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APH “Phase-Gate” New Product Development Process

Terms we hear in today’s changing marketplace include “essentialism,” “minimalism,” and “rationalization.” APH has been considering these concepts and how they relate to product development. In our quest to decrease product development cycle time and improve quality, we have looked to the market for best practices in new product development.

In response to this information, APH has developed a revised “Phase-Gate” New Product Development (NPD) process. This process allows stakeholders to approve or reject projects at many points through the entire development process, resulting in a more efficient model that allows more strategic input across the life of the product idea.

There are six gates spread from ideation through product launch. At each gate, representatives from all departments will review and discuss product design and design changes. In addition, the Product Advisory Review Committee (PARC) will provide oversight of the entire portfolio of products, making recommendations regarding project priorities and resource allocation. The new process has been approved by the PARC committee and was reviewed by the Department of Education liaison and the EPAC and ESAC committees.

How does the new process affect you as an APH stakeholder?

The revised process has allowed us to look carefully at the way we select product ideas and assign those to project leaders. APH is now using a decision-making matrix to score every current product in the pipeline and all newly accepted product ideas. This will allow us to align each product idea with our strategic goals and move only those products with greatest need and potential forward. As we pilot the matrix, trustees and educators may see a reduced number of accepted projects going forward. This will allow us to move those projects forward more quickly, resulting in more of the right products landing in the customer’s hands in less time.

The American Printing House for the Blind gives serious consideration to ideas for products that improve the lives of persons who are blind and visually impaired. We are especially interested in product ideas that support Core and/or Expanded Core Curricula, since both are essential to the education of students and clients who are blind or visually impaired.

Potential products could address such areas as:

In order to properly evaluate your product idea, please provide the information requested on the form below.

If you’d like to give us feedback on an existing product, please use the APH Product Feedback Form.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
Product Idea Submission Form

Note: Please use an up-to-date browser when filling out this form.

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

1. Tell Us About You*

*APH values your privacy. Your personal information will be kept in the strictest confidence. APH will not sell or distribute this information.

NOTE: Please select Teacher/TVI/Clinician only if you work directly with students. This includes roles such as student teacher, itinerant teacher, COMS, SLP, OT, PT, and counselor.

2. Tell Us About Your Idea


APH strives to produce products that meet the needs of individuals of any age who are blind or visually impaired and included in an education or rehabilitation program.

While high quality research is important to ensure the product supports appropriate educational practices, we do not assume your product idea has been subjected to rigorous research at the time of submission.

Note: After you hit ‘Submit Idea’, this page will be refreshed with a confirmation message that lets you know we have received your product idea.

You may send a prototype, photos, etc. to:
Mark Renfrow
APH Review Committee
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
1-800-223-1839, ext. 343
Fax: (502) 899-2363
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Note: Please be aware that APH reviews new product ideas through a committee process. This process can sometimes take several months to complete. You may contact Mark Renfrow at any time to find out the current status of your submission.

APH provides information about our products and services in a variety of accessible media. Contact us for further information.