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

October 2006

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

Annual Meeting 2006: Adjusting the Sails

Adjusting the Sails Annual Meeting 2006 October 12-14 Louisville, KY

We are making the final preparations for almost 400 registrants scheduled to attend the 138th Annual Meeting of APH Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, October 12 -14, in Louisville, KY at the new Downtown Marriott Hotel.

The exciting agenda offers something for everyone, with keynotes by Tom Sullivan and Michael Hingson, interactive product training sessions, updates from the field, a report on the state of the company, an information fair, and more. We will honor our APH InSights Art award winners, as well as the two new inductees into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field. We are also pleased to welcome our five APH Scholars for 2006.

You can still be a part of this extravaganza by calling Kathy Smiddy at 800/223-1839, ext 241. For more information, check out the APH web site at

Regional Hosts Needed for Braille ChallengeTM Events

Planning has begun for the 2007 Braille ChallengeTM. Contestants are divided into age groups and asked to complete a series of exercises demonstrating their proficiency in braille reading and writing, reading speed and comprehension, spelling, proofreading and use of tactile graphics. The final round for the top 60 students who qualify will be held once again in Los Angeles, on June 23, 2007.

The Braille ChallengeTM is a national program of the Braille Institute who will send you everything you need in a complete "how-to" handbook that includes sample schedules, planning ideas, and electronic forms. They design and produce the contests and send them to you, and provide the artwork to create your marketing materials. This year they are even able to offer every regional event with several donated prizes for your winners!

Students may take the ChallengeTM individually with their own teachers, but a coordinated regional event is the best way to include blind students of all academic levels in this exciting annual event. The students love it, and the visibility helps raise public awareness of blindness and literacy issues. More and more schools and agencies across the United States and Canada are participating each year, so why not consider hosting an event of your own? Professionals who have done it say it was well worth the time and effort to encourage kids to take pride in their braille skills.

Regional events planned so far this year include the Alberta Society for the Visually Impaired, in Alberta, Canada, the Carroll Center for the Blind, the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, the Missouri School for the Blind, the Society for the Blind in Sacramento, CA, the Texas Educational Service Center, the Utah Foundation for the Blind and the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Contest dates run from January 1 to March 9, 2007 and are open to all braille readers from first grade through high school.

To learn more, contact Nancy Niebrugge, Braille Challenge Director, at: 323/906-3113.

Making Math Count in New York!

The National Instructional Partnerships

An APH NIP event in Watertown, NY, featuring Susan Osterhaus brought together 30 teachers, parents, and students for a two day workshop in September. Susan shared her vast knowledge and experience using APH products and materials to help students acquire math skills. Participants completed "assignments" at 14 activity stations, many of which featured APH products such at the Draftsman, Math Flash, the Orion Talking Scientific Calculator, the Graphic Aid for Mathematics, and others. Many other APH products for mathematics were on display as well.

Thanks to Diana Williams and the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES for partnering with APH to host this event.

National Instructional Partnerships (NIP) events are designed to highlight the use of APH products across the areas of the Core Curriculum and the Expanded Core Curriculum. If you are interested in hosting such an event, please contact the Ex Officio Trustee in your area, or call Janie Blome, 800-223-1839, ext. 367, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

Dominican College Loves APH

Retired EOT Emily Pfohl, Dr. Sheila Amato, APH's Sandi Baker

…And APH loves Dominican College! Thanks go to Rona Shaw, Sheila Amato, and former EOT Emily Pfohl for the opportunity to talk about the Federal Quota System and demonstrate APH products to more than 25 teachers in the VI preparation program at Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY on August 28. As Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Education, Rona organized the 2-day class that included APH’s Sandi Baker presenting information on products and services. These 2 days were a part of the braille class taught by Sheila Amato. Emily Pfohl is also an instructor in the class.

The Du Pont series of books, Setting the Stage for Tactile Understanding, the On the Way to Literacy Books, and the Tangle Toy were favorites of the day, as was the CVI Perspectives DVD.

Photo: Retired EOT Emily Pfohl, Dr. Sheila Amato, APH’s Sandi Baker.

APH Attends Envision ’06 Conference

Kansas City, MO was the place for the first Envision ’06 Conference, a multi-disciplinary vision rehabilitation and research conference, held Sept 21 – 24 at the Westin Crown Center. The conference was hosted by Envision, a not-for-profit agency that provides vision rehabilitation services, public education and employment for persons who are blind or have low vision.

Speakers at the conference included such noted figures as Gregory Goodrich, Ph D; Randall Jose, OD; Karen Wolffe, Ph D; and APH EOT, Bill Daugherty.

Although it was the first year for the conference, it attracted not only those in the vision education and rehabilitation teaching fields, but also occupational therapists and low vision optometrists. APH’ers Sandi Baker, Janie Blome, and Ralph Bartley were kept busy as they displayed and demonstrated many APH products in the exhibit hall, often to those who were seeing our products for the first time. We look forward to attending this conference next year!

APH Website Special Feature

Read this month’s feature on the APH PE Website: Athletic Identity and Perceived Competence in Children with Visual Impairments

APH and Teachers

APH’s Research Department recently hosted its annual in-service day for Jefferson County, Kentucky teachers of students with visual impairments. Jeanette Wicker planned the day of instruction that included a 3-hour workshop led by Elaine Kitchel focusing on large format documents and lighting for the educational environment. The second half of the day featured Tristan Pierce, Burt Boyer, Eleanor Pester, Jeanette Wicker, Karen Poppe, Fred Otto, Rosanne Hoffmann, and Terrie Terlau demonstrating uses of new products that had been shepherded by them. Some products demonstrated were Squid, World at your Fingers, Patterns, and Sensory Learning Kit.

APH Educational Research staff enjoys their interactions with the Jefferson County, Kentucky teachers because the teachers share useful feedback about products, ideas for future products, and alternate uses for existing products.

Kudos to APH Trustees from APH Production

"A large number of Federal Quota orders were placed earlier this year than ever before, which makes it much easier to meet customer needs," says APH Vice President of Production Jack Decker. He went on to mention that this also means less overtime and less stress on employees and thus fewer mistakes. So thank you, Ex Officio Trustees, for getting your orders in early.

Kentucky Reading Association Conference

On September 21-23 the Kentucky Reading Association Conference was held at the Downtown Marriott in Louisville with a record-breaking attendance of almost 1,200. APH was represented at this conference by project leaders Eleanor Pester and Jeanette Wicker from the Research Department. The theme of the conference was "Learning, Leading, Living Literacy!" Sessions featured internationally-known researchers and teacher trainers, well-known and award-winning children’s book authors, state educators, and classroom teachers. Sessions centered around the five areas identified by the 2000 National Reading Panel-Vocabulary building, Phonemic Awareness and Phonics, Comprehension, and Fluency. Three especially interesting ideas involved the use of fairy tales for teaching diversity and cultural differences, using karaoke to improve reading fluency, and strategies for identifying unknown words using context clues. Who knows, maybe some of these ideas will creep into Building on Patterns as it develops.

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Michael J. Bina, the Perkins School for the Blind-School Programs.

Teresa Kruta, the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


October 12-14, 2006
APH Annual Meeting;
Louisville, KY

October 17-24, 2006
SEMC Annual Meeting;
Chattanooga, TN

October 18, 2006
In Sight and Into Sight Conference;
White Plains, NY

October 18, 2006
In-service for the New York Commission for the Blind;
Orange County, NY

October 19-22, 2006
BANA Board Meetings;
Washington, DC

October 19-22, 2006
DEC 2006;
Little Rock, AR

October 25-27, 2006
Altamonte Springs, FL

October 26-27, 2006
Unity Conference-17th Annual;
Nashville, TN

October 24-25, 2006
National Alternate Assessment Center: Seminar for Inclusive Assessment;
Alexandria, VA

October 31-November 4, 2006
NBA Fall Professional Development Conference;
Charlotte, NC


November 2-4, 2006
National Braille Association;
Charlotte, NC

November 3-4, 2006
Utah AER Conference 2006;

November 5-7, 2006
Albany, NY

November 8-11, 2006
TASH 2006;
Baltimore, MD

November 9-11, 2006
MACRT-ASERT Professional Development Conference 2006;
Atlanta, GA

November 12-14, 2006
American Psychological Association: Task Force Meeting;
Washington, DC

November 13-14, 2006
IDEAS 508 2006 Conference;
Washington, DC

November 17-18, 2006
Nevada State Early Intervention State Wide Workshop;
Las Vegas, NV


December 10-12, 2006
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness Conference;
Lansdowne, VA

APH Flea Market of Surplus and Discontinued Inventory:
On Sale July – September, 2006

A new listing of overstocked and discontinued APH products is now available at This discounted inventory is available on a first come, first served basis. Please order early to take advantage of the extra dollars off.

Would You Like a "Sneak Peek" at New and Soon-to-be-Released APH Products? Then Visit the Products Showcase at Annual Meeting!

The Products Showcase is your chance to get a first look at some of the new products offered by APH. Most of these items are available now, with a few "soon-to-be released," so check them out at the APH Annual Meeting in Louisville, October 12-14, 2006.

Tony Grantz, Business Development Manager, and others will be available to talk with you one-on-one and will be happy to show you brand new products, such as the ones listed below.

The Products Showcase is also a great chance to "try before you buy." You are welcome to look over the new tutorial Verbal View of the Net and Web or any of the other components in the Verbal View series. You can look through the items in the new Sensory Learning Kit or Tactile Connections to see if they will meet your needs. Check out the new issue of the fun and educational SQUID Tactile Activities Magazine.

Print and braille brochures are available for each item, so you can take the details with you for reference and ordering.

Whether you stay and play or just take a "sneak peek," don’t forget to stop by the Annual Meeting Products Showcase!

NEW SPANISH VERSION! ZeitGeist® Talking Time Machine

ZeitGeist, Spanish version: 1-03974-SP — $99.00
Also Available:
ZeitGeist, English version: 1-03974-00 — $99.00

This portable electronic device combines a number of time-related functions and provides speech output through either its integrated loudspeaker or headphones (not included). Comes with complete instructions on audiocassette as well as braille and large print quick-start reference.

ZeitGeist Features:

  • Tells time (including dual time zone) in hours, minutes, and seconds
  • Automatically adjusts to Daylight Savings Time and leap years
  • Calendar tells the current day of the week, date, calendar week, number of days that have passed and are remaining in the year, and zodiac
  • 10 different alarms are possible, each with a separate signal, along with a stopwatch, two count-down timers (seven day and one hour).
  • Manages up to 10 non-recurring or recurring appointments.
  • Calculates age in years, months, days, minutes, and seconds or the day of the week for any date.
  • 4.5 x 1.25 x 1 inches, fits in pocket or carry around neck on attached lanyard.
  • Uses 2 AAA batteries (included)

NEW! Alphabet Scramble

Alphabet Scramble: 5-01199-00 — $40.00
Alphabet Scramble, Braille Notes to Reader: 5-01198-00 — $8.00

Alphabet Scramble is a read-aloud storybook promoting emergent and early literacy skills. The rhyming story tells of a "family" of alphabet letters as each sets out to explore the page. As each letter takes a turn crossing the page — shown as a line of repeating letters — the child has the motivation to track along the line of braille, gaining skill in the hand movements used for braille reading.

Reading Alphabet Scramble provides exposure to upper and lower case braille and large print letters, letter names, the sequence of the alphabet, and includes the letter word contraction associated with each braille letter. Visually pleasing, colorful, high-contrast backgrounds add interest for low vision learners and sighted peers.

An accompanying Notes to the Reader (print edition included, braille edition available separately) discusses the book’s purpose, proper tracking techniques, and information about tactual recognition of braille symbols and the importance of letter knowledge for beginning reading.

Recommended ages: preschool and up.

NEW ISSUE! SQUID Tactile Activities Magazine:

Issue 2: 1-08862-02 — $45.00
Also Available:
SQUID Issue 1: 1-08862-01 — $45.00

The eagerly awaited second issue of SQUID is now available with all-new activities! SQUID Magazine is deceptively fun: while your student enjoys a variety of activities, he or she will acquire skills needed to become a more proficient tactile reader. Some of the Issue 2 activities include:

  • A-maze Me!
  • Break the Code–Winter Clothing
  • Crowded House
  • Different is Best
  • Hop, Two, Three!
  • Not Just Any Treat
  • Word Play
  • Lots more!

Look forward to future announcements of SQUID issues in the
APH News or at

Recommended Ages: 5+

NEW! Swirly Mat Sets

Swirly Mat Set: CVI: 1-08153-00 — $44.00
Swirly Mat Set: FVA: 1-08154-00 — $44.00

Swirly Mat from the CVI set

Durable, non-toxic Swirly Mats come in two sets: Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) and Functional Vision Assessment (FVA). The mats in the CVI set are less complex and designed to be used with students with cortical vision impairments. The mats in the FVA set are filled with glitter and other items and are useful for conducting functional vision assessments. All the mats can be used for locating, tracking, color discrimination, etc. Try them with the APH Mini-Lite Box for a different effect. Includes background mat.

Swirly Mat from the FVA set

NOTE: Always provide supervision when using Swirly Mats with young children. Mats are completely sealed; however, in the event of a rupture, small pieces inside the mats may be a choking hazard. Liquids are non-toxic but will stain. Use caution.

NEW TITLE! Splish the Fish
Moving Ahead Series

A follow-up to APH’s On the Way to Literacy Series, Moving Ahead storybooks introduce symbolic representation, more complex illustrations, and an increased emphasis on text. The Reader’s Guide, (braille edition sold separately) contains general information, tips on using the storybooks, and additional resources. Recommended ages: Pre-K to 3rd grade.

Splish the Fish:
Splish the Fish Print/Braille Book (with Large Print Reader’s Guide): 6-77902-00–$44.00
Reader’s Guide only, Braille: 6-77906-00–$10.00

This read-aloud rhyming story features simple raised-line symbols representing Splish and his friends embedded in an areal pattern representing the ocean. The child tactually searches for Splish and helps him find his way back to his friends. An accompanying storyboard with hook/loop material-backed pieces permits the child to retell the story.

Also Available–Goin’ on a Bear Hunt:
Goin’ on a Bear Hunt Print/Braille Book (with Large Print Reader’s Guide): 6-77903-00–$44.00
Reader’s Guide only, Braille: 6-77907-00–$10.00

Based on the popular children’s "chant," the reader follows a tactile line through the "tall grass," up a "hill," etc., until the child reaches the "cave" and then back home again. The illustrations include contracted or uncontracted braille words provided on self-applied braille labels.

NEW! World at Your Fingers
1-01190-00 — $55.00

This comprehensive set of tactile world maps provides an excellent opportunity for developing map-reading skills.

World At Your Fingers features a large tactile reference map showing the major oceans and land masses of the Earth using high-contrast raised surfaces, braille and print labels, and textured lines and areas. It also shows major mountain ranges, rivers, and lines of longitude and latitude.

Four additional maps are included in this set:

  • Embossed map of the world
  • Raised-line world map
  • Sinusoidal ("orange peel") map
  • Map of Antarctica

A guidebook is included with suggested uses, general principles of map instruction, extension activities, and additional resources.

Recommended ages: 8+

NEW! Verbal View of the Net and WebTM
D-10512-00 — $50.00

Also Available:
Verbal View of Windows® XP: D-10500-00 — $50.00
Verbal View of Word®: D-10510-00 — $50.00
Verbal View of Word® Advanced: D-10511-00 — $50.00

Verbal View of the Net and Web explains how to access information on the internet and teaches accessibility features of Microsoft Internet Explorer®, features of various search engines, and using web-based data. This tutorial covers such topics as:

  • Connecting to the internet
  • Following links on web pages
  • Reading web pages that may seem inaccessible
  • Sending and receiving e-mail
  • Accessing intranets
  • Much more

Basic knowledge of Windows is required, but not experience with the Net or the Web. The Verbal View series emphasizes the use of the keyboard and some topics omitted from most books are discussed at length because they greatly benefit blind users. This tutorial comes on CD-ROM in DAISY 3.0 full-text, full-audio format, and also includes Microsoft Word®, HTML, contracted braille, and text versions.

Requirements to Run

Minimum system:

  • 300 MHz PC compatible computer running at least Windows® 98 or later or Windows 2000 or later (including Windows XP). Windows XP recommended
  • 96 MB RAM
  • 10 MB disk space
  • Internet Explorer® 5.5 or later
  • Sound card and speakers
  • CD-ROM drive

BIG DISCOUNT!! Braille ‘n Speak Scholar®
1-07320-01 — $800

Yes, the Braille ‘n Speak Scholar, normally selling for $1,249, is now discounted to $800 for the next 400 ordered!

This entry-level braille notetaker, from APH and Freedom Scientific, includes high-quality speech, improved interaction with PCs for better formatting and printing, and WinDisc and WinPrint software.

Feel ‘n Peel Stickers I and II:
Don’t Get Stuck on the Differences!

Feel ‘n Peel Assorted Stickers Kit (includes the four types of stickers below): 1-08843-00 — $77.00
Point Symbol Stickers: 1-08846-00 — $24.00
Smiley/Frowny Face Stickers: 1-08847-00 — $24.00
Reward Statements Stickers: 1-08848-00 — $24.00
Braille/Print Alphabet Letters Stickers: 1-08849-00 — $24.00

Feel ‘n Peel Assorted Stickers II Kit (includes the five types of stickers below and two white-coated magnetic sheets): 1-08864-00 — $96.00
Numbers Stickers: 1-08865-00 — $24.00
Reward Statements II Stickers: 1-08866-00 — $24.00
Stars Stickers: 1-08867-00 — $24.00
Point Symbols II Stickers: 1-08868-00 — $24.00
Color Names Stickers: 1-08869-00 — $24.00

Although similar in design, the assortment of stickers included in Feel ‘n Peel Stickers I and Feel ‘n Peel Sticker II are very different from each other.

Feel ‘n Peel Stickers I has been available from APH over 5 years and includes the following:

  • Braille/Print ALPHABET Stickers
  • Point Symbol stickers
  • Reward Statements (Wow, Great, Super, etc.)
  • Smiley Faces
  • Assorted Package I (with samplings of all the above Feel n’ Peel Stickers I packages)

The new Feel ‘n Peel Stickers II is printed and/or embossed on the same type of colorful material used for Feel n’ Peel Stickers I, but provides completely different stickers including the following:

  • Braille/Print NUMBER Stickers
  • Point Symbol stickers (new variety of choices)
  • Reward Statements II (Awesome, Terrific, Fabulous, etc.) with purple or green borders around the print/braille words
  • Stars (textured stars in a variety of colors)
  • Color Name stickers (e.g., Blue, Green, Red, etc.) in both print and braille
  • Assorted Package II (with samplings of all the above Feel n’ Peel Stickers II packages).
  • Extra bonus: The Feel n’ Peel Stickers II Assorted Package comes with 2 magnetic sheets that can be used to created reusable, magnetic-backed stickers. For example, just apply the number stickers to a magnetic sheet, cut them out, and use in combination with a metal surface.

APH Braille Book Corner

APH is now offering a number of new 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 approximately 8 weeks for delivery.

Dying in the Dark: A Tamara Hayle Mystery
by Valerie Wilson Wesley: T-N1575-20 — $48.50
Troubled by the murder of her best friend from high school, Private Investigator Tamara Hayle explores the secrets of Celia’s troubled life. Strong language. (Adult — Fiction)

The Havana Room
by Colin Harrison: T-N1578-00 — $106.00
His career and marriage over, lawyer Bill Wyeth agrees to help an acquaintance finalize a private deal but his new client’s dangerous obsessions soon ensnare him. Strong language, explicit descriptions of sex, and violence. (Adult — Fiction)

More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues
by Joel Best: T-N1577-90 — $51.50
Best explores common problems in numerical thinking: omission of data, confusion about categories, and unquestioned authority. (Adult — Non-Fiction)

Inside Grandad
by Peter Dickinson: T-N1574-80 — $25.00
Eleven-year-old Gavin tries to enlist the help of selkies (seal people) to communicate with his grandfather who is left in a coma after a stroke. (*AR #76700, Reading Level 5.5, Points: 5.0).

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

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Jack Decker, Vice President, Production
  • Brian Dougherty, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Elaine Kitchel, Low Vision Project Leader, Research
  • Becki Moody, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
  • Eleanor Pester, Braille Project Leader, Research
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests
  • Suzette Wright, Emergent Literacy Project Leader

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

September Issue –
August Issue –
July 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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