Your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, and training opportunities of the American Printing House for the Blind.
EPAC Offers APH Good Advice!
The Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) met at APH April 19-21 for their annual spring meeting. EPAC members, made up of APH Ex Officio Trustees, met with APH staff to discuss the company’s responses to recommendations made in the 2004 EPAC report. Discussions about the APH Braille Committee, NIMAC, and other areas of interest were on the agenda, as was approval of upcoming products for federal quota eligibility.
Dialogs between committee members and APH Project Leaders, ATIC staff, and Accessible Tests staff were highlights of the meeting. EPAC members met with staff in informal sessions that resulted in increased communication and understanding.
At the end of the meeting, EPAC Chair Larry Brown (OR) provided APH staff with a preliminary report focused on commendations and recommendations from the committee.
Our thanks to Tom Winton (NC), Kenalea Johnson (NM), Larry Brown (OR), Jean Small (ME), Robb Farrell (MD), Bernadette Kappen (PA), and Carol McCarroll (TN), for an outstanding job and a very productive meeting!
ESAC’s A’ Comin’!
The other official APH Advisory Committee, made up of Ex Officio Trustees and called Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC), will meet to offer APH their good counsel and wisdom May 31-June 3. The five member committee, led by Chair Stuart Wittenstein (CA) will discuss APH responses to the recommendations of the 2004 committee and will hold dialogs and conversations with APH staff providing services as they relate to APH products.
Committee members include Karen Blankenship (IA), Joe Catavero (NY), Jean Martin (MN), and Carmen Suminski (SD). Carmen will be unable to attend the spring meeting, so retired chair Lou Tutt (CO) will attend the meeting as an alternate.
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
The long awaited NIP event, "Cortical Visual Impairment, What You See Is Not What You Get" took place in Portland, OR, April 1 – 2. The event, rescheduled from an earlier January date, was sponsored by Portland State University and with the partnership of EOTs Larry Brown and Don Ouimet.
Dr. Chris Roman-Lantzy, APH Project Leader for CVI, addressed a crowd of nearly 200 teachers of the visually impaired, early interventionists, eye care professionals, occupational therapists, parents and family members on the impact of CVI and the use of APH products in intervention and assessment strategies. Field Services Director Janie Blome manned an APH exhibit table for the two day event and demonstrated and described numerous APH products used in Dr. Roman’s presentation.
Variety is the Spice of Life in Upcoming Nip Events!
- Connecticut – Math Skills in June
- Alabama – CVI in June
- New Mexico – Sensory Learning in November
November will find our NIP events moving to the west, when Millie Smith, author of the APH Sensory Learning Kit (SLK), will join us in Albuquerque, NM to present strategies and techniques for using the materials and routines in the new SLK. This event will be held in partnership with Kenalea Johnson, EOT representing the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Dates for the event are November 2-3. Further details will be available soon!
Summer Fun – Louisville Style
APH is proud to join with the National Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired (NAPVI) and the Hadley School for the Blind to offer a summer conference especially for families of children who are blind and visually impaired.
"Families Connecting With Families", a national family conference, will take place August 12 -14 at the newly renovated Galt House Hotel and Suites in downtown Louisville. Exceptional guest room rates and a low conference registration fee will make this an affordable and welcoming event for children and their families.
Special children’s activities will keep students pleasantly occupied while their parents and other family members attend keynote sessions by Kevin O’Connor and Deborah Hatton. Other sessions will feature presentations on APH products, transition, orientation and mobility, early literacy, the expanded core curriculum, social skills, communication skills for students with multiple disabilities, accessible testing, braille for parents, technology and many others. Three panel presentations will highlight the personal journeys of teens who are visually impaired, fathers of children with visual impairments, and grandparents of children with visual impairments.
Registration is $100 per family for the full conference, or $40 per adult and $15 per child, ages 5 – 18. Room rates at the Galt House are $85 per suite and $77 per room.
APH Annual Meeting Scholarships Still Available!
Attention Ex Officio Trustees, you still have time to nominate a deserving direct service provider in your area to attend the 2005 Annual Meeting as an "APH Scholar." Five scholarships will be awarded to first time attendees who are providing direct service to students and adult clients in the field.
The funds provided will cover a room at the beautiful new Downtown Marriott, Annual Meeting registration, airfare (as arranged by APH), and the meals covered by the registration.
Final selection of the five awards will be made with the assistance of the Ex Officio Trustees who serve on the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC). Members of the committee can not vote for their own nominees.
Selections will be announced by Friday, June 10, 2005. All applicants will be notified by letter of the decision of the committee.
Additional information regarding the 137th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, "Learning Across a Lifetime," with a special keynote address by Dr. Elton Moore, will soon appear on the APH web site.
Two Upcoming APH Web Cast Opportunities
On May 12, from 1:00 to 2:00 P.M. EST, APH will be Web casting a presentation on how to search for educational products, books, academic tests and other information using the Louis Database of Accessible Materials.
The presentation will provide answers to frequently asked questions, examples of different types of searches, and tips on how to efficiently retrieve the information you need.
On June 10, from 1:00 to 2:00 P.M. EST, join us for a demonstration of the ‘K’ Sonar, a new electronic travel device from the American Printing House for the Blind.
In this Web cast, presenters will explain and demonstrate the auditory feedback that helps ‘K’ Sonar users determine location and distance of obstacles and landmarks. Presenters will also show how the ‘K’ Sonar can help blind travelers learn to recognize many objects before touching them with a cane.
The ‘K’ Sonar presentation is designed for both, O&M instructors and travelers with visual impairments. It will appeal to the simply curious as well as to seasoned ‘K’ Sonar users. Questions will be welcome and resources for more ‘K’ Sonar material will be provided.
How can I join a Web cast?
It is easy to participate. All that’s required is a computer with Internet access and speakers. The first time you log into the "virtual conference room," the software needed for the presentation will automatically download onto your computer.
During the Web cast, you will be able to watch an on-line presentation, listen to the presenters, and ask questions via text messaging.
2005 Workshop on Blindness and Visual Impairments
APH’ers Will Evans and Sandi Baker were honored to be a part of Virginia’s 2005 Workshop on Blindness and Visual Impairments in Roanoke, April 13, 14, and 15.
Parents, teachers of the visually impaired, early interventionists, rehabilitation teachers and others who attended were treated to a variety of sessions ranging from AER’s Mark Richert’s opening remarks on IDEIA to topics such as VI and Autism, Infants with VI, Beginning Abacus, and APH’s ISAVE. There were also poster sessions and exhibits from a variety of vendors, including APH!
Thanks to APH Ex Officio Trustee Barbara McCarthy for inviting APH to be a part of Virginia’s annual vision workshop!
APH Travels to the Ozarks
If you’ve never been to the beach in Missouri, you should have attended the "Power Up 2005 Conference and Expo" held at the Tan-Tar-A Resort at Osage Beach, MO, on April 18-19.
Sponsored by the Missouri Assistive Technology Council, Power Up 2005 was for consumers, educators, speech-language and occupational therapists, rehab professionals, service providers, and pretty much anyone interested in assistive technology. At the request of the folks representing the Vision field, APH Field Representative Sandi Baker shared information with participants about various APH products and services including NIMAS/NIMAC (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards/National Instructional Materials Access Center), ENVISION, BookPort, and Teen Scene:Portraits of Success.
Dining with a Medical Legend
APH’s Burt Boyer, Janie Blome, and Bob Brasher had the pleasure and honor of meeting with Dr. Arnall Patz and Dr. Jerry Lutty during the CEC Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr. Patz, retired Director of Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute who still works for them 10 hours a day, was the recipient of the prestigious Lasker Award in 1956 for his pioneering work in discovering the link of oxygen to RLF. The award was presented to him by Helen Keller, and Dr. Patz brought to life his experience of having the opportunity to interact with the icon. Dr. Patz recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bush. Dr. Lutty is the leading researcher on Retinopathy of Prematurity at Johns Hopkins University.
Both Dr. Patz and Dr. Lutty had very positive comments about the APH National Registry of Visually Impaired Children Birth to Three (Babies Count Project) and the importance of the data that is being reported. Dr. Patz stated that this is the best information on ROP in the past two decades.
Janie, Bob, and Burt feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity to share time with such leaders and difference makers.
For more information on the amazing life and career of Dr. Arnall Patz, a true giant of modern ophthalmology, visit the US Medal of Freedom site: www.medaloffreedom.com/ArnallPatz.htm
Photo: Front Row – Burt Boyer and Dr. Patz; Second Row – Janie Blome, Bob Brasher, and Dr. Lutty
Council for Exceptional Children Conference Enjoys Baltimore Division on Visual Impairments (DVI) Honors Lou Tutt
"No one ever lived a longer life by being serious."–Dr. Patch Adams
CEC Conference-goers were treated to a life-altering Keynote Address by Dr. Patch Adams. Adams, a medical doctor, professional clown, performer, social activist, and author, holds the belief that "the health of an individual cannot be separated from the health of the family, community and the world."
At the Thursday evening Business Meeting of DVI, special awards were presented and among them Lou Tutt, Ex Officio Trustee who serves as Principal at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, was honored. Lou received DVI’s coveted Distinguished Service Award for his illustrious 30+ years of service to the field. APH congratulates Lou, immediate past chair of the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC), on this recognition of an amazing career…which is still going strong!
For additional information on the Awards presentations and business of the division, visit the DVI web site: www.ed.arizona.edu/dvi/welcome.htm
A Great Day in Cleveland!
Cleveland Sight Center served as host to teachers, parents, and students on April 21. The purpose of the day was to provide opportunities for those in attendance to meet in small groups and discuss important topics of the day. APH was present with an exhibit, and met in separate sessions with approximately 30 parents, 30 students, and 30 teachers to discuss products and services. Of the many products presented, the Book Port was the most popular and created the most interest among students. Jim Sullivan of Optalec, was the coordinator for this day and is to be congratulated on its success.
Comparing IDEA ’97 with IDEIA ’04
To learn how the new Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) differs from IDEA ’97 you are on the right web site! The National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) has created, and asked us to post, a side-by-side document that compares the two laws in The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: A Comparison of P.L. 105-17 (IDEA ’97) to H.R. 1350 as passed by Congress on November 19, 2004.
New Internship Program for Young Adults
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Jernigan Institute and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are please to introduce a new internship program for blind young adults.
The Excellence through Challenging Exploration and Leadership (EXCEL) program will provide an employment experience like no other, combining NASA’s ambitious mission of exploration with the successful mentoring and empowerment model demonstrated by the NFB.
Two interns will be placed at each of three NASA centers–Goddard (Maryland), Johnson (Texas), and the Jet Propulsion Lab (California)–for an intensive six-week program that will begin at the NFB National Convention.
To be eligible for the program, potential interns must be at least 18 years old at the beginning of the program and either a senior in high school who has been accepted to college or a current college freshman who is interested in pursuing a career in a science, technology, math, or engineering (STEM) field.
New "Braille Writers" Traveling Exhibit Available
"Braille Writers from the Callahan Museum" is a new hands-on traveling exhibit featuring nine historic braille writers, from the early Hall Braille Writer, introduced in 1892, to the Lavender Braillewriter, which was produced by APH from 1962-1982. The actual braille writers are displayed in front of colorful panels that have both photos and descriptive text. The complete text and labels are also included in braille. The exhibit is easy to set up and conveniently fits on one 8-foot table.
Three other traveling exhibits are also available from the museum: "War of the Dots," about the search for a uniform type for touch reading, is hands-on and tabletop size; "Building A Future," featuring sixty-one U.S. residential schools for blind and visually impaired students, is a stand-alone pictorial exhibit, and "In Touch With Knowledge" is a larger, more comprehensive hands-on exhibit focusing on the educational history of tactile reading and writing, geography, mathematics, and science. For additional information about any of the museum’s traveling exhibits, please contact Anne Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800/223-1839, ext. 364.
Helen Keller and Father Thomas Carroll Take Their Places in the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field
Two new bas relief plaques were recently added to the Hall of Fame. Here are a few glimpses of these heroes.
Helen Adams Keller (1880 – 1968)
More rewarding to Helen Keller than the many honors she received, were the acquaintances and friendships she made with most of the leading personalities of her time. There were few world figures, from Grover Cleveland to Charlie Chaplin, to Nehru to John F. Kennedy, that she did not meet. She was truly a remarkable world ambassador and a distinguished leader advocating for better services for people who were blind and deaf-blind wherever she went.
Father Thomas Carroll (1909 – 1971)
While his "hallmark" work is most often associated with blinded veterans, his sphere of influence impacted widely throughout the field of blindness. His contributions are recognized and respected not only in rehabilitation of the blind, but also in education of blind students, in Orientation and Mobility, in counseling and personal adjustment, in employment programs, and in the training of professionals for service in these areas.
For more information on these legendary figures of our history, and to learn how you can support the Hall of Fame, visit the Hall web site.
Free Subscriptions Available for Magazines in Accessible Formats
Free subscriptions to Reader’s Digest® in braille, Reader’s Digest on cassette, and Newsweek® on cassette are available from APH to eligible customers by calling 800/223-1839.
Survey Participants Needed for Accessible Chemistry Tutoring Software Project
You can make a difference in the development of accessible products for the students you serve. Through our dialogue with Benny Johnson of Quantum Simulations, Inc. for the past year and a half, APH recommends to you that his survey on CHEMISTRY tutorials be widely distributed.
Through recent federally-supported research, Quantum has successfully developed and brought to the classroom the very first software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to tutor students in chemistry. The Quantum intelligent tutoring technology enables students to use their own problems, get help on their own mistakes, and ask questions about concepts and how they relate to their problems. In scientifically-based studies, these AI tutors have been documented to improve student performance and comprehension significantly. Now, in a project funded by the National Institutes of Health, Quantum is working to make this cutting-edge new educational technology fully accessible to students who are blind and visually impaired. The purpose of this survey is to gather much-needed information from the community of instructors of the visually impaired to inform the efforts and decisions of the project’s researchers. Your participation will help to ensure the resulting accessible instructional software is of the highest quality.
Dr. Johnson’s research recognizes the importance of national science standards, which was a point well made by our recent Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) of Ex Officio Trustees. Dr. Johnson’s project team and support groups include the National Institutes of Health, students with visual impairments and their families, instructors of the visually impaired, a state-recognized SCIENCE TEACHER of the YEAR, experts in artificial intelligence, the National Federation of the Blind and APH. Please join this team of researchers by contributing valuable information that will help support accessible instructional products and services in the sciences. For further information and to access the survey, please go to www.quantumsimulations.com/accessibility_survey.html
APH Ex Officio Trustee Elaine Sveen testifies before Congress on behalf of APH
Elaine Sveen (right) and Jamie Cable (front) testified before a Congressional Subcommittee in April. Jamie’s teacher (Christine Kernozek) (left) and Tuck Tinsley accompanied Elaine and Jamie.
On April 19, Ex Officio Trustee Elaine Sveen testified on behalf of APH before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHSE). Tuck Tinsley, APH President, hosted the visit on Capitol Hill. Elaine, President and CEO of the Maryland School for the Blind in Baltimore, was accompanied by Jamie Cable, a 4th grade student who is blind. Jamie attends a local elementary school in Hughesville, MD.
Following Elaine’s comments about the importance of the annual APH appropriation for the education of blind and visually impaired students, Jamie spoke about how important braille is to him. LHHSE Committee Chairman Ralph Regula asked Jamie several questions – one of which resulted in Jamie admitting that he is teaching braille to some of the girls in his class so they can write secret notes back and forth! Jamie also read and delivered a print/braille note to committee members thanking them for their support for the education of blind and visually impaired students.
APH offers our sincere thanks to Elaine Sveen and Jamie Cable for taking the time to make this important trip to Washington. Members of Congress need to know how important braille is – from braille readers themselves – and Jamie did an excellent job sharing his enthusiasm for learning and for braille. Feedback APH staff has received from audience and committee members has been overwhelmingly positive!
APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees
David DeNotaris at the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, replacing Donald Potenski.
Lorri Quigley at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, replacing Lee Robinson.
APH Travel Calendar
May 5-7, 2005
NFB Early Childhood Conference;
May 12, 2005
Louis Database Web Cast;
May 22-24, 2005
Meeting of the Minds at APH;
May 31-June 3, 2005
Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) at APH;
June 8-9, 2005
Gateways to Independence;
KY School for the Blind, Louisville, KY
June 9-10, 2005
Universal Design for Learning Summer Institute;
June 11-12, 2005
ABC Braille Study Meeting of the Research Group;
June 13-15, 2005
Georgia Project for Assistive Technology-Yearly Institute for Special Education Teachers
June 17-24, 2005
Council of Chief State School Officers Conference on Large-Scale Assessment;
San Antonio, TX
June 18, 2005
APH Pre-conference workshop (Council of Chief State School Officers on Large Scale Assessment;
San Antonio, TX
June 22-24, 2005
2005 Central Atlantic Orientation & Mobility Association;
June 25, 2005
National Braille Challenge:
Los Angeles, CA at the Braille Institute
Order Fall Textbooks Now!
For timely delivery, order your fall 2005 textbooks now. Media include: traditional enlarged print, the new APH Large Print Process, and braille.
29 NEW Recreational Braille Titles Now Available from APH!
APH is now offering a number of new recreational books in braille (Quota funds can be used). Each of the 29 titles was originally transcribed and produced by APH for the National Library Service which has graciously granted permission for this offering.
As in the past, the titles have been added to the APH Louis Database where you can find thousands of titles produced in accessible formats.
Remember, all books are produced upon receipt of orders, therefore, please allow approximately 8 weeks for delivery.
Wouldn’t this collection be an excellent addition to your home, school, or agency library?
For further information, including title, author, price, and interest level, please visit www.aph.org/products/2005books.html
Two for One – Products & Parts Together in the New Products Catalog 2005-2006 – Now Available!
The Products Catalog 2005-2006 was mailed April 21 to allow end-of-school ordering. Please note that for the first time, APH has included our catalog of replacement parts at the end of the Products Catalog. This should make it easier to find the parts you need, more convenient to have ordering information for all your purchases in one place, and allow you to refer back to product listings and descriptions.
Other Products Catalog features include:
- A number of new items, such as ‘K’ Sonar, an electronic mobility aid, and Talking Word PuzzlesTM, an accessible word puzzle software
- Several items now offered in Spanish, including the Colorino and ColorTest II, talking color analyzers
- Additions to the Homegrown Video Series, instructional videos that recommend tips and ideas for using various APH products
Please Remember: price changes don’t take effect until until June 1, so order now to take advantage of lower prices on many of your favorites!
The generous support of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund has made these brightly-colored, hard-cover picture books available to families at a special price. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is the third book in the series, and The Mysterious Tadpole rounds out the first four titles. Additional titles will be added and will be announced in the APH News and on the web site, www.aph.org
Discover the Enchantment of Reading with Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
This latest addition to APH’s series of read-aloud print/braille books is a well-loved classic. Enter a world where rocks grant wishes and donkeys (and children) discover that all actions have consequences.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: 9-15008-00 — $10.00
The Mysterious Tadpole is Enormous Fun
Enjoy the adventures of Alphonse and his unusual pet, whose immense size creates numerous problems for everyone. This 25th Anniversary edition contains new illustrations and text by the author, Steven Kellogg.
The Mysterious Tadpole: 9-15012-00 — $10.00
Capital! Washington D.C. from A-Z: 9-15036-00 — $10.00
Looking Out for Sarah: 9-14009-00 — $10.00
NOT AVAILABLE ON QUOTA
These print/braille calendars always sell out quickly, so guarantee your purchase by ordering early. Each of the 12 monthly calendar pages features artwork by a visually impaired artist and includes holidays and moon phases. The spiral-bound calendar can be used at a desk or hung on a wall. These calendars are available for purchase with Federal Quota funds.
These calendars also make a great fund-raiser for your school or organization. The group’s name will be printed and brailled on a special version of the calendar cover. If you have questions about fund-raising or if you wish to place an order, please contact Contract Administration at 800-223-1839. Note that calendars ordered for fund-raising purposes may not be purchased with Federal Quota funds.
APH InSights Art Calendar 2006: 5-18971-06 — $7.50
These calendars are available on Federal Quota; customized calendars are not.
APH Custom InSights Art Calendar 2006: 5-18972-06 — $7.00
Not Available on Quota
Previously available only in gray, the Perkins brailler, in use for over 50 years, can now also be purchased in blue or green. The Perkins will accommodate paper up to 11 1/2 x 14 inches and embosses up to 25 lines of 41 cells on standard 11 1/2 x 11 inch braille paper. Includes cover, braille eraser, and braille quickstart instructions. The Perkins can be used by children 3 years and up, although young children should be supervised during exploration and pre-braille activities.
Classic Gray: 1-00850-00 — $725.00
Blue: 1-00850-BL — $725.00
Green: 1-00850-GR — $725.00
Revision of Fred’s Head in Full Swing
APH is proud to announce that the Fred’s Head database is in the first phase of a major update—records are being revised and new records are being added.
The free Fred’s Head database is a resource for finding products and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. The database also contains a growing list of tips and tricks to assist in daily living, computer usage, entertainment, and much more. Over one thousand existing records have now been updated with current web links, contact information, and general information.
APH News Credits
Dr. Tuck Tinsley
Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator
Thanks to the following APH staff:
- Cindy Amback, Assistant, Products and Services
- Sandi Baker, Field Representative, Field Services
- Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
- Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
- Scott Blome, Director, Communications
- Burt Boyer, Early Childhood Project Leader, Research
- Maria Delgado, Field Representative, Field Services
- Don Keefe, Vice President, Development
- Nancy Lacewell, Director, Government and Community Affairs
- Michael McCarty, Expert Database Coordinator, Communications
- Becki Moody, Communications Support Specialist
- Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
- Anne Rich, Callahan Museum Associate, Public Affairs
Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research
For additional recent APH News, click the following:
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