Your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, and training opportunities from the American Printing House for the Blind.
Exciting New APH Products Announced!
Read on to learn about these new products – now available!
- APH Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale
- What is IT? Kit
- Guitar Instruction — Audio Disc Set
- APH Braille Book Corner
Registration Now Open for Annual Meeting!
Products Across America: Working Together to Build Tools for Learning and Living
Run, don’t walk. Drive quickly, but don’t text while driving. It’s time for Annual Meeting registration! The 142nd Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests of the American Printing House for the Blind takes place October 14–16, at the fully renovated Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. Come join us as we wander across this great land of ours to look at "Products Across America".
You’ll be wowed by keynote speaker Jim Gibbons, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries, Inc. You will "oooh" and "aaah" over fabulous new products. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry as we honor our APH award winners, our marvelous InSights artists and our newest inductees into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field. You will be amazed by the products in the Product Showcase, and feel your power as you provide input into the development of new products. And your friends at home will be dazzled by your brilliance when you return to tell them all you’ve learned in the product training sessions.
And if that’s not enough, you can dance the night away on the historic Belle of Louisville, meet new colleagues, renew old friendships, learn from your peers and stagger home refreshed at the end of the week.
Now, how can you miss it? You can’t! So log on now to register for the meeting, check out the agenda, and find out where to stay. Check it out at: www.aph.org/anmtg/2010/
Hurry, the deadline for registration is Sept. 17, and reservations at the Galt House must be made by September 19! (Of course we’ll welcome you with open arms if you cannot take advantage of registration in advance–but your name will not appear in the program book.)
Your Input WILL Make a Difference!
Please complete the very BRIEF APH 2010 Satisfaction Survey!
As many of you know, each year the U.S. Department of Education seeks input from YOU on the effectiveness of products and services provided through the Federal Quota Program, which is administered by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). The 2010 survey is now available on the APH website, and you are encouraged to respond based on your experience with products provided through Federal Quota funds.
This brief, 10-question, online survey is available at www.aph.org/products/gpra.html through Friday, September 10, 2010.
Your honest input does make a difference!
National Prison Braille Network: Building Bridges with Braille
Corrections and vision professionals meet each year at the National Prison Braille Forum to share their expertise and learn from others.
On October 13, APH will host the 10th annual meeting of the National Prison Braille Network (NPBN). This day-long gathering will be held in conjunction with our 2010 Annual Meeting in Louisville.
APH launched a braille production facility in a women’s prison in Kentucky in 2000 in cooperation with the prison and Kentucky Correctional Industries. Partners in this venture, called KCI Braille Services, began learning first- hand about the complexities of operating a business behind prison walls and experienced many unanticipated challenges. Managed today by Jan Carroll, APH braille transcription services coordinator, and Holly Faris Woolums, production coordinator for Kentucky Correctional Industries at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women, KCI Braille Services employs up to 15 women and produces thousands of pages of braille each year.
Shortly after launching KCI Braille Services, APH learned that this was not the only braille production facility operating in the U.S. We hosted the first National Prison Braille Forum in conjunction with Annual Meeting in 2001, primarily to learn about existing programs, and to learn from their experience. Approximately 20 people attended that first meeting, and on average, 40 people interested in prison braille programs have attended this annual gathering each year since.
There are currently over 35 prison braille programs across the country, and most focus their efforts on producing textbooks for braille readers in grades K-12. Many of these programs will be represented at the upcoming Forum by either vision professionals, corrections professionals, or both. Typically, several "alumni" of these programs—former inmates who have been released from prison and now produce braille on the outside—will attend and share their experience with the network.
Transforming Lives One Cell at a Time:
One Disadvantaged Population Helps Another
In recent years, an increasing number of braille production facilities have been established in prisons as a direct response to the growing need for educational materials in braille, especially textbooks. This subject is thoroughly explored by APH’s Nancy Lacewell and Hollie Farris, of Kentucky Correctional Industries, in their commentary that is appearing in Corrections Today, a national publication. Nancy says, "I hope the article will help get more support for prison braille programs and offenders reentering society. These programs truly are life-changing."
Here is the link to the full article: http://aca.org/fileupload/177/ahaidar/Lacewell_Faris.pdf
National Panel Ranks APH Products!
For the 4th consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Education, led by Annette Reichman, established an Expert Review Panel for the purpose of evaluating the quality, relevance, and utility of APH products. The August 16 and 17 panel review, facilitated for us by Dr. Cay Holbrook, is one of several factors included in the evaluation of APH’s role in administering the Act to Promote the Education of the Blind.
Field Evaluators Needed!
APH is seeking field evaluators for Accessible Multiple-Choice Answer Documents, our newly redesigned braille and large print answer sheets. Feedback from 120 vision professionals who participated in the "Answer Document Survey" in 2007 has guided our product design. Four different styles of braille/tactile answer sheets and three styles of large print sheets will be tested with students in grades 2 through high school. The goal is to determine which style(s) students find easier to use independently and which are more engaging.
These answer documents will be evaluated for student use on regular classroom/curricular tests, statewide standards-based tests, and on standardized tests such as the Stanford Achievement Tests. Sample multiple-choice questions will be provided for the field test. After administering the questions, which will take about an hour, teachers will fill out a questionnaire.
BOP2 Writers Meet in August
Ten consultants for Building on Patterns Grade 2 (BOP2) met at APH on August 2 through 5. The group included teacher writers from Arkansas, California, Tennessee, British Columbia, and Oregon who have each undertaken the writing/consulting for various units for BOP2.
While the consultants were in Louisville, they worked on final formatting issues for the first three units and made plans for the remaining units of BOP2.
What a workshop! What an adventure!
On July 29-30, twenty-eight eager workshop participants came together at APH to learn about making test items accessible for students who are blind and visually impaired. After a day of background information and presentation of issues by Dr. Carol Allman, several APH experts presented on topics such as large print, use of color, tactile graphics, audio and verbal formats, and computer-based testing. Some test preparation materials from the Test Ready series that are available in regular print, large print, braille with tactile graphics, and audio formats, along with some new technological devices that include Refreshabraille 18, Book Port Plus and the Braille+ Mobile Manager were presented and demonstrated. Valuable resources such as Louis, the Tactile Graphics Library, and Accessible Media Producers databases were also discussed and demonstrated. Participant feedback included: "To get an understanding of the perspective of visually impaired children/students is invaluable to me in test publishing." "This was one of the most beneficial workshops I have attended. The info was new to me and really makes me confident to work this area in a testing company." "I loved the hands-on experience with the tactile material."
Special Guests in the House
APH had a couple of very special guests one day last month when Georgia Ex Officio Trustee Jim Downs and his wife Joanie dropped in for a visit. We hope all of you will keep Louisville in mind as a vacation destination…or stop-over at least!
Researching Braille in the Rockies
Ralph Bartley [photographer] captures Loana Mason (left), Mark Riccobono (center), and Kay Ferrell (right) discussing the interesting things they had been learning.
Ralph Bartley, APH Research Department Director, and Loana Mason, APH Braille Literacy Project Leader, attended the first Research Summit on Braille Reading and Writing in Denver, Colorado, hosted by the National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities (NCSSD) and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Ralph was part of the planning committee and also served as a session moderator. Loana presented data on a pilot study she conducted exploring hand and finger usage patterns that produced the greatest reading fluency for braille readers. The conference was very informative as there were many different disciplines represented from all over the world.
Let’s Read, Let’s Move Includes Disability
Kareem Dale, special assistant to the President, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Focus on Braille Literacy at Summer Reading Program on Capitol Hill
APH Ex Officio Trustee and Staff Member Also Participate
In response to President Barack Obama’s national volunteer campaign, "United We Serve," Arne Duncan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, recently hosted a special enrichment series designed to combat summer learning loss and encourage healthy lifestyles. The July 30th session of "Let’s Read. Let’s Move." highlighted braille literacy and focused on disabilities. Glinda Hill, education program specialist with the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, honored APH with an invitation to participate.
Elementary students from schools near Capitol Hill, including several with vision loss, visited the Department’s Lyndon Baines Johnson Building to hear special guest readers Kareem Dale, special assistant to the President for disability policy and graduate of the Tennessee School for the Blind, and U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin of Rhode Island. After reading aloud the braille version of If I Ran for President, Mr. Dale talked with the students about his work with President Obama. Congressman Langevin, who is paraplegic, read House Mouse Senate Mouse, which introduced these youngsters to the lawmaking process. Additionally, members of the audience, including teachers and parents, were encouraged to reach for their dreams by actor Quinton Aaron who played the starring role of a football player in the recent movie, The Blind Side.
A student explores braille for the first time with an APH Special Edition Weekly Reader
During the Q&A session before the readings, the students who correctly answered Brain Quest questions received an APH Feel ‘n Peel reward sticker. The children broke into small groups and took part in reading, writing and fitness activities. Becky Snider, APH Public Affairs Coordinator, helped students experience writing and reading braille firsthand with a braillewriter. She also distributed the Special Edition Weekly Reader so students could begin to understand the special learning needs of people with vision loss.
Andrea Noel, APH Ex Officio Trustee and manager of children and family programs for the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind in Washington, D.C., brought an APH Sound Ball for "Let’s Move" activities. All of the children took away a free book. Those who were blind or visually impaired each received a print/braille book from the APH Chrissy’s Collection.
The photograph of Kareem Dale and Secretary Arnie Duncan that accompanies this article was taken by APH’s Becky Snider, who was also a part of the reading program.
Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, writes:
"The White House and Department of Education recently continued to build on President Obama’s commitment to full inclusion for people with disabilities. I had the opportunity to join Secretary Duncan in one of the Department of Education’s Let’s Read, Let’s Move events. The event included children without disabilities as well as children with disabilities including several blind children. I read my book in Braille and we discussed my work with the President on disability policy. This built on this administration’s ongoing commitment to improving Braille literacy for blind children. Congressman Langevin also joined the event and read to the students."
Tactile Book Nomination
APH is pleased to announce that a committee of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) has nominated Goin’ On a Bear Hunt—an age-old favorite story retold by APH’s Suzette Wright, Emergent Literacy Project Leader—to move into the next round of competition in their parent organization’s project to identify Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities.
The IBBY, which is a Reading Promotion Partner of the Center for the Book, a part of the Library of Congress, aims to raise awareness worldwide about the special needs of young people with disabilities by selecting books specifically made for them, as well as books that promote their inclusion, for an exhibit that will go around the globe.
If selected by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), this APH book from the Moving Ahead Series will become one of 50 books from around the globe to receive this honor given every two years. Regardless of whether it is chosen to be in the traveling exhibit which includes a project catalog list of winners, a copy of Goin’ On a Bear Hunt will be kept in the permanent collection of the IBBY Documentation Centre of Books for Disabled Young People in Norway.
New EOTs Flock to APH
Eight recently appointed EOTs arrived in Louisville in August for an opportunity to learn more about APH and about their responsibilities as Ex Officio Trustees. The group spent two days meeting with APH staff, touring the APH production area, and learning from each other. Departmental presentations provided a history of APH, information on ordering and statements, tips for registering students in the Federal Quota program, forecasting purchases to leverage federal quota funds, and information on the Public Affairs "Leaders to Leaders" program. Attendees also spent some time with Project Leaders from the Educational Research Department to review new and upcoming products. Other discussions focused on the role of the Ex Officio Trustee, Annual Meeting, the APH shopping site and website, and more! These newest members of APH’s extended family brought to the event good ideas, good information, and an eagerness to learn more, and APH staff learned a lot from them, as well. The only thing we needed was more time together!
If you are a new Ex Officio Trustee, be on the lookout for additional training opportunities coming up in 2011. We’d love to see you!
Classroom Collaboration Survey
Workshop for Licensed/Certified Psychologists on Specialized Materials for Assessing Students who are Blind
Field Testing Artificial Intelligent Math Tutors
As part of the initial phases of a two-year federal research project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Quantum Simulations has built accessibility into two of our Quantum Artificial Intelligent (AI) Mathematics Tutors (Ratio and Proportions and Metric Units Tutors), and we need to field test the Tutors with blind and visually impaired students. This field testing is a critical part of the grant process.
We are hoping to find TVIs who have two of their students that will be covering these topics some time in the fall. We would like to do a pre/post test study with one of the students as a control while the other would use the Tutor. Each TVI is eligible for a stipend of $150 per topic for a possible total of $300. If you only have one student who will be covering these topics and are interested in participating, please contact us anyway, because we may need your input as well.
In Memoriam: John Aicken
American Printing House for the Blind, Assistant Director of Research
AICKEN, JOHN CHARLES JR., 62, of Louisville, departed this world just as he lived, surrounded by love, on Saturday, August 21, 2010, at his home.
John was a cherished employee of the American Printing House for the Blind. His impact on the Research Department over the past decade will be long felt. John organized, managed, and maintained federally funded projects as the Assistant Director of Research. When around John, you were truly in a "no drama" zone. John was our rock. There was no one more solid and no one with more integrity. His word was true and his actions always honest and direct. There could not be a better man and we sorely miss him.
He lives on in the hearts of his loving wife of 40 years, Karen Ford Aicken; his deeply grateful children, Jeffrey Malachi Aicken (Erin) and Bethany Joy Aicken; his adoring grandchildren, Kaya Alexis and John Jackson Aicken; brother, Mark Aicken; and sister, Debra Braun. "We will miss you always, hubby, pop, and papaws."
Expressions may be made to the American Printing House for the Blind.
Multisensory Books for Blind Children and Parents Available from the Braille Institute
All of the Braille Institute’s multisensory books, which are part of their free Special Collection Program, were developed in consultation with their Child Development professionals and evaluated in the field by parents, teachers and librarians who work with blind preschoolers. These popular stories are especially adapted to help blind children build concepts and provide a fun-filled way to introduce them to the wonderful world of reading.
Dots for Tots
These multisensory storybook kits, designed specifically for visually impaired preschoolers, help parents introduce their children to basic braille construction. Each popular picture book features uncontracted braille overlays, along with a descriptive audiotape and plastic toys that represent characters or objects in the story.
As a child grows, they will enjoy this next step in our series of multisensory storybook kits designed for visually impaired early school-aged children and their parents. These custom-designed print and braille books also include descriptive audio and one, single manipulative character or object from the story. Line drawings representing the object are created shape-by-shape to help the blind child learn how drawings represent three-dimensional objects.
New "Handy List": Recommended Products
To aid in ordering, especially for our Federal Quota customers, we’ve published a new list of recommended products for programs serving students with visual impairment. We hope this list will be especially helpful to our Ex Officio Trustees as they make purchasing decisions prior to the fiscal year 2010 Federal Quota spending deadline of September 30.
We now have four lists in our Handy List series, which you can find on our shopping site beneath the yellow left-hand navigation box.
APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees
Zvia McCormick, the Glenwood Resource Center in Iowa, replacing R. Scot Booth.
Norma Villanueva, the District of Columbia Public Schools, replacing Marie Celeste.
Hollie R Murdock, the Utah State Office of Education, replacing Denise Warren.
APH Travel Calendar
September 20, 2010
Firebrand Technologies Community Conference;
September 22-25, 2010
San Antonio, TX
September 23, 2010
2010 Envision Days;
September 25, 2010
Indiana Vision Expo 2010;
September 28, 2010
Veteran’s Administration Product Training;
September 30-October 1, 2010
New Hampshire TVI Product Training (FVLMA and other products);
Professional Development Conference;
October 7-9, 2010
FAHPERDS – Florida Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance;
October 8-9, 2010
APH Braille Plus and BookPort Training;
Portland State University in Portland, OR
October 9, 2010
Gazing At Options-What Does the Future Hold for Your Child;
KSB in Louisville, KY
October 14-16, 2010
APH 2010 Annual Meeting;
Galt House in Louisville, KY
October 22-24, 2010
12 State Vision Midwest Conference;
Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI
October 27-29, 2010
Texas Division for Blind Services Conference;
San Marcos, TX
October 28-30, 2010
ATIA 2010 Chicago;
November 7-9, 2010
MAHPERD (Maine AHPERD);
Samoset Resort, Rockport, ME
November 10-12, 2010
MACRT ASERT Professional Development Conference;
Daytona Beach, FL
November 11-12, 2010
VTAHPERD (Vermont AHPERD);
Killington Grand Hotel, Killington, VT
November 14-16, 2010
KAHPERD (Kentucky AHPERD);
Embassy Suites, Lexington, KY
November 18-19, 2010
North Carolina Assistive Technology Expo 2010 (NC AT Expo 2010);
December 1-4, 2010
TAHPERD’S 87th Annual Convention (Texas AHPERD);
December 25-27, 2010
NIMAS Meetings; Orlando, FL
Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale
Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale 2010, July 1—September 30. As always, first come, first served.
NEW! What is IT? Kit
1-03535-00 — $38.00
Helps children develop real images related to descriptive terminology and words.
The exercises in the What is IT? Kit emphasize the need for the child to form real mental images in relation to labels at a very early age. In effect, a label is more than a word because it evokes an internalized mental association of various properties and functions.
Many bright young children who are blind copy the descriptive terminology of others, but have difficulty describing the "why" of the label independently. Teaching the young mind to listen to the word, and anticipate "motor knowledge" (organized physical input) that will help form associations, can make a difference. With an active introduction to details contributing to the whole, the child will gain the foundation for comparative thinking, leading to the ability to generalize and communicate independently.
- Use the cards with real objects to introduce the properties of things in conjunction with their definers.
- For future braille readers, early exposure to braille is as valuable as the indirect introduction to letters and words that future print readers get incidentally. Having the child hold the What is IT? card, and trace the braille, within the context of the word focus can become a natural experience. Note: exposure of the child to the abstract form of written words allows him to think about it, not necessarily to read it.
School Age Activities
- Provide a "word for the day" and have the child write as many descriptors as possible. With practice, limit the time, to promote the ability to think quickly.
- Itemize descriptors and see how many it takes for the child to come up with the word.
- Have the child present a list of descriptors for others to guess the word; have teams.
- Categorize labels, such as foods, clothes, forms of transportation, things in various stores, occupations, etc.
- Orientation and Mobility:
- Ask the child to verbally express observations along a route, beyond those provided by the teacher (smells, sounds, thermal changes).
- Ask the child to describe changes such as stairs, inclines, obstacles, beyond just the label.
- Go into a room and then have the child itemize things with at least one definer, and the location within the space, in relation to the door, and other objects.
- 102 What is IT? Print/Braille Cards
- Index card storage box
- Instruction Book in Print and Braille
Recommended ages: 3 years and up.
NEW! Guitar Instruction — Audio Disc Set
1-09110-00 — $120.00
Teaches you to play the guitar — with your ears, not your eyes!
With an electric or an acoustic guitar and Guitar Instruction – Audio you’re on your way to learning the guitar at your own pace, and without the use of brailled or printed music. Simply listen to professionally designed lessons, practice, and you’ll be playing your favorite songs in no time!
Guitar Instruction — Audio was designed by the TalkingTabs™ company and a team of world-class musicians and educators to be simple, effective, and entertaining for individuals with visual learning difficulties. With over 20 hours of step-by-step instruction on standard audio CDs, this disc set teaches you the appropriate actions for both hands and provides progressively difficult play-along examples at slower and faster speeds. Tracks are kept as short as possible to provide ease of repetition and referencing.
Although this disc set was designed to operate as a self-teaching program, guitar instructors find it to be a useful adjunct to face-to-face instruction. Instructors may wish to use some or all of the curriculum and can easily test students on the degree to which they have learned materials in each lesson.
- 6 1/2 x 11 x 1 inch three-ring CD album containing:
- Complete Beginners Series composed of 16 lessons recorded on 26 audio CDs; after lessons 8, 12, and 16, you will experience a play-it-now tunes song lesson:
- Feelin’ Alright, originally performed by Traffic
- Shattered, originally performed by The Rolling Stones
- Keep Your Hands to Yourself, originally performed by Georgia Satellites
- Audio Table of Contents
- Assessment Guide on CD
- Complete Beginners Series composed of 16 lessons recorded on 26 audio CDs; after lessons 8, 12, and 16, you will experience a play-it-now tunes song lesson:
- Signature Guitar Riffs on one audio CD
- Five play-it-now tunes, each recorded on a single audio CD, tunes include:
- He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, performed by TalkingTabs
- When the Saints Go Marching In, performed by TalkingTabs
- Not Ready to Make Nice, originally performed by Dixie Chicks
- All the Small Things, originally performed by Blink 182
- Polly, originally performed by Nirvana
- A 4-pack of play-it-now tunes guitar picks
Note: All songs are performed by TalkingTabs
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.
Race: A History Beyond Black and White
by Marc Aronson: T-N1756-00 — $60.00
Focuses on the history of race and racism in the West from Greek civilization to modern times. Discusses prejudice, slavery, religion, and the complex social problems that arise from judging people by their skin color or beliefs. Nonfiction, Upper Grades. *(AR Quiz #119444, BL 8.8, Pts. 11.00)
by Richard King: T-N1772-30 — $62.00
Chicago sportscaster’s tribute to Maggie, his wife of thirty-two years. He recalls her fears, courage, and ultimate zest for living while battling childhood hearing loss, progressive blindness, melanoma, breast cancer, and the ovarian cancer that killed her at age fifty-three. Biography.
On Kingdom Mountain
by Frank Howard Mosher: T-N1775-30 — $60.50
Vermont, 1930. Bookwoman and bird carver, Miss Jane Hubbell Kinneson disputes the township’s proposed highway through her property on Kingdom Mountain. Momentous changes occur during her fiftieth year after she offers refuge to aviator Henry Satterfield when his biplane crashes. Fiction.
Land of the Blind
by Jess Walter: T-N1774-40 — $81.00
Burned-out Spokane police detective Caroline Mabry is puzzled by the man in her interview room. Attorney and failed politician Clark Mason insists he’s responsible for a murder, but his statement is taking him hours to write, and it starts with his childhood.
Strong language and some mature subject matter. Fiction, Adult Reader.
A Daring Passion
by Rosemary Rogers: T-N1774-80 — $92.00
Raine Wimbourne masquerades as the Knave of Knightsbridge, champion of the poor, to dupe authorities and protect her father–the real knave. Philippe Gautier kidnaps Raine, intending to make her his mistress and use her to thwart enemies, but love complicates his plans. Adult Reader.
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
- Nancy Lacewell, Director, Government and Community Affairs
- Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
- Mary Nelle McLennan, Executive Advisor to the President
- Becky Snider, Coordinator, Public Affairs
- Gwynn Stewart, Administrative Assistant, Communications
- Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests
Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research
For additional recent APH News, click the following:
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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