APH News: November 2012

The November 2012 issue of APH News is out! Here you will find information about new products as well as all the goings on at APH, plus much more!


Exciting New APH Products Announced!

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

Miles of Smiles!

The 144th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, held at the Galt House October 11 – 13, provided miles of opportunities for learning, networking, listening, and walking the hallways! Beginning with the outstanding keynote address by Cay Holbrook, the touching acknowledgement of the Building On Patterns writers, the tribute to APH’s own Will Evans, and clear through to the revelation of how APH saved Elvis, the event offered participants information on APH products, training on the use of those products, updates from the field of blindness and visual impairment, a history lesson from Ted Hull, and much, much, more. Great presenters like Debra Sewell, Derrick Smith, Lisa Wright, Millie Smith, Kristie Smith, Donna Brostek Lee and others added to the impact of sessions led by APH Project Leaders. Camp Information Fair offered a chance to gather around the campfire and visit one-on-one with APH staff and special guests.
Start making plans now to join us for our 145th Annual Meeting, October 17-19, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville!

Please Visit the Annual Meeting 2012 Photo Album!

Extra Mile Awards: APH Honors the Authors of Building on Patterns

As part of the APH Annual Meeting Opening Session on Thursday, October 11, members of the Building on Patterns (BOP) team were presented with Extra Mile Awards. Bob Brasher, Vice President of Advisory Services and Research, gave a history of BOP and presented the awards. Eleanor Pester, who will be retiring in December of this year after 40 plus years of service to APH and the field of blindness, and Ralph Bartley, Director of Research, introduced each recipient. Here is an excerpt from the history of BOP:

“In 2004 we brought in a group of professionals from around the country to work at APH for a week to write stories. This turned into an annual event; each summer the BOP writers—who were trained teachers of children who are blind and were working in classrooms teaching braille and reading to students—came and not only wrote the content, but planned for the work that was to be done the following school year. They have sacrificed precious free time with their families and friends to make BOP a priority. They have stayed up late at night, worked on weekends, gotten up to be prepared for weekly 7:00 a.m. teleconferences, and worked on BOP while on vacations and second honeymoons on the beaches of Hawaii. These professionals have gone the EXTRA MILE.”

Left to right: Kate Dilworth, Mila Truan, Marjorie Ward, Deanna Scoggins, Cay Holbrook, Eleanor Pester, Robin Wingell, LeAnn Alexander, Luanne Blaylock, Jo Ellen Croft.

Not Resting on Our Laurels: Building on Building on Patterns

On October 10–11, the majority of the Building on Patterns (BOP) writers, consultants, and APH staff met and had intensive discussions on BOP, Second Edition: Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Level. Susan Spicknall, braille literacy consultant, is the newest addition to the group. Progress was made on how the Common Core State Standards will be incorporated, the scope and sequence chart, a high-frequency word list, and themes for the units. The Unified English Braille (UEB) code and the implications of its possible adoption were also discussed. Group members accepted assignments for post-meeting work and, as with the original BOP, the group will continue to meet via conference calls.
Most of this busy bunch also presented at a product input session, and two product training sessions during the APH Annual Meeting.
Front row (left to right): Deanna Scoggins, Eleanor Pester, Susan Spicknall, Luanne Blaylock; Back row (left to right): Ralph Bartley, Cay Holbrook, Jo Ellen Croft, Cathy Senft-Graves, Kate Dilworth, Robin Wingell, LeAnn Alexander. Not pictured: Mila Truan.

Helen Keller Services for the Blind Closes Production Facility

APH President Tuck Tinsley with Lorraine Locurto, Director at HKSB (left), and Karen Barrett, Director of Braille LibraryThe braille and large print production facility of the Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB) in New York ceased operation on August 31, 2012. In June, the Board of HKSB decided that part of its deficit reduction effort would include closing its production facility in Hempstead. This program, housed in the Helen Keller Braille Library, has provided braille and large print materials to students in the state of New York since 1952.
The Library has extensive holdings of approximately 50,000 linear feet of materials in accessible formats. The New York State Education Department has expressed its desire to keep the collection together and available for use by students in the state. However, if a suitable site cannot be identified, several organizations that can utilize these materials have been identified.

New Webinars!

Register today for upcoming webinar trainings specially tailored for NIMAC and APH File Repository users! Each training will consist of a presentation and time for questions, and run no longer than an hour. All are free and you are welcome to register for as many as you like:

  • The NIMAC for State Coordinators: Tuesday, December 4th at 2 p.m. ET
  • NIMAC Basics for Authorized Users: Wednesday, December 5th at 2 p.m. ET
  • Advanced NIMAC for Authorized Users: Thursday, December 6th at 2 p.m. ET
  • Working with the APH File Repository: Tuesday, December 11th at 2 p.m. ET

To register for NIMAC trainings, just email nimac@aph.org; for the APH File Repository training, email lturner@aph.org. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

New From the APH Museum

One section of this extensive, fascinating new exhibit.The Museum at APH announced at Annual Meeting that our newest traveling exhibit: Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired is now booking. With Helen Keller’s journey as a lens, the exhibit explores 230 years of advances in special education.
Child in a Strange Country is designed to be fully accessible. Each main section includes six panels mounted with tactile reproductions or touchable artifacts, concluding at sit-down touch tables with interactive games and activities. Labels are available in large-print, braille, and recorded audio.

  • Thirty-four artifacts, including a “washboard” slate used to write braille, similar to models developed by Louis Braille himself, and a giant thirty inch diameter relief model of the Earth.
  • Fourteen tactile reproductions, including a page from Valentin Hauy’s original raised letter book and tactile maps by Martin Kunz and Harald Thilander.
  • Thirty text and artifact panels with over fifty-three historic photographs, including ten images of Helen Keller.
  • The exhibit travels in ten crates, and can be set up in a variety of flexible configurations, depending on space. 1,000 to 1,500 square feet is ideal.

For booking information, see www.aph.org/museum/traveling.html or call Mike Hudson at 502-899-2365.

From the Field:

BANA Adopts Unified English Braille (UEB) for United States

On November 2, 2012, the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) set a new course for the future of braille in the United States (U.S.) when it adopted Unified English Braille (UEB). The motion, which passed decisively, specifies that UEB will eventually replace the current English Braille American Edition and that the U.S. will retain the Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation.
The transition to UEB will not be immediate and will follow a carefully crafted timeline. Implementation plans will be formulated with the input and participation of stakeholders from the consumer, education, rehabilitation, transcription, and production communities. Plans will take into consideration the various aspects of creating, teaching, learning, and using braille in a wide variety of settings. The plans will be designed to provide workable transitions for all involved in braille use and production and to minimize disruption for current braille readers.
UEB is based on the current literary braille code and was developed with input from many people, primarily braille readers, who worked to achieve an optimal balance among many key factors. Those factors include keeping the general-purpose literary code as its base, allowing the addition of new symbols, providing flexibility for change as print changes, reducing the complexity of rules, and allowing greater accuracy in back translation.

Letters and numbers will stay the same as they are in the current literary code. There will be some changes to punctuation, but most will remain the same. Some rules for the use of contractions will change. Nine contractions will be eliminated, and some contractions will be used more often. A FAQ providing more detail about changes is available on the BANA website.

After implementation, the official braille codes for the United States will be Unified English Braille; Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972 Revision and published updates; Music Braille Code, 1997; and The IPA Braille Code, 2008.
More detailed information about UEB and the motion that BANA passed can be found on the BANA website at www.brailleauthority.org.

ABC Network Coverage of Hadley Music Courses!

On Thursday, September 27, a piece about Hadley’s new braille music courses aired on WLS/ABC 7 (A link to watch the segment is below). ABC’s Karen Meyer, the channel’s disability reporter who is deaf, interviewed Hadley instructor Linn Sorge who will be teaching the courses and Ruth Rozen, who wrote the courses.
“Braille Music Reading” is offered tuition-free for visually impaired individuals through Hadley’s Adult Continuing Education (ACE) and High School (HS) programs. The course consists of 14 lessons. Assignments are submitted in text with the option of playing/recording short musical examples. After completing the course, students will be able to read single-line music.
Hadley is offering “Braille Music Basics” to a sighted audience through their Professional Studies (HSPS) and Family Education (FE) programs. The information in this introductory course does not enable students to professionally transcribe print music, teach music, or teach braille. However, after completing the course, students can enthusiastically support and encourage a music student who is blind and learning to read music independently. APH was a proud partner with this project. Link to video: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/disability_issues&id=8827061

Announcing The 2013 Braille Challenge® Preliminary Competition!

Take The Braille Challenge®—A Contest Just for Visually Impaired Kids
Whether your students are just learning the code or budding experts, help them set their goals high by taking The Braille Challenge. The preliminary round is open to all students at all reading levels in first through 12th grade from Canada and the United States. Those with the top 60 scores overall will be invited to Los Angeles for a mega-final round.
Teachers, get your students involved now—

  • Go to www.braillechallenge.org. Review contest descriptions and download sample contests.
  • Check our website for an up-to-date list of agencies and schools throughout North America hosting The Braille Challenge in your area and contact them directly for registration information.
    Order contests online and proctor your student yourself.

Online registration forms must be completed between November 1–December 14, 2012.
For more information, visit www.braillechallenge.org, or call toll-free at 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553).

Thank Goodness: Chase is Back!

Nebraska’s Chase Crispin and his teacher LeAnna MacDonald have just posted 2 NEW videos on the BookPort Menu! You are guaranteed to learn something you didn’t know.

St. Louis Gets NIP-ped!

Beth Ramella, center, flanked by APH’s Janie Blome, left, and APH Ex Officio Trustee Yvonne Ali, right.Over 100 teachers, parents, occupational therapists, early interventionists and others experienced “Visions of Change” at a cortical visual impairment (CVI) workshop in St. Louis, MO, on October 23. The National Instructional Partnerships event was held in partnership with Ex Officio Trustee Yvonne Ali, and presented by Beth Ramella, from the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children.
Beth presented an overview of CVI, strategies and tools for assessments, and the use of APH products for intervention with students who have been diagnosed with CVI. Some of the products highlighted included the light box and materials, the CVI Complexity Sequences kit, and the book The Blue Balloon, from our On The Way To Literacy Series. Yvonne provided a grand display of APH products, and other services for students in Missouri were highlighted as well. Thanks to Beth, Yvonne, and everyone in Missouri for a great day!

Marie Amerson honored with “Traveling the Extra Mile” Prison Braille Service Award

APH’s Bob Brasher presents the “Traveling the Extra Mile” Prison Braille Service Award to Marie AmersonDuring the 12th annual National Prison Braille Forum held in Louisville on October 10, Marie Amerson, from Macon, Georgia, was presented a special award recognizing her many years of dedicated service in the field of vision. Marie worked at the Georgia Academy for the Blind for 20 years teaching students with multiple disabilities and serving as special projects coordinator and outreach specialist for the Georgia Instructional Materials Center (GIMC). Among many other responsibilities, Marie coordinated grant applications and workshops for teachers of the visually impaired and worked with the parent-infant population.
After Marie retired from the Academy, she was recruited to expand and manage the braille program in Georgia’s corrections system. Georgia Braille Transcribers, which currently employs 24 men, was housed in 3 different prisons and provides a wide range of transcription, tactile graphics, and production services. Said Jim Downs, GIMC Program Manager for the Georgia Department of Education and an APH Ex Officio Trustee, “Georgia Braille Transcribers would not exist today without the commitment and enthusiasm that Marie Amerson brought to that program. She has done an amazing job of establishing a successful business within a prison.” Several graduates of the program who are now gainfully employed as braille transcribers on the outside credit Marie for making their new lives possible.
APH congratulates Marie Amerson and sincerely thanks her for her continuing efforts to provide blind and visually impaired students with the accessible educational materials they need.

2012 Induction Ceremony

It was Friday evening, October 12, 2012, in Louisville, KY when the 49th and 50th legends of the blindness field, Phil Hatlen and Pete Wurzburger, were inducted in to the Hall of Fame. The venue was the Galt House Hotel and the event was a part of APH’s 144th Annual Meeting. The ceremony began with a video showing all 50 inductees immediately followed by Hall Governing Board Chair Jane Erin sharing the history and purpose of the Hall.
Dr. Erin then moved effortlessly in to the Induction Ceremony of these two giants. First came Phil Hatlen. Responding with heartfelt reflections about Dr. Hatlen, who could not attend due to recent surgery, was his son Jim. Then came Pete Wurzburger’s induction with his daughter Kristie offering very special remembrances. On that special night, the Hall inducted two icons of our field who were also great friends – and that made this event even warmer and more touching.
For additional information on the lives of these amazing men, visit their Hall biography pages.
Consider making the field’s Hall of Fame, located at APH, a destination. Also, visit the Hall website for a virtual tour and the latest news!

2013 Hall of Fame Nominations Now Being Accepted

Who should be the next inductees in to the Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field?
If you are interested in learning more about the easy (electronic) process for submitting a nominee to join the 50 inductees, please visit: www.aph.org/hall/nominate.html.
The nomination process will close Friday, March 29, 2013.

Large Print Books Going Digital!

Rev up your iPad, APH Large Print books are going digital! Louis and the APH File Repository are beginning to add the APH Large Print files to its collection, and over 200 LP files will be downloadable by the end of the year! The files, saved as PDF documents, can be used on iPads or iPods, laptops, and various accessible devices. The same great features are available: 18 point font, colors and images eliminated from behind text materials, clearer images, single column formatting, page or key word searching, and more. All of these features will provide your students access to the identical large print format, but in a much smaller carrying case.
One important caveat: These digital files are to be used electronically and printing is not allowed. And to let you know all the other legalese, APH has updated its Repository Agreement form to include large print digital files, so all EOTs will need to complete a new Agreement form before they can have access to these files. Use the “About E-Files” link on the Louis page to download a new form or email Linda Turner (lturner@aph.org) to have one sent to you—or call us at 1-800-223-1839.
For 40% of the price, you can download an APH LP textbook straight to your iPad or computer.

Let the Winter Video Contest Begin!

We are excited to announce the deadline for our 4th Unforgettable APH Star Contest. Send us your videos demonstrating your favorite APH products by February 13, 2013, and you’ll be eligible to win cash prizes.
Read all you need to know about the contest in our Unforgettable APH Star page at: www.aph.org/contest. While you are visiting the page, don’t forget to take a look at all the wonderful videos from our previous contests. You, too, can be an APH Star this winter!

Announcing! U.S. Entries Invited in 2013 T&T Tactile Book Competition

Get your creative wheels turning! Create and send APH a tactile book that makes a winning and appropriate book for children with visual impairments, birth to 12 years!
Typhlo & Tactus (T&T) is an international organization that exists to improve the quality, quantity, and availability of books with tactile illustrations. As part of T&T’s efforts, the organization conducts a biennial tactile book competition. First held in 2000, the 2011 T&T competition included more than 350 tactile books from 16 countries, featuring a wide range of types of tactile illustration (many with collaged textures), appealing visual elements, print/braille text, and innovative designs and formats.
In 2013, APH will participate for the second time, agreeing to be the U.S. national contact organization—publicizing the competition, directing U.S. participants to competition guidelines, and accepting and judging U.S. entries.
A panel of U.S. judges will review each entry sent to APH and select the top 5 books. These will be sent to Helsinki for review by an international jury including individuals with visual impairments and professionals in the field. A single winning entry will be chosen, and 10 additional books will be recognized. Selected books may be featured at the T&T website, appear in posters, or in promotional materials used by T&T.
Start now! Completed books and a brief accompanying entry form must be received at APH by July 15, 2013.
Visit the APH website to obtain the necessary U.S. entry form, a summary of competition guidelines, APH contact information, and to download an informational flyer to post and share.
Visit the Typhlo & Tactus website to learn more about this international organization, see complete competition rules, and view results and photos of winning entries from the 2011 competition.

Oldies but Goodies: The “Established” APH Product Series: Zeitgeist Talking Time Machine

The Zeitgeist Talking Time Machine is a hand-held device which combines a number of time-related functions. There are 20 main functions, which are easily accessible through a menu, and a large number of auxiliary functions. Functions include an integrated stopwatch, seven-day timer, a sixty-minute timer, wake-up call, an agenda to manage up to ten nonrecurring or recurring appointments, a cuckoo clock, a moon calendar, calculation of current age, time difference and intervals, finding the day of the week for given dates or fixed holidays, and much more. It is even possible to customize a second time zone and to announce a dual time, choosing from 18 pre-set cities.
The Zeitgeist is small and light so that it can easily fit into a pocket or purse, but it also comes with a lanyard which allows it to be worn around your neck. It provides excellent speech output through an integrated speaker with three volume levels and earphones (not included) may also be used if preferred. A Spanish version is available. The Zeitgeist may be purchased with Federal Quota funds.
If you have any suggestions for other products you would like to see highlighted in this monthly feature, please send your comments to Monica Turner at mmturner@aph.org.

Teachers and Students Make Product Recommendations

Some of our very best product submissions come from teachers and their students. Their suggestions often tend to be among the most practical and useful ideas, and are not necessarily complex. They recognize what could make their work more efficient, and they share that with us. Following are two stories: the first about an idea for a new product, and the second about an idea to make that product even more accessible.
Nancy Z. Rinker, Josh Angelo, Scarlet Racey, and Daniyal Salman.In the first photo, pictured from left to right are Nancy Z. Rinker, a retired teacher from The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB); and VSDB students Josh Angelo, Scarlet Racey, and Daniyal Salman. The photo was taken by VSDB student Teshauna Bolding. Our VSDB Ex Officio Trustee (EOT) is Superintendent Nancy C. Armstrong. VSDB is located in Staunton, Virginia.
Nancy Rinker submitted the original product idea in August, 2008 for what became the APH Super-Sized Folders, and today is a popular APH product. Nancy says, “These folders were originally designed from poster board for my husband’s use so he could organize and safely store his many pages of braille lyrics for choir. When I was still teaching at VSDB, I would have liked having these sturdy plastic folders in which to store unbound pages of paper braille, tactile graphics, and slippery Thermoform sheets.”
Janelly PerezIn the second photo, pictured is Janelly Perez. Janelly attends Ontario High School in Ontario, California. Her teacher was Pam Hazen, who recently retired from the San Bernardino County Schools, which provides the VI Program at Ontario High School. Our California Department of Education EOT is Jonn Paris-Salb.
Janelly and Pam suggested that if the Super-Sized Folders were multiple colors, they would be even better for students with low vision. In her 2012 submission, Pam says, “My students and I love the folders, but we think they would be of more value if they came in different colors like the Floppy Braille Binders or the Pocket Folders. It would make it easier for students with some useable vision to organize and find their materials.”
And now, the APH Super-Sized Folders, Catalog No. 1-04296-01, are sold as a set of three different colors (blue, green and yellow). The folders continue to be a popular item.
APH thanks these students and teachers, and encourages more of you to send your ideas to APH.

Treasures from the APH Libraries

The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collection 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 http://migel.aph.org.
Two of the many “Treasures from the APH Libraries” are described below.

From the Migel Library: Hastings, James R. Graduate Workshop for Industrial Arts Teachers of the Blind and Summer Workshop for Industrial Arts Instructors of the Blind. State University of New York, College of Education, Oswego. 1960-1961.

Created as reports for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, these workshop summaries offer an attempt to develop a curriculum guide for industrial arts teachers of the blind. It was hoped that the work would raise standards and correct discrepancies between blind and sighted students. Emphasis was placed on fully preparing blind students for vocational rehabilitation services that would further close this gap. Activities, evaluations, and recommendations are all presented. But of special interest are the black and white photos that have been mounted in the reports. Viewing the instructors, students, and projects in a format reminiscent of a photo album very much personalizes the workshop for the reader, and gives a very clear context to the report. Both of these reports are available digitally on Internet Archive, and are accessible through the Migel Library’s online catalog.

From the Barr Library: Computer Assisted Translation of Braille Music: Progress Reports. Louisville: American Printing House for the Blind, 1973.

With the number of braille music stenographers declining to a point that the production of braille music could cease completely, the Library of Congress Division of the Blind administered a grant in 1971. The objective of the grant was to continue braille music production at APH with the help of newly developing technology. These reports detail the research processes that were conducted on the then-current state of printed music production, which was a changing field in itself. There was discussion as to the development of an IBM music typewriter encoding device, or even using Optical Character Recognition to input information. Automated music engraving was also researched. Once an input device was settled on, further research was conducted on programming methods and skilled music editing. The reports are a detailed and interesting look at a seldom seen aspect of the emerging technologies of almost 40 years ago.
Contact Library staff: library@aph.org, 800-223-1839, ext. 705

The President and Members of his Cabinet Visit Kentucky School for the Blind with Welcome by APH Board Member! (1877)

One hundred and thirty-five years from the day its contents occurred, an interesting package arrived at the Museum on September 18th. It contained a one-page program from the September 18th, 1877 appearance by President Rutherford B. Hayes at the Kentucky Institution for the Education of the Blind. The program, almost certainly embossed at APH, is in the “combined type” adopted at APH a few years before, featuring capital letters from the Philadephia Line alphabet introduced at the Overbrook School and lower case letters from the Boston Line system invented by Dr. S.G. Howe. If you examine it closely, you can see the outlines of the individual types used to set up the page on the embossing press. The program was purchased at auction by the museum for $550.
In his annual report for 1877, Supt. B.B. Huntoon said that Hayes was accompanied by his wife, Lucy, as well as Secretary of State William Evarts, Postmaster General David Key, and Secretary of War George McCrary. According to Huntoon, “…the memory of that day will be among the brightest and pleasantest of all stored up in the minds of our pupils.” The head of the Kentucky Institution for the Education of the Blind Board of Trustees who welcomed the President that day was Dr. Theodore S. Bell, a founding member of the original 1858 APH Board of Trustees.

Indiana Vision Expo, 2012

APH Field Services Representative Kerry Isham was on hand at the 2012 Indiana Vision Expo, the Midwest’s largest trade show for consumers who are blind and visually impaired. The event was held at the State Library in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, September 29. Hundreds of individuals with vision loss, their friends and families were in attendance, showing particular interest in such APH products as the Light Touch Perkins Brailler, Colorino, the iBill Currency Scanner, Tactile Town, The Impressor, the new tactile game called TREKS, and the ever-popular VisioBook.

Oklahoma DRS Expo Was More Than “OK” – It Was Great!

Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative, provided an APH presence at the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services Expo, designed to be a community outreach and educational program. This event was held at the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee, OK, on October 4th and 5th. The conference drew approximately 500 attendees, many of whom stopped by the APH booth to check out products such as the Book Port DT, MotionPAD, Feel ‘n Peel Stickers, The Draftsman, the ToAD Kit, and tactile State Maps. Kerry also presented a session entitled “ToAD and Tadpole Kits for Functional Assessments.” The half-day workshop focused on using these two APH products, which have a dual function as assessment materials and as tools for the development of visual skills. After Kerry presented, participants were provided an opportunity to gain hands-on time with the ToAD and Tadpole kits in an interactive group exercise. The accompanying photo shows participants involved in a group activity with ToAD Kit components. They are also using The Zimmerman Low Vision Simulation Kit, which is a low-vision simulation kit available from Dr. George J. Zimmerman at http://www.lowvisionsimulationkit.com/.

APH Research Department Welcomes New Project Leader

Please join APH in welcoming our newest project leader, Susan Spicknall! Susan comes to APH with over 20 years of experience as a TVI and rehabilitation teacher. Susan will focus on developing products that promote braille literacy. Welcome to APH, Susan!

Announcing APH’s Facebook “Like Us” Contest Winner!

Nanci Durler with sons Liam and Jakob.Congratulations to Nanci Durler of Franklin, Massachusetts, winner of the APH Facebook “Like Us” Contest, Summer 2012! Nanci’s name was chosen in a random drawing at the closing session of the APH Annual Meeting in Louisville on Saturday, October 13.
Nanci is the mother of twin boys, Liam and Jakob, who are both legally blind. She says they “love APH products!” Nanci will receive a $250 gift certificate to spend on APH products of her choosing. Thank you to everyone who has “Liked” our APH Facebook page!

APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees

Sandra Carter, the REACH Center for the Blind,replacing Nancy Bray.
Enid Diaz, the Puerto Rico Department of Education, replacing Marta Sanabria.
Shelly Faust-Jones, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, a new account as of November 1, 2012.

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH


November 1-2, 2012
NIP Event: Woodcock Johnson with Lynne Jaffe;
Tampa, FL
November 1-3, 2012
Southwestern Orientation and Mobility Conference;
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin, TX
November 2-3, 2012
Utah AER 2012;
Salt Lake City, UT
November 8-9, 2012
South Carolina AER;
North Myrtle Beach, SC
November 8-9, 2012
Indianapolis, IN
November 8-10, 2012
Kansas City, MO
November 14-16, 2012
AERO 2012 “Focus on the Future”
November 14-16, 2012
Northeast AER 2012 Regional Conference;
Newport, RI
November 30-December 12, 2012
NFB Tactile Graphics Conference;
Baltimore, MD


January 30-February 2, 2013
ATIA 2013;
Orlando, FL


February 25 – March 1, 2013
CSUN 2013;
San Diego, CA

APH Fall Harvest Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Fall Harvest Sale 2012, October 1—December 31. As always, first come, first served.

New! Braille Plus 18

1-07466-00 — $3,599.00 + shipping
Braille Plus 18 IS available with Quota funds.
All shipments will incur actual UPS shipping rates based on the destination.
This powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use notetaker is designed specifically for users who are blind and visually impaired.
APH is proud to introduce the Braille Plus 18™, developed in partnership with LevelStar, LLC. Like its popular predecessor, the original Braille+, the new Braille Plus 18 is a mobile device that puts unprecedented computing power in the hands of students and adults who are braille users.
The Braille Plus 18 will quickly become the hub of your on-the-go digital life. Use this handheld device to read books, write class assignments, scan documents, search the web, keep track of appointments, find directions, record lectures, listen to podcasts, run Android™ apps, and so much more!


  • New Features!
    • Built-in 18-cell Refreshable Braille Display: Improve retention, enjoy privacy, and increase literacy.
    • 5MP Camera with Flash: Quickly and accurately convert menus, papers, and books into braille or speech. Note: Camera does not recognize handwriting.
    • GPS Navigation: Determine current location, discover nearby businesses, and get directions.
    • Built-in Google Search: Efficiently start apps or find information.
    • Braille Navigation Stick: Maintain privacy and convenience.
    • More of the internet: Take full advantage of the internet with HTML5 and plugins.
    • Stereo Recording: Record lectures or music with built-in stereo microphones and recorder.
    • Full-Size SD Card Slot and USB Port: Share media and documents.
    • 3G Wireless: Stay connected with 3G wireless capability (data plan required to access data over 3G). Note: Does not include SIM card. Requires a cell phone plan from AT&T or T-Mobile. Verizon-compatible starting in 2013.
    • Text Messages: Send and receive texts.
    • Phone Calls: Make and receive calls.
    • High-Quality Speakerphone.
    • Android Apps: Enjoy thousands of additional apps. Note: Not all programs written for Android are accessible.
    • TV Output: Share or collaborate with sighted peers, teachers, or parents with TV signal outputs. Note: TV not included.
  • Improved Feature!
    • Natural Speech Output: Easily understand human-sounding speech.
  • Upgraded Features!
    • Bluetooth® 2.1: Listen to speech or music with a stereo Bluetooth headphone or a mono headset.
    • Wi-Fi®: Connect to Wi-fi hot spots with wireless 802.11n with custom antenna.
  • Additional Features
    • Speakers: Enjoy hi-fidelity stereo.
    • Cursor Routing Keys: Quickly move the cursor or click on a button; located above each braille cell.
    • Thousands of Books Available: Download books and periodicals from the National Library Service (NLS), Reading Ally (formally RFB&D), and bookshare.org; read using the refreshable braille display or natural speech. Book player supports Word, txt, html, DAISY, Bookshare®, and is compatible with NLS Digital Talking Books for qualified NLS patrons. Note: Book access requires membership with the respective organization.
    • Word Processor: Create, edit, and read documents in multiple formats and change them to braille.
    • Email: Full-featured email program compatible with POP3 and IMAP protocols.
    • Contracted Braille: Automatically read everything in contracted braille.
    • Calendar and Clock: Schedule appointments and alarms.
    • Music and podcasts: Play music files on the device or streamed from the cloud with the music player. Audio player compatible with MP3, WAV, and Ogg; stream audio files from the internet.

Braille Plus 18 and Wireless Communications

Wi-Fi: The Braille Plus 18 is a Wi-Fi device that can access the internet through your Wi-Fi router without needing a cell phone/data plan.
Cellular: Braille Plus 18 is also a cellular device that you can choose to activate through AT&T or T-Mobile. At this time, the Braille Plus 18 can only be activated with these two carriers. A cell phone/data plan will allow you to access the internet in many more locations than Wi-Fi alone and lets you make phone calls. Please contact your local AT&T or T-Mobile dealer if you wish to activate your Braille Plus 18. APH does not directly offer cell plans.

New Student-Made Braille Plus 18 Video!

Student/teacher video team Chase Crispin and LeAnna MacDonald have created a new unboxing video covering APH’s exciting Book Plus 18. Check out this video and others related to APH products on Chase’s YouTube page!

NEW! SAM: Symbols and Meaning

1-08854-00 — $379.00
WARNING: Choking Hazard — Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.

Replacement Item

SAM: Guidebook/Assessment and Games Book, Print: 7-08854-00 — $75.00

Related Products

Sensory Learning Kit: 1-08611-00 — $499.00
Tactile Connection Kit: 1-08837-00 — $149.50

A kit for students with visual and multiple impairments and pre-school children with visual impairments who are just beginning to use symbols — the late sensorimotor, early preoperational stage of cognitive development.
The SAM Guidebook provides strategies for developing a strong sensory foundation for concepts about people, objects, actions, and places so that symbols referring to them are meaningful.
People: The self and others
Objects: Tangible things
Actions: Body movements of the self and others
Places: Where things are, contexts for groups of things
Using SAM enables learners to understand

  • What is it?
  • What does it do?
  • How does it relate to other things?

The 18 SAM games are used to reinforce the meaning of symbols learned in natural environments and to expand the use of symbols to communication contexts like books. In order to determine needs and plan instruction, SAM provides four assessments:

  • Symbol and Referent Analysis: Common Words
  • Symbol and Referent Analysis: Academic Vocabulary
  • Environmental Gap Inventory: Missing Concepts in Common Environments
  • Curriculum-based Gap Inventory: Early Academic Skills and Basic Concepts

SAM kit includes

  • 2 baskets
  • Digital recorder
  • 25 plastic story pages
  • Assessments and Games book
  • Electronic assessment forms
  • Flash drive
  • Guidebook, Large Print
  • SAM videos
  • Sport bag
  • 3 sizes, Story bags
  • 3 sizes, Story binders
  • Vinyl story box liners
  • 6 story boxes
  • Non-glare plastic tray liner
  • Vinyl tray liners
  • Trays, two
  • Black hook/loop material and hook/loop dots
  • White hook/loop material and hook/loop dots

“This invaluable tool advances our understanding of how to create accessible and meaningful learning activities for children with visual and multiple impairments and pre-school children with visual impairments who are just beginning to use symbols.” — Tanni Anthony, Ph.D.

APH Intervention Continuum

APH recommends that learners use the following three products sequentially:

NEW! Basic Reading Inventory, 10th Edition (Johns): Student Word Lists, Passages, and Early Literacy Assessments

Large Print: 4-00606-00 — $69.00
Uncontracted Braille: 5-00605-00 — $119.00
Contracted Braille: 5-00606-00 — $119.00

The Johns’ Basic Reading Inventory, 10th Edition, student assessment materials are available on Quota!
Commonly referred to as the “Johns,” the Basic Reading Inventory is a popular informal reading inventory that helps educators easily determine a student’s instructional, independent, and frustration reading levels and listening levels based on speed, accuracy, and comprehension. In addition, data obtained from the Johns is a fundamental element of the assessment process to determine the most effective literacy modalities for students with visual impairments.


Unique features of the APH accessible versions of the Johns student assessment book:

  • Braille Edition: Contracted or uncontracted braille formats
  • Large Print Edition: Formatting for maximum readability, including a sans serif font at least 18 points; color; extra spacing; and high contrast, black and white pictures
  • Inclusion of Early Literacy Assessments and Extra Passages
  • “New Shoes” story comes already bound
  • Spiral bound books are housed in binders for ease of storage and portability
  • Notes for the test administrator about differences between the regular print edition and each of the accessible versions

Note: Each item is available for individual purchase so teachers can buy only the portions of the assessment they need.

Free Upgrade Available: APH Talking PC Maps Software

1-04105-00 — $299.00
APH Talking PC Maps Software provides spoken and on-screen map data and 13 million points of interest for U.S. states, territories, and Canada on one flash drive. It speaks on any Windows® computer, whether or not the computer has screen reading software installed. APH Talking PC Maps is a joint venture of APH and the Sendero Group LLC.
This software does not give information about a user’s actual physical location; it is not a GPS system. Instead, it provides a verbal description of physical space and what it contains. It gives persons with visual impairments the same information available to sighted persons through incidental learning when they look at maps, street signs, and signage on buildings.
Using APH Talking PC Maps, your students can:

  • Learn street layout that is both described verbally and shown graphically on-screen
  • Explore 13 million points of interest, with phone numbers and addresses included
  • Plan, print, and emboss routes
  • Acquire concepts crucial to GPS use at their computer, before tackling actual GPS devices
  • Receive the same information that sighted persons learn incidentally by seeing street signs and building names.

Free 2012 Upgrade Available to APH Talking PC Maps Owners!

All new APH PC Talking Maps flash drives shipped from APH contain the latest version of the software. This 2012 version includes such upgrades as: easier to use interface, easier software updating, new downloadable user’s guide, and Google Maps integration.
Although the current flash drive contains the newest 2012 software, it does not contain the newest Points of Interest. After you have loaded APH Talking PC Maps onto your computer, you may visit the following site for a free upgrade of the Points of Interest, adding over one million new points:http://www.senderogroup.com/products/APH/APHTalkingPCMaps_2012_Web_Upgrade_Information.html
If you own the older 2011 version of APH Talking PC Maps, you may download the free upgrade for both the software and the Points of Interest at: http://www.senderogroup.com/products/APH/APHTalkingPCMaps_2012_Web_Upgrade_Information.html

Training Webcasts for APH Talking PC Maps

Download prerecorded webcasts at: http://www.accessibleworld.org/talkingmapstraining/
Listen live to new webcasts on the second Thursday of each month of the 2012-2013 school year at 7:00 PM EST from: http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rsc9613dc89eb2/

Great Way to Carry VisioBook!

Transition Tote Backpack: 1-08211-00 — $68.00
VisioBook: Portable Electronic Magnifier and Distance Viewer: 1-03913-00 — $3,000.00
The amazing, portable VisioBook desktop magnifier includes a protective slipcase. To transport the VisioBook, you may wish to purchase the optional Transition Tote Backpack. This backpack will hold the VisioBook and its power adapter, plus it has many storage pockets for carrying all types of school materials!

APH Braille Book Corner

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.
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
by Rodman Philbrick: T-N1885-30 — $51.00
Twelve-year-old Homer, a poor but clever orphan, has extraordinary adventures after running away from his evil uncle to rescue his brother, who has been sold into service in the Civil War. Grades 4-8. *(AR Quiz #127487, BL 5.6, Pts. 7.0)
Creature of the Night
by Kate Thompson: T-N1869-30 — $57.00
Fourteen-year-old Robert prefers his life of crime in Dublin to the isolated rural existence at the farmhouse his mother rents. He senses danger in the dwelling–a feeling that is intensified by his little brother’s talk of a strange nighttime visitor. Grade 7 and up. Some adult language. *(AR Quiz #129563, BL 4.2, Pts. 9.0)
Dog Says How
by Kevin Kling: T-N1907-20 — $35.50
Autobiographical essays from playwright and National Public Radio commentator Kling good-humoredly feature his life in Minnesota. He discusses his family, dog, and travel experiences and ruminates on a motorcycle accident that injured his arm, leading him to use voice-activated software on his computer.
House of Reckoning
by John. Saul : T-N1907-00 — $94.00
Two teens bond out of social isolation: Sarah Crane limps and endures an abusive foster-care family, while Nick Dunnigan hears voices and hallucinates. Their art teacher Bettina invites them to her ancestral mansion, where they unwittingly channel an evil entity that seeks vengeance on the town. Violence. Adult Reader.
Beyond Ava and Aiden: The Enlightened Guide To Naming Your Baby
by Linda Rosenkrantz: T-N1885-70 — $94.50
Guide to selecting the name for a new baby. Lists include millennial, star-power, “green,” occupational, vintage, creative, and traditional appellations. Also offers Jewish, African American, and international ideas, as well as choices for middle names and siblings.
*Accelerated Reader quiz number, book level, and point value. For more information on the Accelerated Reader program, see the January 2006 APH News or www.renlearn.com/ar/

APH News Credits

Dr. Tuck Tinsley
Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
Thanks to the following APH staff:

  • Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
  • Ralph Bartley, Director, Research
  • Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
  • Scott Blome, Director, Communications
  • Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
  • Micheal Hudson, Director, APH Museum
  • Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
  • Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
  • Drew Lueken, Communications Support Specialist
  • Mary Nelle McLennan, Executive Advisor to the President
  • Cathy Senft-Graves, Research Assistant
  • Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Textbooks
  • Monica Turner, Field Services Representative
  • Suzette Wright, Emergent Literacy Project Leader, Research

Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research
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Stan Greenwood
A humble human, who is always found working on something or drinking coffee. A perfect introvert who talks barely anything but shares a lot through his blog posts at FredForum.

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