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APH News

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

September 2005

APH Annual Meeting Will Convene for the 137th Time
October 13 -15, 2005
New Marriott Hotel, Louisville, KY

Learning Across a Lifetime Annual Meeting October 13-15, 2005

Attention APH Ex Officio Trustees and all readers of the APH News!

Registration and reservation deadlines for the 137th Annual Meeting, Learning Across a Lifetime, keynoted by Dr. Elton Moore, are both Tuesday, September 13.

Planned Highlights of Annual Meeting:

Invited Special Guest

Invited Special Guest Dr Jan van Dijk, world renowned expert, educator, and author in the area of deafblindness, will present a product training session on the interactive CD-ROM Child-guided Strategies for Assessing Children who are Deafblind or have Multiple Disabilities.

Interactive Training Sessions to include:

  • New Products for O&M/Adults
  • New Tactile Graphics Products
  • New CVI Perspectives DVD
  • Accessible Tests
  • Louis Database Search Tips
  • and more

The Information Fair will feature:

  • Accessible Tests
  • Adapting Science for Students With Visual Impairments
  • Address Earth: Maps for Students with Low Vision and Color Blindness
  • APH Custom Media Solutions
  • Expanded Core Curriculum: Skills for Learning Across A Lifetime
  • Getting In Touch With Emergent Literacy
  • The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field
  • Mastering Braille Contractions for Reading Success
  • National Family Conference
  • New Technology Products from APH
  • Ordering APH Textbooks
  • Parent-Child Beliefs about Physical Activity
  • Project Status
  • Reclaiming Your Possessions
  • SQUID Encounters
  • SRS Updates
  • Tactile Graphic Workshop for Transcribers
  • ToAd: Tools for the Assessment and Development of Vision

Additionally, you will hear updates from the field, celebrate APH InSight Artists, witness the induction of four giants in to the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, enjoy a homecoming dance, and choose from fifteen related meetings scheduled just prior to and just after Annual Meeting.

For additional information, including registration forms and agenda, visit contact Kathy Smiddy, 800/223-1839, ext. 241, or email hidden; JavaScript is required

Join us for another historic "homecoming" in Louisville.

2005 Satisfaction Survey of Users of APH Products In Education and Rehabilitation Settings

We encourage all of you who have used our products in an education or rehabilitation setting within the last year to take a few minutes to measure our performance and to give us your input through the 2005 Satisfaction Survey of Users of APH Products. This 12-question, on-line survey is now available at through September 12. Your feedback regarding product effectiveness and customer satisfaction will help us improve our products and services. All responses will remain confidential.

For more information, contact Mary Nelle McLennan at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Attention Teachers: Field Testing Patterns

This is the last call for field testers and expert reviewers for the revised Kindergarten Level of Building on Patterns: The Primary Braille Literacy Program developed by APH. The new and improved curriculum includes all 26 letter words, letters, and sounds for each; contractions for and, for, of, the, and with; eight color words, and a number of spelled out words and much more!

We are still accepting information from qualified individuals who have a kindergarten level student(s) and wish to participate in the field testing and reviewing process. We expect to begin mailing materials within the next month. If you have a student with whom you can field test the prototype, please email your name, mailing address, and contact phone number to Rosanne Hoffmann at email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 800/223-1839, ext. 292.

Field Test Participants Needed for Collaborative Adult Assessment Effort

APH is working in collaboration with staff from the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) and the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) to develop the first braille edition of a CASAS assessment instrument. To date, CASAS assessments have only been made available in audio format. The purpose of this particular functional skills tool is to assess a student’s ability to read in a real life and work context. The test items are designed for youth and adults functioning at about a fourth through six grade reading level. This is equivalent to a CASAS B/C skill level. However, learners functioning at CASAS skill levels A through D are needed.

Test materials will be supplied in accessible media. It takes about one to two hours to answer the 25 multiple-choice items. Criteria for field test candidates include individuals with a secondary diploma or adult learners who are able to read or are learning to read contracted braille. Programs eligible to get involved are WIA, Title II adult education programs and community-based organizations serving adults in an adult education setting.

To find out more about this project or to sign up, contact Virginia "Ginny" Posey, Ph.D.; Senior Research Associate, CASAS;; 800/255-1036, ext. 502.

Making Memories: Families Connect in Louisville

Families Connecting With Families

The National Family Conference was held at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 12-14. The conference was an overwhelming success and made many memories. Four countries, 28 states, and the District of Columbia were represented at the conference.

The total number of participants – an impressive 610! There were 331 adults, 137 young people (53 birth-to-four, 41 five-to-ten, 33 eleven-and-older, and 10 no-age-listed), 122 volunteers for childcare, and 20 additional volunteers.

Barnett family from Indianapolis--four generations

Families chose from 23 presentations offered during four breakout sessions, and heard from three excellent keynote speakers. They also had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with products and information by visiting with the 26 vendors. There was also ample opportunity to meet and share, learn, and make friends during the receptions. It would take pages to capture the true happenings of this wonderful conference.

Most of the presentations, including the keynote addresses, were recorded and will be made available on the APH web site in the near future. Many of the photos taken will be on display at the poster session during APH Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, October 12-15, 2005.

Having a ball: a young cild prepares to knock over a stack of three Rib-It balls

The best way to guarantee the success of an event is to have agencies and organizations partner for a common cause. The American Printing House for the Blind, the National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments, the Hadley School for the Blind, Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments, the Kentucky School for the Blind, and the Indiana School for the Blind joined together to insure this would be a successful conference. Thanks to the American Foundation for the Blind, Seeing Eye, Inc., the Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Albinism and Hypopigmentation, Kentucky Chapter of AER, and National Industries for the Blind for sponsoring the receptions and meals. A tremendous effort by so many–THANKS!

Barsha Smith

Barsha Smith, mother of 14-month-old David who traveled to the conference from the Bahamas, summed up the conference best: "I just wanted to say a special thank you for allowing us to attend such an inspiring, informative, and motivating conference. Meeting all those professionals, parents, and the inspiring children, gave me new hope knowing that they have overcome challenges, hence, too, David can achieve his full potential in spite of his disability. I have learned to see only possibilities! Special thanks from my son, David Smith."

Television Show Visits APH

John Ratzenburger and APH President Tuck Tinsley

John Ratzenberger’s Made in America®, produced by the cable Travel Channel®, visited APH on August 18 to tape a show segment. Each week the show explores two or three companies that produce unique products. While on site, John and the crew visited almost every area of production and the museum.

The Braille, Large Type, and Communications departments combined talents to create a custom book for Mr. Ratzenberger to commemorate his visit. The book contains information about APH and was designed so that when opened from one side, one sees the braille version. Turned over, and opened from the other side, one sees a large print version. The final touch for the cover, created the morning of the visit, is a picture of Tuck shaking hands with John Ratzenberger, along with the APH and Made in America logos.

We are told it should air after the start of the new season December 1.

APH Travels to PSU in Oregon

Students in James ‘Blue’ Bickford and Cheryl Grindol’s vision classes at Portland State University spent the day on August 2 learning about APH products. ISAVE, ENVISION, Book Port, and various tactile graphics, literacy, and math products were on the agenda as Field Services Representative Sandi Baker demonstrated products and shared information with the eager-to-learn students. Students in the PSU vision program traveled from as far as Alaska to participate in this program – with August 2 being just one day of their summer program in Portland.

Student Terri Lang is pictured with Blue and Cheryl as she tries to master the abacus.

APH Does Grand Driving Tour of Kansas!

Kansas City, Salina, and Dodge City were the destinations of Field Services Representative Sandi Baker August 22 – 26. APH Ex Officio Trustee Jackie Denk and Kansas State School for the Blind Outreach Consultant Anne Nielsen put together a very ambitious and busy training schedule for early interventionists across the state to learn about APH products. Participants were introduced to many of APH’s materials for young children, birth to 5, including the Light Box and its many materials, Let’s See, the On the Way to Literacy materials, and much more. A lot of sharing went on as these interventionists each selected a Light Box activity to get up in front of the ‘class’ and teach.

Please Meet our New APH Callahan Museum Director

APH is delighted to welcome Mike Hudson as Director of The Eugene and Marie Callahan Museum. Mike received a B.A. degree in History, and an M.A. degree in Museum Studies before working with the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort. Mike has experience in all types of museum operations, having worked with the Kentucky History Center, Kentucky Military History Museum, and the Old State Capitol. He replaces Carol Tobe, who retired in February. Carol continues to consult on the museum renovation. Micheal hit the ground running by submitting the following two items for the News!

What was your last encounter with the Callahan Museum at APH?

Maybe you’ve been over for a trip through our exhibits on blind education and printing house history. Maybe you attended our "Fingertips" summer activity for kids in June or toured our factory with your family. You might have encountered one of our traveling exhibits such as "The War of the Dots" or "In Touch with Knowledge" at a museum or convention center display. Or you might have used our website or archives to learn more about the incredible history of our nation’s oldest and largest provider of educational materials for the visually impaired. However you’ve encountered us, however you use our services, you are part of our community. How you find us, how you experience our exhibits and other resources, and how satisfied you are is very important to us.

Working through a Museum Assessment Program (MAP) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, the Callahan Museum is beginning an intensive project to study our community. The eventual goal of MAP grants is accreditation by the American Association of Museums.

Over the next two years, the Callahan will be asking itself hard questions in an effort to improve the way we reach out to our audience. Who uses our services and how did they discover us? What are potential audiences that might enjoy a trip to the Callahan or a special program that targets their special needs? How are we perceived? How do we promote our exhibits, programs, and services?

These are hard questions, but we invite your input. We invite you to share your perceptions of the Callahan Museum, your experiences with museum exhibits and programs, and we welcome your involvement. If you would like to participate, contact museum director Mike Hudson at 800/223-1839, ext. 365, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required. As a part of the MAP grant, we will be recruiting formal and informal groups from our audience area to help us open a public dialogue between the museum and our community.

Early Braille Game Added to Callahan Museum Collection

An interesting item added to the permanent collection at the Callahan Museum this summer was a cardboard braille timekeeping game for children. Marketed as "Clocko," the game showed up originally in the 1933 catalog for the National Institute for the Blind in London, England. The Royal National Institute is the British counterpart to the American Printing House for the Blind. It was founded by Dr. Thomas Rhodes Armitage in 1868 as the British and Foreign Blind Association for Promoting the Education of the Blind. Armitage’s committee of "finger readers" met to evaluate the various tactile alphabets and determined that the system of Louis Braille was superior. The Association evolved into a supplier of embossed books, maps, music, slates, and other materials and by 1881 was publishing magazines in Braille.

By 1914, when the Association was renamed the National Institute, it began to expand its activities to include the management of schools, boarding houses, and outreach programs for the blind. The 1933 catalog, also held in the collections of the Callahan Museum, had an entire section on games including chess-complete with official Chess Association clock adapted for the blind-and "draughts," known in the U.S. as checkers.

"Clocko," according to the catalog, was "a game designed to teach children the way to tell the time and also to add and subtract figures quickly. The game is played by moving the clock hands backwards or forwards on the brailled clock face according to the rates of scoring." The museum is still gathering information on "Clocko" so if any readers remember playing the game, give Anne Rich a phone call at 800/223-1839, ext. 364 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

In Memoriam
Eugene N. Callahan

Eugene Callahan, a major supporter of the American Printing House for the Blind, died Saturday, August 27. He was 93. Callahan was a designer for General Electric in Louisville for over 25 years. He retired in 1972. In 1999, the museum of the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville was renamed the Marie and Eugene Callahan Museum in recognition of a generous gift in memory of his wife, Marie. Eugene and Marie Callahan were married for over fifty years at the time of her death in 1996.

"Gene Callahan was a good friend of the Printing House," said Tuck Tinsley, President at APH. "He was among the most generous supporters of education for the blind in the nation, and I know his loss is a great one for all of his friends at the American Printing House for the Blind."

APH welcomes new Ex Officio Trustees:

Deb Griffin, East Central Regional Hospital (previously Gracewood State School and Hospital), replacing Susan Feldmann

Dennis Thurman, The Governor Morehead School, replacing Kelly L. Davis

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


September 14, 2005
Book Port Webcast;
Louisville, KY

September 15-16, 2005
NIMAS Development Committee Meeting;
Dallas, Texas

September 21, 2005
Database & Product Presentation;
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

September 21-24, 2005
AASLH Annual Meeting;
Pittsburg, PA

September 28-29, 2005
Interagency Disability Educational Awareness Showcase (IDEAS);
Washington DC

September 30, 2005
Nebraska Educational Center for the Blind & VI;
Nebraska City


October 13-15, 2005
American Printing House for the Blind-Annual Meeting 2005;
Louisville, KY

October 20-22, 2005
NBA Meetings;
Seattle, WA

October 23-25, 2005
East Syracuse, NY

Instant Tactile Drawings Made Easy!

DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board: 1-08857-00 — $175.00
Additional Tactile Drawing Film (25 sheets): 1-08858-00 — $6.00

The DRAFTSMAN is a versatile tactile drawing board that is used in combination with special film and a stylus to create instant raised-line images. Intended for a wide audience, such as students, teachers, parents, and adults with blindness, the DRAFTSMAN can be used for a variety of applications:

  • Produce simple raised-line graphics
  • Demonstrate math concepts and tasks
  • Demonstrate science concepts
  • Practice handwriting skills
  • Play games (e.g., tic-tac-toe)
  • Facilitate tracing activities
  • Create art drawings

The DRAFTSMAN has a plastic frame that encases a double-layered rubber surface. Simply clamp a sheet of included drawing film onto the board and use the included stylus, or an ordinary ballpoint pen, to quickly draw a raised image. Kit includes:

  • DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board
  • Two-ended tactile drawing stylus
  • Tactile inch-ruler
  • 25 sheets of drawing film (also available separately)
  • Braille/print instructions booklet
  • Carrying case

NEW! Setting the Stage for Tactile Understanding: "Making Tactile Pictures Make Sense"

Setting the Stage for Tactile Understanding (Complete Kit): 1-08853-00 — $190.00
Large Print Guidebook only: 7-08853-00 — $46.00
Optional Braille Guidebook only: 5-08853-00 — $17.00

Setting the Stage for Tactile Understanding is a set of tangible items and activities designed to assist young tactile readers in making the transition from the exploration of real objects to the interpretation of two-dimensional representations, both in thermoformed formats and simple raised-line illustrations. Advanced understanding of scale adjustments and perspective is encouraged with the use of a specially designed three-dimensional house model.

Kit includes:

  • Extensive Large Print Guidebook (Braille Guidebook available separately)
  • 12 real objects: ball, block, comb, crayon, cup, key, puzzle piece, scissors, spoon, string of beads, toothbrush and a zipper
  • 12 thermoformed cards depicting each of the real objects
  • 12 raised-line cards depicting each of the real objects
  • 12 black-line masters of each of the real objects
  • 1 activity sorting tray with Veltex® backing
  • 3 black tray divider cards
  • 1 three-dimensional house model
  • 20 tactile correct/incorrect house matching cards
  • 1 package of Crayola® Model Magic
  • 1 package of Wikki-Stix®
  • 1 durable carrying case

Recommended Ages: 5 and older. WARNING: Choking Hazard-Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.

The Newest Addition to the duPont Print/Braille Series: A Halloween Book Just for Preschoolers!

Pumpkin Eye Denise Fleming

Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming (print/braille): 9-14012-00 — $10.00

"Yellow moon rising soon…piece of pie, pumpkin eye…" Young readers will enjoy the simplicity and predictability of this brightly-colored, not-too-scary, Halloween rhyming book. With a few words on each page and bold, high-contrast graphics, this is an ideal read-aloud book. These hard-cover picture books include a clear plastic braille overlay to encourage the family to read together.

Other APH Print/Braille Children’s Books: duPont Series:
Capital! Washington D.C. from A-Z: 9-15036-00 — $10.00
Looking Out for Sarah: 9-14009-00 — $10.00
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: 9-15008-00 — $10.00
The Mysterious Tadpole: 9-15012-00 — $10.00

NOTE: duPont books are NOT available on Federal Quota.

Tic-Tac-Toe Accessory Kit for Invisiboard

Tic-Tac-Toe Accessory Kit: 1-08542-00 — $12.00
Invisiboard: 1-08541-00 — $118.00

This fun kit consists of five each of red and yellow X and O cutouts, along with red and yellow Tic-Tac-Toe grids that can be used with APH’s Invisiboard or as a stand-alone product. VELCRO® brand adhesive dots are included to attach the Tic-Tac-Toe pieces to the black VELCRO® brand-compatible side of the Invisiboard. A print/braille product information sheet is included.

The Invisiboard is a 48 x 30 inch, tri-fold board designed to eliminate visual clutter with a solid white, slick material on one side and a solid black, VELCRO® brand-compatible material on the other. The Invisiboard includes a carrying case and print/braille orientation manual.

VELCRO®, VELTEX®, and VELCOIN® are registered trademarks of Velcro Industries B.V.

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Scott Blome, Communications Director
  • Burt Boyer, Early Childhood Project Leader
  • Micheal Hudson, Museum Director
  • Roseanne Hoffman, Research Assistant
  • Artina Paris-Jones, Field Services Assistant
  • Mary Nelle McLennan, Executive Advisor to the President
  • Becki Moody, Communications Support Specialist
  • Becky Snider, Public Affairs Assistant
  • Monica Vaught, Research Assistant
  • Roberta Williams, Public Affairs and Special Projects Manager
  • Debbie Willis, Accessible Tests Director

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 –

Please share this web link or any items that appear in this publication with anyone who might benefit.

Thank you.

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