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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 2008

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

APH's Perkins Brailler

APH’s 140th Annual Meeting, "Celebrating 150 Years of Building Independence," Proclaimed a Success!

More on this exciting celebration, with photos, in the November edition of the APH News!

APH Encourages TBAG Competition!

Are tactile books your cup of tea? TBAG (Tactile Books Advancement Group) invites you to enter a tactile book of your own creation in their upcoming tactile book competition! TBAG was founded by parents and professionals to promote the design, provision and enjoyment of tactile books for blind and partially sighted children. The competition is being organized in association with the Tactile Graphics 2008 conference in Birmingham, UK, on December 3-5, run by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). ( Short-listed entries will be exhibited at the Conference. Further winners will be selected by a panel of specialists in the field. The deadline for receipt of entries is November 1st, 2008.

Entries may be:

  • based on an existing print book
  • based on a traditional folktale or rhyme
  • entirely original

Books must be designed for one of the following three age categories:

  • 3 to 6 years
  • 7 to 12 years
  • 13 years and older, with learning difficulties

Visit the TBAG website for guidance, ideas, and entry information.

APH encourages teachers and parents to submit one-of-a-kind tactile storybooks that they have designed using APH tactile materials (e.g., Graphic Art Tape, Textured Paper, Rolling Right Along panels) in combination with other collage materials. Not required, but if you get a chance, consider emailing photos of your tactile book submissions to Suzette Wright email hidden; JavaScript is required or Karen Poppe email hidden; JavaScript is required

We would love to see your creative tactile book ideas!

"FREE For All!" — NEW! Free at the APH Website Today:
Guide to Designing Tactile Illustrations for Children’s Books

Guide to Designing Tactile Illustrations for Children's Books

The Guide offers teachers, caregivers, and transcribers information concerning:

  • the role of tactile illustrations in books for a young child
  • challenges and limitations of tactile illustrations
  • factors that contribute to a well-designed tactile illustration
  • considerations in designing a meaningful tactile illustration
  • information supporting an overall sequence of difficulty for various types of tactile illustrations
  • types of tactile illustrations and tools and materials to create them

The 35-page illustrated Guide is available in multiple file formats:

  • HTML
  • Print PDF (Portable Document Format)
  • BRF (Braille Ready File)

Follow the link below to the format of your choice:
or visit the APH homepage, click the "Research & Development" tab, then select "Research Resources." Click on Guide to Designing Tactile Illustrations for Children’s Books.

Please help us spread the word about the availability of this new and useful guide!

Fall in the APH Museum

Army Signal Corps Sensory Aid (Warren Bledsoe AER Division Nine Archives, American Printing House for the Blind)

The Museum at the American Printing House announced its 2008-2009 program schedule this month. You can check out details at This fall’s offerings include two successful craft programs from previous years and a symposium for Veteran’s Day celebrating advances in Orientation & Mobility after World War II. If you haven’t experienced one of our museum workshops, they are a mixture of fun, Elmer’s glue-all, and the exploration of our shared history.

Saturday, October 25, Halloween Mask Workshop
It will be a scary fun time as we let our imaginations soar at the craft table. Using tactile materials, staff will guide participants of all ages and abilities as they make a scary or silly Halloween mask or headdress. The workshop is free to the public but registration is required. Call 899-2365 by October 23 to register.

Saturday November 15, Veterans Day Symposium
Thousands of soldiers returned home from their service during World War II without something they left with: their vision. The U.S. Veterans Administration set out to devise new techniques and invent new devices to allow them to achieve the dreams they left behind to serve our country. Join us on Saturday, November 15 for an afternoon program exploring the birth of modern rehabilitation for people with vision loss, including a viewing of the classic 1953 documentary "The Long Cane." Call 899-2365 by November 13 to register.

Saturday, December 6, Holiday Card Factory
The winter holiday season can be a delight to the senses: the smell of evergreen trees, the crackle of wrapping paper, the taste of family treats, and the sounds of holiday tunes. Why should your holiday cards be any different? Join our museum staff in a tactile holiday card making workshop at the American Printing House for the Blind. Families can explore different materials that evoke the spirit of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza, and add a message in braille. The workshop is free to the public but registration is required. Call 899-2365 by December 4 to register

Photo: Army Signal Corps Sensory Aid (Warren Bledsoe AER Division Nine Archives, American Printing House for the Blind)

APH Offers Its First Home Grown Webcam Presentations: Making Test Items Accessible

Thanks to the recording efforts of Maria Delgado (Field Services) and Michael Sell (Accessible Tests) all the major presentations provided at APH during our August 18-19, 2008 workshop on "Making Test Items Accessible for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired" will soon be available as archived webcam files on the APH website. Archived presentations include half-hour to one hour sessions on an overview, general issues, and universal design by Dr. Carol Allman; braille basics and the roles of the test editor, transcriber, and proofreader by Michael Sell; tactile graphics issues and guidelines by Karen Poppe; large print and color issues and guidelines by Elaine Kitchel; audio, verbal, and multimedia issues by Kris Scott; and more.
Sets of the workshop handouts significantly help to make the archived presentations more meaningful and are available upon request for a nominal fee. Contact email hidden; JavaScript is required.

APH Advisory Group on CVI Meets

The APH CVI Advisory Group pictured in front of the Wall of Tribute

In August, APH established a Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) Advisory Group to provide guidance on CVI as it relates to APH’s mission of product development and services to support those products. The APH CVI Advisory Group was challenged to review the issues that might impact this mission, such as: definition; screening; medical assessment; functional vision assessment; other assessment considerations; service delivery; and training needs. The members of the group were selected based on their expertise and the nominations of Ex Officio Trustees who have sponsored APH National Instructional Partnerships on CVI. When completed, the Group’s recommendations will be made available to our APH Ex Officio Trustees, and other interested persons. This effort was led by APH CVI Project Leader, Dr. Chris Roman-Lantzy.

Photo: Dr. Alan Lantzy, Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, Dr. Anne Nielsen, Dr. Tracy Evans Luiselli, Linda Nobles, Sandra Newcomb, Dr. Betsy Flener, Dr. Carey Matsuba. Advisory Group members unable to attend: Dr. Gordon Dutton, Dr. William Good, Dr. James Jan, Dr. Luisa Mayer.

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Melanie S. Austin, the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, replacing Lorraine "Lorri" Quigley.

Harold D. Hanson, the Duluth Lighthouse for the Blind, replacing Georgia Guite.

Erin Fairben, the New York State Education Department and the New York State School for the Blind, replacing Laraine P. Caton.

Patrick D. Clancy, the Iowa Department of Education. Patrick is also Ex Officio Trustee to Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, replacing Michael Hooley.

Dorinda Rife, to the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, replacing Robert Hill.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


October 2, 2008
WestEd Bias Review Committee Meeting;
Frankfort, KY

October 2-4, 2008
APH Annual Meeting 2008;
Louisville, KY

October 17, 2008
AERO (Ohio AER Conference);
Cincinnati, OH

October 29-November 1, 2008
National Braille Association Conference;
Lexington, KY


November 11, 2008
Indiana AER;
Spencer, IN

November 13-15, 2008
MACRT/ASERT 2008 Conference;
Birmingham, AL

November 17-19, 2008
North Carolina Conference on Exceptional Children;
Greensboro, NC

November 21-22, 2008
NIP – Making It Count: Math Skills for Students Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired;
Los Angeles, CA

APH Harvest Sale 2008

Reap a harvest of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Harvest Sale 2008, October 1 through December 31. As always, first come, first served.

What’s New in Fred’s Head?

Have you visited the Fred’s Head Companion blog lately? If not, check out and see what’s new! You’ll discover a wealth of information for anyone who is blind or visually impaired or for anyone interested in a wide variety of blindness-related topics. Articles are posted on a daily basis and are constantly being updated by Michael McCarty, APH’s Expert Database Coordinator.

We have added some new features that make reading articles even easier. You can find these features by clicking the speaker icon ("listen" link) just under the title of each article. By clicking the link, you can hear each article read aloud in a clear, natural sounding synthetic voice. Visitors also have the opportunity to download each article as an MP3 file or to subscribe to a podcast so that all articles can be automatically delivered to their computer, MP3 player, or notetaker. Text versions of articles can be delivered via email or through an RSS feed. Instructions on how to receive podcasts or text through an RSS feed are available on the Fred’s Head Companion page under the "Syndication" heading or you can contact Michael McCarty with any questions at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Please note the new URL and visit the Fred’s Head Companion at

NEW! APH’s Perkins Brailler® — The Next Generation™

APH Blue Model: 1-00800-00 — $650.00
Note: This new brailler IS available with Federal Quota funds.

APH's Perkins Brailler

The classic Perkins Brailler® has been reimagined, retaining all the attributes that make it the most widely used braillewriter in the world. The Next Generation™ Perkins/APH Brailler is quieter, lighter, and more comfortable for brailling. It includes functions that YOU asked for: a built-in eraser, a way to read the page easily while writing, a shorter keystroke requiring less force, and margin guides on the front. And there’s more…the Perkins/APH Brailler features a sleek design with tactile elements, environmentally-friendly materials, and an APH Blue color.


  • Lighter and smaller: Easier to hold and carry
  • Quieter: The keystroke noise is reduced, end-of-line bell is audible but muted
  • Gentle Touch Keys: Less force required, keys are lower and easier to reach
  • Easy-Erase Button: Push to erase an entire braille cell
  • Easy-Grip Handle: The Brailler base is also a handle
  • Reading Rest: The back panel can be raised to provide a flat surface for reading the page
  • Front Panel Margin Guides: Easily accessible; no more reaching around the back
  • Highly durable: Metal inner frame and parts, and high-impact polycarbonate outer shell
  • Paper-Feed Knobs: Easier to hold and turn
  • High contrast colors between keys and Brailler body for low vision users
  • Environmentally friendly: Uses less oil and recyclable plastic
  • Sleek design with tactile-friendly materials
  • One year limited warranty

APH's Perkins Brailler, rear view


Weight: 25% lighter than the Classic Perkins Brailler
Dimensions: 12"L x 10"W x 6"H
Paper Size: 8 1/2" x 11" (max. 8 1/2" x 14"), 28 cells

Special Introductory Video!

Special Web Page Celebrates the New "Next Generation" Brailler

Hear the specially written song NEXT GENERATION by Raul Midón at and learn more about the new Perkins/APH Brailler.

NEW! Brigance Diagnostic Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills, Revised, 1999 (CIBS-R): Student Large Print Edition
4-00000-00 — $153.00

Replacement Items:
Large Print Toss-Away Ruler (24 pack): 1-03011-00 — $10.00
GlaReducers (pack of 4): 1-03062-00 — $10.00

Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills by Albert H. Brigance Student Large Print Edition

This assessment is also known as Brigance Green. CIBS-R is a criterion-referenced inventory that assesses, on an individual basis, a student’s strengths or weaknesses in specific skill areas. The CIBS-R has been especially useful in support of IEP development and program planning.

The revised 1999 edition spans grades pre-kindergarten through nine. Innovations include options for group administration, updated grade placement tests, updated skill sequences, and alternative assessment options for pretests and posttests. Two spiral bound volumes contain the student pages, which can lie flat or be used on a bookstand or with a CCTV.


  • Color-coded tabs and divider pages match the print test colors
  • Spiral bound volumes can lie flat or fold back
  • Enlarged illustrations and maps printed on separate 11 x 17 inch "pull-out" pages
  • Large Print Toss-Away Rulers supplied for math subtests
  • GlaReducers glare-reducing sheets included

Note: Administration and scoring of this large print edition should be carried out by trained paraprofessionals and professionals precisely in accordance with instructions found in the regular print edition.

Note: This student large print edition was designed to be used only in conjunction with the print inventory. To order the print test, student record books, and other regular print materials, contact: Curriculum Associates, Inc., 153 Rangeway Road, North Billerica, MA 01862-0901, 800-225-0248, Fax: 800-366-1158,

NEW! EZ Track Calendar 2009: A Low Vision Appointment Book and Calendar

Calendar with binder: 1-07900-09 — $31.00
Calendar inserts only, no binder: 1-07901-09 — $26.75

EZ Track Calendar 2009

APH’s EZ Track Calendar provides teens and adults with an organized way of keeping track of appointments, dates, bills, holidays and other events. Each large print page holds four days, with enough room to write notes and appointments. The calendar comes with a three-ring binder, or can be ordered with out a binder.

NEW! Black Work-Play Trays

Small Work-Play Tray (17 x 11 3/4 inches):
NEW! Black: 1-03751-00 — $15.00
Yellow: 1-03660-00 — $15.00

Dividers for work-play trays

Optional Item
Dividers for Small Work-Play Tray (4-pack):
Divides the work area into two, three, four, or five parts.
1-03770-00 — $24.00

Large Work-Play Tray (21 1/4 x 13 1/4 inches):
NEW! Black: 1-03761-00 — $25.00
Yellow: 1-03740-00 — $21.00

Black and yellow work-play trays

These classic APH work-play trays hold objects that might roll out of reach. Trays provide an enclosed workspace for sorting, matching, classifying, counting. The previous gray trays have been replaced by black to provide higher contrast. Yellow trays are also available.

NEW! Portable Sound Source, Sport Edition

Portable Sound Source: Sport Edition, with Sound Localization Guidebook in Large Print and Remote Control:
1-03045-00 — $246.00

Optional Item
Sound Localization Guidebook, Braille: 5-03045-00 — $28.00

Replacement Items
Sound Localization Guidebook, Large Print: 7-03045-00 — $28.00
Remote Control for Sport Edition: 1-03045-01 — $47.00

Related Item
Portable Sound Source 2003 with Sound Localization Guidebook in Large Print: 1-03040-02 — $175.00

Portable Sound Source Sport Edition

Create audio tones that provide directional cues for orientation and mobility, sound localization training, or playground games and sports. This new, lightweight Portable Sound Source: Sport Edition comes with a remote control and carrying strap. The carrying strap can be used as a belt for hiking or a game of Follow the Leader. Other uses for the sound source are: identify home base, a safety zone, or a basketball goal.

  • Receiver is powered by 5 AA batteries (not included) that are easy to replace
  • Transmitter is powered by a 23A 12 Volt alkaline battery (included) and is programmable
  • Rate of tone is variable using step increments from 36 to 360 pulses per minute
  • Pitch is variable using step increments from 600 to 1200 hertz
  • On/off switch and rate, volume, and tone knobs are mounted on the front face for easy operation
  • Large speaker measures 3.5"
  • Dimensions: 7 1/8" x 4 7/8" x 1 9/16"
  • Weight: approximately 1 1/2 pounds (with batteries)
  • Large Print Sound Localization Guidebook

Recommended ages: 6 years and up.

Cover of the Sound Localization Guidebook

Note: The Sound Localization Guidebook provides teachers of young learners who are visually impaired with specific activities that may be used to develop sound localization skills. Group games are presented to practice those skills. The braille version guidebook is sold separately.

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.

Night of the New Magicians: Magic Tree House, Book #35
by Mary Pope Osborne, Braille: T-N1658-50 — $20.50
Merlin sends Jack and Annie to the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, France. Their mission is to find four new magicians in the crowds at the Eiffel Tower and protect them from an evil sorcerer. Juvenile Fiction, Grades 2-4. *(AR Quiz #105864, BL 4.0, Pts. 2.0)

Beyond the Valley of Thorns
by Patrick Carman, Braille: T-N1658-10 — $50.00
One year after her adventures in The Dark Hills Divide, Alexa leaves Bridewell to return to the hills and save the kingdom from evil. Along the way Alexa battles giants, rats, and ogres. Juvenile Fiction, Grades 4-7.
*(AR Quiz #101196, BL 6.2, Pts. 8.0)

Crispin: At the Edge of the World
by Avi, Braille: T-N1691-30 — $51.00
Fourteenth-century England. This sequel to Crispin: The Cross of Lead finds Crispin and the enormous red-haired juggler, Bear, fleeing for their lives from a rebel brotherhood. When Bear is wounded, Crispin relies on an ancient healer and a disfigured girl for help. Juvenile Fiction, Grades 6-9.
*(AR Quiz #108313, BL 4.8, Pts. 7.0)

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised Ten Kids on 25 Words or Less
by Terry Ryan, Braille: T-N1658-80 — $88.50
A daughter recounts how her mother overcame poverty, near-starvation, and an alcoholic, abusive husband to support ten children during the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. Relates the mother’s talent for writing prize-winning jingles. Biography, Upper Grades and Adult. *(AR Quiz #105984, BL 6.5, Pts. 13.0)

A Christmas Secret
by Anne Perry, Braille: T-N1690-80 — $35.00
December, 1890. London vicar Dominic Corde and his wife, Clarice, spend Christmas in an isolated village where Dominic substitutes for the Reverend Wynter, who has taken a last-minute holiday. But Wynter isn’t on vacation at all. Dominic and Clarice investigate but soon find themselves in danger. Mystery Fiction, 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 Website Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Mike Hudson, Director, APH Museum
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Gwynn Stewart, Support Specialist, Communications
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests
  • Suzette Wright, Early Literacy Project Leader, Research

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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