formats.

Note: all books are produced upon receipt of orders, therefore, please allow several weeks for delivery.

Kirsten Learns a Lesson
by Eli Janet Shaw: T-N1087-20 — $20.50
After immigrating from Sweden to join relatives in an American prairie community, Kirsten endures the ordeal of a strange school through a secret friendship with a Native American girl. Grades 3-6

Blue Guitar
by John Banville: T-N2136-40 — $105.50
Oliver Otway Orme, a semi-famous artist and petty thief, despairing the limits in his talents, flees when his latest theft is discovered and sequesters himself in his childhood home, where he struggles to understand how he reached his current state. Some Adult Content.

Spoken From the Heart
by Laura Welch Bush: T-N2155-70 — $284.50
Former first lady Laura Bush’s memoirs describe growing up in Texas and discuss major life events, including a tragic accident in high school, her marriage to George, and the birth of their twin daughters. Highlights crises during her husband’s administration, focusing on the September 2001 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina.

Game For All the Family
by Sophie Hannah: T-N2157-50 — $187.50
Pulled into a deadly game of deception, secrets, and lies, Justine must find the truth in order to defeat a mysterious opponent, protect her daughter, and save her own life. Some Adult Content.

A Storm of Swords
by George R. R. Martin: T-N2112-50 — $626.00
Book 3 of the Series: A Song of Ice and Fire. Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. Adult Content.

*Accelerated Reader quiz number, book level, and point value. For more information on the Accelerated Reader program, see the January 2006 APH News or

APH Quick Tips—Accessibility Tips!

Quick Tips Corner logo features a post with two street signs

You could say that ALL of our APH Quick Tips videos help students, teachers, adults, and others improve accessibility in some area of their lives! Here’s a broad selection of just a few of them:

Do you have an accessibility tip that would make a good Quick Tip video? We’d love to hear from you! – email Kerry at email hidden; JavaScript is required!

APH Quick Tips logo: Short videos from APH

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH

NIP Events

March 6, 2017
Active Engagement for Learners with Multiple Disabilities
Atlanta, GA

April 19, 2017
The APH Intervention Continuum
Newark, NJ

April 23-25, 2017
Strategies for Teaching Students with Cortical Visual Impairment
Minneapolis, MN

CIP Events

April 17, 2017
Illinois State University Training
Normal, IL


March 2-4, 2017
AFB Leadership Conference
Arlington, VA

March 8, 2017
Focus on Vision Impairment (FOCUS)
Norwood, MA

March 9-12, 2017
CTEBVI 58th Annual Conference 2017
Burlingame, CA

March 14-18, 2017
SHAPE America 2017 Convention
Boston, MA

March 20-23, 2017
KAER 2017
Lexington, KY

March 29-April 1, 2017
AOTA 2017 (American Occupational Therapy Association) Annual Conference
Philadelphia, PA

March 31 – April 2, 2017
Iowa Family Conference
Vinton, IA

April 2-5, 2017
POSB Math & Science Institute 2017
Austin, TX

April 5-7, 2017
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Convention 2017
San Antonio, TX

April 19-22, 2017
Council for Exceptional Children 2017
Boston, MA

April 26-28, 2017
Penn-Del AER Conference 2017
Harrisburg, PA


March 1-4, 2017
SREE (Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness)
Washington, DC

March 8-11, 2017
ATP Innovations in Testing 2017
Scottsdale, AZ

March 12-14, 2017
BANA Spring 2017 Board Meeting
Burlingame, CA

March 29-April 1, 2017
International Brain Injury Association World Congress
New Orleans, LA

Tactile Reading Conference
Stockholm, Germany
April 5-8, 2017

April 25-27, 2017
National Leadership Consortium on Sensory Disabilities (NLCSD) Mentoring Meeting
San Antonio, TX

April 26-28, 2017
Penn-Del AER Conference 2017
Harrisburg, PA

May 7 – 10, 2017
Society for Technical Communication Summit 2017
National Harbor, MD

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APH News Credits

Dr. Craig Meador
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Dorinda Rife, Vice President, Educational Services and Product Development
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Paul Ferrara, Social Media Coordinator, Communications
  • Rosanne Hoffmann, STEM Project Leader, Research
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Emmy Malinovsky, Special Collections and Cataloging Librarian
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Mary Robinson, Assistant, Field Services
  • Cathy Senft-Graves, Braille Literacy and Technology Project Leader, Research
  • Monica Vaught-Compton, Project Consultant, Research

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Louisville, KY 40206

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