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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, July 27, 2011

Light Boxes: Materials, Activities, and Guides from APH

Two visitors examine a light box in the APH museum

When used with unique sets of materials designed by APH, Light Boxes help students use their residual vision by developing awareness of light, color, and objects. The Light Box and materials assist in the instruction of tracking, scanning, eye-hand coordination, visual discrimination, and visual perceptual skills.

REVISED! Light Box

The newly revised Light Box has a lighted translucent white work surface, providing a high contrast background for opaque materials and a source of illumination for colored transparent and translucent items. Includes dimming control to meet the needs of individual students.

The Light Box can be used flat or tilted at three angles. Built-in ledges hold overlays in position. Cool, fluorescent bulb is housed in a tough plastic body measuring 25 x 15 x 5 inches. Includes cover.

  • Now 29% lighter, weighs 9 1/2 lbs.
  • Brightest setting using dimmer control is now 15% brighter
  • Power now provided by an included AC adapter; can be used internationally*

*Adapter accepts power from 110VAC to 220VAC. Customer must supply a physical converter that changes a U.S.-style wall plug to a plug compatible with their electrical system.

Note: The appearance of the revised Light Box is very similar to the previous Light Box, the changes are mostly internal.

Catalog Number: 1-08669-00

Mini-Lite Box

This cousin to APH's Light Box is: -- Small and light -- Usable at a student's desk or on his/her lap Operates for 3-4 hours on included rechargeable batteries or can be plugged in with the included AC adapter. Dimming control. Low battery audio signal. Ledges hold overlays in place. Built-in combination handle / tilting stand. -- Measures 16 x 12 3/4 x 2 1/2 inches -- Weight: 6 lbs.

Mini-Lite Box:
Catalog Number: 1-08661-00

Replacement AC Adapter:
Catalog Number: 1-08661-05
Click this link to purchase the Mini-Lite Box.

Mini-Lite Box: Carrying Case

The Mini-Lite Box Carrying Case is made of tough canvas-like nylon and has roomy pockets to hold overlays and other materials.
Catalog Number: 1-08668-00
Click this link to purchase the Mini-Lite Box: Carrying Case.

Mini-Lite Box: Transparent Overlays Set

Mini-Lite Box Transparent Overlays Set includes one clear, four color, and a sheet of clear, flexible plastic. The color overlays may be used to promote light awareness; improve contrast and visibility; and introduce color matching. The clear overlay may be used with black and color markers. The flexible overlay offers a slip-resistant surface for acrylic materials.

Catalog Number: 1-08662-00
Click this link to purchase the Mini-Lite Box: Transparent Overlays Set.

Note: Most Light Box Materials in the following three levels can also be used with the Mini-Lite Box. Light Boxes sold separately.

Light Box Materials Activities Guides:
Revised Content, Large Print, CD Now Included, Spanish Editions Available

The Light Box Materials listed below now have revised Activity Guides. These extensively revised guides now have sections on Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), updated references to products, and increased accessibility. These versions are now produced in large print and include a CD-ROM for speech access.

Level II of the Light Box Materials Activity Guide includes a number of Activity Sheets. These are no longer provided as printed pages, but can be printed out from the new CD. These sheets are in PDF format (go to for a free download of Acrobat (R) Reader to open and print the PDF files).

Light Box Materials: Level I -- REPLACEMENT PARTS AVAILABLE!

Light Box Materials: Level I

First of three sets of teaching materials for use with APH's Light Box. Materials help teach basic visual skills, eye-hand coordination, and simple matching skills. Level I includes:

  • Bright colored, solid, and patterned overlays designed to stimulate awareness of light, patterns, and objects
  • A spinner with two different patterns that encourages localization and reaching
  • A variety of transparent and translucent colored and opaque items for practice in eye-hand coordination and matching
  • Suction-cup handles for manipulation of small pieces
  • Revised! Guidebook with over 90 activities
  • Carrying bag Recommended ages: birth to 4 years.
Light Box Materials: Level I:
Catalog Number: 1-08670-00

Activity Guide for Level I only, Large Print/CD:

English Edition:
Catalog Number: 7-08670-00

Spanish Edition:
Catalog Number: 7-08670-SP
Click this link to purchase the Light Box Materials: Level I.


Light Box Materials: Level II

Helps in teaching matching and identification skills, part-whole relationships, sequencing, pattern duplication, spatial relationships, and visual memory skills. Level II contains:

  • Over 400 items, including brightly-colored transparent and translucent shapes, pictured objects, stencils, and cutouts
  • Worksheets
  • Blackout background sheet and clear non-slip work surface sheet
  • Revised! Guidebook with over 100 activities
    -- Carrying bag
Light Box Materials: Level II:
Catalog Number: 1-08680-00

Activity Guide for Level II only, Large Print/CD

English Edition:
Catalog Number: 7-08680-00

Spanish Edition:
Catalog Number: 7-08680-SP
Click this link to purchase the Light Box Materials: Level II.


Light Box Materials: Level III

Help students develop: prewriting and handwriting, matching and sorting, recognition and identification, spatial relationships, visual memory, sequencing, figure-ground discrimination, visual closure, and part-whole relationships. Recommended ages: 4 to 6 years. Level III includes:

  • Over 400 items, including dozens of picture and letter cards
  • Five types of game trays
  • Blackout background sheet and clear non-slip work surface sheet
  • Guidebook with over 100 activities
  • Carrying bag
Light Box Materials: Level III:
Catalog Number: 1-08690-00

Level III, English:
Catalog Number: 7-08680-00

Level III, Spanish:
Catalog Number:7-08690-00
Click this link to purchase the Light Box Materials: Level III.

The following selected items from Light Box Materials Levels I and II can be used with the Mini-Lite Box and Light Box. Sheets of activities grouped by skill accompany each item.

Plexiglas Spinner and Spinner Patterns

Spinner, made of clear plastic, is used with overlays to create highly contrasting, moving patterns to stimulate visual awareness and encourage attention and visually directed reaching. Suction cup feet.

Plexiglas Spinner and Spinner Patterns:
Catalog Number: 1-08664-00
Click this link to purchase the Plexiglas Spinner and Spinner Patterns.

Plexiglas Blocks

Colored transparent and translucent geometric shapes in two sizes to create displays for attracting visual attention; encouraging visually directed reaching; matching by shape, size, and color; and for introducing spatial relationships. 30 pieces in six colors and three shapes.

Plexiglas Blocks:
Catalog Number: 1-08663-00
Click this link to purchase the Plexiglas Blocks.

Pegs and Pegboard

Fosters eye-hand coordination, awareness of spatial relationships, and matching and sequencing skills. Includes 64 colored translucent pegs in three shapes and five colors for use in or out of the included 6 x 6 grid pegboard.

Pegs and Pegboard:
Catalog Number: 1-08665-00
Click this link to purchase the Pegs and Pegboard.

Familiar Object Pictures

Colored translucent pictures of 15 household objects are provided in pairs (30 cards total) for matching and identification. On clear plastic cards measuring 6 x 6 inches.

Familiar Object Pictures:
Catalog Number: 1-08666-00
Click this link to purchase the Familiar Object Pictures.

Colored Shape Cards

Colored transparent and translucent pictures of geometric shapes for identification and matching by shape, color, and size. Thirty cards provided: two each of nine shapes, some in three sizes. On clear plastic cards measuring 4 x 4 inches.

Colored Shape Cards:
Catalog Number: 1-08667-00
Click this link to purchase the Colored Shape Cards.

Digital Light Box Artwork: Supporting Language and Literacy

Digital Light Box Artwork: Supporting Language and Literacy

Transitioning from the Light Box to the computer made simple! Use the Digital Light Box Artwork (DLBA) in computer programs to provide extension activities for the Light Box and/or provide familiar images for children who transition from Light Box to computer activities.

APH has digitized the individual art pieces from the APH Light Box Materials for use on the computer. The accompanying large print instruction guide teaches how to create personalized activities for cause & effect, choice making, and multiple-choice. The artwork works in both Windows® and Mac® platforms and can be used with many commercially available authoring programs, such as Clicker 5®, and Boardmaker®. The artwork files are provided in the .png format. The instruction guide gives detailed instructions on how to create activities using PowerPoint®.

Each piece of artwork is available in black line, red line, and full color. Instructions teach the user to change and/or add color to the artwork. This function is great for learners with cortical visual impairment who demonstrate a color preference. Instructors can create full-page black line art for a coloring activity to enrich the classroom lesson or as a take home project.

Large Print Guidebook with CD-ROM:
Catalog Number: 1-08691-00
Click this link to purchase the Digital Light Box Artwork: Supporting Language and Literacy.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
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