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APH News October 2003

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

Annual Meeting 2003: The Joy of The Journey

The Joy of The Journey

Final preparations are being made for over 300 registrants for the 135th Annual Meeting to take place October 16 -18, 2003, in Louisville, KY at the Camberley Brown Hotel.

President Tuck Tinsley encourages you to join them, our keynote presenter Kent Cullers, along with Susan Spungin, Sally Mangold, Billy Brookshire, Randy Jose, Lois Harrell, and a host of APH travelers on the journey. Full agenda and other information at

Large Print Color Atlas to be shown at Annual Meeting

As you may know, APH’s Advisory Committees have recommended that the company develop a large print color atlas for students that is truly readable, with high contrast images. Toward this end, APH has entered into a cooperative relationship with the Geography Department at the University of Louisville to develop the Large Print Color Atlas for Students. Work has already begun on developing text and maps for the first three sections of the Atlas. Dr. Robert Forbes and Mr. Joe Harrington of the University are working closely with Project Leader Elaine Kitchel and some excellent consultants to develop the atlas. The product will be made according to the Essential Characteristics of Large Print Maps, a document of seventy guidelines generated by a special APH focus group of teachers of students who are visually impaired, also certified in teaching geography. Examples of maps, graphs, and other information from the Atlas will be displayed in an Annual Meeting poster session.

Rolling Right Along "Construction Kit" in the Works

Rolling Into Place

Karen J. Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, is planning the development of a Rolling Right Along "Construction Kit" that will allow teachers and parents to build tactile storybooks using the same format encountered in Rolling Into Place, a storybook design originated by Jane Kronheim and recently produced by APH. This proposed kit of materials could be used to create self-designed books that address an individual student’s/child’s interests and developmental needs. Simply create original stories and apply tactile features around the hook/loop material-covered pathway on the unique accordion-folded panels. If you have used Rolling Into Place with your child/student(s) this year and would like to be considered as a possible field reviewer for the Construction Kit idea later this year, please e-mail Karen at or call 800/223-1839, Ext. 322. If you just want to share your experiences with the first book, Rolling Into Place, or want to express your opinion about the Construction Kit idea, please feel encouraged to do so.

It All Adds Up To Success:
A NIP Event Starring Susan Osterhaus

The National Intructional Partnerships

Eighty teachers of the visually impaired, math teachers, parents, and students attended the first APH National Instructional Partnerships event ever held in the northeastern United States. Held in Worcester, MA, in partnership with Carrie Brasier, Director of the Vision Resources Library, the event featured math teacher Susan Osterhaus of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Susan’s jam-packed two-day presentation covered a variety of tools and techniques for teaching advanced math skills to students with visual impairment featuring many APH products and other available technology, along with a review of the Nemeth code.

If you are interested in partnering with APH to host a National Instructional Partnerships event in your area, contact Janie Humphries, Director of Field Services, at or call 800/223-1839, ext. 367.

Getting Families Involved

Burt Boyer, APH Field Services Representative, hosted a family
focus group at APH in February of 2003, and now wants to expand that process by getting involved in family workshops/seminars across the United States. Burt requests that agencies or organizations hosting family workshops or seminars consider inviting him to participate. Burt has served often in his career as a keynote speaker and panel participant and has been involved with families most of his professional life.

Your support will be very helpful to Burt as he identifies supportive strategies to assist families. You may contact Burt with your ideas at 800/223-1839, ext. 264 or He’s looking forward to hearing from you!

Spanish Translation of The Abacus Made Easy Needs Evaluation

Field test evaluators are needed to review the Spanish translation of the APH publication The Abacus Made Easy. Your expert advice and recommendations will assure the accuracy of our translation for all Spanish speaking persons prior to our making it available.

If interested, please submit your name, address, phone number, and email address to Tony Grantz, APH Business Development Manager at, or call 800/223-1839, ext. 290.

Braille Production Study

Cartoon of a young girl reading braille

It’s not too late for your students to participate in the Braille Production Study. The testing procedure has been drafted. The test materials are being prepared. Now all we need are braille readers in kindergarten through third grade to serve as subjects. If you know children who meet these qualifications and would like to help APH maintain our standards for braille, contact Rosanne Hoffmann at or call 800/223-1839, ext. 292, or Eleanor Pester at or call ext. 320.

Braille Math Study (K-3)

Be one of the first to try Primary Math Unit 1: Matching, Sorting, and Patterning with your kindergarten through third grade braille readers! For your efforts, you will receive, free of charge, an introductory guidebook, complete lessons, worksheets with tactile graphics, and last, but certainly not least, evaluation forms on which you are encouraged to express your opinions about the materials. Get in on "the cutting edge" and help make it even sharper. Contact Rosanne Hoffmann or Eleanor Pester (above).

ABC Braille Study

ABC Braille Study

Do you have a student who will soon be learning to read braille? If so, please consider helping with the Alphabetic and Contracted (ABC) Braille Study. This longitudinal study of braille reading should yield much valuable information. Canadians as well as Americans are encouraged to participate in this important study. For further information on this project, primarily funded through APH, please contact Anne Corn at or call 615/322-2249.

Alan Koenig and Sharon Sacks are scheduled to update Annual Meeting participants on the ABC Braille Study.

Flea Market Finds

ABC Flea Market

New special buys are available from the APH Flea Market from October through December. Please review our surplus inventory items and a few close-out specials at

Beyond the Guidelines: Phase II

ATIC: Accessible Textbook Initiative and Collaboration Project

ATIC is gearing up for another round of training for textbook and test transcribers. Two years ago ATIC went on the road to give free training to National Library Service (NLS) certified transcribers on the ATIC Textbook Transcription Specifications. The tour was a great success with visits to Georgia, California, Kansas, and Kentucky.

Beyond the Guidelines: Phase II, will include free training on the newly developed Promising Practices for Transcribing Early Literacy Textbooks and Materials, techniques for mass production of tactile graphics, and a review of the transcription guidelines for accessible tests.

The first workshop will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, on November 17-19, 2003. Other training locations are planned in Florida, Colorado, and California in the Spring and Summer of 2004.

If you are interested in attending please contact Jane Thompson at or call 800/223-1839, ext. 370.

Braille Transcription; Getting Started

Public Affairs Department staff has recently published a brochure on braille transcription as a career. Braille Transcription; Getting Started is intended for people outside the field of vision, and includes background information on the increasing incidence of blindness and the challenges related to getting braille textbooks to students who are blind at the same time their sighted peers receive their textbooks. It also includes a listing of key resources in the field of blindness. The brochures are available at no charge through the Public Affairs Department. For copies, contact Nancy Lacewell at or Becky Snider at

Touring with In Touch with Knowledge

Photo of two people enjoying the exhibit

IN TOUCH WITH KNOWLEDGE: Hands-On Reading & Writing was recently on tour at the Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services in Daytona Beach, Florida. The exhibit ran from August 10 through Sept 20.

For information on scheduling IN TOUCH WITH KNOWLEDGE, see the web site or call Callahan Museum Director, Carol Tobe, 800/223-1839, ext. 365.

Newly Added Photograph in the Callahan Museum Collection

historic photo

The collection of the Callahan Museum includes some interesting historic photographs of people who are blind or visually impaired. Recently, the museum acquired a carte de visite (calling card photograph) taken circa 1872 of three musicians from the Hostetler family of Uniontown, PA. The "well respected" musicians performed concerts in several counties surrounding Uniontown, according to accounts in 1872 issues of the Genius of Liberty, a local newspaper now known as the Herald-Standard. The photograph shows a sister and her two brothers with their instruments. From left to right are Catherine, a singer and accordion player; Bartholomew, who sang and played the cello; and John, a violinist. Another brother, Samuel, who performed with the family and was also blind, is not shown in this photograph.


There was excitement in the air on Tuesday morning, Sept. 16, as APH’s fourth floor conference room filled for an historic event. Twenty-five persons representing eleven major test publishers were at APH to learn about issues and considerations for writing and adapting test items in order to make them accessible to blind and visually impaired students. Workshop participants included representatives from NCS Pearson, Data Recognition Corporation, CTB/McGraw-Hill, American Institutes on Research, Harcourt Educational Measurement, American Guidance Service, Educational Testing Service, Measured Progress, WestEd, Northwest Evaluation Association, and Ballard and Tighe Publishers. A longtime goal of APH had been finally realized: the opportunity to communicate the importance of designing tests for accessibility at the outset.

Accessible Tests Department’s Lead Consultant and Instructor, Dr. Carol Allman, facilitated the workshop and introduced the major issues.

Minds Meet at APH – Again!!

'Meeting of the Minds' participants pose in front ofthe Hall of Fame's Wall of Tribute

Twenty-three university professors, faculty and staff from twenty university personnel preparation programs came together at APH September 7 through 9, for the second ever "Meeting of the Minds." This year the event focused on research, allowing APH staff members and university participants to share information regarding their current research activities.

Dr. Deborah Hatton, University of North Carolina, presented the latest updates on early intervention instructional modules developed under a federal grant, and several brainstorming sessions resulted in a list of thoughts for future collaborations for research and project development.

2003 Survey of Users of APH Products:
Measuring Our Performance and Identifying Your Priorities

In the August APH News, we promised to be in touch with a formal opportunity for you to provide customer satisfaction feedback to us at APH. Recently, each Trustee was sent a simple-but-important survey regarding the products we provide and priorities for new product development. The survey will also be available on our website during October for other users of our products. We encourage all who use our products in an education or rehabilitation setting to take a few minutes to measure our performance and to voice their priorities.

The survey has been designed to accomplish several purposes, including:

  • Data Collection for the US Department of Education.
  • Field-based priority setting for new APH product development.
  • Suggestions for revision of existing APH products and ideas for new products.

The survey, with full design details, is available for completion on the web site..

We encourage you use this survey to share your thoughts and experiences with us. We also ask that you encourage anyone who has used our products in the past 12 months to go to our website survey and do likewise! Your honest responses and direction will help us make a difference!

NOTE: If you are an Ex Officio Trustee and did not receive a copy of the survey, please contact Cindy Amback at APH at 800/223-1839, ext. 257.

APH Travel Schedule

on the road with APH


October 1-7, 2003
Family Education/Support: Phoenix, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah; Fremont, CA

October 1-4, 2003
Northern Rockies AER;
Cody, WY

October 4, 2003
National Book Festival;
Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

October 9-11, 2003
Mid American Conference of Rehabilitation Teachers (MACRT);
Chicago, IL

October 15-18, 2003
Closing the Gap;
Bloomington, MN

October 15-18, 2003
APH Annual Meeting;
Louisville, KY

October 23-24, 2003
Dakota AER Vision Conference;
Grand Forks, ND

October 27-31, 2003
Michigan Schools for the Deaf and Blind Technology Training;
Flint, MI

October 30, 2003
Maryland State Steering Committee and AER Conference;
Baltimore, MD

October 30, 2003
State of Florida Special Training Workshop, Babies Count;
Tallahassee, FL

October 31, 2003
American Foundation for the Blind’s Bridging the Gap Leadership Summit;
Atlanta, GA


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

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

November 13-14, 2003
Cortical Visual Impairment Workshop,

San Francisco State University;
San Francisco, CA

November 14, 2003
Florida Testing Staff;
Tallahassee, FL

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

New APH Parts Catalog Now Available

The second edition of our APH Parts Catalog is now available. You will notice some exciting changes for 2003-2004. This specialty catalog lists the most commonly requested replacement parts for APH kits. Parts are now more fully described and all photos of products are now in full color! This catalog also lists more kits than the previous catalog. For your copy, simply call 800/223-1839 and select "Catalogs."

Did you know you can also order parts from the Louis Database? Many parts are now listed in the database, with more being added on an ongoing basis. Visit to search for APH kit parts. To find parts, simply search for the product you are interested in and scroll down to the bottom of the record or records.

New Products From APH

New Electronic Magnification Device: PocketViewer

Photo of a man in a supermarket using the PocketViewer to read the back of a box of cereal

The PocketViewer is a portable, hand-held, battery-operated video magnifier that provides up to 7X magnification on a 4-inch black & white flat screen. It is lightweight, can be held in one hand, and fits into a coat pocket or purse. PocketViewer offers a much wider viewing area than a 7X hand-held lens-type magnifier. The flip of a switch changes the screen image from white-on-black to black-on-white.

PocketViewer: 1-07560-00 — $895.00
Not available for purchase with Federal Quota funds.

Redesigned! Portable Sound Source

Portable Sound Source III, with lower battery compartment open.

This classic APH device produces an audio tone that provides directional cues for orientation and mobility training, sound localization training, or for playground games. It has a variable rate of tone pulses and pitch.

The Portable Sound Source 2003 comes with an easier way to replace batteries using a new battery door located on the bottom of the unit. The Sound Source uses four C-cell batteries, not included. Although it does not have a built-in recharger, you may use rechargeable C-cells from your separate recharger.

Portable Sound Source 2003: 1-03040-02 — $175.00

APH News Credits

Designed By:
Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

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

  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Burt Boyer, Field Services Representative
  • Tony Grantz, Manager, Business Development
  • Janie Humphries, Director, Field Services
  • Elaine Kitchel, Low Vision Project Leader, Research
  • Mary Nelle McLennan, Executive Advisor to the President
  • Artina Paris, Assistant, Field Services
  • Eleanor Pester, Braille Project Leader, Research
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Kris Scott, Test Editor, Accessible Tests
  • Jane Thompson, Director, ATIC
  • Carol Tobe, Director, Callahan Museum
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

Edited By:
Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

September Issue –
August Issue –
July Issue –

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