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

May 2009

ESAC Runs for the Roses!

ESAC Committee members pose in front of the Wall of Tribute

Derby week not only brought many celebrities to Louisville to watch the horses run, it also brought the return of our very own celebrities – the famous Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC), composed of five outstanding Ex Officio Trustees! The five committee members, headed by Chair Mike Bina (MD) include Angyln Franquemont (AR), Marje Kaiser (SD), Barbara McCarthy (VA), and Frank Simpson (NY).

The committee met with key APH staff to discuss APH services as they relate to our products. Topics of discussion included the new APH e-commerce site, product training and exhibits, the Student Registration System (SRS) for the Federal Quota Census, the new Louis platform, the Tactile Graphics Image Library and more. The committee also heard reports from President Tuck Tinsley and Business Development Manager Tony Grantz.

The committee presented APH with a preliminary report citing both commendations for things done well and recommendations for improvement in the future. They will provide us with a final report in the coming months and that report will be placed on the APH website.

Thanks to all of the committee members for their time, dedication, talent, humor, patience and hard work, and thank you for coming to our place to show us how to win! We appreciate you!

Large Textured Block Survey!

Large Textured Block

APH is currently reviewing several products that have been available to our customers for many years. Reviews such as these help us determine which products need modernization, which products are fine as they are, and which products need to be retired from the catalog.

We would much appreciate it if you would please tell us what you think about this 3-inch cube that features six different textures. How do you use it, what skills do you teach, or maybe you have improvement ideas?

Please click the following link to access the survey:

Thank you.

APH Product Infomercials Now Available!

In response to YOUR requests, APH has entered the product Infomercial arena. Here are our first efforts which you can find under the heading of Products on our website.

Larry Skutchan and the Refreshabraille 18--a still frame from one of the new infomercials

Product Infomercials

APH Reaches Out to Occupational Therapists

With the advent of the Certification in Low Vision for occupational therapists and with the increasing numbers of elders experiencing low vision because of visual conditions associated with the aging process, more and more occupational therapists are providing low vision services. In response to occupational therapists’ need for additional information about sources of aids, appliances, and equipment that can be helpful to persons with low vision, APH provided a strong presence at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s National Conference held in Houston, TX, April 22-26.

Exhibitors Will Evans, Michael Haynes, Mary Robinson, and Terrie Terlau explained and demonstrated APH products to a steady stream of occupational therapists. APH Adult Life Project Leader Terrie Terlau co-presented APH and other relevant products to an audience of approximately 80. Hand-held video magnifiers, the EZ Track series, the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier, and MagneTachers were particularly popular, as were APH catalogs both on CD and in print.

University of Arizona was Worth It!

It took 19 hours to get from Kentucky to Arizona on Monday, April 13, but Field Services Representative Sandi Baker said it was worth it after guest lecturing for Dr Irene Topor’s methods class on Tues, April 14. An unusually stormy day across the southeast that forced ground-holds in Atlanta and delayed flights across the region was the reason for the lengthy travel day, but like the US Postal Service, APH delivers!

More than 25 students from the University of Arizona’s Visual Impairment program and Severe, Profound and Multiple Disabilities program gathered to learn all they could about APH products and services, and the Federal Quota Program. Products of interest included the Perkins/APH Brailler, Word Playhouse, MathBuilders: Geometry, Azer’s Interactive Periodic Table Study Set, Functional Vision Learning Media Assessment, the Sensory Learning Kit, and ToAD. Students were full of questions and interest, and couldn’t seem to get enough information about how to access those Federal Quota funds in order to get products into their students’ hands! It’s always a pleasure to speak with our next generation of teachers of students with visual impairments, and to see their excitement as they prepare for their next challenge!

STATS on the NEW Louis Expert Database and APH eCommerce Site

Louis Database New Features! New Look!
New! Online Shopping Site! Shop APH

Since April 6, the enhanced Louis database has been visited 3,793 times by 1,466 visitors from 30 countries and territories! Remember to bookmark the new site:

Please contact Resource Services for comments or questions about Louis at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

The new eCommerce site has been visited 6,141 times by 4,659 visitors from 90 countries and territories! Remember to bookmark the new site:

Please contact customer services at email hidden; JavaScript is required regarding questions or comments about!


From APH Executive in Residence Dr. Phil Hatlen

Dr. Phil Hatlen

As many of you know, I’m here for my second long stay at APH. Last Spring, I was here for six weeks. This year I’ll be here for three months. I enjoy being with Ralph Bartley who is taking very good care of me. And I especially like talking with project leaders about what they’re doing. Tuck and Bob are close friends whom I’ve known for many years, and the opportunity to get better acquainted with them is very special for me.

In addition to learning as much as I can about APH, I’m working on a project concerning the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC). With the help of Ralph and others, I want to find the answers to:

  1. What is the current status of the ECC? How many blind and visually impaired students are receiving instruction in the ECC?
  2. If warranted, how can the instruction be improved?
  3. Are there products that APH could produce that would enhance the teaching of the ECC?

We received completed surveys from teachers, parents, consumers, and other professionals. An analysis of these will help me answer the first question, and lead me closer to answers for the other two.

If any of you would like to know more about the ECC, I’d be happy to visit with you sometime and discuss it with you. If any of you would like to visit with me about any topic, I’d enjoy it very much. Please call Tina Livingston at 800/223-1839, ext. 310–she is keeping my schedule for me.

Tactile Graphic Workshops in Thailand and China

Thanks to the invitation from Larry Campbell, the administrator of the International Program at Overbrook School for the Blind, Yan Zhang, the Tactile Graphics Developer and Trainer in the Accessible Textbooks Department of APH, conducted two 3-day workshops on tactile graphics in Bangkok, Thailand and Guangzhou, China from March 18 to March 25. The participants were 13 graphic and braille producers in resource centers and schools for the blind from 6 Southeast Asian countries and 27 teachers from 9 leading schools for the blind in China.

The workshops were very successful and the responses from both groups are overwhelmingly positive. Both groups found the information in the presentation very helpful and are eager to share it with their colleagues. The participants were also very impressed by the products and services provided by APH.

From Participants: "You should know that this is exactly the kind of training that we have been wanting to have for many years now. A lot of the theory behind effective tactile graphics was covered, which is what we really were lacking. Being able to decide what to render, and how to effectively render the information in tactile form will definitely be of great help to us. Thanks again for the very big help that has been to our Braille production team."

Workshop participants. APH’s Yan Zhang is the tallest participant in the middle of the back row.

APH History Book Soon Available in Braille

Cover of History in the Making: The Story of the American Printing House for the Blind 1858-2008

If you’ve been waiting for the braille edition of APH’s new history book, History in the Making: The Story of the American Printing House for the Blind 1858-2008, by Carol Tobe, your wait is almost over. The book is back from transcription, but we need your help to determine how many to produce. If you are interested in a braille version, please email APH Museum Director Mike Hudson at email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 800/223-1839, ext. 365. Of course, you can still obtain the print version, with the audio version on CD, for $39.95 by simply calling Customer Service at 800/223-1839, and pressing 1.

The July 2009 Families Connecting with Families International Conference will be in Sunny Costa Mesa, California!

Registration is now open for the Family Conference at The conference will be held July 17-19, 2009. It is being Co-Sponsored by NAPVI, Junior Blind of America, and The Braille Institute. Families and professionals alike are invited to learn more about raising and educating a child with a visual impairment. The 2009 conference will include interactive sessions and panel discussions addressing parents’ most pressing interests in such areas as education, psychology, technology, social services, and medicine.

This conference promises to be fun for the whole family including activities for teens, networking for parents and professionals, and daycare. For more information about reserving your hotel room with the special conference rate and to register, visit

Article Detailing APH Products for Students who are Deafblind in National Quarterly

Congratulations to APH’s Field Services Representative Sandi Baker for her article appearing in the Spring 2009 CEC Division on Visual Impairments Quarterly. In the "Q" article, Sandi outlines the history of products available from APH for students who are deafblind. She shares that beginning in 2003, APH used the term "deafblind" in the Products Catalog, including a list of considerations to keep in mind when choosing materials for persons with multiple disabilities. The catalog then, and now, encourages the reader to remember that children and adults who are deafblind, are as diverse and varied in their abilities, strengths, and interests as are individuals in the general population. She goes on to detail a number of appropriate products, including her new video, "Students who are Deaflblind Using APH Products" which features four students, ages 2 to 15 years of age, using a variety of products in home and school settings.

To learn more about DVI’s Special Issue on Deaf-Blindness, contact editor Sheila Amato at email hidden; JavaScript is required and to learn more about the division, visit the CEC/DVI website at

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Leslie Bechtel Van Orman, the Wyoming Department of Education, replacing Susan K. Egging.

Robert T. Goodhart, the Division for the Visually Impaired and the State Department of Education in Delaware, replacing Charlene A. Dolgos.

Andrea Noel, the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, replacing Antoine Johnson.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


May 10-14, 2009
Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC);
APH in Louisville, KY

May 18-22, 2009
Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill;
Washington, DC


June 4-5, 2009
Annual Technology Symposium;
Talladega, AL

June 6, 2009
KSB Alumni Association Event;
KSB, Louisville, KY

June 14-16, 2009
Ex Officio Trustee (EOT) Training;
APH in Louisville, KY


July 3-8, 2009
NFB 2009;
Detroit City

July 4-10, 2009
ACB 2009;
Orlando, FL

July 17-19, 2009
National Family Conference: Families Connecting with Families;
Costa Mesa, CA

July 20-25, 2009
AHEAD 2009;
Louisville, KY

Temporary Problem with a Few Products Using APH Shopping Quick Order

Our customers who order large volumes of products often like to use APH’s Quick Order feature, which can be found by clicking the link in the dark grey header bar on our shopping site.

We are having a temporary problem with a small group of products if they are entered on the Quick Order page. These products will cause an error and will delete any other catalog numbers you have entered on the Quick Order page when you attempt to add the items to your cart from Quick Order.

Temporarily, please do not enter these catalog numbers on the Quick Order page. Note that the same error will also occur if you attempt to add these products to the APH shopping site cart from the Louis site. We will announce when this problem has been remedied.

If you search for these products, you will notice in most cases that the main product page contains a message stating that the product requires special handling and you must call customer service. Generally, these products include items that can’t be ordered via the web (such as software downloads or warranties) and products that are temporarily unavailable for purchase.

Thank you for your patience. We are working constantly to improve the new APH shopping site.

Catalog Number Product Name
1-00860-00 Perkins Brailler: Light-Touch Electric, Blue
1-01140-00 U.S. Puzzle Map
1-03000-00 Meterstick (Braille)
1-03260-00 HANDS ON Kit: Functional Activities for Visually Impaired Preschoolers
1-03290-00 Fractional Parts of Wholes Set
1-03380-00 Impressor: Braille Business Card Embosser
1-03380-01 Impressor: Braille Business Card Embosser, Revised
1-03660-00 Small Work-Play Tray, Yellow, 17 x 11.75 Inches
1-03710-00 Shape Board
1-03721-00 Puzzle Form Board Kit
1-03740-00 Large Work-Play Tray, Yellow, 21.25 x 13.25 Inches
1-03751-00 Small Work-Play Tray, Black 17 x 11.75 Inches
1-03761-00 Large Work-Play Tray, Black, 21.25 x 13.25 Inches
1-07450-01 Braille+ Mobile Manager
1-07460-00 Braille+: One-Year Hardware Maintenance Agreement
1-07461-00 Braille+ QWERTY Docking Station: Inspection Service for Out-of-Warranty Docking Station
1-07462-00 Braille+: One-Year Software Maintenance Agreement Download
1-07463-00 Braille+: Software Maintenance Agreement Update on miniSD Card
1-07464-00 Braille+: One-Time Software Update
1-07465-00 Braille+ QWERTY Docking Station: One-Year Extended Hardware Maintenance Agreement (HMA)
1-07510-00 APH Sound Ball: Boing Boing (Yellow)
1-07512-00 Mini Rib-It-Ball
1-07513-00 Rib-It-Ball: Jacob’s, 14 Inch
1-07515-00 Rib-It-Ball: Jacob’s, 30 Inch
1-07516-00 APH Sound Ball: Techno Beat (Red)
1-08930-00 Textured Pegs
1-08960-00 StackUps Kit: Spatial Reasoning Using Cubes and Isometric Drawings
1-08960-01 StackUps: Cubes (set of 20)
D-00300-ED Toodle Tiles: Emmy’s Town Software: Digital Download
D-03400-ED Armadillo Army Software: Digital Download
D-03410-ED Learn Keys: Verbal Keyboard Feedback: Digital Download
D-03430-ED Talking Typer for Windows (without Enhanced Voicing): Digital Download
D-03440-ED Talking Word Puzzles: Digital Download
D-03460-ED Teacher’s Pet: Digital Download
D-03470-ED Termite Torpedo Software: Digital Download
D-03530-ED Book Wizard Producer: Digital Download
D-03531-ED Book Wizard Reader: Digital Download
D-03560-ED Money Talks: Bank Account Management Software: Digital Download
D-03600-ED Studio Recorder Software: Digital Download
D-19910-ED Math Flash: Digital Download

Fred’s Head from APH – Do You Tweet?

You may already know about the thousands of helpful articles posted on APH’s Fred’s Head blog, but did you know you can get instant notifications of new and updated articles via Twitter?

Twitter is a popular free service that allows users to send short text messages of 140 characters or less. Called "tweets," these messages are sent to Twitter "followers" who have requested to receive them. Fred’s Head uses tweets to deliver links related to blindness or visual impairment. Links to articles specific to the Twitter page and articles from the Fred’s Head blog are posted.

You can follow the tweets from Fred’s Head by visiting Other methods of following tweets include Instant Messaging (IM), Short Message Service (SMS), Real Simple Syndication (RSS), email, or a third-party application. You will need to become a part of the Twitter community by creating a free Twitter profile.

There are a variety of ways to access Twitter if you are blind or visually impaired. For more information about Fred’s Head on Twitter, email email hidden; JavaScript is required or call Michael McCarty at 502-899-2396.

Spring Fever Sale

Spring Fever Sale

Explore a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Spring Fever Sale 2009, April 1 – June 30. As always, first come, first served.

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 approximately 8 weeks for delivery.

Wild Boy: A Tale of Rowan Hood
by Nancy Springer: T-N1657-30 — $23.00
Since his father died, Rook has run wild as a wolf and joined Rowan Hood’s forest band. Rook blames the sheriff of Nottingham for the death and now sees a chance for revenge against the sheriff’s son. Sequel to Outlaw Princess of Sherwood. Fiction, Grades 4-7. *(AR Quiz #78963, BL 5.1, Pts. 3.0)

Beating Heart: A Ghost Story
by A.M. Jenkins: T-N1658-70 — $28.00
After his parents’ divorce, seventeen-year-old Evan moves with his mother and young sister into an old house that is haunted by the spirit of a nineteenth-century teenage girl named Cora. Evan soon has intimate dreams of Cora that threaten his real-life romance. Fiction, Senior High. *(AR Quiz #105398, BL 4.6, Pts. 3.0)

Tomb of the Golden Bird
by Elizabeth Peters: T-N1656-20 — $120.00
Egypt, 1922. As archaeologist Amelia Emerson watches her rivals dig for King Tutankhamon’s tomb, villains lure her husband, Radcliffe, and son, Ramses, into a trap. The attack coincides with the arrival of Radcliffe’s half brother, Sethos, an antiquities thief-turned-British intelligence agent, who conceals a document that may endanger everyone. Fiction.

by Philip Roth: T-N1661-70 — $33.00
An aging advertising man confronts the loneliness of growing old, regrets his philandering and other faults, and ponders his failing sexual and physical self. He reviews his life chronologically and feels sorry for hurting those he loved, including his estranged sons and three ex-wives. Adult Fiction, strong language.

Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
by Martha Stewart: T-N1657-50 — $126.50
Stewart, author of Martha Stewart, Menus for Entertaining, offers a compendium of baking tips and techniques and more than two hundred recipes for biscuits, muffins, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries, and breads.

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

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Phil Hatlen, Executive in Residence
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Gary Mudd, Vice President, Public Affairs
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Gwynn Stewart, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Terrie Terlau, Adult Life Project Leader, Research

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 –

The APH News is a monthly publication from the American Printing House for the Blind:
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206

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