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APH News: May 2014

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

U.S. Reviews APH Products!

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Back Row: Jim Olson (CO), Derrick Smith (AL), Elizabeth Shook (Dept. of Ed.), Cay Holbrook, Chair (BC), Kim Zebehazy (BC), Martin Monson (TN);

Front Row: Naomi Brahim (KY), Joe Petrosko (KY), Dianne Wormsley (NC), Kristie Smith (TX), and Annette Reichman, Director/Liaison, Office of Special Institutions, U.S. Department of Education

For the 8th time, the US Department of Education’s Expert Review Panel met on April 7-8 for their annual review of new products. The group, co-chaired by Dr. Cay Holbrook and Dr. Kim Zebehazy, reviewed 10 products released in 2013. Product development was evaluated for Relevance, Research, and Utility. APH received its highest ratings to date!

Announcing the Winners of the Spring 2014 Unforgettable APH Star Contest!

This spring we received fun and informative videos from the states of California, Minnesota, and Tennessee.

We are pleased to announce that “Mario the GR8T” with his video, Feel n’ Peel Time, is the first place winner. Mario demonstrated how easy it is to be independent with a bit of help from the Feel n’ Peel Stickers from APH. Enjoy your $150.00 cash prize!

Abbi Garcia and her team won second place—a $75 cash prize. The Garcia team presented a demonstration of the Textured Sorting Circles and Shapes.

Saredo and the “Discovery Dolphins” were not far behind, and won third place with their video APH Makes My Day(s), featuring the APH Classroom Calendar Kit and Individual Calendar Kit. The Dolphins receive a $50.00 cash prize.

Each team also receives a $25.00 gift card. Congratulations to all!

To watch the award-winning videos and learn more about the Unforgettable APH Star Contest, visit:

Verbal View™ Tutorial Sale!

The popular Verbal View™ Tutorial Series is currently on sale through the APH shopping site. Note that while the Verbal View™ for Microsoft® Word® and Microsoft® Excel® programs are titled 2007, not much has changed through the 2013 versions. There are a few new features, but the information in these two tutorials is great; and they are a steal at $8.00! Verbal View™ Office Ribbon Bar is another great tutorial. It gives you an overview of how to interact with the Office Ribbon Bar using a screen reader and keyboard commands. The tutorials come on a CD-ROM with files in DAISY 3.0 full-text, full-audio, Microsoft® Word®, HTML, contracted braille, and text file formats. If you have an older version of Microsoft® Windows® operating system, check out the other Verbal View™ tutorials that are on sale as well at

Braille Plus 18 Unleashed!

T-Mobile® USA Inc. is making it easy for you to test your Braille Plus 18 and any other tablet device that works on a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) network. Just take your Braille Plus 18 into a local T-Mobile® store and show them the SIM card slot on your device. T-Mobile® USA Inc. will give you the proper size SIM card and a phone number free of charge. With the free account you can browse the Web and email up to 200 MB worth of transferred data. Each month you will receive another 200 MB of data to use; any unused amount does not roll over. You cannot go over the allotted amount as it just stops working until it is reloaded the next month, so there are never any fees. This is a great, safe, and free way to try out the Braille Plus 18 on the Internet. Find your local T-Mobile® store or more information at this website:

O&M Book Review Opportunity!

APH seeks O&M Specialists to review portions (four chapters) of an electronic book entitled, O&M for Wheelchair Users. The content covers manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, and scooters. The book has embedded videos that feature adults who receive services through a rehabilitation program. Reviewers should have previous or current experience working with individuals who use a wheelchair or scooter and have visual impairment or blindness. Review period will be June and July.

System requirements are as follows:

  • Windows®: Internet Explorer 9+, Google Chrome™ 18+
  • Mac®: Safari 6+, Google Chrome™ 18+
  • iPad®, iPhone®: Safari®

If interested, send an email message to Denise Snow (email hidden; JavaScript is required).

Take the MyPlate – TGIL Survey*

Ten quick questions.

Have you been following MyPlate on Fred’s Head and Twitter? Are you looking for new ways to teach nutrition? Take the APH MyPlate-TGIL Follow-up Survey to let us know what you need and to learn about instructional options. If you took the original survey, we want to hear from you again. If you missed the first survey, please join us on this one:

(*TGIL – APH’s Tactile Graphics Image Library)

More Follow-up Surveys!

Now that you’ve had a couple months with our new products, Spangle Tangle and DNA/RNA Kit, tell us what you think about them!

NIP EVENT: Visions of Change Coming to Illinois!

APH and the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired are pleased to announce an upcoming National Instructional Partnerships (NIP) event, “Cortical Vision Impairment: Visions of Change.” The event will be held Friday, August 8, 2014 at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired in Jacksonville, IL.

Beth Ramella, Director of Outreach Services at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, will present the workshop. Beth is a member of Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy’s CVI Mentor Project in Pennsylvania, and has worked collaboratively with Dr. Roman-Lantzy to develop a model for capacity building for children with CVI at the Western Pennsylvania School.

There is no cost for the training. Registration information, lodging arrangements and other details can be found at, or contact Gail Olson at email hidden; JavaScript is required, or call 217-479-4318.

APH Major Traveling Exhibit Headed to Michigan!

“Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired,” our major traveling exhibit, is headed to Ann Arbor, Michigan this spring. Hosted by the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled at the Ann Arbor District Library, the exhibit will open Friday, May 2, on the third floor of the downtown branch and run through June 25th. A series of programs throughout May and June in conjunction with the exhibit will include an appearance by APH Museum Director Mike Hudson on Sunday, May 4. Mike will discuss “Why is Helen Keller at the Water Pump the Only Person Who Was Blind That Most Americans Know?” For a full program schedule, see

“Child” explores classroom tools and techniques, through the lens of the educational journey of author and activist Helen Keller (1880-1968). The design is accented by touch tables, audio labels narrated by Talking Book legend Mitzi Friedlander, quotes from the ever quotable Ms. Keller, and unique tactile reproductions of early books and maps. The show is available to travel to museums, libraries, residential schools, and other community centers. Details on hosting the exhibit are available at For additional information call Mike Hudson at 502-899-2365 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Talking Book "Jukebox" Now Playing Online!

Randy Atcher, who read over six hundred titles for APH, now in the Narrator Jukebox.

Over the last several months, APH has launched new sections of our Museum web pages. These pages provide a wealth of new online content that supplements our growing physical museum collection. We’re excited to launch the final of the four new sections, a narrator "jukebox" that lets you hear samples of some of our most well-known narrators.

Other new sections include the Virtual Museum Tour, the Historic APH Annual Reports Archive, and the Historic Printing Presses Galleries, one of which focuses on braille presses. Drop by our website and give the jukebox a spin!

APH Reaches Out to COSB Outreach Coordinators Forum

Approximately 35 outreach coordinators and outreach staff from schools for the blind around the country were in Louisville on April 23–26 for the annual Council of Schools for the Blind (COSB) Outreach Coordinators Forum. Participants were treated to a variety of programs and agencies in town as they met at VIPS (Visually Impaired Preschool Services), APH, and the Kentucky School for the Blind. Topics on the agenda included a matrix of state services, planning for the implementation of Unified English Braille Code (UEBC), caseload analysis and more. While at APH, conference attendees learned some APH history, toured our facility, and met with Project Leaders from the Research Department to learn about exciting current and upcoming products.

Other highlights included a trip to the Louisville Glassworks factory, dinner and shopping on Bardstown Road, the Kentucky Derby Fest-A-Ville at the city’s Waterfront Park, and a Friday night reception at APH, capped off with the group’s traditional silent auction!

Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series

Teaching Touch Kit by Lois Harrell helps parents or teachers encourage young children (ages 4 to 7 years) who are blind to become active explorers and readers of tactile graphics. Teaching Touch is written in a style that is accessible to parents and non-professionals to show how learning through touch is different from learning through sight. It emphasizes the need for concept development that’s based on a rich background of hands-on exploration of the environment. Various skills that contribute to exploration and appreciation of tactile graphics are addressed in the included booklet. These include tracking, searching, verbal description, and the use of symbols.

The large print and braille editions of the manuals are available as a free-of-charge download – you may print or emboss them as needed using the downloaded files. Visit our downloadable manuals page: The "Moving on to Pages" activity guidebook and the accompanying "Busy Sheets" tactile worksheets must be purchased as part of the kit.

There are 16 tactile worksheets included with this kit. They range from very simple shape tracing and line tracking activities to more complex activities that require the ability to locate a tactile symbol within an array of different symbols and textures. The tactile graphics provided use three different production methods on three types of paper to allow exposure to a variety of graphics.

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.

Around the House:

APH Research Department Receives Grant to Develop “Sports Courts”

Andrew Walker, from the United States Tennis Association, Kentucky, presents a check to Karen Poppe (Project Leader) and Cecilia Peredo (Grant Writer) to help develop the Tennis Court component of “Sports Courts.” Sports Courts, co-developed by Dr. Lauren Lieberman, will be used by thousands of school children who are blind or visually impaired across the United States to teach the concepts, rules and strategies of 16 different games and sports.

Accessible Tests Department Receives Foundation Gift

Our sincere thanks to the Miller Family Foundation for their $8,000 award to APH’s Accessible Tests Department. This award is being used to purchase assistive technology (AT) devices and software commonly used by students who are blind or visually impaired. APH will analyze the AT devices and software, such as refreshable braille displays, screen readers, and embossers, to determine if high-stakes computer-based assessments are accessible via these devices and accurately represent information on the computer screen. High-stakes assessments are used to make important decisions about students such as whether or not they can advance a grade level or enter higher education. The Miller Family Foundation’s gift will make a difference in students’ ability to demonstrate their knowledge in state standardized assessments.

International Fulbright Scholars visit APH

For the first time, the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana was selected to host a Fulbright Enrichment Seminar for international scholars. The group was made up of researchers and professors who are distinguished in their careers. The topic of the seminar was Strengthening Communities through Diversity and Action.

On April 14, we were delighted that a portion of the group chose to visit APH, learn about our work, and tour the facility. APH’s Larry Skutchan and Ken Perry demonstrated some of our new products and discussed what’s ahead for assistive technology. One member of the group decided to spend the whole day at APH because her field of exploration relates directly to what we do here. Esthir Lemi Petropoulou, of Greece, is working on a project titled “Haptic Diaries: a tacticle feedback technology for knowledge-based interaction”. and

Happenings Around the House

In the month of April, ‘Happenings,’ our new webcast & podcast series, explored the APH Museum collection of math tools. Mike Hudson, Museum Director, showed Maria Delgado a variety of slates, abacuses and mechanical to modern calculators.

Two weeks later, Ken Perry, the Project Leader for the Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator, shared with us the information behind the creation of this powerful calculator. He demonstrated its graphing and other advanced capabilities.

In May, join Maria Delgado in Happenings Around The House live on Wednesday, May 14th and May 28th. This month “Happenings” will focus on tactile maps, and how tactile products are developed.

To view the list of presenters, the schedule, and all the recordings and podcast feed, please go to: To subscribe to the podcast feed, click or type the following link into your device:

And look for the new Happenings logo, which features an etching of the original 1883 APH building, which looked very much like a large Victorian mansion!

If you wish to be notified of upcoming webcasts, please send an email to: email hidden; JavaScript is required

APH on the Road

Feeling The Love in Philly!

APH was feeling the love in the City of Brotherly Love in April, at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) 2014 Convention and Expo. Thousands of special education teachers, administrators, researchers, professors and students from around the world passed through the exhibit hall and many stopped by the APH booth to learn about our products. Teachers were fascinated by samples of a braille cell and experimented with writing their names in braille.

Many of those who visited the booth enjoyed learning about products such as the All-In-One Board: Student Model, the Spangle Tangle Play and Explore Kit, and STACS. They were impressed to find so many products useful for students across the disability spectrum, and not just for students who are blind and visually impaired. We look forward to seeing those teachers and many more next year in San Diego!

Indiana State University Technology Weekend Seminar

On April 5th, APH Field Services Representative Kerry Isham presented on APH technology products, and helped lead a hands-on session as part of a technology weekend seminar for Indiana State University graduate students. The program, developed by instructor Janet Ledyard, took place in Indianapolis, and approximately 15 students participated. Kerry’s afternoon-long presentation included an overview of APH and such products as the Miniguide US, VisioBook, Wilson Digital Voice Recorder, Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator, Book Port Plus and iBill Currency Scanner. The attendees were excited to learn about these technology devices, and were able to take away useful information about APH products and services.

Hot CIP Event at the University of Arizona!

As part of APH’s Collaborative Instructional Partnership (CIP) Program, on April 15th, Field Services Representative Kerry Isham presented to Dr. Irene Topor’s very enthusiastic University of Arizona methods class in Tucson. The presentation began with an overview of APH, our products and our services. Following that was a discussion of APH products for the core curriculum and the expanded core curriculum. Then everyone enjoyed some hands-on time with products (including Setting the Stage for Tactile Understanding, Paint Pot Palette, Touch ‘em All Baseball, and the VisioBook) while participating in a group exercise. After that, the students’ knowledge of APH products was tested in a spirited game of “APH Products Jeopardy.” Lots of fun and learning took place as the dedicated university students eagerly listened, asked questions and tried out products.

From the Field:

Dr. Sam Genensky Memorial Video Magnifier Award Announcement

The Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) announces the Dr. Sam Genensky Video Magnifier Memorial Awards. A total of 3 video magnifiers will be awarded to children and adults.

To read the award guidelines and complete an on-line application, please visit their website: Applications may be submitted through July 1, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST.

Treasures From the APH Libraries

The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to blindness in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, arrangements can be made to use the materials on-site. In addition, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will continue to make materials available through the online catalog at

From the Barr Library: Gowman, Alan G. The War Blind in American Social Structure. New York: American Foundation for the Blind, 1957.

This sociological study examines the extent to which society’s stereotypes and ignorance shaped the encounters of visually impaired WWII veterans. The discussion centers on the process of rehabilitation of the war-blinded, who shared a similar age range and source of disability. For sighted readers, the most informative chapter is the one that contains interviews about how the blind view themselves in relation to their occupational adjustments, independence, and tolerance of the majority in light of their status as a minority group. While his findings have a broader resonance, Gowman’s rationale for focusing on those in the military is rooted in his assumption that attitudes toward and adjustment to blindness are more acutely experienced when the injury is newly sustained in an accident or combat.

From the Migel Library: Clunk, Joseph F. Open Letter to My Newly Blinded Friend in the Armed Forces. Washington, D.C.: National Society for the Blind, n.d.

At only 36 pages, this booklet manages to discuss a considerable range of information concerning WWII veterans who had been recently blinded. Some of the more difficult and profound guidance is given first. The author begins with the advice that the real difficulties are in the fear and panic that come with being newly blinded, rather than the actual loss of sight. Some of the more practical information deals with orientation and mobility, career options and a list of common occupations, and varied daily living skills. Clunk discusses marriage and family life, personal appearance, and even gives recreational advice, such as ensuring that smoking cigarettes can still be pleasurable when the smoke can no longer be seen. This book has been digitized for Internet Archive at:

APH is working with the Internet Archive to digitize portions of the M.C. Migel Library. Search the phrase “full text” to find these items at The digitized texts are available in a variety of formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, etc.

Contact Library staff: email hidden; JavaScript is required, 800-223-1839, ext. 705

APH Hosts VisionServe Alliance

Steve Buttleman, official bugler of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, inaugurated the opening session of VisionServe Alliance 2014. Buttleman played a rousing "Call to the Post" and "My Old Kentucky Home." The American Printing House for the Blind co-hosted the 2014 VisionServe Alliance conference, along with Visually Impaired Preschool Services. VisionServe Alliance is a consortium of Executive Directors/CEOs of 501(c)(3) nonprofits throughout the country that provide services to people with vision loss. We are honored to have hosted this diverse group of passionate leaders in the field of blindness.

Consultants Assist APH with Future Delivery Plans

Arnie Grossblatt, Laura Fillmore, and Steve Carton, from Open Book Systems, are consulting with APH on the Resources with Enhanced Accessibility for Learning Plan (REAL). REAL is designed to improve APH’s delivery of accessible educational materials.

Repairing the Perkins/APH Brailler

The new NON-WARRANTY repair policy for the Perkins/APH Brailler is now in place.

In the past, Perkins/APH Braillers (1-00800-00) have been repaired, at Perkins, at no charge to our customers irrespective of whether the unit was in or out of the stated one year warranty.

There will now be a $135.00 non-refundable assessment fee for units outside the one-year warranty. After the Perkins assessment, APH will be informed of the required repairs and cost estimate, and in turn we will notify you requesting your approval for Perkins to proceed. If you approve, the repairs will be done and the braillewriter will be returned to APH for our quality control check before being returned to you.

Perkins tells us that the minimum repair fee will be $205.00, which includes the assessment fee. Other repairs may be more, depending on the difficulty of repair and parts required. You may use Federal Quota funds to cover the assessment fee and any repairs. Please contact Marsha Overstreet at email hidden; JavaScript is required if you have questions about brailler repairs.

We Want "Your Two Cents" About APH Products!

After you’ve used an APH product for a while, we’d like to know what you think! What did you like? What could be improved? Submit product feedback using our handy online feedback form. Your feedback will be passed on to the product developer or other appropriate APH staff. We’ll use YOUR opinions when we evaluate our products.

Give us your two cents today!

Social Media Spotlight

Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!

Have you checked out APH’s Flickr page lately? There are over 500 photos to look through! Come check them out, comment, and share!

"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, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


May 1-2, 2014
NBA Spring Professional Development Conference 2014;
Independence, OH

May 7, 2014
Dakota AER 2014;
Grand Forks, ND

May 8, 2014
SESC KY Special Ed Cooperative – Cadre Meeting;
London, KY

May 12-16, 2014
Appropriation: Various Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill as scheduled;
Washington DC

May 17, 2014
WCBVI Family Conference;
Green Bay, Wisconsin


June 7, 2014
KSB Alumni;
Louisville, KY

June 11-15, 2014
RESNA 2014;
Indianapolis, IN

June 19-20, 2014
Visions 2014;
Denver, CO

June 25-27, 2014
CCSSO National Conference 2014;
New Orleans, LA

June 27-29, 2014
West Virginia AER 2014;
Terra Alta, WV


July 1-6, 2014
NFB 2014;
Orlando, FL

July 10-19, 2014
ACB 2014;
Las Vegas, NV

July 20-23, 2014
OSEP Directors Project Conference;
Washington, DC

July 21-23, 2014
2014 ACTS Conference: Engines of Change: Powering Current and Future Instructional Resources;
Indianapolis, IN.

July 24, 2014
Portland State University Training;
Portland, OR

July 30-August 3, 2014
AER International Conference 2014;
San Antonio, TX


August 8, 2014
NIP Event: ISVI-P;
Jacksonville, Illinois


September 27, 2014
Indiana Vision Expo 2014;
Indiana State Library in IN

APH Spring Fever Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Spring Fever Sale 2014, 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 several weeks for delivery.

Best Friends in Summer
by Mary Bard: T-N1869-60 –$49.00
This sequel to Best Friends begins with the wedding of Suzie’s mother and Co Co’s father. The twelve-year-old girls, now sisters, leave to spend the summer on a ranch in Golden Valley, riding horses and making new friends. Grades 4-7.

And Then Everything Unraveled
by Jennifer Sturman : T-N1869-90 — $56.00
After the ship that Delia’s mother is aboard disappears in Antarctica, Delia goes to live with her two aunts in Manhattan. Refusing to believe her mom is dead, Delia searches for clues and discovers that her mother was the victim of a conspiracy. Grades 7-12. *(AR Quiz No.138455, BL 6.4 Pts 9.0)

Railroads and the American People
by H. Roger Grant: T-N1977-40 — $182.50
History professor explores the development of railroads and their impact on American culture. Focuses on four key areas: trains, stations, communities, and legacy. Includes analyses of line closings, wrecks, and corruption relating to the railroad business.

Dear Life: Stories
by Alice Munro: T-N1977-50 — $114.00
Fourteen short stories by Man Booker International Prize-winner Munro, including four semi-autobiographic tales set in Ontario. In "Train" a war veteran returns and moves in with an older farm woman for decades. In "Haven" a young teenager lives with relatives while her parents teach abroad. Some adult content.

Death by Water: A Phyrne Fisher Mystery
by: Kerry Greenwood: T-N1978-20 — $100.50
A cruise line hires PI Phryne Fisher to quietly identify a thief who has been robbing wealthy passengers aboard the company’s ships. Phryne uses jewelry as bait — and uncovers shipboard romances, jazz, blackmail, and attempted murder. Some adult content.

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

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Monica Vaught-Compton, Project Consultant, Research
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Kate Herndon, Assistant Director, Research
  • Micheal Hudson, Director, APH Museum
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Cecilia Peredo, Grants Director, Development
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Chris Prentice, APH Business Manager
  • Monica Turner, Field Services Representative

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

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

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