APH Shopping Site Showcases Teacher’s Articles

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APH Shopping Site Showcases Teacher’s Articles

ByMichael McCarty-April 24, 2012For those seeking a hands-on explanation about some of APH’s products, author and teacher Kristie Smith is a well-versed and enthusiastic resource. Smith has been an educator for nearly thirty years and teaching children with visual impairments is her passion. Her literary output includes the Abby Diamond series of children’s detective mysteries, and Dottie and Dots See Animal Spots, which is a fun introduction to the braille alphabet.
Recently, the Fred’s Head from APH blog has benefited from her articles about experiences she’s had using a wide variety of APH products in the classroom. Her inventive suggestions and insight are also now featured prominently in several product listings on the APH Shopping Site. We are grateful to Kristie Smith for taking the time to share her experience with us!
A few product listings featuring Smith’s articles include the following (articles appear at the bottom of page):
On the Way to Literacy Book seriesAll-In-One Board (Magnetic, VELCRO® br…Post a CommentRead More »

Meet The APH Executives in Residence!

ByMichael McCarty-April 23, 2012ImageThree APH Executives in Residence pose together at Annual Meeting 2009: Kay Ferrell, Phil Hatlen, and Jane Erin.APH has launched a web page devoted to our Executive in Residence program.From time to time since 2005, APH has been privileged to host several luminaries in our field as Executives in Residence (EIRs), beginning with Dr. Cay Holbrook (University of British Columbia). Of the four EIRs to date, three are university professors who participated while on sabbatical, and one is a former university professor who retired as a residential school superintendent.By being in residence at APH in Louisville, the executives have access to APH facilities, resources, and staff. In turn, APH staff members have a unique opportunity to interact with and learn from seasoned professionals. We are grateful for the generosity of EIRs in sharing their expertise with APH.Post a CommentRead More »

Treasures from the APH Libraries

ByMichael McCarty-April 23, 2012The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is 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.From the Barr Library: Protection of Vision in Children—Arnall Patz and Richard E. Hoover, with contributions by Ruth L. Gottesman and Robert M. Worthington. Charles C Thomas, c1969.Note: both Dr. Patz and Dr. Hoover have been inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Blindness FieldAlthough written from the point of view of medical professionals, this title also offers some interesting insights into the social and educational issues of the time. The book does deal with the more common vision disorders of childhood, but addresses them in terms of screening and early remediation pr…Post a CommentRead More »

The Power of Learning Braille

ByMichael McCarty-April 19, 2012by Donna J. JodhanTrue it is that the use of Braille may be on the decline in the world but believe me when I tell you that there is definitely a great benefit to learning Braille. Much of today’s generation of blind people tend to forget this, choosing instead to follow the growing trend of using voice technology to get by. All well and good but let us not forget what Braille has done for us and how it can continue to be useful.Here are some important points.It helps to sustain literacy.
It helps to ensure that one’s spelling remains in tact.
It helps when giving presentations if having a computer or mobile device close by is not convenient.
If Braille notes are used when giving presentations, a blind person has a better chance of coming across more smoothly in that they can read quickly and speak both at the same time.
It is the best thing that you can have at hand if electricity goes.
You can use it to label your files, folders, CDs, and much more.
It is a great way to …Post a CommentRead More »

As a Blind Child

ByMichael McCarty-April 19, 2012by Donna J. JodhanI consider myself to be extremely fortunate; as a blind child I was surrounded by loving and devoted parents who were determined to help me live as mainstream a life as possible. I also had two brothers, a granny, and other family members who helped me to enjoy so much. This does not mean that they did not try at times to protect me from certain obstacles, objects, and daily challenges. I learned to fly a kite and pitch marbles. My dad used a big ball to play football and cricket with me, and he taught me how to swim in the ocean and ride a bicycle. Heck, he even showed me how to surf and ride the waves. Dad was my nature buddy; walking with me in the lush green meadows, smelling and identifying the various flowers, and holding those timid little butterflies in my hand. He ran with me, walked with me, and we had so much fun! He even took me fishing and showed me how to make boats out of large coconut leaves. My brothers played hide and seek with me, ball…Post a CommentRead More »

The Accessibility of Baseball

ByMichael McCarty-April 19, 2012by Paul FerraraMany of my fondest childhood memories either center around or are somehow related to Major League Baseball. When I was four or five years old, dad taught me how the game was played, and I’ve been hooked on baseball from that day forward.Although NBC offered their Game of the Week for several years and ABC showed Monday Night Baseball for a few years, usually you watched or listened to the team that was closest to where you live. For me growing up in Delaware, that team was the Philadelphia Phillies.Being forced to listen mostly to one team on the radio was fine at that time because I was, and still am, a huge Phillies fan.Things changed, though, when I left Delaware. I moved to other places around the country including my current residence in Louisville, Kentucky. Each of these different areas featured broadcasts of a team other than the Phillies. I enjoy a good ball game no matter who is playing, but I truly missed being able to turn on a Phillies game whene…Post a CommentRead More »

Out Of the Whirlpool: A Valuable Resource for Those Wanting to Learn About Blindness

ByMichael McCarty-April 19, 2012by Terrie Terlau, PhD
APH Adult Life Project LeaderIf you work with adults who have lost vision, if you have a visual impairment yourself, or if you want to acquire a more personal understanding of the rehabilitation process, you may find Sue Martin’s on-line book, Out Of the Whirlpool, to be a valuable resource. Sue has worked for many years as a vision rehabilitation therapist and assistive technology specialist for a non-profit in Main, and as a vision rehabilitation therapist and now a systems analyst for the VA in Alabama. Sue is active in many sports and life activities. However, the focus of her book is on her loss of sight and her experience of self-discovery as she went through the rehabilitation process. Sue’s book captures the essence of the rehabilitation process with candor, depth, warmth, and technical accuracy. Sue’s book brings readers the intimate experience of depression, the trauma that resulted in her blindness, and the discovery of her deepest sel…Post a CommentRead More »

Accessible Places to Purchase Coffee and Snacks

ByMichael McCarty-April 16, 2012My good friend Paul ferrara is a Coffee Connoisseur. He drinks coffee all the time and wrote the following for Fred’s Head to help others find the online resources he uses to get the best coffees out there.Today I will show you a few of my favorite snacks and drinks. As you will see, they go together quite well.Any time is a good time for a snack. You will fine plenty of great ones at one of my favorite sites, nuts.com. They have plenty of nuts as well as sweets & chocolates.Now, we need something to drink with our snack. While some may prefer a soda, I would rather have coffee. Starbucks has great coffees from all over the world but no flavored coffees. When I want a flavored coffee, I like to go to Berres Brothers Coffee. Be sure to check out their 47 flavors of coffee.Some are quite unique, such as their sweet and tasty banana nut bread or the scrumptious French Caramel CreamHappy eating and drinking everyone. If you have any questions or comments, please click this …Post a CommentRead More »

Use a Muffin Tin to Portion Out Ice Cream

ByMichael McCarty-April 16, 2012Muffin tins are great for lots of things, not just making muffins. Here’s one you’re really going to love! Pop in muffin papers, and serve out single scoops of ice cream into each cup before covering them with wrap and putting them in the freezer. This way you have quick, single-scoops of ice cream ready to go when you want one, without waiting for a whole tub of ice cream to warm up enough to scoop some out.Post a CommentRead More »

Braille Writer Repair

ByMichael McCarty-April 16, 2012American Printing House for the Blind1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40206
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Email: info@aph.org
Web: http://www.aph.orgBraillermanAlan Ackley has been repairing Perkins Braillers for more than twenty years. He learned about braille and braillers in his spare time from his day job at the Iowa Commission for the Blind (ICB), where he worked first in the accounting department and now works in the library. After experimenting on his own with a “guinea pig” brailler provided by the ICB, “Braillerman” received factory training in Brailler repair and reconditioning and has worked on over 2000 Braillers for people and institutions all over the United States and Canada.

Ackley Appliance Service
4301 Park Avenue #540
Des Moines, IA 50321
Phone: 515-288-3931
Email: aackley@braillerman.com
Web: http://www.braillerman.comThe Selective DoctorBring your brailler back to life! The Selective Doctor, Inc., specializes in the …Post a CommentRead More »


ByMichael McCarty-April 15, 2012ImageMathbuilders, Unit 1: Matching, Sorting, and Patterning
Mathbuilders, Unit 6: Geometry
Mathbuilders, Unit 8: Data Collection, Graphing, and Probability/Statistics
MathBuilders, Unit 7: Fractions, Mixed Numbers, and Decimals
MathBuilders, Unit 5: Measurement and Estimation

MathBuilders, Unit 1: Matching, Sorting, and PatterningMathBuilders is a supplementary math program separated into eight units by content standards and grade level. This allows the teacher to focus on specific standards or provide remedial material for individual students.
Unit 1 includes:Teacher’s guide with lesson plans for grades K-3CD-ROM with General Guidelines for Teaching Math to Young Braille Users58 student worksheets for additional practiceManipulatives: 54 geometric shapes with different sizes, shapes, textures, and colorsFelt boardTextured shapes with hook/loop material backingPoint symbol stickersLength sticksBell bracelet and rattle for creating sound patternsObjectives for each lesson have been aligned w…Post a CommentRead More »

Accessible YouTube Guide

ByMichael McCarty-April 13, 2012by Robert Kingett Since YouTube is so inaccessible, and since I couldn’t find a complete guide on how to make the YouTube experience work for a blind user, I have resolved to make my own complete guide to making an accessible YouTube experience. One thing to keep in mind is that this guide will be utilizing a lot of different resources and alternatives. There’s no single solution. I’ll talk about one piece of software that may help you but that isn’t my primary aim. My aim is to provide alternatives for You Tubers and viewers who are blind. Enjoy!

Managing A YouTube Account with a Screen Reader
Watching YouTube with a Screen Reader

Manage a YouTube Account with a Screen Reader
I’m sure there’s a way to navigate around YouTube with a screen reader, but I’m too lazy to even fiddle with such nonsense and guess what those unlabeled buttons are for. I have two solutions. The first one is a lot better than the second one but if you really hate using mobile versions of thi…Post a CommentRead More »

An Accessible Rubik’s Cube, Not Too Puzzling to Adapt with APH Products

ByMichael McCarty-April 09, 2012ImageDo you have an off-the-shelf Rubik’s Cube handy? If so, there are several easy ways to adapt it for use by a person with visual impairment or blindness using one of the following APH products:a) Apply a tactile “Point Symbol” sticker to each color square. Select a unique point symbol to represent each color. For example, apply a raised outline circle to each green square, a V-shape symbol to each orange square, a raised bump to each blue square, and so forth. Assorted tactile Point Symbol stickers are available in two separate packages of Feel ‘n Peel Stickers [Catalog Nos. 1-08846-00 and 1-08868-00].b) Would you rather have textures applied than tactile point symbol stickers? Cut and apply small textured squares from the assorted textured sheets included in Carousel of Textures [Catalog No. 1-08863-00] and/or Textured Paper Collection [Catalog No. 1-03275-00]. Assign a unique texture to each color square—soft to blue, rough to red, bumpy to yellow, …Post a CommentRead More »

The United States Association of Blind Athletes Impacts Lives through Sports and Recreation

ByMichael McCarty-April 03, 2012by Lacey MarkleThere are an estimated 52,000 school-aged children who are blind and visually impaired in the United States; nearly 70 percent do not participate in even a limited physical education curriculum. The barriers that blind and visually impaired youth face are numerous and primarily the consequences of moving their education from residential schools, where physical educators with blindness knowledge deliver specialized services in relatively small classes, to public schools where educators may have less knowledge, time and resources to apply to students who are visually impaired. In 1976, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) was founded by Dr. Charles Buell for the purpose of improving the lives of people who are blind and visually impaired. Since then, USABA, a Colorado-based 501(c) (3) organization, has evolved into a national organization that provides sports opportunities to thousands of athletes of all ages and abilities that are blind and visual…Post a CommentRead More »

Create Your Own Sidewalk

ByMichael McCarty-April 02, 2012Here’s a great idea for orientation and mobility instructors or anyone wanting to create an outdoor pathway.Simply roll out this path wherever you need it and re-roll when your task is done. Cleans easily with a garden hose. Easy to use, easy to move and easy to store. Imagine creating a path that someone who is blind could follow to get to a specific location outdoors. Maybe a swing or pool far from the home. Product Features: Durable Plastic Construction
35 Tiles
105 ConnectorsExpandable and Compatible with Additional Roll-Out Instant Pathways
Up for Easy Storage and TransportDimensions (Unrolled): 9′ 11″ x 11.75″ x .75″
Dimensions (Rolled): 11.75″ x 11.5″ x 12.5Click this link to purchase the Roll-out Instant Pathway from Sears.com.Post a CommentRead More »More postsPowered by Blogger

About Fred’s Head

Welcome to the APH Blog, also known as Fred’s Head! This is where you’ll find information on new products, APH events and new developments in the field of blindness.


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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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