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.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)



Wednesday, February 02, 2011

My APH Experience

by Cindy Williams

This past fall, I had the wonderful honor and opportunity to attend American Printing House’s (APH) 142nd Annual Meeting. I was nominated as an APH Scholar by Cheryl Misialek, Coordinator of APH products at NDVS/SB. I was accepted as one of five scholars in the country to be awarded an all expenses paid trip to Louisville, KY. The other scholars were from California, Nebraska (2) and Missouri. The event took place October 13-16, and this year the theme was “Working Together to Build Tools for Learning and Living.” What an exhilarating experience it turned out to be!

My trip started out with attending the Council of Schools for the Blind banquet where numerous awards were presented to individuals in the field, ranging from the William H. English Leadership Award presented to Dr. Ralph Bartley to the Outstanding Paraprofessional Award presented to Scott Kelly at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. It was a moving experience to listen to the speeches of all the individuals who earned awards and how their work in the field has improved the education and life of individuals who are visually impaired.

A highlight of my trip was touring the APH plant. While on tour, I observed many APH products being created, including braille books being embossed and bound, a recording studio with readers and proofreaders creating auditory tapes, and APH kits being assembled. It was amazing to tour the plant and learn about the process that goes into creating these wonderful products that allow me to assist individuals I have the pleasure of working with.

The opening keynote speaker was Jim Gibbons, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, Inc. I was moved as I listened to this individual who happens to be blind tell his life’s journey and how he attained what he had by having parents and educators who set high expectations for him. I was intrigued by his statement, “In every job, there is somebody else depending on you so they can do their job.” How true that is, no matter what you do!

Hosting the event was Dr. Tuck Tinsley, President of APH. Numerous award ceremonies commended many in the field of visual impairments, including Morris Frank, the first person in North America to use a dog guide; M.C. Migel, founder of the American Foundation for the Blind, and the Lucky Touch Fortune Cookie Company created by students and teachers at the California School for the Blind for their “Creative Use of Braille.” Many individuals of all ages who are blind and visually impaired were recognized for their artistic talents through the APH InSights Art Competition.

An Information Fair/Poster Session provided attendees the opportunity to learn about new products from APH. We also had the opportunity to receive product training and input on various products for technology, math, reading, assessments, and others. This included meeting project managers, researchs and authors such as Christine Roman.

Attending APH’s 142nd Annual Meeting was a truly moving experience for me. In a postcard I sent home, I wrote “I am among the greats of the greats in the field of visual impairments.” At times I couldn’t believe I was actually there! Everyone was so welcoming, and it was an inspiring way to learn more about APH, their products and network with others in the field. I am grateful to APH and NDVS/SB for providing me this opportunity which has and will continue to have a positive impact on me and the individuals I serve.

Article Source:
North Dakota School for the Blind - Reaching Out Newsletter, #71, January 2011

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.