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APH Press Release

APH Hosts Free Event to Celebrate Mary Ingalls’ Birthday

December 14, 2010

January is National Braille Literacy Awareness Month

Louisville, KY – The Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue, will host a celebration in honor of Mary Ingalls’ birthday on Saturday, January 8th from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Mary was the older sister of "Little House" author Laura Ingalls Wilder, who said “My sister Mary is the reason I am a writer.” Born in 1865, Mary lost her sight from scarlet fever at age fourteen, and Laura became her eyes, describing the world so her sister could “see” as well.

The public is invited to come to the Museum to explore the sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of Mary’s world and learn about her richly rewarding life from her early days in Pepin, Wisconsin in the home built by parents Charles (“Pa”) and Caroline Ingalls (“Ma”), through her years at the Iowa College for the Blind, and her later life as a teacher and musician. They’ll sing along with some of Pa’s lively fiddle tunes (performed by Barbara Henning, a graduate of the Kentucky School for the Blind and the University of Louisville School of Music), weave a beaded bracelet (the same as those Mary made for her sisters), and have some birthday cake made from Ma’s recipe.

Guests are encouraged to come in costume and participate in an Ingalls Family Look-Alike Contest.

This event is free to the public, but registration is required. Please call (502) 899-2213, e-mail, by January 6 to register, or visit for more information.

About the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind:

The Museum, where visitors experience hands-on history, is open Monday through Saturday. It is located on the second floor of the American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky. Admission is free. Regular hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday-Friday and 10:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday. Visitors can write in braille, see the first book embossed for blind readers, play a computer game designed for blind students, and much more. More information at or call (502) 895-2405, ext. 365, weekdays.

About the American Printing House for the Blind:

The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the world’s largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level.

APH manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also manufactures hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products. APH’s fully-accessible website ( features information about APH products and services, online ordering of products, and free information on a wide variety of blindness-related topics. One popular feature of the site is the Louis Database, a free tool to help locate accessible books available from organizations across the U.S. APH products can be ordered through Louis.

The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, call (502) 895-2405 or log on to