Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Quick Tips Video: Holy Moly!

Learn how APH is making pre-braille and tactile skills fun!

Friday, March 09, 2018

Check out the March 2018 APH News!

photo of a young girl seated at a brailler

Partnering with local organizations is a win-win for APH employees. Last month’s eighth annual Kentucky Regional Braille Challenge afforded APH employees the opportunity to support 34 Kentucky students who rose to the Challenge to compete in contests of braille skill and ability.

A Few of This Month’s Headlines:

  • Statement Regarding the Availability of Orbit Reader 20
  • APH and KSB Host 8th Kentucky Regional Braille Challenge
  • New! Tactile Algebra Tiles
  • New! Holy Moly
  • Updated! Expanded Dolch Word Cards
  • Updated! Braille Contraction Cards
  • Field Testers Wanted
  • STEM Corner
  • Delta Gamma Foundation Awards $6,000 to Braille Tales Program
  • Share Your Story
  • Social Media Spotlight
  • APH Travel Calendar and more…

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Throwback Thursday Object: the Atkinson Braille Writer

Our Throwback Thursday artifact this week comes from the Braille Institute of America in Los Angeles, or as it was originally called by its legendary founder, “Fighting Bob” Atkinson, the Universal Braille Press.  Atkinson founded the press in 1919 and it was a fierce competitor with APH for embossing and recording contracts.  The Braille Press began funding the development of a braillewriter in the 1930s.  The Atkinson Portable Braillewriter was introduced in 1948.  The design was unique.  Its keyboard, located on the top of the writer and above the paper rollers, made it very different from machines inspired by the Hall Braillewriter.  Most of its working parts were concealed, the paper carriage was fixed,  and only the embossing head moved across the paper.  A machine from another braille press, introduced only a few years later, included most of these advantages in a more traditional typewriter arrangement, and proved to be the better of the two designs.  And the Perkins Braillewriter is still in production today.
First Photo caption:  The Atkinson Portable Braillewriter was charcoal gray, fourteen inches wide, and its keyboard was mounted on a bar on top of the machine.  The paper fed into a flat tray underneath. Second Photo Caption: This is a side view of the Atkinson Braillewriter.
Micheal Hudson, Museum Director, APH 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Legendary Publisher of the Washington Post Visits APH

The Academy Award buzz for Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks’ new movie “The Post” caused me to remember that Katherine Graham, the legendary publisher of the Washington Post, visited APH in 1989.  Streep plays Graham in the movie.  Our Throwback Thursday object this week is a photograph from that day, October 5th, 1989.  Legendary APH narrator Terry Hales Sales stands in a crowd of well-wishers shaking Ms. Graham’s hand on our front steps. Terry is looking back at the camera and Ms. Graham has a large flower pinned to her dress.  Our studio manager, Steve Mullins, stands off to the left.  He has the required patches on his jacket elbows.  I had a coat just like it.  At the time Steve was a monitor, what we now call a talking book editor.  APH had begun recording the Talking Newsweek Magazine in 1959—we still record and distribute it today!—and the company was celebrating the 30th anniversary of the partnership with Graham and Newsweek Magazine.  In 1989, our recorded magazines came on flexible vinyl records.  You could wad them up and throw them away after listening.

Photo Caption:  Katherine Graham greets a crowd at APH in 1989.
Micheal Hudson
Museum Director, APH

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