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APH News

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

October 2007

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

Cartoon drawing of a squid

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

The 139th Annual Meeting – October 11-13
"APH and Ex Officio Trustees: Expanding the Core"

Annual Meeting 2007 October 11-13 Louisville, Kentucky

Have you made your plans to join us for this exceptional Annual Meeting extravaganza? It’s not too late.

Why should you come to Louisville this October?

  • To hear Diane Wormsley, Cay Holbrook, Jane Erin, and Sharon Sacks present the FIRST report on the historic ABC Braille Study!
  • To enjoy Phil Hatlen’s memorable Keynote Address.
  • To applaud Millie Smith as she receives the Zickel Award for product development.
  • To learn about many exciting new APH products.
  • To hear Dr. Tinsley’s report on the State of the Company.
  • To celebrate the InSight Art Winners and Hall of Fame Inductees.
  • To learn from Jean Martin (MN) and Joe Catevera (NY) as they present the APH Advisory Committee Reports.
  • To enjoy the following Ex Officio Trustees as they facilitate the general sessions: Michael Bina (MA), Bill Daugherty (TX), Barbara McCarthy (VA), Rosie Pridgen (MS), John Roberts (KY), and Tom Winton (NC).
  • To meet the six APH Scholars who are direct service providers nominated by Ex Officio Trustees.
  • To relax on a leisurely boat ride down the Ohio River while enjoying a delicious dinner and dancing opportunity.
  • The chance to network with professional friends and attend a dozen related meetings.
  • And much, much more!

Visit the Annual Meeting website for details or call Kathy Smiddy at 800/223-1839, ext. 241.

AFB Publishes Significant New CVI Resource

Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention/Christine Roman-Lantzy/AFB Press

Recently Natalie Hilzen of AFB Press announced the publication of Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention by Christine Roman-Lantzy. Editor-in-Chief Hilzen states, "We think it is a significant new resource, and are very proud to be the publisher of this important contribution to the field". APH congratulates Dr. Roman-Lantzy, who serves as our CVI Project Leader, and AFB on this milestone. For additional information please go to the following links or

APH also wishes to bring to your attention Dr. Roman-Lantzy’s CVI Perspectives. This video, available in VHS or DVD from APH, provides valuable information to parents, teachers, and the medical field on CVI. Go to

NIMAC Milestone

NIMAC/National Instructional Materials Access Center

The National Instructional Materials Access Center has reached a new milestone with more than 2,000 NIMAS file sets now available for download by authorized users to convert into specialized formats, including braille! To date, 13 states have downloaded files or assigned them to Accessible Media Producers to download and convert on their behalf. In addition, 475 NIMAS files have been downloaded since NIMAC opened less than one year ago.

Wanted: First Grade Building on Patterns Field Testers!

The prototype of the Patterns revision, the first grade level of Building on Patterns, will be ready soon. We expect that the first volume of the Teacher’s Edition, which includes the first four student reader books, will be in the hands of those randomly selected for field testing by the second week of January 2008. A second volume with the remaining three books and lessons will follow at a later date.

Eligible students will be braille readers, five to eight years old, who know

  • all the letter words
  • contractions for and, for, of, the, and with
  • short vowel sounds
  • common sounds for the consonants

It is not necessary that the students be in first grade. They may be currently in Kindergarten (progressing quickly in braille reading), first grade, or second grade (progressing more slowly in braille reading).

If you are interested in evaluating this product, and have one or more appropriate students, could you please provide us with the following information for each student: child’s first name, age, grade
school/agency name. Please also indicate your teaching material preference (print or braille).

We value your input and thank you in advance for your help in the preparation of the best products for the community of visually impaired students. Send all information to Rosanne Hoffmann at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Tactile Graphics: Touching on the Basics

On the afternoon of September 11, more than 200 people across the country joined our live, interactive webcast on Tactile Graphics: Touching on the Basics. Tactile graphics packets containing samples of released test items and a graphic produced in four different formats were mailed to webcast registrants. Participants included test developers and publishers, special educators, teachers of students with visual impairments, accessible media producers, program coordinators, assessment staff, and school psychologists. Fred Otto and Karen Poppe, APH Tactile Graphic Project Leaders in the Research Department, provided some general practices, information on tactile vs. visual learning, approaches to adapting images, terminology, production methods, and more. To view the archived webcast, visit the APH Webcast Archive, and select the Tactile Graphics webcast by Karen and Fred. Questions asked during the presentation and responses will be posted on our website early in October. If you plan to view the archived web cast and need a tactile graphics packet, please contact Debbie Willis at email hidden; JavaScript is required. For additional information on "Tips and Techniques for Creating Quality Tactile Graphics," select the Tactile Graphics webcast by Betsy Burnham and Yan Zhang.

Exciting Oceanography Project with the Perkins School for the Blind

Map showing the study area, located between Greenland and Canada. The path of the Irminger Current and an eddy are also marked.

Perkins School for the Blind is engaged in an exciting science project with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. On Wednesday, September 19, a crew of oceanographers began a 10-day research voyage to the Labrador Sea to deploy a mooring that will launch floating measurement devices into passing eddies. The research will add to our knowledge of global ocean circulation and ultimately contribute to our understanding of climate change.

The expedition, called OceanInsight, is led by Dr. Amy Bower, a physical oceanographer at Woods Hole. Amy is legally blind and is committed to demonstrating to young people with visual impairments that they can pursue a career in science or any field that inspires them. And she wants a teacher to help her.

A Perkins science teacher, Kate Fraser, is also on the OceanInsight
expedition. She and Amy are creating an educational experience for students who are blind and visually impaired. During the research trip, they are writing daily journals, posting "audio postcards", making phone calls to Perkins classrooms, and responding to e-mail messages from students. These interactions from the research ship are being posted on an expedition website. The website is designed to be accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired.

Take a moment to go to From there you can go to the OceanInsight web portal and keep track of the expedition and participate in this unique educational opportunity.

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Gail Gibbard, Oregon Department of Education, replacing Larry Brown.

Melaney Stein, Division of Services for the Blind in North Carolina, replacing Jan Fesperman.

Madeleine L. Burkindine, the Kansas State School for the Blind, replacing William Daugherty.

Michael A. Hooley, the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, replacing Dotta Hassman.

Patsy K. Shank, the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, replacing Jane K. McBride.

Lindsey D. Pacheco, the Rehabilitation Center in Colorado, replacing Debbie Ellis.

Mark Laird, the Missouri Family Support Division, replacing Michael Fester.

William Daugherty, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, replacing Philip Hatlen.

Christine Hinton, the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, replacing David DeNotaris.

Robert Duncan, the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, replacing Olda Boubin.

Linda M. Lyle, the New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped, replacing Dianna Jennings.

Susan R. Mitchell, the Rhode Island Department of Education, replacing Katrena A. Traut-Savino.

Collette C. Bauman, the Michigan School for the Blind and the Michigan State Department of Education, replacing Kathleen Brown.

Linda Rosendall, the Maryland School for the Blind, replacing Elaine Sveen.

Irina Chernyak, the Maryland State Department of Education, replacing Lisa Wright.

Janet L. LaBreck, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, replacing David Govostes.

Julie Kagy, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, replacing Tom Winton.

Michael Hooley, the Iowa Department of Education, replacing Karen Blankenship.

Barbria T. Bacon, the Governor Morehead School, replacing Dennis Thurman.

Rebbecca A. Gwaltney, the Hope School, replacing Sherry Broughton.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


October 8, 2007
Tennessee School for the Blind Visit to APH

October 11-13, 2007
APH Annual Meeting 2007;
Louisville, KY

October 18, 2007
West Virginia Fall Conference
West Virginia School for the Blind

October 19-20, 2007
Kentucky Council Teachers of Math Fall Conference;
Lexington, KY

October 24-26, 2007
NIP Event: Learning to Use the Sensory Learning Kit;
Nebraska City, NE

October 25-27, 2007
NBA Fall Conference

October 31-November 1, 2007
IDEAS 508, 2007;
Washington, DC


November 2-3, 2007
KSB Kentucky Family Conference;
Louisville, KY

November 7-9, 2007
NIP Event: Cortical Visual Impairment-A Further Look at Assessment and Intervention;
Wichita, KS

November 8-9, 2007
AERO: A Shared Vision (Ohio Chapter of AER);
Mount Sterling, OH

November 8, 2007
Pre-conference Workshop for MACRT-ASERT;
Las Vegas, NV

November 9-11, 2007
Las Vegas, NV

November 14-15, 2007
NIP Event: Learning to Use the Sensory Learning Kit;
Los Angeles, CA

November 29-December 2, 2007
Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference;
St. Petersburg, FL

For a "Sneak Peek" at New and Soon-to-be-Released APH Products, Visit the Products Showcase at Annual Meeting 2007!

The Product Showcase is your chance to get a first look at some of the new products offered by APH. Most items are available now, with a few "soon-to-be released," so check them out at the APH Annual Meeting in Louisville, October 11-13, 2007.

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

Come see a demo of our revolutionary Braille+™ Mobile Manager. Get your hands on the StackUps spatial concepts cubes. Check out the revised Patterns braille teaching series, now called Building On Patterns.

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

APH Flea Market of Surplus and Discontinued Inventory

The APH Fleamarket

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.

NEW! SQUID Tactile Activities Magazine, Issue 4

Issue 4: 1-08862-04 — $54.00

Cartoon drawing of a squid

Other Issues of SQUID Available:
Issue 1: 1-08862-01 — $48.00
Issue 2: 1-08862-02 — $45.00
Issue 3: 1-08862-03 — $56.00

SQUID Tactile Activities Magazine is intended to be deceptively fun — while your child or student enjoys solving a variety of activities in each SQUID issue, he or she will actually (secretively — Shhh!) build and acquire skills that will enable him to become a more proficient tactile reader.

The fourth issue includes activities such as:

  • Put on A Happy Face (includes stickers to complete activity)
  • Beyond Castle Walls (with additional coloring page)
  • Don’t Mis-State Me
  • Incredible Shrinking Bedroom
  • Money Tree
  • Paige Turner’s Bookshelf

Look for more future announcements of SQUID issues in the APH News or at

Recommended Ages: 5+

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 approximately 8 weeks for delivery.

A Kick in the Head
by Paul B. Janeczko, Braille: T-N1627-50 — $12.50
This guide to twenty-nine poetic forms includes examples and a narrative description of each. Grades 5-8. (AR#86581, RL 6.0, Pts. 1)

Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier
by Tom Bodett, Braille: T-N1627-30 — $37.00
Fifteen short stories about Alaskan teen Norman Tuttle chronicle his adventures from fishing to falling in love. Junior high and up. (AR#83557, RL 5.3, Pts. 7)

Hard Truth
by Mariah Stewart, Braille: T-N1634-70 — $72.00
Lorna asks ex-FBI agent TJ Dawson to investigate an old crime involving the disappearance of a childhood friend. Strong language and violence. Adult.

by Nuruddin Farah, Braille: T-N1627-60 — $97.00
NY professor Jeeblah returns to his native Somalia after two decades to settle his mother’s estate. Adult.

What it Takes to Pull me Through: Why Teenagers Get in Trouble and how Four of them Got Out
by David L Marcus, Braille: T-N1633-90 — $110.50
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist profiles four successful teens from Massachusetts’s Academy at Swift River, an exclusive therapeutic boarding school utilizing rigorous courses, wilderness training, and group therapy. Some strong language. Adult.

*Accelerated Reader number, reading 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 Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Stephanie Chaney, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Rosanne Hoffman, Research Assistant, Research
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services and NIMAC
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field services
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

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 –

The APH News is a monthly publication from the American Printing House for the Blind:
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206

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