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APH News

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

May 2012

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

YOU Could Be an APH Video Star!

You could be a star, just like the first place winner of our winter 2012 contest, Maddie Stomberg of Minnesota!

Announcing the Unforgettable APH Star Video Contest, Summer 2012

We want you to be the first to know! We are now accepting entries to our Summer 2012 Unforgettable APH Star Products Video Contest!

This is our third video contest, and we invite students, parents, teachers, administrators, rehab instructors, and all of our customers to shoot their own videos demonstrating uses of their favorite APH products. We received 14 entries to the winter 2012 contest and the top three received cash prizes! Contest guidelines are simple, and you don’t need to be a video professional—just be yourself and have fun! Entries for the summer 2012 contest must be postmarked by Wednesday, September 12, 2012.

If you want ideas on how to create your video, or haven’t had a chance to view the winter 2012 entries, visit our video contest page. Also note that all 2011 and 2012 Unforgettable Videos now have a link to our shopping site, where you may purchase the product featured in the video.

The summer is all yours, make it unforgettable by recording your teacher, your friends, or yourself using an APH product or products. So what will you do on your summer vacation? Will you be on your way to becoming an APH video star?!

Great Resources for Young Braille Readers!

Did You Know that the Early Braille Trade Books Website has a link to Building on Patterns? Log on to see what books your young braille reader can now enjoy reading independently. If you just purchased the latest release, Building on Patterns: Second Grade: Unit 4, your student now has 17 books from the Early Braille Trade Books Collection to choose from. There are 29 additional titles that are "An Almost Perfect Match"—within 1-4 contractions. The website is free, accessible, and a great tool to use to match books to a student’s knowledge of braille contractions.

How About Some Good Advice?

Good advice is always welcome at APH, and April was our month for a double dose – from the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) and the Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC).

ESAC Committee

EPAC Committee

ESAC joined us April 2–5, and under the leadership of Chair Jonn Paris-Salb (CA), committee members Jim Olson (CO), Sally Giittinger (NE), Charlotte Lowry (AL), and Julie Kagy (NC) met with APH staff members for discussion surrounding key topics, including training in support of products, the APH website and social media presence, the Louis and AMP databases and more. They also had the daunting task of selecting five 2012 APH Scholars from 15 well-deserving candidates. They succeeded in completing all their tasks and, before leaving to return home, presented APH with a well written, thoughtful report containing commendations on things done well, and recommendations for the future. Thank you, ESAC!

Not to be outdone, EPAC arrived in Louisville on Sunday, April 22, and began their task of providing support and advice concerning APH products. Chair Marty McKenzie (SC) guided the group through presentations by relevant APH staff and many dialogs with Research Department Project Leaders, who discussed their progress and processes with APH products in many stages of development. The Committee, made up of Yvonne Ali (MO), Collette Bauman (MI), Joe Catavero (NY), Jerry Kitzhoffer (PA), Linda Lyle (NM), and Paula Mauro (OH) also approved several products for sale using Federal Quota Funds. The diligent work of this committee also resulted in an excellently written report presented to APH staff prior to their departure.

Congratulations to the 2012 APH Scholars!

Each year, during their spring meeting, the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) is charged with choosing the five APH Scholars who will attend Annual Meeting in the fall. These first-time attendees are nominated in collaboration with the Ex Officio Trustee who registers the students and adults with whom they work. Ex Officio Trustees—please be thinking now about your nomination next spring for the 2013 Annual Meeting!

Fifteen nominees were submitted this year, and the task of choosing was, as always, a very difficult one. While committee members review and rank the candidates, they are not allowed to vote on their own nominees.

Congratulations to the following outstanding individuals selected as the 2012 APH Scholars:

  • Deborah Bennett (LA), nominated by Ex Officio Trustee Bobby Simpson
  • Liz Cooper (CA), nominated by Ex Officio Trustee Jonn Paris-Salb
  • Robin Coxe-Harris (LA), nominated by Ex Officio Trustee Robin King
  • Adrienne Shoemaker (NH), nominated by Ex Officio Trustee Kim Stiles
  • Liz Shomerus (NE), nominated by Ex Officio Trustee Karen Duffy

Please Give Us YOUR Opinion on a Possible Change to APH’s Popular Super Sized Folders!

Recently a teacher recommended that we consider changing the color options of our Super Sized Folders. Currently, these heavy duty folders, intended to hold Braille materials, are available only in blue. The suggestion is to provide the set of three folders in blue, green, and yellow — the same color combination found in our Floppy Braille Binders and Braille Pocket Folders. The teacher offers that different colored folders will be easier to discern by her students with some vision. A very practical suggestion!

To make this feasible, we would no longer offer blue-only packets. The price could increase very slightly due to increased labor costs.

We basically need to know the following:

  • Yes, I would continue to order and use the multi-colored pack.
  • No, blue is sufficient.
  • Makes no difference.

Other thoughts or comments? Please contact: Kate Herndon, Project Manager of Research, email hidden; JavaScript is required, 800/223-1839, ext 234.

Thanks for your assistance!

AFB Migel Medal Recipient Honored on Wall of Tribute in the Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field

Dr. Lylas Mogk receives her duplicate stone of the original which is installed on the Wall of Tribute in the Hall of Fame. The gentleman presenting her the stone is Dr. Paul Edwards, Chair of the Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology, Detroit, Michigan.

For information on how you can honor a person or agency with a beautifully engraved stone, visit the Hall of Fame website.

Annual Vandy Day at APH

APH welcomed Dr. Karen Blankenship (back row, far right) and the students of the Vanderbilt University Personnel Prep Program for a day of touring and product training! We enjoyed having the students with us and encourage other groups of students, teachers, and consumers to come to APH for a day. Let us host you! Contact Janie Blome, email hidden; JavaScript is required, for details on scheduling YOUR visit to APH!

Future TVBIs Get To Know APH!

Future Teachers of the Blind/Visually Impaired enrolled in the University of Arizona’s Visual Impairment program became familiar with APH during a class April 10. Cathy Johnson, Field Services Representative, provided an overview of the many aspects of APH, with particular emphasis on understanding the Federal Quota program and how that impacts acquiring APH products for their students. A portion of the class time was devoted to hands-on opportunity with a sampling of the products. Students were engaged throughout the activity and very excited to have the chance to review and become more familiar with the many types of educational materials!

Meeting in the Colorado Mountains!

APH’s Mary Robinson, Kerry Isham, Janie Blome, Jeanette Wicker, Loana Mason, and Bob Brasher provided an APH presence at the Council for Exceptional Children 2012 Convention and Expo, April 11 through April 14. The convention drew approximately 6,000 international attendees, many of whom made it a point to stop by the APH booth to try out products such as Best for a Nest, Tactile Town, the CVI Complexity Sequences Kit, DRAFTSMAN, MathBuilders: Unit 6, Life Science Tactile Graphics, the Mini-Lite Box and Pegs and Peg Board, and Sense of Science: Astronomy. Kerry also made a presentation on "New Developments in Appropriate Lighting for Individuals with Low Vision," where she discussed the electromagnetic spectrum, visible light, recommendations for appropriate lighting environments, and the kinds of light that are most harmful to the eye. Participants then got an opportunity to apply their knowledge in an interactive group exercise at the end of this session.

Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series

By adding braille embossing to your business cards, you will not only make your contact information accessible to braille readers, but you will also leaving a lasting impression on the community at large.

The Impressor is a braille business card embosser available from the American Printing House that is similar in design to the stamp used by notary publics. The labeler is made of metal with an acrylic base for one-hand operation. The metal die, which embosses braille on your card, is custom-made with your information. You can emboss up to four lines of braille with 13 braille cells per line onto a standard 3.5 x 2 inch business card. Insert a business card into the embosser, squeeze the handle, and your card is brailled instantly!

Business card information is customized at the time of ordering, and can be easily revised later for an additional fee. Please note that this product requires special handling and cannot be ordered online. Please call us at 800-223-1839 to initiate your order. This product is not available with Federal Quota funds.

If you have any suggestions for other products you would like to see highlighted in this monthly feature, please send your comments to Monica Turner at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

From the Field:

Make a Difference through Research Participation

APH supports and encourages your participation in the following research studies conducted by universities across the country. Contact information for each study is provided.

  • Ben Davison, Human Centered Computing Ph.D. Student [featured in photo during his recent visit to APH] with the Georgia Tech Sonification Lab (GTSL), invites math teachers and teachers of the visually impaired who work with blind and low vision students on number lines and graphs to participate in a research program. GTSL would like to understand teachers’ particular teaching situations and see how they can assist them and their students with math and science questions based on the Common Core Standards.

    Since 2010, the GTSL has worked with teachers in Georgia to design technologies that will give visually impaired students the tools to make graphs independently, while only requiring everyday computers. GTSL has developed several software solutions, including the Graph and Number Line Input and Exploration (GNIE) system; their research is now expanding to reach more classrooms. Several studies are available that teachers can choose to participate in. Please visit for more information and to join the participant contact list. You may also contact Ben Davison at or 404-894-7314.

  • Kimarie Whetstone, doctoral student at Capella University, is conducting a study on the current uses and accessibility of podcasts in online college courses. The current uses of audio podcasts and the accessibility of audio podcasts in U.S. online college courses as perceived by learners with vision loss is unknown. For that reason, visually impaired college students are invited to complete a survey and share their perspective. A link to the online survey on Survey Gizmo is below. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and will be anonymous. Please pass this announcement on to visually impaired college students who you know or forward to any student listservs that you are on:
  • Tilly Steele, a doctoral candidate under the direction of Dr. Sandra Lewis and Dr. Amy Guerette in the School of Teacher Education’s Program in Visual Impairment at Florida State University, is investigating the instructional practices of teachers of students with visual impairment as they relate to tactile graphics. The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which teachers of students with visual impairment provide instruction in tactile graphics, as well as the instructional curricula that may be used during this instruction. Ms. Steele is recruiting teachers to participate in this study. The following link allows those interested in participating to gain access to the study and survey:
  • The Knowledge Discovery Lab in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University is conducting a survey on flowchart accessibility. They are currently building and testing prototypes of a system that can take an image of a flowchart and convert it for presentation and navigation in an accessible manner using a touch interface. The survey below will help them ensure that their system is relevant to real users with real world problems instead of simply addressing an academic novelty. Feel free to widely distribute this survey that can be accessed with the following link:

USABA Announces New Sponsor—Vanda Pharmaceuticals and

USABA announces their newest sponsor, Vanda Pharmaceuticals and, who are conducting an awareness campaign for a sleep-wake disorder commonly experienced by people who are blind. “Like” them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and check out their website.

If you are—or someone you know is—totally blind and suffers from irregular sleep patterns, USABA wants to hear from you. The study does not require any overnight stay in a lab and participants are compensated for their time and travel expenses. For more information on the clinical trials and to complete a survey to better understand the condition and determine if you may be eligible to participate, call 888/389-7033, Email email hidden; JavaScript is required or visit

"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!

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

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Karen Olson, the Board of Education and Services in Windsor, Connecticut, replacing Jeanette Haines.

Rosa Gomez, the Orientation Center for the Blind in Albany, California, replacing Henry Leng.

Jeanne Prickett,the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, replacing Daniel Hutto.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


May 3-5, 2012
AFB Leadership Conference/Florida AER;
St. Pete Beach, FL

May 4, 2012
Webcast: BookPort Product Training;
presented from APH in Louisville, KY

May 9-11, 2012
Training the Trainers: Teaching and Supporting Users of Access Technology;
NFB Jernigan Institute in Baltimore, MD

May 17-18, 2012
CIP Event: APH Product Training at California State University;
Huntington Beach, CA

May 24, 2012
Government Event—APH Product Demonstration: Diversity at University Hospital;
Louisville, KY


June 7, 2012
CIP Event: University of South Carolina;
Spartanburg, SC

June 14, 2012
Webcast: Refreshabraille Product Training;
presented from APH in Louisville, KY

June 14-15, 2012
NIP Event: Adaptive PE with Lauren Lieberman; North Carolina

June 15-16, 2012
CVI – Visions of Change Conference;
Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children in Pittsburgh, PA

June 15-17, 2012
Family Café, The 2012;
Orlando, FL

June 18, 2012
CIP Event: North Carolina Central University;
Durham, NC

June 22, 2012
Western Michigan University Product Showcase;
Kalamazoo, MI

June 22-23, 2012
National Braille Challenge 2012;
Braille Institute in Losa Angeles, CA

June 24-30, 2012
Camp Abilities;
SUNY in Brockport, NY

June 25-29, 2012
Building on Patterns: Planning the Next Phase;
at APH in Louisville, KY

June 26, 2012
2012 National Conference on Student Assessment: Learning, Instruction, and Assessment for the Next Decade;
Minneapolis, MN

June 28-July 1, 2012
Visions 2012 National Conference;
Minneapolis, MN

June 30 – July 5, 2012
NFB 2012;
Dallas, TX


July 7-14, 2012
ACB 2012;
Louisville, KY

July 11, 2012
Webcast: Presentation on Technology Products in Collaboration with Hadley School for the Blind and APH;
from APH in Louisville, KY

July 12-15, 2012
NOAH’s 14th National Conference;
St. Louis, MO

July 17-22, 2012
AER International Conference 2012;
Bellevue, Washington

July 27-29, 2012
Families Connecting with Families;
Newton, MA


August 20-23, 2012
Blinded Veteran’s Association 67th National Convention (BVA 2012);
Galveston, TX


September 12-15, 2012
Envisions 2012 Conference;
the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark in St. Louis, MO

September 18-19, 2012
Kentucky Office for the Blind Assistive Technology Expo and Conference 2012 AT Odyssey “A New Vision”;
Louisville, KY

September 21-22, 2012
NIP Event: Adapted PE;
Bowling Green, KY

September 29, 2012
2012 Indiana Vision Expo;
the Indiana State Library, IN

APH Spring Fever Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Spring Fever Sale 2012, April 1—June 30. As always, first come, first served.

NEW! VisioBook: Portable Electronic Magnifier and Distance Viewer

1-03913-00 — $3,000.00

VisioBook IS available with federal Quota funds.

VisioBook—view your world wherever you are!

First in its class of portable electronic magnifiers, VisioBook® is a high quality, full-color reading device for visually impaired users of all ages.


  • Use VisioBook for magnification, distance viewing, and as a mirror
  • Compact and light (less than eight pounds!)
  • 12-inch HD full-color widescreen monitor with LED-backlight
  • Intuitive operation with clearly marked buttons
  • Viewing modes: 5 reversible color combinations, full natural colors, automatic focus can be switched on and off
  • Smart folding mechanism with 3 safe articulated joints
  • Aesthetically pleasing space-saving design
  • HD camera: 1366 x 720 pixels, for both close range and distance views
  • External power adapter/battery charger
  • Lithium-ion battery, 5+ hours operating time
  • Only 2" thick when folded!

Use your portable VisioBook everywhere!

  • at work or home
  • at school
  • in the library
  • while traveling

VisioBook Specifications

  • Magnification: 1.8–30X with dynamic contrast adjustment and picture optimizing control settings
  • Dimensions: 12.2 x 13.4 x 2.1 inches folded; 12.2 x 13.4 x 19.9 inches unfolded
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs. with power adapter

Manufactured by BAUM,

Distribution and service in the U.S. through APH,

SHIPPING CHARGE: All shipments will incur actual UPS shipping rates based on the destination. Signature required for delivery. Not eligible for Free Matter for the Blind shipping.

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.

Just Grace Goes Green
by Charise Mericle Harper: T-N1832-40 — $22.00
Grace can do a lot of things … but can she save the planet? Or at the very least, can she help her best friend Mimi get her favorite stuffed animal back? Lots of exciting things are happening to Grace and her friends. Most exciting of all, Mimi’s older cousin Gwen is coming to stay with Mimi, and Miss Lois’s class is going green! Grades 2-4. *(AR QUIZ #130420, BL 5.2, Pts. 3.0)

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: A Fable
by John Boyne: T-N1830-50 — $47.00
Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called "Out-With" in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence. Grades 6-9. *(AR Quiz # 109203, BL 5.8, Pts. 7.0)

The Black Sheep and the Hidden Beauty
by Donna Kauffman: T-N1837-00 — $96.00
In this companion to The Black Sheep and the Princess, Rafe Santiago, of the Unholy Trinity rescue organization, suspects new stable manager Elena Caulfield is hiding something and needs help. Meanwhile, their attraction for each other quickly builds. Adult Reader.

The Day of the Locust
by Nathanael West: T-N1838-30 — $50.50
Formerly a fine arts student at Yale, Tod Hackett hopes for success in Hollywood as a set designer. Through his apartment neighbor, aspiring actress Faye Greener, Tod meets a cast of seedy characters and has a series of misadventures. Adult Reader.

Blood and Circuses: A Phryne Fisher Mystery, Book 6
by Kerry Greenwood: T-N1836-70 — $62.00
Australia, 1928. Detective Phryne Fisher’s former love interest Alan Lee asks Phryne to investigate vandalism at the circus, including poisoned animals, sabotaged tightropes — and murder. When ex-performer Amelia Parkes is arrested, Phryne goes undercover at the carnival to expose the truth. Adult Reader.

*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
  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Kate Herndon, Project Manager, Research
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Communications Support Specialist
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Becky Snider, Coordinator of Public Affairs
  • Monica Turner, Field Services Representative
  • Jeanette Wicker, Core Curriculum Consultant, Research

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

Visit APH on

Read our blog: Fred’s Head from APH.

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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