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APH News: September 2018

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!

Cover of the CVI Book Builder Guidebook

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

APH Press: Ironing Out the Details

Photo of a shelf of AFB Press books

The new APH Press has now completed its second month of operations as we embark on producing new publications while continuing the legacy of AFB Press.

Over the last few weeks, we have been busy working on books in development and ensuring that the existing Press titles remain available for sale through a variety of distribution channels. Below is a brief update and overview of the current status of the Press.

Press Editorial

We are excited to announce that Larry Marotta will begin work as the APH Press executive editor on September 24th. Larry comes to APH with more than 20 years’ experience in publishing, including having served as executive editor, production editor, and accessibility manager for major textbook and scholarly publishers. Larry’s expertise and commitment to excellence will help us continue moving the Press forward to complete our ongoing projects more quickly and position us to take on new work in the future.

You will have an opportunity to meet Larry and learn more about the Press during our session at APH’s forthcoming Annual Meeting.

We have established the email address email hidden; JavaScript is required as the contact for the team responsible for the transition of editorial operations to APH. Please continue using this email for Press editorial communications.

APH Press Customer Service and Book Sales

The Press books are available for purchase!

  • To place an order by phone, contact Sarah Bush in APH Customer Relations at 1-800-223-1839 extension 306.
  • Email email hidden; JavaScript is required to order Press books (print or EPUB).
  • Go to to order Press books online.
  • Press titles also are available at iTunes, Amazon, Amazon Kindle, and ProQuest.

Didn’t find the Press book you need on our website? Search for Press titles and then place your order as noted above by calling or emailing APH.

Note: Press titles are not APH Federal Quota eligible.

Accessibility of Press Books

The EPUB formats of the Press books are accessible! When you purchase an EPUB Press title, it will come complete with image descriptions.

Online Content of Press Books

Until further notice, AFB will continue to host the supplementary online resources for AFB Press books.

APH Press Advisory Board

A Board comprised of leaders, educators and practitioners in the field will offer their expertise to APH as we make future plans for the Press. This group will be led by Dorinda Rife, APH Vice President of Educational Services and Product Development, and includes George Abbott, AFB Chief Knowledge Advancement Officer and former head of the AFB Press, to ensure continuity through the transition and establishment of the APH Press. Sharon Sacks, PhD, and Karen Ross, PhD, will co-chair the advisory board.This group will also provide counsel on new titles going forward.

The Board will hold its first meeting in conjunction with APH’s Annual Meeting.

NEW! CVI Book Builder

1-08825-00 — $279

Cover of the CVI Book Builder Guidebook

Children diagnosed with CVI frequently have difficulty understanding objects, pictures, and letters presented against a complex background. CVI Book Builder provides materials for parents and teachers to build books specifically for their reader. The kit provides a variety of black pages and black binders to use as low complexity backgrounds against which to present familiar items, photos, and letters/words.

The CVI Book Builder is designed to:

  • build a connection between an actual object and a photo of that object, teaching that photos (symbols) have meaning.
  • take advantage of natural learning opportunities.
  • expand learning by exploring size, direction, colors, and other developmental concepts.

NEW! Mini Light Box Overlays

1-08659-00 — $109

Cover of the Mini Light Box Overlays Guidebook

Mini Light Box Overlays are designed to build visual complexity by adding one overlay at a time, individualizing to each child’s needs.

The Mini-Lite Box Overlays are unique in that the parent or teacher may choose the level of visual complexity for each learner. Using color, light, and increasing levels of complexity, overlays can be layered for many different purposes, including instruction or assessment in color identification, shape identification, and counting.

Each set includes overlays in three colors and shapes, as well as translucent overlays with various patterns and colors.

NEW! See Like Me Low Vision Simulators

1-08053-00 — $149

See Like Me Low Vision Simulator Kit

These simulators are standard safety glasses that have been fit with inserts to mimic common eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, detached retina, hemianopsia and high degree myopia.

These simulators are different from others on the market because they show the color changes that are often present in certain eye conditions as well as differences in vision that often occur between the two eyes.

Recommended ages: 12 years and up.

NEW! UEB Math Tutorial

D-30032-ED – Free of Charge Download

UEB Math Tutorial logo

APH’s UEB Math Tutorial contains over 50 lessons broken up into ten chapters that cover the rules of UEB Mathematics. This web-based program runs on any modern computer platform, works well with refreshable braille displays, and is available free-of-charge!

Each lesson contains four sections, including an explanation, reading exercises, writing exercises, and proofreading exercises. Give your students the tools they need to successfully read and write mathematics with the UEB Math Tutorial.

Recommended age: 5 years and up.

Field Tests and Surveys

Crossword: Accessible Online Crossword Puzzles

Crossword logo

Crossword is an online crossword solving tool deployed with universal design concepts. It works with any modern browser on any platform. We are testing only desktop browsers for this first round, as there is still a little more work to do for mobile browsers.

Along with this new kind of app comes a new kind of field testing: you don’t have to apply to become a field tester. Just go to the website and start using it!

As you are testing Crossword, there are a few things that we ask you to consider:

  • Does this application allow you to do crossword puzzles?
  • Is the user interface easy to use?
  • What would make the experience of doing crossword puzzles more enjoyable for you?

Provide feedback by emailing email hidden; JavaScript is required, and join the Word Puzzles list by sending a blank message to email hidden; JavaScript is required. (This information can also be found in the About section on the website.) If you send feedback or subscribe to the list, we will ask you to fill out a short survey as well.

8-Dot 3-D Printed Slate

APH is seeking field testers for an 8-Dot 3-D Printed Slate. While the braille literary code uses six dots for each character, there are cases when an eight-dot slate is useful. See BANA’s position statement on the topic at a new window.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a good eight-dot slate. APH offers a set of files to make an eight-dot slate on a 3-D printer, and we would love your feedback.

If you are interested, go to the site a new window, download and print the files, and provide suggestions on the process and how to improve the design in the comments section.

APH’s Websites: We Want Your Feedback on Accessibility!

When accessing the web, are you a synthetic speech user, screen magnification user, or user of other accessible technologies? APH would like your feedback on the accessibility of our websites! If you have thoughts about the accessibility of or, please email your comments to email hidden; JavaScript is required. We appreciate your time!

New Downloadable Manuals Available

Get the manual you need instantly! APH offers a selected list of product manuals available for free download ( You may print or emboss these as needed. In most cases, we will continue to package hard copies of these manuals with their products and sell hard copy replacements.

Newly added manuals include:

  • Six Dots Game of Cards
  • Updated: Quick Draw Paper Suggested Uses Sheet

APH Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale 2018, July 1—September 30. As always, first come, first served.

Treasures from the APH Libraries

The APH libraries include two distinct collections. The Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to blindness in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, arrangements can be made to use the materials on-site. In addition, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will continue to make materials available through the online catalog at

  • From the Barr Library: Hamilton, N.R. (2000). Wings of courage: A lifetime of triumph over adversity. Calgary, AB: Nacelles Publishing.

    This month’s Barr highlight is Wings of Courage, an autobiography chronicling the life of Neil Hamilton. With a touch of wonder and affection, Hamilton reflects on growing up on a Saskatchewan farm, coming of age in the “Dirty Thirties”, and how the values and lessons learned from his youth carried him to the war-torn skies of Europe and desert of North Africa. As a pilot and instructor in World War II, Hamilton recounts the night when his eyes inexplicably hemorrhaged at 25,000 feet, resulting in the loss of most of his sight.

    Hamilton returned to Canada to recuperate and to adjust to his blindness. After overcoming tuberculosis of the spine, Hamilton’s life took a new direction when he accepted a position in the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). Hamilton recounts the many stories of partnerships with local Lions Clubs, and programs to benefit people with visual impairment during his tenure with CNIB.
    An avid sportsman, Hamilton shares anecdotes of his golf, bowling, and curling exploits. He also founded a Hall of Fame in his own home in order to bring athletes and sports celebrities together in a social gathering. Wings of Courage is a story of serving others and facing life’s difficulties head on.

  • From the Migel Library: “Blind Man’s Baseball.” Pic Magazine, 1 Oct. 1940, pp. 40–41.

    photo of page from Pic Magazine, yellowed with age, of the Blind Man's Baseball article. At the top of the page is an illustration of the field layout

    “Proud fathers buy their male offspring a ball and bat when the youngsters are scarcely big enough to walk… Every American boy plays baseball — every one, that is, except the boy who is blind.” Clearly reflecting the attitudes of its time, “Blind Man’s Baseball” presents a 1940 adaptation of the game of baseball for players who are visually impaired. According to David Wanczyk’s 2018 book Beep, adapted baseball games have been played since at least 1894. This Pic Magazine version may be the only version of the game where a ring is pitched along a wire instead of a ball. The batter hears the ring sliding towards home plate on the cable and attempts to hit the ring past the fielders down the wire. To run the bases, the batter has to follow a waist-high wire around the diamond, no doubt making for a dangerous game if the base is overshot. This article has been digitized for Internet Archive at a new window

APH is working with the Internet Archive to digitize portions of the M.C. Migel Collection. Search the phrase “full text” to find these items at The digitized texts are available in a variety of formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, etc.

Contact Library staff: email hidden; JavaScript is required, 800-223-1839, ext. 705.

STEM Corner

Attention EOTs and all individuals attending APH’s Annual Meeting in October!

Please plan to attend “What’s Next for STEM Products” Round Table Discussion session on Friday morning, October 5th. This is your chance to contribute to the APH product development process.

Come prepared to discuss the kinds of STEM products you would like to have priority in the APH product pipeline – we want to hear your thoughts.

All ideas are welcome – high tech, low tech and everything in between.

Social Media Spotlight

Social Media Spotlight logo

The Language of Alt Text in Social Media

In a previous Social Media Spotlight, we discussed the importance of alt text and accessibility in social media. Including a caption for an image can give your followers who are visually impaired the same relevant information as the sighted viewer.

Today, we’ll discuss how you can use descriptive alt text to convey not only the factual information provided in an image, but also the emotion. Consider the example below.

Scenario: Your son is playing in the championship game of his high school basketball career. You’re proud and want to share an image of him making a slam dunk on Twitter. The content of the tweet describes his journey to get to this point, but what does the image say? In addition to the action happening in the image, what feelings are involved? Describing the expressions, emotions, or energy of the people in the image can help you capture the experience more vividly.

  • Simple: “Charlie makes a slam dunk playing against the Purple Devils as the crowd cheers.”
  • Strong: “Charlie, with a sly grin, makes a slam dunk against the Purple Devils. The crowd in the stands goes wild.”

When writing the alt text for an image, you might ask yourself, “Why did I choose this particular image?” We often pick an image for its quality beyond the basic content. Try conveying that information through subtle word choice and rich description to enhance the reading experience of your social media followers who are visually impaired.

"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!

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We invite you to visit our Facebook page and "Like" us! You can find APH at these social media sites: Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and at our blog, Fred’s Head from APH.

APH Braille Book Corner

APH offers a number of recreational books in braille available with Quota funds. 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.

The Life and Adventures of Jack Engle: An Autobiography
By: Walt Whitman: T-N2191-50 – $78.50
In 1852, young Walt Whitman, a down-on-his-luck housebuilder in Brooklyn, was hard at work writing two books. One would become one of the most famous volumes of poetry in American history, a free-verse revelation beloved the world over, Leaves of Grass. The other, a novel, would be published under a pseudonym and serialized in a newspaper. A short, rollicking story of orphan-hood, avarice, and adventure in New York City, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle appeared to little fanfare. Then it disappeared. No one laid eyes on it until 2016, when literary scholar Zachary Turpin, University of Houston, followed a paper trail deep into the Library of Congress.

By: Scott Turrow: T-N2199-50 – $266.00
Fifty-year-old former prosecutor Bill ten Boom walked out on everything he thought was important to him: his law career, his wife, even his country. But now he is tapped to investigate the disappearance of an entire Roma refugee camp following the Bosnian War.

Scriptorium Poems
By: Melissa Range: T-N2207-00 – $35.00
The poems in this award-winning collection focus on the question of religious authority. The poems explore how religious ideas are both codified and challenged through writing and how language can be used or abused to claim religious authority. National Poetry Series.

Night Film
By: Marisha Pessi: T-N2178-20 – $403.50
After piano prodigy Ashley Cordova is found dead from an apparent suicide, journalist Scott McGrath investigates to determine if her father Stanislas, a reclusive cult-movie director, was involved. The last time he attempted to expose Stanislas, Scott lost his job and ruined his marriage.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


September 8, 2018
Indianapolis VisionWalk 2018
Indianapolis, IN

September 14-15, 2018
9th Annual IsLAND Conference on Disability
Princeton, NJ

October 18, 2018
Internet Archive Workshop, Print Disabled Collection at Open Library
San Francisco, CA

October 24-26, 2018
NBA Professional Development Conference
Detroit, MI


September 18-19, 2018
Bluetooth World 2018
Santa Clara, CA

NIP Event

September 7, 2018
Intervention Continuum NIP
St Marie, IL

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APH News Credits

Dr. Craig Meador
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Dorinda Rife, Vice President, Educational Services and Product Development
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Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
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Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Rosanne Hoffmann, STEM Project Leader, Research
  • Leslie Knox, Director of Marketing and Communications, Sales and Marketing
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Abby Pullis, Social Media Specialist, Marketing and Communications
  • Mary Robinson, Assistant, Field Services
  • Jeffrey Witt, Special Collections and Metadata Librarian, Resource Services

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Louisville, KY 40206

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