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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.

September 2004

"APH Scholars" to Attend 136th Annual Meeting for Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, October 14 -16

This year, for the first time ever, APH has awarded five scholarships to allow direct service providers to attend annual meeting. The winners, nominated by their Ex Officio Trustees, are all first time attendees and are providing direct instruction to students.

Annual Meeting 2004 October 14 - 16

APH Endowment funds are providing each of the Scholars with conference registration, airfare, and hotel accommodations for the meeting. Ex Officio Trustees from around the country nominated candidates, and the five winning Scholars were chosen by the APH Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC).

The Scholars are:

  • Keith Christian, Anaheim, CA, City School District
  • Jeanie Farmer, South Carolina Schools for the Deaf and Blind Midlands Regional Outreach Center
  • Tevan Fishbach, South Dakota School for the Blind
  • Donna Keale, Outreach Coordinator, Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind
  • Katherine McCollum, Indianapolis Public Schools

Please join APH in congratulating our winners, and be sure to tell them hello when you see them in October!

For more information on the Annual Meeting, check our web site.

Cortical Visual Impairment Information at Your Fingertips


APH is now offering information about Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) to consumers via the internet. This brand new CVI Website reports a wealth of information from different sources and viewpoints. Sections include a definition of CVI, Intervention Strategies, Advocacy and Resources, and many more.

The website, being launched to coincide with the APH News for September, will be an evolving resource of current knowledge on this leading cause of blindness. It will provide information from medical, educational, and parental perspectives, as well as allowing an open door to communicate on the topic.

See what APH has to offer about CVI at
Keep checking because what you see now is only the tip of the iceberg.

You Can Still Start "Loving Me!"

Billy Brookshire

There is still time to register for the upcoming National Instructional Partnerships event, "Loving Me: Secrets of Self-Esteem," featuring Billy Brookshire, author of the APH product of the same name. Billy will be demonstrating the many ways in which the activities and skills in Loving Me can be used in workshops, small groups and classrooms to enhance the self-esteem of students and adults who are blind and visually impaired.

Loving Me

The workshop is in partnership with EOT Rachel Rosenbaum and the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA, and will take place September 17 – 18, 2004. The workshop is appropriate for persons with visual impairments, age 13 and up, and for their families, friends, teachers, rehabilitation counselors, and any one else interested in increasing self-esteem.

Information about the event can be found on the Field Services page of the APH web site, or contact Janie Humphries, 800/223-1839, ext. 367, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

If you are interested in hosting a NIP event in your area, please call or email Janie using the information above.

BANA Presentation


APH has been invited to provide a presentation on the Alphabetic Braille and Contracted Braille Study (ABC Braille Study) at the November 5th meeting of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) in Cincinnati. Director of Research Ralph Bartley, Braille Project Leader Eleanor Pester, and AFB National Literacy Center Director Frances Mary D’Andrea plan to make the presentation. Anne Corn, who is unable to attend, serves as director of the research project, primarily sponsored by APH.

From New York to New Mexico

Graduate students, TVI’s, and transcribers gathered at the New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped on August 2 and 3 to participate in the Nemeth Code and Assistive Technology course being taught by Sheila Amato, Ed. D. Sheila, a TVI in New York state and adjunct professor in the vision training program at New Mexico State University, organized this two-day event that brought in speakers from across the country. APH was represented by Field Services Representative Sandi Baker, who shared information about APH services, including the Federal Quota System, and products for students who are blind and have multiple disabilities.

Sheila says "some highlights of this workshop with the experts were the individual attention they were able to receive, as well as the opportunity to have individual questions and concerns for their students addressed." Sheila believes that many university programs could benefit from such a workshop, and she is investigating funding sources to "take the show on the road."

New Bas Relief Plaques Appear in the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

Roy KumpePeter Salmon

The likenesses of Roy Kumpe and Peter Salmon are now in the Hall of Fame, alongside 15 of their fellow inductees. Kumpe, whose plaque was sponsored by Lions World Services for the Blind, and Salmon, whose plaque was sponsored by the Helen Keller National Center, were inducted in 2002. Three additional inductees are now in the clay modeling phase of plaque development. They include Doug Inkster, Richard Hoover, and Berthold Lowenfeld.

Join us at the 136th Annual Meeting to learn about Phase II of the Hall of Fame. We’re planning on taking giant steps in 2005.

Visit the Hall of Fame web site to learn more about these heroes and how you can honor those selected for this honor.

Two New Faces in Resource Services!

Nichole Gaines

Nicole (Nikki) Gaines joined Resource Services on July 12 as Systems Librarian. Nikki is completing her MLIS from the University of Kentucky, and she has a Master’s in Spanish from the University of Kentucky. Nikki has nearly 10 years experience in librarianship, has taught in Valladolid, Spain, and most recently has worked as a crisis counselor. Nikki brings a unique and valuable set of skills to her new position.

Elizabeth Harac
Elizabeth Harac joined APH on August 30 as Resource Services Technical Services Coordinator. Elizabeth has recently moved to the Louisville area from San Francisco, where she was Web librarian at Golden Gate University. Elizabeth has an MLS from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and has many years’ experience in librarianship, having worked as a cataloger, reference librarian, and webmaster. She also has taught high school English in the U.S. and worked with children and adults at a school for the deaf in Peru. Elizabeth brings valuable experience and skills to Resource Services.

Texas Tech and the APH Sensory Learning Kit

Products were the main topic of the Deafblind Focus Group that met at APH in June. For two days faculty of university teacher training programs in deafblindness shared ideas with APH staff about products and how they relate to students who are deafblind. Now APH is collaborating with members of the focus group in the production of an exciting new product.

During the meeting it was discussed, and suggested by group members, that we update the sources in our literature review with more current references for the revised version of the Sensory Stimulation Kit, to be titled Sensory Learning Kit (SLK). Texas Tech’s Roseanna Davidson offered that this review be a graduate student project.

APH partnered with Roseanna, along with Texas Tech graduate student Effie Laman, to have this literature review conducted. APH has just received from Roseanna and Effie a summary of their review, a revised reference section, and itemized comments to be considered for the SLK.

Ralph Bartley, Director of Research at APH stated; "This work is a very concrete example of how APH and university personnel can work together to do great things for the children we mutually serve."

Our thanks go out to all of the Deafblind Focus Group members for their expertise and their valuable input!

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


September 17, 2004
Loving Me: Secrets of Self-Esteem (NIP Event);
Newton, MA

September 17-20, 2004
Arizona School for the Blind, Outreach Program;
Flagstaff, AZ


October 17-19, 2004
New York AER;
East Syracuse, NY

October 20-23, 2004
Closing the Gap;
Minneapolis, MN

October 21-22, 2004
WV School for the Blind Fall Conference;
Romney, WV

October 21-23, 2004
NBA Professional Development Conferences and Workshop;
Memphis, TN

October 22, 2004
SC State Wide Training with VI Teachers;
Spartanburg, SC


November 3-5, 2004
2004 Southeastern Orientation and Mobility Association Conference;
Auburn, AL

November 8, 2004
PATINS Tech Fair 2004;
Indianapolis, IN

November 11-13, 2004
Mid-America Conference of Rehabilitation Teachers (MACRT) – Association of Southeastern Rehabilitation Teachers (ASERT) Conference;
Nashville, TN


December 5-7, 2004
Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children;
Chicago, IL

Welcome to New Ex Officio Trustees

Marjorie Olson, Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, replacing Carroll Jackson

Dorothy Arensman, GA Academy for the Blind, replacing Cynthia Ashby

Frankie McCabe, Nevada Department of Education, replacing Gloria Dopf

Jeanette Haines, Connecticut State Board of Education and Services for the Blind, replacing Marybeth Dean

Dorinda Rife, Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, replacing Sharon Lunger

If you need to appoint a new Ex Officio Trustee, please contact Karen Blaker by phone (502) 899-2300 or email at for the latest designation form.

‘K’ Sonar Unveiled: An APH Annual Meeting Preview

The ‘K’ Sonar is a small, affordable, electronic travel device that attaches to a standard long cane. By listening to the sounds that the ‘K’ Sonar produces, the blind user can determine not only the distance and location of an object, but can also learn about its features and achieve object recognition.

Dr Leslie Kay

We’re proud to announce that APH will be the sole distributor of the ‘K’ Sonar unit in the U.S. ‘K’ Sonar creator Dr. Leslie Kay is traveling from his home in New Zealand to Louisville to help unveil this device at APH’s Annual Meeting. Dr. Kay, along with APH’s Fred Gissoni, will conduct two product demonstration and training sessions. Dr. Kay will also be available at specified times in the Product Showcase area.

During the 1950s, Dr. Kay developed and applied sonar technology to the location and recognition of underwater dangers such as submarines and mines. Forty years ago, Dr. Kay realized that this wide-band frequency sweep sonar technology could help blind persons locate and recognize objects in their environment. The ‘K’ Sonar is the culmination of his efforts.

APH’s Spanish-Language Product Line Expanded with Two New Items!

NEW! ColorTest Color Identifier Spanish Model

ColorTest Unit

ColorTest II is a hand-held device that helps you distinguish colors independently. It uses a clear human voice to announce the color of any object placed in contact with its sensitive detector. APH now offers a model that speaks in Spanish.

ColorTest II is about the size of a remote control. It has a detector on one end that senses color, a built-in speaker, and three operations buttons. Simply place the ColorTest II detector firmly against an object and press the appropriate button. Depending on the settings, ColorTest II will announce the universal color name; the common color name; hue, brightness, saturation; or red, green, blue content.


  • ColorTest II unit
  • Carrying case
  • Charger
  • Instructions in print, braille, and cassette.

NEW! ColorTest II Spanish Model: 1-03951-SP — $670.00
ColorTest II English Model: 1-03951-00 — $670.00

NEW! Other Languages Available

Color Test II is also available in the following languages. APH does not carry them in inventory, but we will custom order and sell them in the U.S. Call APH customer service to place your order. The price is $670.00 each. Please allow 8 weeks for delivery.

ColorTest II additional available languages: Czech (CZ), Danish (DA), Dutch (DU), French (FR), German (GE), Greek (GR), Hebrew (HE), Hungarian (HU), Italian (IT), Polish (PL), Norwegian (NO), Portuguese (PO), Slovak (SL), and Swedish (SW).

REVISED! Light Box II Activity Guide in English; Now Available in Spanish

The APH Light Box Materials Level II Activity Guide has been completely revised, adding a section on Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), updating references to products, and adding increased accessibility. For example, references to the discontinued APH Bright Sights materials have been replaced with references to materials from APH’s Let’s See kit. Additionally, this version is now produced in large print and includes a CD-ROM for speech access.

Levels II and III of the Light Box Activity Guide include a number of Activity Sheets. These are no longer provided as printed pages. The Activity Sheets can now be printed out from the included CD. These are in PDF format (go to for a free download of Acrobat® Reader to open and print the PDF files).

We now offer a separate Spanish version of the Activity Guide to make the Level II Light Box Materials accessible for our Spanish-speaking customers. Recommended ages for Light Box Level II: 3 to 5 years.

Light Box Materials Level II Kit: 1-08680-00 — $470.00
Note: Includes Revised Activity Guide in English. Kit items have not changed. The kit price is the same as before.

REVISED! Light Box Materials Level II Activity Guide, Large Print/CD, English Edition: 7-08680-00 — $43.00
Update your current Level II kit by replacing the Activity Guide.

NEW! Light Box Materials Level II Activity Guide, Large Print/CD, Spanish Edition: 7-08680-SP — $43.00

Note: Level III Activity Guide is undergoing a similar update. Watch for this revision and a Spanish version in early 2005.

APH Announces Three New Software Programs!

Now Available! Teacher’s Pet

Teacher's Pet

Teacher’s Pet can be used by either teachers or parents to create accessible drills, practice exercises, or tests for students who are blind or visually impaired. This program allows the creation of both audio and large print tests. It can record test sessions to track student progress.

Teacher’s Pet accepts several types of questions including:

  • Information
  • Fill in the Blank
  • Matching by Number or Letter
  • Multiple Choice by Number or Letter
  • True/False
  • Essay (Teacher’s Pet cannot evaluate essay responses.)

Questions can be random, sequenced, or tied to a student’s ability.

Recommended ages: all ages (dictated by the tests created.)

Teacher’s Pet (CD-ROM): D-03460-00 — $89.00
Teacher’s Pet (Electronic Distribution): D-03460-ED — $79.00

NEW! Armadillo ArmyTM

Armadillo Army: Stop Armadillo Invasion

APH launches its newest video game created especially for players with low vision! In Armadillo Army, the main character, Tex, navigates a series of increasingly difficult mazes, picking up various items along the way. At the same time, he must evade a band of armadillos traveling through the maze with him.

This is a great way to develop visual and perceptual skills, increase eye/hand coordination, and provide an activity that all your students will enjoy!

Armadillo Army (CD-ROM): D-03400-00 — $49.00
Armadillo Army (Electronic Distribution): D-03400-ED — $39.00

NEW! Talking Word PuzzlesTM

Talking Word PuzzlesTM lets the user create or solve hidden word and crossword puzzles with high-quality speech feedback. As the player navigates through the puzzle, the program announces the contents of that square. The player may move through the puzzle using the "tab" key, the arrow keys, or move directly from the clue to the square where the answer begins.

Speech feedback in hidden word puzzles indicates marked and unmarked letters, valid and invalid words, word lists or clues to words, and motivating phrases. The speech feature can be turned off. Talking Word Puzzles makes it easy to create your own puzzles. You make up the word list, and the software creates the puzzle for you, entering the words into one of several puzzle formats.

Recommended ages: all ages (dictated by the puzzles created.)

Talking Word Puzzles (CD-ROM): D-03440-00 — $49.00
Talking Word Puzzles (Electronic Distribution): D-03440-ED — $39.00

Braillable Labels Packs

These clear, blank self-adhesive labels can be brailled and used to label items around the home, school, and office, such as: household appliances; canned goods; greeting cards; books; CDs; folders.

The labels come in a variety of packages and sizes for convenience. The pre-cut, peel-off Large and Small labels accommodate braille lines that are 15 cells wide, with four lines fitting on the large and two on the small. Full-Size and Pin-Fed Sheets offer more room for brailling and can be cut to the desired size. A printed SimBraille® sheet is included with each package to assist in determining size and placement.

Assorted Label Pack (5 Large Sheets, 5 Small Sheets, 10 Full-Size Sheets, 30 Pin-Fed Sheets): 1-08871-00 — $35.00
Small Label Pack, (3.87 x 0.95) 10 Sheets, 18 Labels/Sheet: 1-08872-00 — $12.00
Large Label Pack (3.875 x 1.75) 10 Sheets, 10 Labels/Sheet: 1-08873-00 — $12.00
Braillable Sheets (8 1/2 x 11, full-size) 15 Sheets: 1-08874-00 — $13.00
Braillable Sheets (8 1/2 x 11, pin-fed) 30 Continuous Sheets: 1-08875-00 — $23.00

New ISAVE 101 Video to the Rescue!

ISAVE (Individualized Systematic Assessment of Visual Efficiency) is an assessment that can be vital for determining entry level and programming strategies for students with significant cognitive, neurological, physical, and sensory impairments.

But do you find ISAVE daunting? Are you looking for a quick primer on how to use it? Well, look no more! The definitive introduction, the ISAVE 101 video, is now available.

Screen shot from ISAVE 101 video shows Tina, wearing chef's hat and warning Dr Peshwari (animated character) with a wooden spoon

Perhaps you can relate to VI teacher Tina McFee as she tackles ISAVE and gets herself into a cyclone of paper, hook/loop material, and cellophane. Listen to the animated character Dr. Channa Peshwari as he directs Tina to try sane, step-by-step methods for organizing and using the ISAVE kit. This 20-minute video will lead you toward a clear and uncomplicated view of ISAVE. Video includes audio description and is closed captioned.

Recommended for: Professionals using the ISAVE kit. ISAVE is recommended for assessing individuals of all ages who do not respond reliably to standard assessment measures.

ISAVE 101 VHS: 1-30012-00 — $25.00
ISAVE 101 DVD: 1-30012-DVD — $25.00

NEW! Textured Paper Collection

The Textured Paper Collection contains tactile colored sheets that can be cut out and applied to another surface for many purposes:

  • To make tactile items on worksheets
  • To create areal patterns in tactile diagrams
  • To add texture to adapted storybooks
  • To create tactile artworks
  • To label household items or books

The kit includes the following:

  • Blue and neon green embossed paper (2 sheets each)
  • Yellow and clear vinyl (1 sheet each)
  • Red, orange, green, and black Tactile Colours® (1 sheet each)
  • Double-sided adhesive (7 sheets)

Textured Paper Collection: 1-03275-00 — $26.00

AVAILABLE SOON: Upgraded Braille ‘n Speak Scholar®

We are pleased to announce that the Braille ‘n Speak Scholar will soon be new and improved! New features include the addition of higher-quality DoubleTalkTM Speech and improved interaction with PCs so that you will have better formatting and printing capability. There will also be a more efficient appointment book and better text editing capability.

Because the improvements are so significant, we are returning our entire stock of Scholars to Freedom Scientific® for upgrading. The new unit is expected to be available in November with the same name, a new catalog number (1-07320-01), and a new selling price of $1,140.00.

Current Orders

If you currently have a Braille ‘n Speak Scholar on order, we will hold that order until the new models arrive. Quota orders received as of 8/23 will be corrected with the new catalog number and price and shipped automatically unless you request otherwise. We encourage all Trustees to continue to place your orders for Scholars using fiscal ’04 funding. We will contact all other customers before processing the order. If you wish to cancel your order or need additional information, please contact the APH Customer Relations Department at 800-223-1839. If you have questions or need additional information about the changes in this technology, please contact the APH Customer Relations Technology Division.

To Upgrade Existing Units

For those who currently own a Braille ‘n Speak Scholar, we are working on a program with Freedom Scientific to offer an upgrade for approximately $425.00. We will announce this opportunity as soon as details are available.

Quick Draw Paper: Braille Instructions Now Ordered Separately

Create instant tactile graphics using any water-based drawing and writing tools. Simply draw on the paper surface and the lines swell instantly and become tactile.

Includes 10 sheets of Quick-Draw Paper, two water-based markers and a large print instruction booklet. Previously, this kit included a braille instruction booklet. The braille edition booklet must now be ordered separately.

Recommended Ages: 4 years and up.

Quick Draw Paper (includes large print instructions) 1-04960-00 — $27.50
Order Separately: Instruction Booklet, Braille Edition: 5-04960-00 – $7.00

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Sandi Baker, Field Representative , Field Services
  • Karen Blaker, Support specialist, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Tony Grantz, Business Development manager, Finance
  • Janie Humphries, Director, Field Services
  • Becki Moody, Communications Support Specialist
  • Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
  • Artina Paris, Assistant, Field Services
  • Tessa Wright, Research Assistant, Research

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 –

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