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

October 2012

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

The Extra Mile is Getting Closer!

Kristie Smith

Lisa Wright

Ted Hull

The 144th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests will take place October 11 – 13, 2012, at the Galt House Hotel, right here in Louisville! This year we are saluting the dedicated service providers who travel literal and figurative miles to assist APH in our national work. Among those going the extra mile to attend are keynote speaker Cay Holbrook, and myriad presenters, including APH staff and consultants such as Kay Ferrell, Derrick Smith, Lisa Wright, Debra Sewell, Donna Brostek Lee, Kristie Smith, and so many writers for Building on Patterns that you’ll be amazed! Speaking of amazing, did we mention Ted Hull, retired teacher and author, will be on hand to discuss his book and his experiences while serving as a private teacher and tutor for Stevie Wonder in the 60s.

You will want to visit “Camp Information Fair” for the latest and greatest on APH products and projects, and some great campfire snacks. The InSights Art Awards Banquet is sure to inspire, and you’ll find many opportunities to network with APH staff and other colleagues as YOU travel the extra miles between your room and the meeting rooms at the Galt House! Don’t forget Phil Hatlen’s and Pete Wurzburger’s inductions into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, a not to be missed moment in the history of our field!

Online registration ended September 30, but you are encouraged to come and register at the door. Join us on the extra mile! We’ll be looking for you!

North Carolina – Home of our Newest Unforgettable APH Video Stars

South Elementary student, Deanté Jaheim Royster, and teacher, Mary Heald Sjogren, are the winners of our Summer 2012 Unforgettable APH Video Contest. Student and teacher teamed up to bring us the first place winning video entitled, Tactile Graphics Kit.

You’ll be the judge, but we think that Deanté’s winning personality is sure to increase our Tactile Graphics Kit sales! Deanté and Mary won the $150 cash prize, as well as an $25.00 gift card. Congratulations to both of you!

To watch this clever video, and for more information about the ongoing Unforgettable APH Star Contest, please visit

Oldies but Goodies: The “Established” APH Product Series

Comparison of Old Swing Cell (red) with Newer Swing Cell Compact (yellow)

Reading Position

Writing Position

Peg Storage

The Swing Cell Compact is a smaller and lighter version of the older Swing Cell that had a base. It is used to introduce braille, practice dot numbers, and to help students understand the relationship between the braille cell and the keys on a braillewriter. Black pegs are used to represent the dots in a cell or the keys on a braillewriter.

When the device is in the reading position, two rows of holes are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the user’s body, with the hinge at the top of the device. When the device is in the writing position, two rows of holes are adjacent to each other in a line parallel to the user’s body, and the hinge is at the bottom of the device. Hook-and-loop material is used to hold the device securely in either position.

This product comes with twelve pegs. When not in use, six pegs can be stored in two holes that are in the center of the wooden blocks. Storing the device in the writing position will keep the pegs from falling out of the device. The included adhesive foam backing can be applied to the bottom of the device to help keep the device from sliding during use.

If you have any suggestions for other products you would like to see highlighted in this monthly feature, please send your comments to Monica Turner at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

From the Field:

Opportunity is KNOCKING….New England’s Blind/Visually Impaired Alpine Ski Festival Week

This national event is designed to create a unique social, recreational and educational experience for skiers of all levels. Skiers will have the opportunity to develop their skiing abilities on all levels of terrain with their own guides or qualified festival volunteers. Skills enhancement will also be available for guides from Certified PSIA Adaptive and experienced clinicians.

Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, Carrabasset Valley, Maine,
NEVI FESTIVAL facebook page:

E-mail: email hidden; JavaScript is required, Dates: February 10 – 14, 2013.

BANA to Hold Fall Board Meeting in Los Angeles

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA), which meets face-to-face semiannually, will hold its fall meeting on November 2–4, 2012, in Los Angeles, CA. This meeting is hosted by the Braille Institute of America (BIA), a BANA member organization. Meetings on November 2, including an Open Forum, will take place at the BIA, which is located at 741 North Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles, CA. Meetings on November 3 and 4 will be held at the Los Angeles Marriot Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center located at 2500 North Hollywood Way in Burbank.

BANA will host an Open Forum on Friday morning, November 2, from 10:00 AM until 12:00. The first half-hour will be an informal reception with coffee provided. This forum is the venue for participants to ask questions and discuss braille with the Board and to learn more about the workings of BANA. Members of the BANA Board want to hear participants’ views about issues surrounding braille and its future. Braille readers, teachers, and producers of braille are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to participate in a round-table discussion with the members of the BANA Board. To reserve your space at the Open Forum and to help ensure accurate counts for handouts, contact BANA Chair Frances Mary D’Andrea at 412-521-5797 or by email at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

As always, interested parties are invited to observe the BANA Board meetings. Items on the Board’s agenda include reports from all of BANA’s committees as well as votes pertaining to the future of braille codes in the United States. One direction under consideration is the adoption of Unified English Braille while maintaining the Nemeth Code. To reserve a seat as an observer, please contact Frances Mary D’Andrea at 412-521-5797 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

For additional resource information, visit

STEM Accessibility Consortium Meeting in Louisville Next Week

A popular related meeting last October, held the same weekend as APH’s Annual Meeting, was the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Consortium meeting. The STEM meeting will be held again this year and will feature discussion of issues related to the development and delivery of accessible content in the STEM areas of the Core Curriculum.

The discussion panel will include some of the leading experts on STEM access. Some topics will include: improving image and graphic content for accessible instructional materials; demonstration of the Talking LabQuest; the IDEAL ePub3 Reader; MathPlayer 3 software; and plans, progress, and interim results from the joint research project led by Educational Testing Service to make math more accessible.

This meeting will be held in the Jones Room at the Galt House Hotel on Thursday, October 11, from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm. This meeting is open to all who wish to attend. Last year the meeting was SRO, so arrive early! Contact: Steve Noble, email hidden; JavaScript is required, 502-969-3088

We Need Your Assistance!

Have you administered the Braille Adaptation of the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement?

It has been almost two years now since the Braille Adaptation of the WJ III Tests of Achievement was published, and we are still working to gather scores for as many braille readers as possible. This will provide valuable insight into the academic achievement of braille readers. APH Test & Assessment Project Leader Barbara Henderson and Dr. Jane Erin of the University of Arizona are collaborating to gather and analyze the scores of blind students who have taken the test. This information will help us understand general areas of strength and weakness, as well as achievement by grade and age. Not only can we evaluate the usefulness of the test, but we can also identify areas in which students who read braille are successful or have difficulty.

If you are a professional who has given the WJ III in braille or an Instructional Materials Coordinator, we are asking for your help in gathering anonymous copies of students’ scores for the study. We need copies of the Test Record and the Score Report from each student who has taken the test. No consent forms are needed because identifying information will be removed before submission to APH. Even if you administered only one or two of the tests, the scores are important to us.

If you are an Instructional Materials Coordinator, please send this message to each person who has borrowed and used the WJ III in braille. If you are a teacher or other professional who has given the test, please email Barbara Henderson at APH (email hidden; JavaScript is required). She will make sure that you get a copy of the letter about the materials needed and how to prepare them before mailing. We need a lot more scores!

Thank you for helping to provide information that will help us to better understand how our students learn!

Calendar Time Survey

Based on input from an Early Childhood Focus Group that met at APH in August 2012, APH has developed a survey to ascertain the current practices of “calendar time” in the early childhood classroom. The results of this survey will guide APH regarding the next steps for development of a Calendar Time Kit.

The survey is available via Google Drive:

We greatly appreciate your input on this topic. After completing the survey, simply hit “Submit” and your responses will be sent directly to APH staff. Please contact Burt Boyer (email hidden; JavaScript is required) or Monica Vaught-Compton (email hidden; JavaScript is required) if you have any questions related to this survey. Thank you.

Kentucky NIP Event

The Kentucky School for the Blind Outreach Program welcomed 27 Kentucky families at the Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville, KY, September 21-23, 2012. The parents attended an educational workshop conducted by adapted physical education professionals Dr. Lauren Lieberman (The College at Brockport, SUNY) and doctoral candidate Justin Haegele (Ohio State University). The workshop, sponsored by APH as a National Instructional Partnership (NIP) event, gave parents the opportunity to play sports wearing vision simulators that replicated their child’s visual impairment. Each child was partnered with a volunteer counselor to play sports and participate in recreational activities using APH products and product prototypes. Kentucky APH Ex Officio Trustee Meg Stone and Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) Family Services Director Mitch Dahmke did an outstanding job of organizing the weekend. The KSB Outreach teachers and local high school and university students were fantastic counselors.

Treasures from the APH Libraries

The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collection of nonmedical information related to blindness in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, arrangements can be made to use the materials on-site. In addition, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will continue to make materials available through the online catalog at

Two of the many "Treasures from the APH Libraries" are described below.

From the Migel Library: Braille Book Review, Pre-Publication Manuscripts.

Still published bi-monthly by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Braille Book Review is an annotated list of braille works available through a network of libraries. It is distributed to those who participate in the Library of Congress Reading Program. The Migel Library holds unique, pre-publication manuscripts of the Review from the first issue in 1931 through 1952. The typewritten drafts include a large amount of handwritten editing that illustrates the thought processes and evolutions behind everything from the Review’s subtitle, to the word count of an annotation, to the differing opinions of a presented work. Just as interesting is the glimpse of the popular braille literature of the past that it gives the reader. The collection also traces the Braille Book Review’s collaborative publication history. It was originally printed by the American Braille Press for War and Civilian Blind for the New York Public Library. By 1935, the American Printing House for the Blind had taken over printing duties. Then, in 1941, APH continued to print the Review, but it began to be published by the American Foundation for the Blind and the Library of Congress. Manuscripts from 1931 through 1936 are available at the Migel Library’s Internet Archive page in digital format.

From the Barr Library: Hatlen, Philip H. Some Thoughts on the Current Status of Blind Youth. Illinois Instructional Materials Center, 1974.

Held in the Barr Library’s pamphlet file, this four-page work is dense with information. The paper begins its discussion of the assimilation of blind youth into society with the significance of Retrolental Fibroplasia (now called Retinopathy of Prematurity) on academic performance and daily living. The paper then suggests that educational priorities should be reevaluated. It states that independent living, recreational, and social skills should all be included in the education of blind youth, and that it begin as early as kindergarten. There is then a discussion of communal living versus independent living, and it closes with information about employment barriers to blind youth. The last line of the paper reads “…I will discuss at greater length when we are together,” suggesting that it may have been an introductory work for a meeting or conference that was sent in advance by Dr. Hatlen.

Contact Library staff: email hidden; JavaScript is required, 800-223-1839, ext. 705

Accessible Textbooks Department Staff News!

Congratulations to Adam Clark, the new Tactile Graphic Designer in the Accessible Textbooks Department. Adam replaces Anthony Slowinski who recently moved to the Research Department to design graphics for products and product packaging. Adam has worked at APH for over four years making materials accessible both in braille and large print.

Adam will be the lead contact for the Tactile Graphic Image Library, edit and repair tactile graphics in textbooks, and present at conferences across the country. You can contact him at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Enter the APH Facebook "Like Us" Contest!
Win a $250 APH Gift Certificate!

Have you "Liked" the APH Facebook page? Like us by midnight, Friday October 12, 2012, and you will be entered in a random drawing for a $250 APH gift certificate! Everyone who has Liked our page by October 12 will be eligible for the drawing, subject to the official rules. Drawing will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2012 during the closing session of APH Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky (although we’d enjoy your participation in the meeting, you do not have to be present to win).

By Liking us on Facebook, you’ll get great information about APH products, services, and events, plus you may just win an APH gift certificate!

You can also find APH at these social media sites: Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

APH Welcomes new Ex Officio Trustees

Mary Lane, the New Hampshire Department of Education, replacing replaced Kim Stiles.

Brenda Alexander, the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education – Wood, replacing Nelson Grinnage.

Serena Preston, the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, replacing Marybeth Lauderdale.

Peter Dally, the Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped & Educational Services for the Visually Impaired, replacing Stacy Grandt.

C. William Bulloch, the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, replacing Greg Schmieg.

Larry Dickerson, the Lions World Services for the Blind (in Arkansas), replacing Heather Sanders.

Stacy Shamblott, the Vision Los Services (in Minnesota), account has reopened.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


October 3-5, 2012
Georgia Vision Educators State-wide Training;
Macon, GA

October 11-13, 2012
APH Annual Meeting;
Louisville, KY

October 22-27, 2012
National Braille Association Fall Professional Conference and Board Meeting;
San Antonio, TX


November 1-2, 2012
NIP Event: Woodcock Johnson with Lynne Jaffe;
Tampa, FL

November 2-3, 2012
Utah AER 2012;
Salt Lake City, UT

November 8-9, 2012
South Carolina AER;
North Myrtle Beach, SC

November 8-9, 2012
Indianapolis, IN

November 30-December 12, 2012
NFB Tactile Graphics Conference;
at National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, MD


None planned at this time.


January 30-February 2, 2013
ATIA 2013;
Orlando, FL


February 25 – March 1, 2013
CSUN 2013;
San Diego, CA

APH Fall Harvest Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Fall Harvest Sale 2012, October 1—December 31. As always, first come, first served.

NEW! Getting to Know You: A Social Skills and Ability Curriculum

1-08052-00 — $259.00

Getting To Know You is a social skills/awareness curriculum for grades K-12 in which blind and visually impaired students and sighted students interact and get to know each other.

The Getting to Know You kit is designed for VI teachers, orientation & mobility specialists, other related service personnel, general education teachers, and families. Authors Nita Crow and Stephanie Herlich have created a curriculum that engages students who are blind and visually impaired with their sighted age-mates in activities that promote social competence and awareness of the ways in which students who are blind or visually impaired learn social skills.

Lessons can be initiated at lunch or during classroom free time. Each lesson takes 30-45 minutes to complete so that interference with academic activities is limited. Each lesson contains a clearly stated objective, skills addressed, an introduction, a list of materials needed, and a step-by-step explanation of the activities. An icon at the top of each page identifies whether a lesson is about social skills, ability awareness, or a combination of the two.

Example Lessons

A few of the many lessons include:

  • Kindergarten–Second Grade: Guiding Friends, “Go Fish” Using Braille and Tactile Symbols, How Would You Feel?
  • Third–Fifth Grade: Orientation & Mobility Scavenger Hunt, Play Under Blindfold, Who Are You?
  • Middle/High School: Cane Skills, Getting to Know You Bingo, Social Awareness

Kit Includes

  • Blindfolds
  • Low vision simulators: tunnel vision, 20/200, and 20/400
  • Through Grandpa’s Eyes storybook by Patricia MacLachlan (print/braille)
  • Facial Expression Cards
  • Go Fish Cards
  • Bingo boards (print/braille) and chips
  • Adhesive picture labels for preparing snacks: “Gorp”
  • Hook/loop material strips
  • Guidebook in regular print and on CD in brf, html, and Word formats
  • CD also contains specific lesson files in brf and Word formats for each group

NEW! Test Ready: Plus Reading: Books 5 and 6

Test Ready: Plus Reading: Book 5:
Teacher Guide:
Braille Edition: 5-00525-00 — $16.00
Large Print Edition: 7-00525-00 — $16.00
Student Book:
Braille Edition: 5-00526-00 — $35.00
Large Print Edition: 7-00526-00 — $30.00

Test Ready: Plus Reading: Book 6:
Teacher Guide:
Braille Edition: 5-00527-00 — $16.00
Large Print Edition: 7-00527-00 — $16.00
Student Book:
Braille Edition: 5-00528-00 — $35.00
Large Print Edition: 7-00528-00 — $30.00

Note: Each Teacher Guide includes a Teacher CD-ROM. Each Student Book includes a Student CD-ROM.

This test prep series offers practice for today’s standards-based assessments for grade levels 3 through 12.

Test Ready®: Plus Reading provides preparation and review, in as little as two weeks before testing day. It also provides a program of instruction and remediation.

Students practice test-taking skills for:

  • Recalling information
  • Constructing meaning
  • Evaluating literary forms
  • Interpreting fact & opinion
  • Evaluating & extending meaning

Test Ready: Plus Reading is a review program that provides practice in test-taking skills in reading comprehension and open-ended writing tasks.

In just 14 days, students can be test ready with:

  • Timed pretest to diagnose skills gaps
  • Standards-based skill-specific lessons
  • Timed mixed-practice post-test, mirroring pretest to show growth

Accessible Formats

The APH Teacher Guides and Student Books are available in several accessible formats, so that the entire class can work on reading together in a multi-media approach. The large print and braille editions include a CD with an .html file and a Digital Talking Book (DTB) file with built-in player.

The large print student edition includes a specially formatted large print answer document. However, it is recommended that each student have a book in his or her preferred reading medium, and should feel free to mark answers in the test books. Used this way, the student books become consumable items.

Note: Copies of regular print Teacher Guides and Student Books are available from the publisher at: Curriculum Associates, Inc., 153 Rangeway Road, North Billerica, MA 01862-0901, 800-225-0248, Fax: 800-366-1158,

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 several weeks for delivery.

Best Friends at School

by Mary Bard: T-N1869-70 — $48.50
In September, new stepsisters Suzie and Co Co Langdon share a dormitory bedroom at the Laurel Crest School for Girls. One of the first classmates they meet is Puanani, from Hawaii. Sequel to Best Friends in Summer. Grades 3-8.

Hunted: A House of Night Novel
by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast: T-N1868-50 — $100.00
Zoey and her friends encounter evil in an unexpected place when they learn that Kalona, the newest member of the House of Night, is hiding a deadly secret. Grades 9-12. Some mature content. *(AR Quiz #129985, BL 5.3, Pts. 16.0)

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual
by Michael Pollan: T-N1885-50 — $20.00
A journalist offers a set of rules for eating wisely that draws from a variety of ethnic and cultural traditions. Discusses the link between diet and health and suggests that people renounce or modify the Western diet of highly processed foods and meat.

Star Wars: Death Troopers
by Joe Schreiber: T-N1883-70 — $63.50
When the thrusters on the Imperial prison barge Purge break down on the way to a remote detention moon, the navicomputer alerts the crew to a nearby, seemingly abandoned Star Destroyer. But the scouting party returns with something more deadly and savage than the convicts onboard. Some descriptions of violence.

Rogue of My Own
by Johanna Lindsey: T-N1869-80 — $73.50
Naive Lady Rebecca Marshall becomes a maid of honor at Queen Victoria’s court. After Rebecca is seduced by the marquis Rupert St. John, a secret agent of the crown, they are forced to wed. Rupert, however, believes he was trapped into the marriage. Some adult content. Adult Reader.

*Accelerated Reader quiz number, book 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
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Burt Boyer, Early Childhood Project Leader, Research
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Monica Vaught-Compton, Product Consultant, Research
  • Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
  • Barbara Henderson, Tests and Assessments Project Leader, Research
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Communications Support Specialist
  • Mary Nelle McLennan, Executive Advisor to the President
  • Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
  • Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Textbooks
  • Terrie Terlau, Adult Life Project Leader, Research
  • Monica Turner, Field Services Representative

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

Visit APH on

Read our blog: Fred’s Head from APH.

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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