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

May 2004

The 136th APH Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests

Annual Meeting 2004 October 14 - 17

Opening the Doors of Opportunity
October 14 – 17, 2004

Invited Special Keynote Speaker: Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States
Keynote Speaker: Sally S. Mangold, Ph.D.

Dr. Sally Mangold, author of over 45 books, articles and videos, is scheduled to keynote October’s Annual Meeting at the Camberley Brown Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Mangold, winner of both AFB’s Migel Medal and APH’s Creative Use of Braille Award in 2003, has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to literacy for students who are blind. Mrs. Bush’s emphasis on literacy will also build upon our theme as she provides her important goals for the nation in this crucial area.

Additionally, APH staff and product authors will provide training sessions in the use of the latest APH products. A banquet honoring APH InSights Artists and professionals in our field will also be a highlight.

More information and a tentative agenda will soon be posted on our web site.
Questions? Call 800/223-1839, ext. 300

Vanderbilt Students Visit APH

Dr. Anne Corn and eight students from Vanderbilt University visited APH in March. After a tour of APH, including the Callahan Museum, students were treated to an afternoon of exciting information and ideas from APH staff. Project leaders from Educational Research shared information and prototypes for new products, and members of the Field Services staff discussed upcoming training events and opportunities. Resource Services staff demonstrated the Louis database and other web based resources.

All university preparation programs are invited and encouraged to visit APH at any opportunity. If you are interested in arranging a visit for your students, please contact Janie Humphries by calling 800/223-1839, ext. 367, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

ESAC Advises APH!

The five Ex Officio Trustees who make up the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) met at APH April 25 – 27, 2004 for their annual spring meeting. Committee chair Lou Tutt, Ex Officio Trustee representing the Colorado Schools for the Deaf and Blind, led the group through two days of dialogs with APH staff members responsible for developing services in support of products. Customer communications, accessible tests and textbooks, and training opportunities were among the topics addressed.

Committee members Karen Blankenship (IA), Jerry Kitzhoffer (NJ), Carmen Grove Suminski (ND), and Stuart Wittenstein (CA), worked diligently with Lou to present a comprehensive report as a result of their three days of hard work. The report will soon be available on the APH web site,

APH thanks the members of ESAC for their enthusiastic support and commitment. Their dedication helps to make us all better!

Two Additional Hall of Famers to Receive Plaques

The likenesses of Roy Kumpe and Peter Salmon will soon appear on bas relief plaques in the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, thanks to the generosity of two grateful organizations. Roy Kumpe’s plaque is sponsored by Lions World Services for the Blind. Peter Salmon’s plaque is sponsored by the Helen Keller National Center.

Roy Kumpe Peter Salmon

We also gratefully recognize Division 7, Low Vision, of AER for sponsoring the recently completed plaques of Natalie Barraga and Eleanor Faye. Please visit the Hall of Fame on the APH web site for biographical information on these and the 28 other Hall of Fame members.

Natalie Barraga Eleanor Faye

Would you like to adopt a legend? Bas relief plaques of the Hall of Fame inductees can be adopted for a donation of $1,400 to cover the cost of the process. For an additional $600, a second plaque can be provided to the agency or organization sponsoring the legend.

Contact Don Keefe at email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 800/223-1839, ext. 351.

Hall of Fame Takes Shape with Addition of Kiosks

Frontal view of the kiosk with six plaques

Three beautifully crafted cherry kiosks are now in place to house the bas relief plaques of the Hall of Fame inductees. To date, 15 of the first 32 inductees have plaques with two additionally in process.

As the first seven columns of donated stones on the Wall of Tribute are completed, and the kiosks put in place, both the Hall of Fame Advisory Committee and the Fund Raising Committee wish to thank the field for the show of continuing support, however, there is still much to accomplish. To find out how you can assist, visit the APH web site ( or contact Bob Brasher at 800/223-1839, ext. 369.

side view showing three kiosks

Hall of Fame Advisory Committee:
Phil Hatlen, Cay Holbrook, Michael Nelipovich, Susan Spungin, and APH staff – Tuck Tinsley, Burt Boyer, Scott Blome, Bob Brasher, Will Evans, Janie Humphries, Don Keefe, Mary Nelle McLennan, Gary Mudd.

Hall of Fame Fund Raising Committee:
Leonard Ogburn, Jim Deremeik, Sharon Neimczyk, Burt Boyer, and John Maxson.

Record Appropriation Request

APH is requesting $17 million from Congress for the fiscal year 2005 appropriation. As many of you know, about 90% of these funds allocated to APH each year by the Federal government go toward the purchase of materials for blind and visually impaired students in each state and U.S. territory through the Federal Quota Program. The remaining 10% is utilized to research and develop educational products, and to provide educational and support services for APH Ex Officio Trustees, who administer quota funds.

As always, we encourage you to develop relationships with your elected officials, and to contact the members of Congress representing your state to ask them to support the APH appropriation. Requests from APH are important, but they don’t have nearly as much impact on members of Congress as requests from you–their constituents–and from the parents of blind and visually impaired students in their state who use and need APH educational products.

We’d be happy to help if you decide to communicate with your representatives. Call either Nancy Lacewell (ext. 339) or Gary Mudd (ext. 308) to discuss options and decide on an approach that is comfortable for you.

A Daughter’s Story

Gary Mudd and daughter Kelly

APH Vice President of Public Affairs Gary Mudd was recently honored as the subject of an article written by his daughter Kelly. Kelly, a certified orientation and mobility specialist, wrote an article on growing up with a father who is blind which appears in the current issue of the Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) newsletter. Here is the link to this touching tribute –

New Views of Low Vision for Senior Citizen Service Providers

More than 4,000 professionals in the field of aging had the opportunity to view APH low vision and daily living products at the fourth Joint Conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on the Aging, held in San Francisco, April 14-17. Will Evans, Tony Grantz, and Terrie Terlau were kept busy answering questions and demonstrating products at the APH exhibit. Additional information and product demonstrations were provided to senior citizen center administrators by Terrie Terlau and Will Evans in a presentation entitled, "Helping Low Vision Elders Thrive." The APH exhibit/presentation team noted that conference participants displayed increased awareness of both the importance of low vision products for the elder population and the applicability of APH’s products to this population.

Product Workshop in Tennessee

At the invitation of Dr. Mila Truan, Curriculum and Assessment Supervisor, four APH staff members gave product workshops at the Tennessee School for the Blind on April 12.

In a morning session, Fred Otto gave an overview of recent APH products ranging from recreational and pre-academic to high school level materials. In the afternoon, Karen Poppe, Tom Poppe, Yan Zhang, and Fred combined to present tactile graphic products and principles of tactile design. The session included handout packets of sample materials and an opportunity for hands-on practice.

APH staff thanks Technology Specialist Bill Schenk for his help in setting up demonstrations and Dr. Truan for the hospitality–as well as the city tour on Sunday evening!

The Blind Man’s Dog

"Those who do not study history are bound to repeat it." Santayana

The Callahan Museum collection of historic images serves to remind us of how far we have come in our attitudes toward people who are blind. The charming engraving of the blind man’s dog is from the 1876 issue of the magazine Chatterbox published in Boston.
The picture illustrates the following article:


A poor blind man, who stands at the corner of one of the streets on the Paris boulevards, was driven from his post by the frost, and sought warmth in an adjoining shop; but he took the precaution to tie to his chair his faithful dog, who held his tin can for the pennies of the passersby. The police admired the sense of the blind one, and did not put in force against him the laws against begging.

Seeking Field Test Reviewers to Create a Book

Karen J. Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, is developing a Rolling Right Along "Create-A-Book" Kit that will allow teachers and parents to build tactile storybooks using the same format encountered in Rolling Into Place, a storybook design originated by Jane Kronheim and recently produced by APH. This new kit of materials can be used to create self-designed books that address an individual student’s/child’s interests and developmental needs. Simply create original stories and apply tactile features around the hook/loop material-covered pathway on provided accordion-folded panels. If you have used Rolling Into Place with your child/student(s) recently and would like to be considered as a possible field reviewer for the Rolling Right Along Create-A-Book Kit, please e-mail Karen at or call 800/223-1839, ext. 322 before May 14, 2004. Field testing begins in June. Thank you.

Beta Testers Needed!

Armadillo Army  Stop Armadillo Invasion

Armadillo Army, APH’s newest computer game offering for students with low vision is available for beta testing. If you’d like to have your students test the software, please visit this link to sign up. In addition to testing, participants will be asked to fill out a short electronic questionnaire. Your students will love Armadillo Army and will be able to play it with their sighted peers too.

Help us make this game the very best it can be. Sign up today!

Accessible Tests Department Web Page Gets a Facelift

Test and Assessment Project Leader Barbara Henderson and APH Web Site Coordinator Malcolm Turner designed and completed an update and facelift of the Accessible Tests Department web page. The site is much more user-friendly and includes new information and additional links. Position papers are now being provided. For information on the "Use of an Abacus During Tests," please visit the web page and check out the sections on "What’s New" and "Position Papers." A second position paper on the "Use of Extended Time" has been completed and will be made available in the near future. If you visit the Resources section of the web page, you may now select Accessible Tests Department Links that includes a link to the National Agenda. You may also select Search the Louis Database for Accessible Materials to find out if specific test and assessment materials are available anywhere in accessible media.

Two major documents in the TEST ACCESS series have been completed. They are Guidelines for Computer Administered Testing and Making Tests Accessible for Visually Impaired Students: A Guide for Test Publishers, Test Developers, and State Assessment Personnel. The first document in the series is available on the web in HTML, PDF, and BRF formats. The second document is currently available as paper copies and WORD files. As the HTML, PDF, and BRF files of this document are completed, they will be posted on the web page. If you have any test-related requests or you would like to make suggestions regarding this web page, please email email hidden; JavaScript is required

How Does the Hadley School for the Blind Serve Professionals?

The Hadley School for the Blind offers tuition-free distance education programs for anyone who is visually impaired, has a family member who is visually impaired, or who works in the blindness field. Hadley courses are a great resource for professionals who want to learn or refresh skills. Recommending them to clients or students can be a great way to supplement the hands-on services they are getting.

Hadley offers more than 90 teacher-guided courses covering a wide range of topics including braille, independent living skills, academics and technology. Hadley’s unique distance education approach means students study anytime, anyplace. Instructors are easily accessible through a toll-free phone number or via email.

Hadley students can be found in all 50 states! If you or someone you know can benefit from a Hadley course, give the Hadley School a call at 800/323-4238 or email them at email hidden; JavaScript is required You can also find more information online at

APH Products – Making a Difference in Children’s Lives: Mary’s Story

Mrs. Juana Mikels called APH’s Artina Paris one day recently to request materials for her daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who would soon be celebrating her seventh birthday. Mary Elizabeth, who is totally blind, is the youngest of four children and is being home-schooled with her siblings.

Mary Elizabeth Mikels examines a music box she received as a present.

Mrs. Mikels called back later to share with Artina that Mary and her friends enjoyed a wonderful birthday party. The group played games such as Pin the Cottontail on the Bunny and had an Easter egg hunt using APH’s Picture Maker: Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit to make tactile maps of the hunting area. Even the cake had a tactile bow that the kids ate after cutting the cake. Mary’s older brother, John, made up a game as a gift for Mary called "Name the Unusual Ice Cream Flavors" which required she and her guests to taste and guess the unusual flavors (lemon, pralines, maple, pistachio, etc).

Ten children sitting around a table with birthday cake and ice cream.

Each child at the party was given a goody bag filled with an APH special print/braille Weekly Reader, APH alphabet card, and an APH Pop-A-Cell. APH staffer Debbie O’Connell personally brailled an APH Insights Birthday card for Mary. Mrs. Mikels reported that most of the children later took their APH materials to school for "show and tell."

Mary’s mother further shared that by using APH’s Patterns Reading Program in her home schooling, Mary read her first sentence in braille just one week after her 7th Birthday. Mrs. Mikels said, "we could not home-school Mary without APH. Thank you!"

We thank you, Mrs. Mikels, and say way to go Mary! We are all so proud of you!

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


May 1, 2004
Reading Research Conference;
Reno, NV

May 2, 2004
Convention Institute;
Reno, NV

May 3-6, 2004
International Reading Association 2004 Convention;
Reno, NV

May 3-6, 2004
Beyond the Guidelines: Phase II at the Visual Aide Volunteers of Florida (VAVF) Spring Conference;
Orlando, FL

May 6-7, 2004
National Research Council Workshop on Designing High Quality Science Assessment Systems

May 6-8, 2004
California School for the Blind;
Fremont, CA

May 10-11, 2004
Arkansas AER;
Little Rock, AR

May 17-24, 2004
Legislative Visits;
Washington, DC


June 3-5, 2004
Low Vision & Blindness in Infants and Children;
Pittsburgh, PA

June 11-13, 2004
ABC Braille Conference;
Atlanta, GA

June 11-12, 2004
Loving Me: Secrets of Self-Esteem (NIP Event);
Grand Forks, ND

June 19-21, 2004
Orlando, FL

June 19-23, 2004
Council of Chief State School Officers Conference on Large Scale Assessment and Preconference Sessions;
Boston, MA

June 25-27, 2004
National Braille Challenge Invitational;
Los Angeles, CA

June 26-29, 2004
American Library Association Annual Conference;
Orlando, FL

June 29-July 5, 2004
NFB Conference;
Atlanta GA

NEW! Braille Rap Song: It’s Educational, Fun, and Free!

Braille Rap Song

The Braille Rap Song was written by Lynn Horton and Tammy Whitten as a fun way to teach braille to their students at the Helen Keller School located in Talladega, AL. Lynn Horton played the song during her session at the 2001 CEC Conference in Kansas, where it met with such great interest that APH volunteered to produce a high-quality, professional recording and make it available to the world! Download your copy of the song

NEW! IntelliTactiles® Pre-Braille Concepts

IntelliTactiles Pre-Braille Concepts

This set of seven tactile overlays can be used with the commercially-available IntelliKeys® keyboard, or as stand-alone practice sheets to develop a child’s tactile discrimination skills, shape recognition ability, and understanding of many spatial/positional concepts.

Overlays include:

  • Texture Recognition 1 and 2
  • Four Shapes
  • Six Shapes
  • Nine Shapes
  • Texture/Shape Recognition
  • Braille Cell

IntelliTactiles Pre-Braille Concepts: 1-08516-00 — $90.00
User’s Guide, Print: 7-08516-00 — $12.50
User’s Guide, Braille: 5-08516-00 — $12.50

Note: The IntelliKeys keyboard, related software, and standard overlays are available exclusively from IntelliTools: 707-773-2000 or

NEW! Crafty Graphics: Stencil Embossing Kit Video

Four stills from the video featuring a parent, a student, a teacher, and a close-up of a pair of hands.

This video, produced in the nuts-and-bolts style of APH’s Homegrown Video Series, demonstrates a variety of uses for the Crafty Graphics Stencil Embossing Kit, as well as briefly exploring some tactile graphic concepts. The video features a parent, a teacher of the visually impaired, a transcriber, and an art teacher. Discover from each of them:

  • how they use the product
  • what projects and applications they use it for
  • some tips and tricks
  • their favorite features
  • how they used the finished results

VHS videocassette runs approximately 17 minutes. Closed Captioned.

Crafty Graphics Video: 1-30013-00 — $10.00
Crafty Graphics Stencil Embossing Kit: 1-08844-00 — $118.00

Two New APH Catalogs Now Available!

Products Catalog 2004-2005

Products Catalog 2004-2005

Products Catalog 2004-2005 is a complete listing of APH educational and daily living products (except for our textbooks). New products include:

  • Two new IntelliTactiles overlay sets
  • IXL Revolution Sport Ball and other recreational items
  • Organizers for braille users, including the new Braille DateBook
  • New instructional videos with overviews, tips, and creative ideas for using APH products

This catalog also contains a new "Coming Soon!" preview section listing products that will be available in the next few months.

Big News About Small Large Print Books!

New Textbooks in Accessible Media, Spring 2004

The cover of the New Textbooks in Accessible Media, Spring 2004, features the new ATIC large print books that are bound in a smaller size. These books look and feel like commercially produced textbooks. This catalog lists the latest braille, large print, and enlarged print textbooks available from APH. A complete list of APH textbooks can be found by searching the Louis Database at

To receive either catalog, call 1-800-223-1839 or send an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required The catalogs will also be available for download at

New Small-Size Large Print Books: A Revolution in Textbook Design!

The new ATIC Large Print Process is now fully available. This process uses proprietary software to create large print textbooks at standard textbook size! Students appreciate carrying textbooks that look just like those of their peers. This standard-size ATIC textbook is full-color with a minimum 18-point font size.

Note that the traditional APH enlarged text process continues to be available – but now all books are in full color (if the original submitted book is in color). These are books in the larger-size binding with a minimum 14-point font size.

The new process takes about 4 weeks to complete and costs 50 cents per page.

For additional ordering information go to the ATIC page at or contact Jane Thompson at

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Karen Blaker, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director Communications
  • Janie Humphries, Director, Field Services
  • Nancy Lacewell, Director, Government and Community Affairs
  • Becki Moody, Communications Support Specialist
  • Fred Otto, Research Associate
  • Artina Paris, Assistant, Field Services
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Terrie Terlau, Adult Life Project Leader, Research
  • Carol Tobe, Director, APH Callahan Museum
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

April Issue –
March Issue –
February Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –

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