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APH News September 2003

Your monthly link to the latest information on APH products, services, and training opportunities.

APH News Expands and Welcomes New Readers!

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We are so happy to have you with us!

The Joy of The Journey

135th APH Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests
October 16 – 18, 2003, Louisville, KY

Additional Travelers To Enjoy the Journey

In past issues (see archives) we’ve shared information with you on our exciting keynote speaker, Dr. Kent Cullers, and on our legendary award winners, Dr. Susan Spungin (Wings of Freedom) and Dr. Sally Mangold (Creative Use of Braille). This month we will highlight other special guests who will be joining us on the journey to provide you with instruction on the use of APH products.

Dr. Randall Jose to Co-Present ENVISION at Annual Meeting

Randall Jose

APH is delighted to announce that Dr. Randall Jose, a leader in the field of low vision optometry, will join APH’s Elaine Kitchel as a guest presenter at the upcoming Annual Meeting in October. Dr. Jose has shared his expertise with APH in the development of the new ENVISION Program which assists educators and COMS in teaching their students to use basic optical devices appropriately. Dr. Jose will present information on ENVISION’s multi-disciplinary approach.

Billy Brookshire to Present Loving Me at Annual Meeting

Billy Brookshire

Billy T. Brookshire, who will be the recipient of this year’s APH Virgil Zickel Award for product development, will also be joining us to present a product training session on his award-winning APH product, Loving Me: A Guide To Creating and Presenting Workshops on Self-Esteem. Billy, currently the Senior Blindness Training and Development Specialist for the Texas Commission for the Blind and immediate Past President of AER, has over thirty years of experience in rehabilitation and training. He is a nationally known speaker and has presented workshops across the United State on self-esteem, body expression, assertiveness, stress management, dealing with change, and many others, including two recent APH National Instructional Partnership events focused on the workshop activities found in Loving Me.

Lois Harrell to Co-Present Teaching Touch

Lois Harrell, author of Teaching Touch and several other APH products, will join Research Associate Fred Otto in a presentation of this new product. Teaching Touch was developed for parents or teachers of young blind children to help them prepare their children or students to become active learners and readers of tactile graphics.

Lois worked for 20 years as a home counselor with the Blind Babies Foundation in California. For the next 11 years, she helped establish the Children’s Vision Center at the UC Davis School of Ophthalmology and served there as Project Director. In "retirement," Lois is going strong as ever, continuing to work under contract with several school districts, helping families and making a big difference in the lives of blind children.

All APH Annual Meeting registration information is available on the web site. Register now!

APH Prison Braille Forum Scheduled Prior to Annual Meeting

On Thursday, October 16, APH staff will hold a Prison Braille Forum in conjunction with our 2003 Annual Meeting. Professionals in both the fields of correction and vision who work with braille production programs in prison facilities are invited to attend. A variety of issues will be discussed, including the possibility of establishing a quarterly newsletter, joining forces to apply for funding, and producing training materials for inmates. As we build the meeting agenda, you are encouraged to let us know what issues are most important to you.

The Forum will be held at The Camberley Brown Hotel in room Broadway B (mezzanine level) from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Hotel information can be found on the APH web site. For more information or to register, contact Nancy Lacewell at 502-895-2405 ext. 339 or, or Rebecca Snider at 502-895-2405 ext. 356 or You may also fax us at 502-899-2363. Please call to register for the Forum by September 19.

The Annual Meeting Information Fair Is Out of This World!

What could be better than talking one-on-one with the person who has created the latest APH product or service? The Annual Meeting Information Fair allows just that!

APH will present over twenty poster sessions during the APH Annual Meeting at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in October. Most of the posters have a fun space theme in tribute to our keynote speaker, physicist and astronomer Dr. Kent Cullers.

The posters will cover a wide array of topics, including assessment, the Federal Quota program, ATIC braille books, tactile patterns, the APH web site, new software products, the upcoming large print world atlas, and many more.

Braille's Angels

"Six dashing beauties, working for a mysterious, benevolent but never seen boss, travel the country to rid the world of the raging menace of braille illiteracy . . . "

Pictured from left to right: Janie Humphries, APH; Vicki Liske (front), Braille Institute of America; Cay Holbrook (rear), the University of British Columbia; Nancy Niebrugge, Braille Institue of America; Karen Ross, The Carroll Center; Frances Mary D’Andrea, AFB.

If anybody cares, what we really are is the National Steering Committee for the National Braille Challenge Invitational . . .

Julia Myers Named Director of Resource Services

Julia Myers

We welcome Julia Myers as the new Director of Resource Services! Julia brings to APH over 17 years of experience in library and database-related fields.

Julia’s responsibilities include maintaining several APH databases, including Louis, Accessible Media Producers (AMP), APH File Repository, and Braille Masters. She is also responsible for maintaining and developing relationships with individuals and agencies that contribute to APH databases, including Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), and the National Braille Association (NBA). Maintaining and building publisher relationships, while keeping up-to-date on publishing industry processes and corporate relationships, is also very crucial to Julia’s position.

Until recently, Julia served as Manager at the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) in New Albany. Julia holds a Master of Library Science Degree from Indiana University and brings many skills to assist us in the Resource Services Department.

Christine Anderson, former Resource Services Director, will remain with APH in a consultative capacity working on important special projects.

Coming Soon to the APH Web Site!

Watch for three new PowerPoint® presentations on APH products to appear on the APH Web site! PowerPoint presentations of the new product Book Port, ISAVE, and the EZ Track series are the latest to go on the Web. These special presentations have been developed to help readers learn about a product before buying. Go to "Products" and then "New! Special Presentation About Selected APH Products" to check them out!

The Babies Count Project

The National Registry for Children with Visual Impairments, Birth to Three, recently took a giant step forward. The new database, to be used to register the children, was loaded on the APH server during the week of August 18-22, 2003. Over 100 surveys have been entered to test for accuracy and to ensure that all functions are working properly.

Participating agencies will receive database training in the next few months.

The new database allows: (1) Data to be entered at APH from hard copy surveys submitted by participating agencies, (2) Data to be entered on-line by participating states/agencies, (3) Participating states/agencies to edit and update their data on-line, (4) Participating states/agencies to extract their data any time they choose, and (5) Dr. Deborah Hatton, the Research Scientist from the University of North Carolina, to extract all entered data at any time.

ENVISION Training in Iowa

APH Field Services Representative Burt Boyer traveled to Vinton, Iowa on August 6 to conduct training on the new ENVISION product. In addition, Burt gave an overview of several other APH products during a luncheon meeting. Many of the participants were not trained teachers of the visually impaired but were involved in a special program offered by the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School to better inform general educators. Ms. Dotta Hassman, Coordinator of the Instructional Materials Center, and Ms. Kay Jahnel, Coordinator of Outreach Services, did an excellent job of setting up this training opportunity. Great things are happening in Iowa!

Accessible Tests: Expanding the Charge

cartoon knight in armor with a lance and a shield seated on a rearing horse

The original goal of the Accessible Tests Department, formerly Test Central, was to ensure tests and assessments were provided in high quality accessible media in a timely manner. In response to recommendations by APH’s Educational Services Advisory Committee and the Accessible Tests Council, the charge of the department was recently expanded. The updated goal is to provide tests, practice tests, test administration manuals, and other test-related materials in high quality accessible media in a timely manner, to promote the inclusion of blind and visually impaired individuals during test development, and to enhance the test performance of blind and visually impaired individuals through research, education, and communication.

Assessment Needs Survey Focuses on Test Preparation and Practice Test Materials

Cartoon boy with glasses holding his head between his hands staring at a test on the table in front of him. He has a dark cloud over his head
Cartoon sign: Test Today!

Beginning on September 15, 2003, a survey called Let’s Get Ready for Testing will be posted on the APH web site. The survey will ask which practice materials and/or test preparation materials are currently being used in the field and which materials are needed. The due date for submitting your completed survey is October 6, 2003. Results will be reported in this newsletter and online.

The URL for the Let’s Get Ready for Testing Assessment Survey:

Please send this survey notice to the appropriate persons in your organizations or school systems. If you have questions about the survey, don’t hesitate to contact Barbara Henderson, Test & Assessment Project Leader, Accessible Tests Department, at or 800/223-1839, Ext. 328.

Making It Count in Massachusetts

There are still a few spaces available to attend the next APH National Instructional Partnerships event, "Making It Count: Math Skills for Students With Visual Impairment", featuring Susan Osterhaus. Held in partnership with Carrie Brasier, Director, Vision Resources Library, the workshop will focus on a wide variety of materials and techniques for improving math skills using selected APH products.

The workshop will be held September 11 -12, 2003, at the Hogan Conference Center at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Teachers of the visually impaired, parents, mathematics teachers, and others interested in learning about teaching math skills to students with visual impairment are encouraged to attend.

Registration fees for the conference will be $30, and will include a continental breakfast and lunch on both days. Register soon if you’d like to attend this event. Registration information is available from Janie Humphries, 800/223-1839, Ext. 367,, at the APH web site,, or contact Carrie Brasier at the Vision Resources Library, 781/575-1842,

The Challenge of Finding Employment!

From putting together a resume to finding reliable transportation on the day of an interview, we know from experience that finding a job is not an easy task.

For that reason, the Fred’s Head Database team has put together a comprehensive list of employment related resources for people who are blind or visually impaired.

  • Did you know that you can get on-line assistance producing an already formatted copy of your resume?
  • Did you know you can access one of the largest job banks in the U.S., as well as the Yellow Pages® and many newspapers around the country, by using your telephone keypad?
  • Would you like to learn more about transportation options in your area, or even some tips on hiring drivers?
  • Would you like to practice interviewing techniques but don’t know where to start?
  • Would you like guidelines on how to dress for an interview?

All of these questions and much more are covered in the new Fred’s Head record called: Meeting the Challenge of Finding Employment: a List of Resources. The record explores available options to those unique challenges that blind and visually impaired people face when looking for a job.

Please help us bring someone a step closer to independence and self-sufficiency by adding resources to the list. If you know of any new resources for this list, contact Maria E. Delgado, Database Field Representative,

APH Welcomes our New Ex Officio Trustees

We are pleased to present the following new APH Ex Officio Trustees who administer the Federal Quota Accounts. We also thank those who are leaving us for their good work and support.

Margaret Duncan at the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, replacing Frank Coppel

Louis Tutt at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, replacing interim Larry Akers

Sharon Lunger at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, replacing Alan Myklebust

Robert Goodhart at the Delaware Division for the Visually Impaired, replacing Robert Patterson

Ann Hicks at the Colorado Department of Education, replacing interim Louis Tutt

Elaine Sveen at the Maryland School for the Blind, replacing Louis Tutt

Dee Amundsen at the Washington State Department of Public Instruction, replacing Rod Humble

Nancy Nagarkar at the Alaska State Department of Education, replacing Bill McIver.

Linda Mitchell at the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, replacing Elaine Sveen.

APH Travel Schedule

on the road with APH


September 7-9, 2003
Meeting of the Minds II;
APH, Louisville, KY

September 11-12, 2003
Making It Count: Math Skills for Students with Visual Impairments (NIP Event);
Chatham, MA

September 8-12, 2003
Legislator visit on Capitol Hill;
Washington, DC

September 16-17, 2003
Workshop for Test Developers and Publishers: Making Tests Accessible to Students with Visual Impairments;
APH, Louisville, KY

September 18-20, 2003
World Congress on Disabilities;
Orlando, FL

September 26-29, 2003
Family Weekend;
Potosi, MO


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

First-Ever Bookstore Catalog Available in September

APH Bookstore Catalog

APH’s first-ever Bookstore Catalog will be available later this month. This consumer-friendly catalog will contain a selection of fiction and nonfiction books in braille and enlarged print. Titles include juvenile fiction, classics, mysteries, cookbooks, biography, self-esteem building, and much more.

In addition, the catalog contains gift items, such as videos, print/braille cards, a special music CD, and a reading stand. This catalog will be available in print, on cassette, CD-ROM disc, and the APH web site.

To request your copy, email or call 800/223-1839 and select the prompt to receive a catalog.

EZ Track (formerly MasterPlan) Calendar 2004: A Low Vision Appointment Book and Calendar

A systematic and organized way of keeping track of appointments, 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.

EZ Track Calendar 2004 (with binder): 1-07900-04 — $29.00
EZ Track Calendar 2004 (inserts only, no binder): 1-07901-04 — $25.75

APH InSights Large Print/Braille Art Calendar, 2004

This twelve-month large print/braille calendar features the artwork of visually impaired artists and includes months, days, holidays, and moon phases. Use at a desk or hang on a wall. Pages fold over easily.

These calendars make a great fund-raiser and can be purchased in quantities at a special price! Your group’s name can be printed and brailled on a special version of the cover. Fund-raising questions and orders should be directed to APH’s Contract Administration Office, Phone: 800/223-1839. Recommended Ages: 4 years and up.

Single copy, APH InSights Calendar 2004:
English Edition: 5-18971-04 — $7.50

Note: The APH InSights Calendar MAY be purchased with Federal Quota funds; however, quantity purchases of this calendar for fund-raising purposes MAY NOT be purchased with Federal Quota funds.

APH News Credits

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

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

  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Karen Blaker, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Maria Delgado, Louis Database Field Representative, Field Services
  • Barbara Henderson, Tests and Assessments Project Leader
  • Janie Humphries, Director, Field Services
  • Elaine Kitchell, Project Leader, Low Vision, Research
  • Nancy Lacewell, Director, Government and Community Affairs
  • Fred Otto, Tactile Graphics Research Associate
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader
  • Jane Thompson, Director, ATIC
  • Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

August Issue –
July Issue –
June Issue –

Archive of all previous issues –