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APH News

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

November 2005

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

Lots To Learn at 137th Annual Meeting!

Learning Across a Lifetime Annual Meeting October 13-15, 2005

The 137th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests took place October 13 – 15, at the beautiful Louisville Downtown Marriott Hotel. From the opening session, keynoted by Dr. Elton Moore, to the last notes of the APH Homecoming Dance, Annual Meeting seemed enthusiastically received.

Dr. Moore reflected this year’s theme, "Learning Across a Lifetime" in his address that focused on collaborating to improve services for students and adults with visual impairment. General sessions highlighted the state of the company, updates from the field, the research department, exciting new projects from APH, and the 2005 APH Customer Satisfaction Survey. Concurrent product training sessions provided information on the Louis Database, accessible testing methods, and new products, including two presentations by Dr. Jan van Dijk on his CD ROM now available from APH. (Dr. van Dijk’s visit will be profiled in the December APH News.)

Other highlights of the event included the InSights Art Awards Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. In addition to our artists and the Hall of Fame inductees and their families, special guests included the first cohort of National Center for Leadership in Visual Impairment (NCLVI) students and our five APH Scholars.

You won’t want to miss the 138th Annual Meeting, October 12 -14, 2006, so start making plans now to attend!

Dr. Elton Moore, Professor and Director of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University was the keynote speaker, and spoke on "Meeting the Needs of Students in a Changing World."

Special guest speaker Dr. Jan van Dijk from the Sint-Michielsgestel Institute in the Netherlands, presented several sessions on "Child-Guided Strategies for Assessing Children who are Deafblind or have Multiple Disabilities."

We happily welcomed special guest Annette Reichman of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

See More Annual Meeting Pictures!

Class of 2005 Now Hanging in the Hall of Fame

The bas relief plaques of Abe Nemeth, William English, J. Max Woolly, and William Hadley now greet you as you enter the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field.

Missed Annual Meeting BUT Want to Hear the Sessions?
Visit our Training and Information Podcast Site

If you missed Annual Meeting, or didn’t get to attend all the training sessions you desired, you may be interested in checking out the recordings of various sessions on the new Training and Information podcast. See Also available are the sessions from the recent parent conference, "Families Connecting with Families."

Book Port Webcast Archives Now Available!

This summer, APH hosted a series of interactive webcasts on using the Book Port. The archives for these eight presentations are now available on demand through our website.

To view them go to: and click in the link that reads "Go to the Webcast Archive".

If you have questions about any of these webcast presentations, feel free to email Maria Delgado at email hidden; JavaScript is required

A Little NIP Here, A Little NIP There . . .

the National Instructional Partnerships

The first week of November will be a busy time for National Instructional Partnerships (NIP) events at two locations around the country. Mille Smith will travel to Albuquerque, NM for a NIP event focused on the new Sensory Learning Kit November 2 – 3, 2005, and Susan Osterhaus will appear in Watertown, NY, November 3 – 4, 2005, to present techniques and methods for using APH products to teach higher math skills.

APH is pleased to partner with Ex Officio Trustee Kenalea Johnson and the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to present the SLK event. If you would like more information, please contact Kenalea at email hidden; JavaScript is required Diana Williams and the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Programs for Exceptional Students, is partnering with APH to provide the math events with Susan Osterhaus. If you’d like more information about that event, please contact Diana at email hidden; JavaScript is required

If you are interested in partnering with APH to host a NIP event in your area, please contact Janie Blome, 800/223-1839, ext. 367, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

Studio Recorder Testing Needed

Studio Recorder is the software APH uses to record the books for National Library Service. Many other professional studios use this software as well. One of the features of this program that appeals to the professional narrator is the ability to use a remote control device to control the recording environment. Such a device lets the narrator concentrate on the reading material rather than a computer and keyboard. Formally, Studio Recorder supported the Plextalk RE-11 controller. Unfortunately, this device is no longer manufactured, so the software engineers added support for three other commercially available controllers. This new support is in beta testing now, and if you would like to try these new features and provide feedback, please download the Studio Recorder beta at

Book Wizard Producer Beta Testing Opportunity

DAISY Digital Talking Books (DTBs) are the preferred reading medium for the foreseeable future, and APH has already created well over 1,000 books for the National Library Service in this format. Now you too can create DTBs for your students, clients, or children. Designed to be simple enough for any user yet powerful enough to meet nearly any demand, Book Wizard Producer is the software used to create these books. This software is now in testing, and the software engineers would love your feedback, ideas, and comments about its performance, ease of use, and design before finalizing the product.

To beta test Book Wizard Producer, go to the beta test site at and after agreeing to the terms of use, select the Book Wizard link.

Your Book Designs Wanted

Many of you have purchased the new Rolling Right Along Construction Kit over the past year. We are interested in seeing photos of your created tactile/visual books which you have designed for your students. If you don’t have a photo, a simple description of your book(s) would be enjoyed as well. Please submit your Rolling Right Along book photos or descriptions to Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphic Project Leader, at email hidden; JavaScript is required Looking forward to reviewing your creative ideas!

Product Modernization

APH routinely reviews older APH products to see if enhancements can be made to make a product better for its intended use based upon customer feedback. Karen Poppe, APH Tactile Graphics Project Leader, would like to garner your feedback on the existing APH Tactile and Visual Globe (insert link to product description), as well as about other globes that you have found helpful or that you think are still needed by your students with visual impairments and blindness. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts and ideas, please complete and submit the product survey found at

Accessible Test Items Level the Playing Field

Accessible Tests Department

A two-day workshop on making test items accessible to readers of braille, tactile graphics, large print, audio, and multimedia will be held at APH in Louisville, KY on January 24-25, 2006. Presenters will address issues and provide guidelines to be utilized during test development and adaptation that help ensure access to test items for students with visual impairments. If you have test questions or concerns that you wish to be addressed, please contact Debbie Willis at 800/223-1839, ext. 311, or email them to email hidden; JavaScript is required

This workshop is primarily intended for test developers, test publishers, assessment staff, teachers of students with visual impairments, and accessible media producers. Funding is available to provide instruction, workshop materials, local transportation, and meals on workshop days. Additional information regarding the agenda and hotel accommodations will be available in the near future. Space is limited to 30 participants so register early by calling Nancy Bayens at 800/223-1839, ext. 470, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

Braille Awareness Day

The Youth Division of the National Federation of the Blind’s Kentucky Chapter hosted "Braille Awareness Day" on Oct. 1 at the downtown Louisville Library. Mario Eiland and Fred Otto, both of APH’s Research Department, gave hands-on demonstrations of software and tactile graphics products, respectively. From the excitement shown by sighted children trying out these items, it was clear that there is a lot of "crossover appeal" in the products APH is currently making.

Louis Improvements!

Louis Database Accessible Materials and APH File Repository

We have tweaked Louis to provide additional brief display information and a new product browse option!

First, when doing a search for a book in Louis, you will notice that the brief display of your search results will now show the ISBN, publisher and copyright date information, and a special note if the item is not an APH product.

This will make it easier for you to scan a list of many books with similar titles and select the appropriate one. Previously, you needed to look at the full display record for each book individually to see this key information.

Second, there is a new subject browse option included on the APH product search screen. Just below the alphabetical browse feature, you will see a list of subject terms, including those representing the expanded core curriculum. Just click on the link for the type of products in which you are interested, and all those products will be retrieved. For example, a click on Orientation & Mobility (concept development) will display all the O & M products available from APH. Please note that this browse feature only includes APH non-book products.

We hope you find these new features make Louis even easier to use!

Missouri State University Announces Grant for Personnel Preparation

Missouri State University is pleased to introduce Project DIVERSE, a federally funded personnel preparation grant. The purpose of Project DIVERSE is to increase the number of professionals working in the field of visual impairments. This federal grant will provide financial support for a total of 32 individuals who desire a dual certification in Teaching the Visually Impaired and/or Orientation and Mobility (O&M).

If you are interested in being a part of this exciting new endeavor at Missouri State University, then by November 18, 2005, please contact: Dr. Chris Craig, Associate Dean, College of Education Missouri State University, 901 South National Avenue, Springfield, MO 65897, 417/836-8775 or email hidden; JavaScript is required

Photo Exhibit Opens at APH

Focusing on the Future of Students with Visual Impairments: Teachers In Action, a photo exhibit exploring teachers for visually impaired students, will be shown at the Callahan Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind from October 10 through December 31. Twenty-three photographs document teachers in a variety of teaching moments. The photographs were taken by six members of the Brentwood Camera Club in Williamson County, Tennessee.

The exhibit was prepared to recruit new students into undergraduate, teacher endorsement, and master’s programs that prepare teachers and orientation and mobility instructors. Sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Teachers in Action was developed by the Program in Visual Disabilities in the Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. Our thanks to Dr. Anne Corn for making it available to us.

Enjoy the APH Callahan Museum During the Holidays:
Design Your Own Card or Just Drop By for a Visit

The winter holiday season can be a delight to the senses: the smell of evergreen trees, candles, and popcorn balls; the crackle of wrapping paper in your hands; the taste of traditional family treats; the sounds of familiar hymns and holiday tunes. Why should your holiday cards be any different? Join the staff of the Callahan Museum in a tactile holiday card-making workshop. Families can explore the use of use of different materials that evoke the spirit of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza, and add a message in braille.

Tactile card workshops will be held in the Callahan Museum on Saturday, December 3 and Saturday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come and go as you like, and feel free to bring any special materials from home. For more information, call Mike Hudson at 800/223-1839, ext 365, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

And while you’re planning your holiday schedule, why not plan a visit to the Callahan? Nowhere else in Louisville can you write your name in braille, play an accessible computer game, or see the Book of Psalms from Helen Keller’s Bible. So, whether you’re looking for a unique Louisville experience for out-of-town guests, or a place to take the children when they’re on winter vacation, make the Callahan your destination. Museum hours are Monday – Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30 and Saturday from 10:00- 3:00 including Sat. November 26, Thanksgiving weekend.

Research Department Names Core Curriculum Project Leader

Please join us in welcoming Jeanette Wicker as Core Curriculum Project Leader. Although the Research Department project leaders move between various areas of the core curriculum and the expanded core curriculum, Jeanette will focus on projects primarily related to the traditional core areas of social studies, English, math, reading, science, etc.

Jeanette joins APH after 30 years as a teacher (private and public), instructional materials coordinator, technology coordinator, highly skilled educator, and, most recently, principal of the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB).

Welcome New APH Ex Officio Trustees!

Please join us in welcoming:

Cheryl Misialek, North Dakota School for the Blind, replacing Carmen Suminski

Thomas J. Hoogestraat, Glenwood Resource Center in Iowa, replacing William Campbell

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


November 2-3, 2005
NIP Event-Sensory Learning Kit: Strategies for Students w/Multiple Disabilities;
Rio Rancho, NM

November 3-4, 2005
NIP Event- Math;
Syracuse, NY

November 4-5, 2005
Wilson Reading Program Workshop;
Perkins School f/t Blind; Watertown, MA

November 5, 2005
Invitational Conference on "Current Challenges in Educational Testing";
Iowa City, Iowa

November 7-9, 2005
Braille Symposium for Rehab Teachers in Texas: Opening Doors: Literacy through Braille in Dallas;
Dallas, TX

November 4-5, 2005
Washington Conference for Infant/Preschool Families;

November 9-12, 2005
Mid-America Conference of Rehab Teachers & Association of Southeast Rehab Teachers / MACRT-ASERT;
St. Louis, MO

November 11-12, 2005
KY Council for the Blind Conference;
KSB in Louisville, KY

November 12-15, 2005
National Association for Adults with Special Learning Needs (NAASLN) Conference;
Denver, CO


December 1-3, 2005
Getting In Touch with Literacy;
Denver, CO

In Memoriam: Purvis E. Ponder

Our good friend Purvis E. Ponder, 65, died Saturday, Oct. 22, 2005. He is survived by his wife, Barbara and three sons. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Francis Wildlife Association, P.O. Box 38160, Tallahassee, FL 32315, or The Nature Conservancy, c/o Treasury, 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203.

Purvis Ponder devoted thirty-six years to the field of teaching Orientation and Mobility, thirty at Florida State University preparing future O&M teachers. He co-authored the first textbook in the field of O&M which is still used by the majority of university O&M training programs.

He recently retired from Florida State University as associate professor in the Vision Department. Upon his retirement, the Florida Chapter of AER remembered him with an engraved stone on the Wall of Tribute in the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, which reads: Purvis Ponder, #1 in Mobility in Florida.

Visit the following link for a biography and movie of a life well lived:

NEW! Verbal View of Word® and Verbal View of Word® Advanced

Verbal View Word

Verbal View of Word: D-10510-00 — $50.00
Verbal View of Word Advanced: D-10511-00 — $50.00

The Verbal View software training series helps the computer user get the most from software applications. APH offers Verbal View of Windows® XP. Now added to the series are Verbal View of Word® and Verbal View of Word® Advanced.

Verbal View Word Advanced

Verbal View of Word takes special care to focus on aspects of Microsoft Word that are not obvious to the blind user from the normal Word documentation. Instead of focusing on the mouse and visual cues, this tutorial lets the user know how the keyboard and screen reader can be used to accomplish word processing tasks efficiently and elegantly. Verbal View of Word Advanced goes beyond the basics and gives the blind writer the tools needed to perform nearly any editing, collaboration, or publishing task with Microsoft Word.

Each of these tutorials is delivered on CD in a variety of formats including:

  • DAISY Digital Talking Book (full text, full audio)
  • Microsoft Word
  • HTML
  • Text file
  • Electronic braille (.brf)

NEW! Kelvin

Kelvin Talking Thermostat: 1-03973-00 — $129.95

Not available on Federal Quota. WARNING: Will not work with heat pumps. APH recommends professional installation.

Push the ergonomic talking buttons to program this thermostat to adjust home heating and cooling for up to 4 times per day and seven days per week. Once it has been programmed, Kelvin’s voice activation feature can be operated "hands-free" to announce the current settings, or to raise and lower the temperature settings. Operates on house current with 4 AA battery back-up (batteries not included). Comes with instructions in print and on cassette.

NEW! Orion TI-36 Talking Scientific Calculator: 1-07335-01 — $249.00

Not available for purchase with Federal Quota funds.

The world’s most advanced and affordable talking scientific calculator.

Based on the popular TI-36X calculator with identical functions, this powerful, accessible, and affordable scientific calculator was designed by Orbit Research®.


  • Ideal for all students — junior high through college, algebra I through calculus and applied mathematics such as engineering
  • High-quality speech. Keys speak when pressed, display can be spoken at any time or speech feature can be turned off
  • Unique learn key mode without interrupting current operation
  • Over 127 scientific functions, including 1 & 2 variable statistics, trigonometry, and unit conversion
  • Large, tactile, functionally zoned keys, including backspace/correction key
  • Rechargeable battery, over six hours of continuous operation, power shuts off when not in use


  • Protective cover.
  • Earphone.
  • Power adapter, calculator can be used while charging.
  • One year limited warranty.

NEW! Tangle Toy®

The Tangle Book: Having Fun with the APH Tangle Toy

Tangle Toy® and Tangle Book Kit (includes one large print guidebook and three Tangle Toys): 1-08750-00 — $45.00
Optional Braille Guidebook: 5-08750-00 — $16.00
Replacement Large Print Guidebook: 7-08750-00 — $16.00

Tangle Toy Makes Active Learning FUN!

With its infinite knot shapes and variety of colors and textures, the Tangle Toy® can be used in various forms to encourage a child to explore, move, and play.

Photo of 3 Tangle toys

The Tangle Toy includes segments that feature bright, primary colors, and each color has its own unique texture. The curved segments may be combined to create contrasting sections which can be twisted and moved to provide a visually interesting object to help catch a child’s attention. For a child who is blind, the textures present a tactually interesting target. Because each colored segment has its own unique texture, activities which are generally focused on using specific colors are easily adapted for the child who is blind.

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Assistant, Products and Services
  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Mike Hudson, Museum Director
  • Becki Moody, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Fred Otto, Project Leader, Research
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Larry Skutchan, Technology Project Leader, Research
  • Terrie Terlau, Adult Life Project Leader, Research

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 –

Please share this web link or any items that appear in this publication with anyone who might benefit.

Thank you.

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