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APH News November 2003

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

A Joyous Annual Meeting…

Dr. Kent Cullers

On Thursday evening, October 16, Dr. Kent Cullers enthralled the second largest audience to attend an APH Annual Meeting with his keynote address. The noted physicist’s presentation, "The Joy of The Journey," set a special tone for the three-day event at which APH progress was shared, advice gathered, product training provided, InSight artists celebrated, and heroes honored. Attendees were touched with laughter and tears as Susan Spungin accepted the APH Wings of Freedom Award, Sally Mangold accepted the Creative Use of Braille Award, and Billy Brookshire accepted the Zickel Award for Product Development. The event culminated in a joyous ruckus called the ROSWELL ROADHOUSE that just about lifted off from the 16th floor on Saturday evening.

Sally Mangold accepts her award from APH's Will EvansSusan Spungin accepts her award from APH President Tuck Tinsley

Thanks to all who were able to participate. Mark your calendars NOW for the 136th Annual Meeting to take place at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, October 13 – 17, 2004.

While in Louisville, Dr. Cullers was interviewed by LEO Magazine. Here is the link to the article: archives/102903/feature.shtml

For a full listing of APH InSight Art winners, please use the following link:

Photos: Top-Dr Kent Cullers; bottom left-Sally Mangold accepts her award from APH’s Will Evans; bottom right-Susan Spungin accepts her award from APH President Tuck Tinsley.

APH Marks Another Record Sales Year, Thanks to All of You

In 2003 Ex Officio Trustees enjoyed more money for the purchase of products for their students than at any time in our history. Miraculously trustees were able to spend over 97% of those allocated funds by the September 30 deadline.

APH Business Manager Tony Grantz, put it this way:

"As was the case in 2002, APH recorded the biggest sales year in history. Orders again flooded APH during September with Federal Quota customers spending their balances. The order volume tripled that of a regular sales month. Forty-nine new products were introduced during the year with many more anticipated in the first quarter of fiscal 2004. Let’s congratulate each other on these superior results. Again you’ve proven that by working together we can accomplish so much."

Welcome New Advisors

APH is advised by two important Ex Officio Trustee committees. At the Formal Trustee Meeting, held during Annual Meeting, the Nominations Committee, chaired by Marybeth Dean (CT) and assisted by Bernadette Kappan (PA) and Warren Figueiredo (LA), announced the following slate which was approved by those gathered:

  • Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC)
    Chair: Kathy Brown (MI), Alternate: Rosie Pridgen (MS)
    New Members: Jean Small (ME), Robb Farrell (MD)
  • Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC)
    Chair: Lou Tutt (CO), Alternate: Teresa Lacy (AL)
    New Members: Karen Blankenship (IA), Carmen Suminski (ND)

For full committee membership information, with addresses, check the Field Services section of the APH web site.

Workshop for State Assessment Personnel:
Making Tests Accessible for Students with Visual Impairments

abstract cartoon of a lecture

The Accessible Tests Department will host a workshop for state assessment personnel, January 14-15, 2004. The purpose of this workshop is to provide information on test development and adaptation to help ensure accessibility for students with visual impairments so that "No Child is Left Behind."

Critical issues in providing accessible tests will be addressed, including a focus on braille and large print formats. Instructors, workshop materials, local transportation, and meals (on workshop days) will be provided. Participants are responsible for airfare and hotel accommodations.

For more information, to register, or to suggest others who should be notified, call or email Gage Brogan at 800/223-1839, Ext. 280, or You may also visit our web page for more information:

This workshop will be limited to 25 participants. Please share this announcement with your state assessment personnel. First come, first served.

NEW! 2003 Survey of State Assessment and Accountability Initiatives: Inclusion of Students with Visual Impairment

cartoon of a pen lying on a test paper

Two versions of this survey have been developed. One version is to be completed by state assessment and/or special education personnel. The second version is to be completed by administrators and teachers of students who are visually impaired.

To participate in this critical survey, call 800/223-1839, Ext. 316, or email Kris Scott at, or visit the APH web site ( and click the Accessible Tests Department. The surveys are offered in regular print and disk, and will be available on the web site by November 7. Your involvement is important. Please encourage your colleagues to participate. Results will be reported at conferences as well as posted on the web site.

APH Project Leaders Present Games and Toys

Audience members interacting with games at the presentation.

The Research Department’s Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, and Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, recently conducted a presentation at the Unity Conference held at the Tennessee School for the Blind. The primary audience for the presentation included over fifty teachers of the visually impaired from across the state. The presentation focused on interactive, original games designed by, and available from, APH. Possible adaptations of commercially available games, using selected APH products, were also highlighted.

Photo: Audience members interacting with games at the presentation.

The Return of Basic Research

At the 135th Annual Meeting and other gatherings there seems to be a renewed interest in basic research. The Research Department’s Eleanor Pester, Braille Project Leader, reports that in the past year, several new projects in the area of braille are now in progress.

The ABC Braille Study is observing and collecting data on beginning braille readers, some being introduced to contracted braille and some being introduced to uncontracted braille. The ABC Braille Study is beginning the 2nd year of a 5-year study. This project could impact the way braille reading is taught in the future.

The Braille Production Study will compare the accuracy and speed of young braille readers with braille produced in four different ways: 1) computer generated on 100 lb. paper; 2) press generated on 80 lb. paper; 3) press generated on plastic (polycarbonate); and, 4) the tactile vision process (raised ink on paper).
The research question: Is there a difference in braille accuracy and speed among these methods by young braille readers? If there is no difference, then decisions on production method can be based on other factors, particularly cost and speed of production. The Braille Production Study will be completed during this school year.

Although product development is certainly exciting, it is basic research that makes our products most effective. The support of the Trustees and others working in the field to enable us to carry out these projects is really appreciated.

The New Louis and AMP Interfaces


Over the past several months, Christine Anderson, Special Projects Consultant and former Director of Resource Services, and Maria Delgado, Louis Field Services representative, have led an effort to upgrade the interfaces for Louis and AMP. Aside from making Louis more user-friendly, this upgrade is necessary to better support speech and low vision users.

The improved support is only possible, however, for searchers with Internet Explorer (IE) 6 or higher or Netscape Navigator 7 or higher. Because of this, searchers using older versions of IE or Navigator cannot use the new interface.

We are now working on a solution that will allow those who have not yet upgraded to the current versions of IE and Navigator to continue to use the older Louis interface until they upgrade. Those who use IE 6 or Netscape Navigator 7 will be able to use the new Louis interface. Stay tuned for details as they develop.

No Tricks (but plenty of Treats) at Product Training in Maryland!

A monstrous-sized group of 90+ vision and rehabilitation teachers came to learn about ENVISION, Loving Me, Teen Scene: Portraits of Success, the EZ Track Series, Book Port, and other APH products when Sandi Baker provided product training in Maryland. The Maryland Steering Committee and AER Conference were held at The Meeting House in Columbia, MD on Thursday, Oct 30. There were no goblins or ghouls in attendance, but Halloween (candy) treats were available for all!

Callahan Museum Wins Again

Carol Tobe accepts the award from Terry Davis (left) and Charles Bryan.

A Certificate of Commendation was received by the Callahan Museum from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) for the APH traveling exhibition, IN TOUCH WITH KNOWLEDGE: The Educational History of Blind People. The award was presented to Museum Director, Carol Tobe at the Awards Banquet by Terry Davis, President and CEO of AASLH, and Charles Bryan, President and CEO of the Virginia Historical Society and Chair of AASLH.

Photo: Carol Tobe accepts the award from Terry Davis (left) and Charles Bryan.

"Making It Count: Math Skills for Students with Visual Impairment"

It will be standing room only when APH presents "Making It Count: Math Skills for Students With Visual Impairment", in Springfield, MO November 6 -7. This National Instructional Partnerships event, featuring Susan Osterhaus, will be held in partnership with Dr. Chris Craig, Southwest Missouri State University, and Aundrayah Shermer, Southwest Blindness Skills Specialist. The workshop will focus on a wide variety of materials and techniques for improving math skills using selected APH products.

Registration for the workshop is limited. Contact Aundrayah J. Shermer at Southwest Missouri State University, 417/836-8872, or email with questions or for more information.

"Looking Ahead: Building Visual Behavior in Children With Cortical Visual Impairment"

A full house is also expected for APH’s next National Instructional Partnerships event, "Looking Ahead: Building Visual Behavior in Children with Cortical Visual Impairment." The event, featuring Dr. Christine Roman, will be held in partnership with Ex Officio Trustee Jim Adams, Arkansas Educational Services for the Visually Impaired. It will focus on a wide variety of materials and strategies designed to build visual behavior and integrate vision with function for students with CVI, including the use of selected APH products. The material covered is appropriate for children of all ages.

The workshop will be held November 11 – 12, at the Hot Springs Convention Center in Hot Springs, AR.

Registration information is available on the APH web site, If you have questions or would like further information, please contact Janie Humphries, 800/223-1839, Ext. 367, or email

"Cortical Visual Impairment: What You See Is Not Always What You Get"

APH will take yet another gamble on Dr. Christine Roman for the National Instructional Partnerships event "Cortical Visual Impairment: What You See Is Not Always What You Get," held in partnership with Nevada Early Intervention Services and the Clark County School District. The workshop will focus on a wide variety of materials for intervention, including selected APH products, along with techniques for assessment and identification. The material covered is appropriate for children of all ages.

The workshop will be held November 20 – 21 at the West Charleston Library in Las Vegas, NV. Registration information is available from the APH web site, If you have questions or would like further information, please contact Franchesca Soriano, 702/486-7670, or email, or Janie Humphries, 800/223-1839, Ext. 367, or email

If you are interested in hosting an APH NIP event in your area, please contact Janie by phone or email!

APH and the National Book Festival

APH's Gary Mudd stands back and lets a young man explore a Perkins Brailler.

Now in its third year, the National Book Festival continues to gain momentum as a meaningful force aimed at promoting literacy across the nation and throughout the world. Once again, APH was invited by the Library of Congress to participate in this event initiated by First Lady Laura Bush. The 75,000 participants at the October 4 event included families, teachers, and librarians, who spent the day exploring the many exhibits set up in tent pavilions on the National Mall to celebrate the joy of reading.

More than 80 award-winning and nationally known authors, including Julie Andrews and Pat Conroy were among the featured speakers, many of whom were also available for book signing sessions. There were also activities designed to capture the attention of youngsters were readings by players and former players from the NBA and WNBA, such as Bob Lanier and Rebecca Lobo.

Along with representatives of about 60 other national and civic organizations, Gary Mudd, Becky Snider (Public Affairs), and Anne Rich (Callahan Museum) distributed information about the role APH plays to ensure materials are provided in an accessible format for learners of all ages.

Photo: APH’s Gary Mudd stands back and lets a young man explore a Perkins Brailler.

Dr. Amanda Hall-Lueck to Present Groundbreaking Research

If you’re attending the Literacy Conference in December in beautiful Vancouver, don’t miss Dr. Amanda Hall-Lueck’s presentation of a research report on magnification and visual accommodation called "Understanding the Relationships Between Print Size and Reading in Low Vision." This research, sponsored by APH, represents five years of inquiry by Dr. Hall-Lueck, associate professor at San Francisco State University, and Dr. Ian Bailey, Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at the School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley.

The study covers issues not previously addressed in low vision research and has been called "groundbreaking" and "elegant" by luminaries in the low vision field. APH is honored to be a part of this meaningful contribution of Dr. Hall-Lueck, Dr. Ian Bailey, and their colleagues.

APH Travel Calendar


on the road with APH

November 1, 2003
Tennessee School for the Blind;
Nashville, TN

November 3-5, 2003
NBA Board Meetings;
Phoenix, AZ

November 6-8, 2003
NBA Regional Meeting;
Phoenix, AZ

November 6-7, 2003
Making it Count (NIP Event);
Springfield, MO

November 7-8, 2003
Kentucky Council for the Blind;
Louisville, KY

November 10, 2003
Product Training Session;
San Diego, CA

November 11-12, 2003
Looking Ahead: Building Visual Behavior in Children with Cortical Visual Impairment, a NIP Event;
Hot Springs, AR

November 13-14, 2003
Cortical Visual Impairment Workshop, San Francisco State University;
San Francisco, CA

November 14, 2003
Florida Testing Staff;
Tallahassee, FL

November 20-21, 2003
Cortical Visual Impairment (NIP Event);
Las Vegas, NV

November 23-25, 2003
39th Annual Kentucky Conference on Programs for Exceptional Children;
Louisville, KY


December 4-7, 2003
Getting in Touch With Literacy 2003;
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

December 11-12, 2003
Michigan Schools for the Deaf and Blind, Training the Trainer Technology Training;
Flint, MI

December 13-17, 2003
AER, Division 9 O & M Conference;
New Orleans, LA

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees:

Robert Goodhart, Division for the Visually Impaired and the Delaware State Department of Education, replacing Robert Patterson

Elizabeth McKown, South Carolina School for the Deaf, Blind and Multihandicapped, replacing Linda Mackechnie

Betty Davidson, Missouri Division of Family Services/Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, replacing Lillian Hill

Paul Ajuwon, Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind, replacing Angel Ramos

Susan Mitchell, Rhode Island Department of Education, replacing John Doyle

Raymond Bryant, District of Columbia Public Schools, replacing Margaret McLeod

Carroll Jackson, Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, replacing Les Stevens

Stacy Grandt, Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped and Educational Services for the Visually Impaired, replacing Mark Riccobono

Stephen Barrett, Pittsburgh Vision Services, replacing Jim Baumgartner

APH Art History Products Featured

The first annual Art Beyond Sight Awareness Week is almost here! November 10 – 16, 2003. Don’t miss the APH’s Art History through Touch and Sound Series featured in the free telephone crash course training on November 10th. 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. For schedule of all sessions go to: Grab your coffee and
dial in! 1-775-478-0000 press 2, pin# 2003000#

At 4:00 p.m. Teresa Kardoulias will discuss tactile diagrams and how to adapt the Art History Through Touch and Sound for your students’ needs.

New Products from APH

NEW! Braille Transcriber’s Kit: U.S. Maps

Transcribers have a new tool for creating tactile maps for students. This collection of embossed and printed sheets may be used as templates for creating tactile graphics for history, geography, and social studies lessons. Drawings include:

  • North America, including Canada, the United States, and Mexico
  • U.S. outline (Alaska and Hawaii included, not to scale)
  • U.S. with 50 states outlined
  • Western region states
  • Eastern region states
  • Original 13 colonies

Braille Transcriber’s Kit: U.S. Maps: 1-04101-00…$12.00

Also available:
Braille Transcriber’s Kit: Math: 1-04100-00…$12.00

EZ Track Financial Record Keeper

EZ Track Financial Record Keeper

This newest addition to the EZ Track Series of low vision organizational tools is designed to help organize your financial information. The binder, storage folders, labeled pages, and tabbed dividers can be used to store information about:

  • banking accounts
  • credit cards
  • utilities
  • income taxes
  • insurance
  • mortgages and loans
  • investments and retirement plans

The Financial Record Keeper also includes a large print check register, 20/20® pen, and a User’s Guide. Replacement check registers and note pages are available separately.

EZ Track Financial Record Keeper: 1-07920-00…$37.50
Replacement Check Registers (2 Pack): 1-07920-01…$10.00
Replacement Insert Pages: 1-07920-02…$16.00

NEW! Low-Relief Graph Paper Added to Line

APH offers several variations of low-relief graph paper and we’ve now added a 3/8 inch square version. This paper is useful to teachers and transcribers for making charts and graphs. Grid is embossed on 80-pound braille paper measuring 11 1/2 x 11 inches, with margins. 25 sheets per package.

NEW! .4" squares, 19 X 19 Grid: 1-04046-00…$4.00

We also offer:
1/2" squares, 19 x 19 Grid: 1-04047-00…$4.00
5/8" squares, 15 x 15 Grid: 1-04048-00…$4.00
3/4" squares, 13 x 13 Grid: 1-04049-00…$4.00

NEW! Lots of Dots: Learning My ABC’s

Lots of Dots-Learning my ABC's

This exciting raised-line coloring book facilitates braille character recognition through repetitive activities designed for young children with visual impairments or multiple disabilities. Lots of Dots features:

  • Two coloring pages per letter; a blank braille cell to fill in, and a tactile graphic of an object beginning with that letter.
  • A large plastic stencil of the braille cell for tracing or adding included foam chips to create braille letters.
  • Suggested enrichment activities, allowing the child to associate the braille letter, the tactile graphic, and the object.

Lots of Dots: Learning My ABC’s: 1-10000-00…$24.00

APH News Credits

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff members for their contributions to this effort:

  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Tony Grantz, Manager, Business Development
  • Janie Humphries, Director, Field Services
  • Elaine Kitchel, Low Vision Project Leader, Research
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Artina Paris, Assistant, Field Services
  • Eleanor Pester, Braille Project Leader, Research
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Kris Scott, Test Editor, Accessible Tests
  • Becki Snider, Administrative Assistant, Public Affairs
  • Carol Tobe, Director, Callahan Museum
  • Roberta Williams, Manager, Public Affairs and Special Projects

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

October Issue –
September Issue –
August Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –