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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.

September 2007

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

Reclaiming Independence: Staying in the Driver's Seat When You No Longer Drive

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

APH 139th Annual Meeting News

Annual Meeting 2007 October 11-13 Louisville, Kentucky

"APH and Ex Officio Trustees: Expanding the Core"
October 11- 13, 2007 in Louisville, Kentucky

Have you made your reservations to join us for our 139th Annual Meeting? The APH registration deadline for inclusion in the program book is September 7. The Marriott Hotel deadline is September 11. For full information, please visit the Annual Meeting page.

ABC Braille Study Results to be Revealed at Annual Meeting

This year the anticipation is high as we eagerly await the results of our five-year ABC Braille Study. We are very proud that the first dissemination activities will be conducted at the Annual Meeting through both a general and concurrent sessions.

This longitudinal study of literacy environments, skills, and experiences of children who are blind has involved researchers from eight universities, a special school, public schools, and APH. The group included Ralph Bartley, Liz Barclay, Anne Corn (Project Team Leader), Frances Mary D’Andrea, Jane Erin, Christopher Craig, Cay Holbrook, Stephanie Herlich, Julia Ituarte, Alan Koenig, Eleanor Pester, Sharon Sacks, Debbie Sitar, Rob Wall-Emerson (statistician), and Diane Wormsley (Project Team Leader).

The research questions that will be discussed include:

  • Are there differences in reading rate and comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, word recognition, and reading achievement levels of children who are initially taught contracted braille as compared to those who are initially taught uncontracted braille?
  • Are there differences in writing, vocabulary, and spelling abilities of children who are initially taught contracted braille as compared to those who are initially taught uncontracted braille?
  • Are there differences in the quality and quantity of literacy and interactive experiences in general education classrooms, the home environment, and in the community of children who are initially taught contracted braille as compared to those who are initially taught uncontracted braille?
  • Are there differences in attitudes towards reading and writing in children who are initially taught contracted braille as compared to those who are initially taught uncontracted braille?

In addition to these research questions, additional information will be provided on the collaborative model used to conduct the research. Also, recommendations for future research will be discussed.

ABC Braille Study group, putting it all together in Louisville in May.

Tessa Wright Carlsen (Vanderbilt University, NCLVI Fellow), Stephanie Herlich (TVI, CA), Robert Wall Emerson, Ph.D. (Western MI University), Sharon Sacks, Ph.D. (CA School for the Blind), Cay Holbrook, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia), Anne L. Corn, Ed.D. (Vanderbilt University), Liz Barclay, (CA School for the Blind), Jane Erin, Ph.D. (University of AZ), Debbie Sitar (TVI, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA), Frances Mary D’Andrea (University of Pittsburgh, NCLVI Fellow), Diane Wormsley, Ph.D. (NC Central University), Cheryl Kamei Hannan, (CA State University-LA), Eleanor Pester (APH).

Phil Hatlen will Keynote Annual Meeting

To kick off this eventful Annual Meeting will be the creator and primary proponent of the Expanded Core Curriculum, non-other than our field’s own Phil Hatlen. Dr. Hatlen’s career accomplishments touch us all and the students and clients we serve. Please make your plans to join us Thursday evening, October 11, for this opportunity to catch a unique insight in to the life and career of one of our true heroes. On that same evening program Millie Smith (TX) will be honored with a Virgil Zickel Award for product development.

Phil HatlenMillie Smith

George Zimmerman to Facilitate the Induction Ceremony of the Class of 2007 in to the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

George Zimmerman

After a brief welcome and history of the Hall by Advisory Board Chair Dr. Cay Holbrook, Dr. George Zimmerman will have the honor of inducting two giants of our field in to the Hall of Fame. Responding for Dr. Everett "Butch" Hill will be his widow, Mary Maureen Atkin, and one of his sons, Marc Hill. Responding for Charles F.F. Campbell will be Dr. Rick Welsh.

For additional information on these inductees, please visit the news page of the Hall of Fame website.

For the full Annual Meeting Agenda and all other related information, please visit the Annual Meeting webpage.

It’s not too late to be heard through the 2007 Survey of Users of APH Products In Education and Rehabilitation Settings

"One lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention."
–Diane Sawyer

The folks at APH are paying attention, and we know that there is no substitute for the voices of our customers. We need to know from what is working and what we need to improve. We also need to hear your priorities for our future product development, so please speak up!

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 rate our performance in key areas and to share your priorities for future product development. Our 13-question, on-line survey will be available on our website at through September 7, 2007. Your feedback regarding product effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and product priorities based on student or client needs will help us continue to improve our products and services.

All responses will remain confidential.

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

Field Test Opportunities in Math

APH is currently seeking field evaluators for two math products. If you are interested in participating, please contact Jeanette Wicker, APH Core Curriculum Project Leader, at email hidden; JavaScript is required or by phone at 800/223-1839, ext 246. Evaluators will be asked to use the prototype with as many students as possible as well as complete an evaluation regarding the product’s design, function, and usefulness. Selection is based upon type of setting, available number of students, and geographical location. Below is a brief description of each product and its target population.

  • MathBuilders – Data Collection, Graphing, and Probability/Statistics
    This is the third unit of the MathBuilders series. This unit provides math lesson plans with objectives aligned to the National Teachers of Mathematics Standards, manipulatives to teach/demonstrate concepts, and worksheets with tactile graphics to reinforce the student’s understanding. The product is designed for braille students K-3.
  • Toss-Away Number Lines – Braille and Large Print
    These number lines are great for reinforcing beginning number concepts such as counting, sequencing, number recognition, number relationships, addition, and subtraction. Blank number lines are included to provide a format for the teacher to use in creating a concrete representation when introducing fractions, decimals, or negative numbers. Each packet contains an assortment of disposable number lines in either large print or braille. The packet includes lines from 0-10, lines from 0-20, and blank number lines.

Seeking Field Test Evaluators

APH is currently seeking field evaluators for an All-In-One Magnetic/hook-loop material/Dry-Erase Adjustable Board that is intended for classroom use with students of all ages. This multi-platform, easily-adjustable board can be used in combination with either hook/loop material accessories or magnetic pieces (homemade, obtained from APH, or purchased commercially), as well as with dry erase markers, to facilitate a variety of learning activities within a home or classroom setting. Target populations include young children, students, and adults with visual impairments, as well as parents and teachers working with this population. If you would like to be considered for this field test opportunity, please contact Karen J. Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, at 502-899-2322 or email hidden; JavaScript is required for more information. Field test sites will be randomly selected. The number of available prototypes is limited. Thank you.

All-In-One board with hook-loop material modeAll-In-One board in dry-erase mode

Changing of the Guard

Bill Daugherty and Phil Hatlen shaking hands in front of a Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired marquee

Bill Daugherty (left) is greeted as the new Superintendent of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired by retiring Superintendent Phil Hatlen. Bill recently moved from Kansas where he served as Superintendent of the Kansas School for the Blind.

Evidently beards are required in Texas.

Envision 07

Envision 07, a Conference of the Envision Rehabilitation Center in Wichita, KS, was held in Kansas City, MO August 9 – 12, and APH was there! APHers Sandi Baker, Janie Blome, Maria Delgado and Monica Turner exhibited products and attended sessions at this second annual multi-disciplinary vision rehabilitation and research conference. This conference appeals to a variety of professionals including Occupational Therapists, Low Vision Optometrists, and a variety of medical and vision rehabilitation professionals, as attendees were able to choose from more than 80 clinical or research sessions. APH’s new video/DVD "Reclaiming Independence" was a big hit with conference-goers!

Why Did You Become a Teacher of Students who are Visually Impaired?

David Petrovay is a doctoral student at the University of Arizona in the Department of Special Education, currently working on his dissertation. For his doctoral research, he wants to discover what attracts people to teaching children who are visually impaired.

Your input can be included in the study, if you submit your name and meet the following criteria:

  • Employed FIVE YEARS OR LESS as a teacher of the blind/visually impaired;
  • Recipient of an undergraduate or graduate college degree in visual impairment; AND,
  • Currently teaching students who are blind/visually impaired.

If you meet all three criteria, please contact David Petrovay at email hidden; JavaScript is required. If you are selected, he will send you materials by mail to complete. The entire process will require about an hour of your time and will help us learn more about how people are recruited/attracted into the field of blindness.

This study will provide crucial information that will help our field address the current shortages of personnel, and the future shortages that are anticipated. APH is pleased to bring this information to you about this important research activity and encourages you to consider being a participant.

If you know of others who qualify for this study, please feel free to forward this information onto them. The more teachers who participate, the more valuable the study.

Register Now to be A Regional Site for the 2008 Braille Challengeā„¢ Contest!

Come and be part of the fun! Bring the excitement of the Braille Challenge to your state! A Braille Challengeā„¢ Regional Event gets your entire community involved. Those who have done it say it was well worth the time and effort to encourage kids to take pride in their braille skills.

Now is the time to begin planning for 2008. Last year 17 different schools and agencies across the United States and Canada hosted their own Challenge, and our goal is to add 5 new sites in 2008.

The Braille Challenge, a program of Braille Institute, is a nationally acclaimed contest for first through twelfth grade students who read and write braille. Contestants are divided into five age groups and asked to complete a series of exercises demonstrating their proficiency in braille speed and accuracy, reading comprehension, spelling, proofreading and interpretation of tactile charts and graphs. The contest has been structured to be as turnkey as possible for you to host your own event.

Once you assign a regional coordinator to work with Braille Institute staff, we guide you to help make the event your own, providing ideas on special guests, ways to solicit local awards and how to recruit community involvement. We send you almost everything you need in a complete how-to handbook. It includes sample schedules, planning ideas and electronic forms. We design and produce the contests and send them to you, and provide the artwork for you to create your marketing materials.

The students love it, and a coordinated regional event is the best way to include blind students of all academic levels. The visibility this program generates also helps raise public awareness of blindness and literacy issues.

The upcoming Braille Challenge contest period will run from January 1 to March 7, 2008 and is open to all braille readers from first grade through high school. The final round for the top 60 students who qualify will be held once again in Los Angeles, on June 28, 2008.

To learn more, contact Nancy Niebrugge, Braille Challenge Director, at: 323-906-3113, ext 3113, or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


September 7-9, 2007
ACB of Texas "Employment and Technology Empowers" 2007 Conference;
Austin, TX

September 11, 2007
APH Webcast – Tactile Graphics Webcast: Touching on the Basics;
Louisville, KY

September 15-16, 2007
Indiana AER; Brown County State Park Lodge
Nashville, IN


October 24-26, 2007
NIP Event: Learning to Use the Sensory Learning Kit held in partnership with Sally Giittinger and the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired;
Nebraska City, NE

October 31-November 1, 2007
IDEAS 508, 2007;
Washington, DC


November 2-3, 2007
KSB Kentucky Family Conference;
Louisville, KY

November 7-9, 2007
NIP Event: Cortical Visual Impairment-A Further Look at Assessment and Intervention (held in partnership with Jackie Denk and the Kansas Instructional Resource Center for the Blind);
Wichita, KS

November 8-9, 2007
AERO: A Shared Vision (Ohio Chapter of AER);
Mount Sterling, OH

November 8, 2007
Preconference Workshop for MACRT-ASERT;
Las Vegas, NV

November 9-11, 2007
Las Vegas, NV

November 14-15, 2007
NIP Event: Learning to Use the Sensory Learning Kit;
Los Angeles, CA

November 29-December 2, 2007
Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference;
St. Petersburg, FL

NEW! MathBuilders, Unit 1: Matching, Sorting, and Patterning

Print Kit: 7-03560-00 — $225.00
Braille Kit: 5-03560-00 — $225.00

Replacement Items:
Teacher’s Guide, Print: 7-03560-01 — $85.00
Teacher’s Guide, Braille: 5-03560-01 — $85.00
Consumables Pack, Braille: 5-03560-02 — $28.00

Optional Items:
General Guidelines, Print: 7-03560-03 — $24.00
General Guidelines, Braille: 5-03560-03 — $24.00

MathBuilders Kit

MathBuilders is a supplementary math program separated into eight units by content standards and grade level. This allows the teacher to focus on specific standards or provide remedial material for individual students.

Unit 1 includes:

  • Teacher’s guide with lesson plans for grades K-3
  • CD-ROM with General Guidelines for Teaching Math to Young Braille Users
  • 58 student worksheets for additional practice
  • Manipulatives:
    • 54 geometric shapes with different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors
    • Felt board
    • Textured shapes with hook/loop material backing
    • Point symbol stickers
    • Length sticks
    • Bell bracelet and rattle for creating sound patterns

Objectives for each lesson have been aligned with the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics from the National Council of Teachers and Mathematics (NCTM).

The General Guidelines for Teaching Math to Young Braille Users gives an overview of the eight unit program and includes chapters that will provide guidance in teaching math to braille users. The General Guidelines will be included on the CD with every unit. It is also available in large print and braille, sold separately.

The remaining seven units will be announced individually as they are produced and available for sale.

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

NEW! Growing Up: A Developmental Curriculum

Complete Kit: 8-65000-00 — $195.00 + $11.00 approx. shipping charge
CD only: 8-65000-CD — $119.00 + $5.00 approx. shipping charge

No Quota Funds

Photograph of the complete Growing Up kit

The Growing Up curriculum provides an overall framework that is adaptable to behavior modification and other educational strategies. Included profile helps parents understand developmental needs of their children. Teachers, doctors, therapists, and parents find it useful to work together with Growing Up.

Materials have been used successfully in the following:

  • Universities
  • Kindergartens
  • Day care programs
  • Head Start programs
  • Residential programs
  • Home-based programs
  • Child development centers


  • Handbook and Index
  • 20 Initial Assessment Questionnaires
  • 3 Volumes containing 910 Programs
  • 2 Card Sort Assessment Tools
  • 20 Data Collection Sheets
  • 20 Regular Profile Sheets

Complies with IDEA guidelines.

NEW! Verbal View™ of Web Searches: D-10514-00 — $50.00

Also Available:
Verbal View of Windows® XP: D-10500-00 — $50.00
Verbal View of Word®: D-10510-00 — $50.00
Verbal View of Word® Advanced: D-10511-00 — $50.00
Verbal View of the Net and Web: D-10512-00 — $50.00
Verbal View of the Online Mail: D-10515-00 — $50.00

Verbal View of Web Searches

Learn how to search the web within this tutorial written especially for computer users who are blind or visually impaired.

Verbal View of Web Searches builds on the information in VV of the Net and Web by focusing on the benefits and uses of the Google® Search Engine. It explains why Google outshines its competitors, and how you will benefit when you become a daily googler!


Part 1: The Search for Web Pages

  • How to find items of interest and introduction to Google
  • Google Index and accessibility
  • Best ways to conduct searches
  • Other Searches

Part 2: The Search for Important Information

  • Google Directory
  • Google Alerts and Google Answers
  • Search options
  • Tibits and resources

Reclaiming Independence: Staying in the Driver’s Seat When You No Longer Drive Video
NEW! VHS Edition: 1-30020-00 — $60.00

Also available on DVD: 1-30020-DVD — $60.00

Optional Item:
Resource Guide, Braille Edition: 5-30020-00 — $69.00

Reclaiming Independence: Staying in the Driver's Seat When You No Longer Drive

Introduced in last month’s APH News, NEW for this month is the VHS Edition! Useful for both individuals and professionals, this video/resource guide will help you successfully use rehabilitation and transportation resources.

Types of transportation covered include:

  • Rides with friends and family
  • Public transportation such as buses and light rail
  • Taxi cabs
  • Paratransit services
  • Air travel

The included Resource Guide contains information on:

  • Medical issues and visual impairment
  • Helpful services, instruction, and technology
  • Types of transportation and strategies that promote success
  • Resources, helpful agencies, organizations, and companies

NEW! Braille DateBook 2008

With 2008 calendar: 1-07899-08 — $63.00
Replacement Calendar pages, 2008: 1-07898-08 — $15.00
Additional Filler Paper and Tabs: 1-07897-00 — $10.00

photo of the Braille Datebook

Housed in a rugged binder that opens from the top to make it easier to use when you are in narrow spaces. The binder holds 100 pages, including the calendar and other tabbed pages. Its hook/loop fastener keeps all material together and gives added protection to brailled pages.


  • Binder
  • Calendar pages
  • Blank filler pages and blank tabs
  • A saddle-shaped stylus
  • Print and braille tips pamphlet

Consider for Your Quota Spending:
Early Childhood and Recreational Products

We are pleased to announce that there are ample Early Childhood materials in place to complete your end of the fiscal year orders. As you forecast for 2008, make sure to stock your shelves with these proven products. Also consider the Recreation and Leisure Products listed below.

Suggested Early Childhood Products

Peg-A-Circle Set

Dividers for Small Work-Play Tray: 1-03770-00 — $20.00
Formboard with Removable Hands: 1-03700-00 — $28.00
Giant Textured Beads: 1-03780-00 — $71.00
Large Textured Block: 1-03820-00 — $35.00
Peg-A-Circle Set: 1-08550-00 — $44.00
Puzzle Form Board Kit: 1-03721-00 — $69.00
Sensory Cylinder Set: 1-03367-00 — $69.00
Shape Board: 1-03710-00 — $75.00
Small, Medium, and Large Circle Set I: 1-08590-00 — $18.00
Small, Medium, and Large Circle Set II: 1-08600-00 — $58.00
Sound Matching Board I: 1-03780-00 — $71.00
Sound Matching Board II: 1-03820-00 — $35.00
Textured Matching Blocks: 1-08950-00 — $57.00
Textured Pegs: 1-08930-00 — $29.00
Work-Play Tray, Small, Gray: 1-03750-00 — $15.00
Work-Play Tray, Small, Yellow: 1-03660-00 — $15.00

Suggested Recreation and Leisure Skills Products

Baseball Game

Baseball Game: 1-08100-00 — $152.00
Constructo Set, Wooden, Junior: 1-03690-00 — $168.00
Constructo Set, Wooden, Supplement: 1-03200-00 — $487.00
Game Kit: 1-08440-00 — $180.00
Game of Squares: 1-08430-00 — $48.00
Take Away Game: 1-08900-00 — $112.00
Ten Spot Game: 1-08920-00 — $103.00

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley

Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator

Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Mary Nelle McLennan, Executive Advisor to the President
  • Karen Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
  • Jeanette Wicker, Core Curriculum Project Leader, 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 –

The APH News is a monthly publication from the American Printing House for the Blind:
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206

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

Thank you.

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