by Monica Turner
Please send your comments and suggestions to Monica Turner at email@example.com.
More "oldies but goodies" added to our growing list!
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.
The Swing Cell Compact is a smaller and lighter version of the older Swing Cell that had a base. It is used to introduce braille, practice dot numbers, and to help students understand the relationship between the braille cell and the keys on a braillewriter. Black pegs are used to represent the dots in a cell or the keys on a braillewriter.
When the device is in the reading position, two rows of holes are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the user’s body, with the hinge at the top of the device. When the device is in the writing position, two rows of holes are adjacent to each other in a line parallel to the user’s body, and the hinge is at the bottom of the device. Hook-and-loop material is used to hold the device securely in either position.
This product comes with twelve pegs. When not in use, six pegs can be stored in two holes that are in the center of the wooden blocks. Storing the device in the writing position will keep the pegs from falling out of the device. The included adhesive foam backing can be applied to the bottom of the device to help keep the device from sliding during use.
Do you currently own a Braille+™ Mobile Manager? Simply snap the Braille+ into the Docking Station and you have a highly functional, comfortable-to-use, portable notetaker. Smaller than a laptop computer, the QWERTY Docking Station provides netbook-like functions, including connectivity and comfort on-the-go.
The Docking Station enables you to take notes comfortably with a full-size QWERTY keyboard, perform full-capability word processing, browse the Web extensively, and read and write email. The Docking Station is designed to be large enough for your hands to rest comfortably with its foldout hand rest, yet small and lightweight so it's easy to carry along. With long-lasting batteries, you can dock-in and power on. Charge your Braille+ by plugging it into the docking station, even if the docking station is not plugged in. With an Ethernet connection you can log into your office network or the internet, and with USB host and client ports, it is easy to hook-up peripherals.
Note: The Braille+ Mobile Manager, which has been discontinued, is required to operate the QWERTY Docking Station.
The QWERTY Docking Station is currently on sale for $500, which is $100 off the original price. Other related items which are on sale and available for a limited time only are the Braille+ Leather Carrying Case, QWERTY Docking Station Leather Carrying Case, as well as the AC-DC adapters and rechargeable batteries for both devices.
Touch and Tell is a classic set of braille reading readiness books consisting of three volumes with tactile pages. These books were designed to help meet reading readiness needs of students who are blind or visually impaired. Volume I introduces square, circle, and triangle shapes, and the concepts of size and number of the shapes. Volume II builds on to these concepts and adds the concepts of difference and alikeness, as well as location on the page (over and under, left and right, etc.). Volume III continues to build on all of these same concepts while introducing braille dots. There are 16 tactile pages in each volume. The book has been divided into these three smaller sections for ease in handling by small hands as well as to minimize the time needed to complete each section in order to give children a chance for early and happy success.
This product is available with Federal Quota funds. The Touch and Tell Instruction Booklet offers suggestions for discussions and activities that may be used in conjunction with these books. The instruction booklet is available as a free APH Downloadable Product Manual.
Classroom Calendar Kit
Individual Calendar Kit
The Classroom Calendar Kit contains a large wall calendar which introduces sighted and blind children to such concepts as measuring time; tracking left, right, top, and bottom; recording the weather; and recognizing and sequencing numerals. This kit includes a blue plastic month grid, large print/braille labels with an orientation corner cut (yellow labels for the year, month, and days of the week; white labels with numerals 1-31; and brightly-colored and embossed holiday and weather symbols). The instructions are provided in large print and on CD-ROM. This product is available in both English and Spanish.
The Individual Calendar Kit allows students to experience the fun and challenge of creating their own calendars. These calendars are inexpensive and consumable. The kit includes twelve brightly-colored embossed/bold line grid sheets, and paper labels showing the month, days of the week, and days of the month. Labels are marked in both large print and braille and are marked with an orientation corner cut.
PLEASE NOTE: Consideration is being given to modernizing these calendar products. If you have any suggestions or ideas that you would like to share, please send them directly to Burt Boyer, APH’s Early Childhood Project Leader, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teaching the Student with a Visual Impairment: a Primer for the Classroom Teacher (TSVI)
Teaching the Student with a Visual Impairment: A Primer for the Classroom Teacher (TSVI) is a practical manual designed to assist the classroom teacher, parents, and other adults who teach the student with low vision. This guide addresses the unique sets of challenges found in educating the student with low vision and primarily focuses on the all-inclusive classroom for students K-12, but also contains some applications for homeschoolers. Rich in facts and tips, TSVI guides the reader in how to prepare for the unique educational needs of the student with a visual impairment. TSVI also provides an extensive listing of agencies and organizations that serve persons with visual impairments.
Chapters in the manual include:
- Low Vision 101
- What Can My Student See?
- Making My Classroom Accessible
- Let's Focus on Academics
- How Can I Know My Student's World?
- Envision the Future
- A View of Resources
DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing BoardThe first product that we would like to revisit with you is the DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board which was first produced in 2005. This product is a versatile tactile drawing board that is used in combination with special film and a stylus to create raised-line drawings instantly. It is intended for a wide audience, such as visually impaired students, teachers, parents, and adults, and can be used in a wide variety of situations, whenever a simple raised-line drawing is needed. APH Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Karen Poppe has created a PowerPoint presentation (.ppt)to provide further information about this product. This information is also provided in a text-only format.
This video clip, http://www.aphmedia.org/video/draftsman.avi, demonstrates exactly how to prepare the DRAFTSMAN for use.
Staying in the Driver's Seat When You No Longer Drive
If you know of anyone who might benefit from receiving a DVD copy of this complementary preview along with an informative brochure, we do have a limited supply available. Please contact Terrie Terlau at email@example.com with their mailing information.
Card Chart Kit
The Expanded Dolch Word Cards consist of 220 sight vocabulary words and 95 words with pictures. These cards can be used for reading practice or an informal assessment of a student's ability to read words in contracted braille and to spell words in uncontracted braille. Words are shown in contracted braille on one side and uncontracted braille on the other, with large print on both sides.
Braille Contraction Cards are large print/braille flashcards that can be used for practicing the Literary Braille contractions. This set includes the alphabet and numbers, punctuation and composition signs, two-cell contractions, one-cell whole-word and part-word contractions, and short-form words. There are 247 cards in this kit. The first 26 cards contain the braille alphabet on one side and large print on the other side. Remaining cards contain contracted braille on one side and both uncontracted braille and large print on the other side.
The Math Drill Cards that are available for use with the Card Chart Kit include Number & Math Signs, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division. The cards in the Number & Math Sign set have a math sign or number sign in braille on one side and large print and braille on the opposite side. Large print/braille math operations cards have a math fact on one side and the fact with the answer on the opposite side. These cards are done using the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics.
Together with any of these card collections or with cards that you create yourself using the blank cards, the Card Chart can be used for a variety of activities such as:
- Matching (i.e., states and capitols)
- Categorizing (i.e., verbs and nouns)
- Reproducing information from a worksheet or blackboard
- Sentence structure
- Constructing a class seating chart
- Scheduling activities
- And many, many more.
Geometry Tactile Graphics Kit
This kit includes 26 white plastic thermoform sheets measuring 8 1/2 x 11 inches (52 drawings total), two specially adapted protractors, a teacher's guide in print and braille, and a storage binder. The protractor itself has several unique features, designed specifically for use with the graphics in this kit, which make it easier to use than an adapted commercial model. The teacher’s guide provides specific instructions about the recommended procedure for using the protractor, as well as a description of each drawing and instructional hints for teaching each concept.
In the PowerPoint that follows, you can see the line drawing of each graphic provided in the kit. Note: The black line drawings shown are not included in the kit, only the thermoformed graphics, but each line drawing is currently available for download from the Tactile Graphic Image Library.
Download the Geometry Tactile Graphics Kit PowerPoint.
This PowerPoint provides photographs and a brief explanation of each module.
The Brannan slate was designed by R.E. Brannan of Summit, New Jersey. Brannan turned over his rights to the invention to APH. APH began manufacturing the Brannan Cubarithm Slate and Cubes in 1957. Directions for how to use this device are available on our Fred's Head Blog. Photographs of the device and the mathematical equations described in the blog can be viewed in this PowerPoint.
The introduction for this product includes detailed task analyses of washing the dishes and of crushing crackers for meat loaf stuffing. These are provided in order to demonstrate examples of how to break an everyday experience down into the smaller steps that make up the experience. Because visual impairment results in a deficit of learning through visual observations and it is necessary to use a multisensory approach that takes advantage of the child’s remaining senses. Activities may need to be broken into smaller segments and repeated multiple times.
Examples of some of the everyday experiences that are included in this calendar are:
“What is a salad? Help make one for dinner.”
“Use an alarm clock to wake up.”
“Pick all the nickels from a pile of coins and buy something with them.”
“Find pairs of things, like shoes, socks, and dishes.”
“Visit a vegetable garden. What’s growing there?”
It is not required that every activity in the calendar be completed, but rather, the calendar is meant to be a compilation of ideas from which to draw inspiration and expand upon. The calendar is designed so that the user may begin at any point and choose activities appropriate for the child, the occasion, and the lifestyle of the family. Cross-environmental teaching is encouraged and activities may be taught by a variety of different “teachers” and in a variety of locations.
Listen and Think Auditory Readiness (AR) Level (5-7 years) includes 15 lessons and covers basic listening skills such as understanding positional placement (e.g., up, down, behind, between, beside, etc.), comparing, classifying, cause and effect, sequencing, and predicting outcomes. The AR level includes an introduction and lessons on CDs, a print teacher's handbook, simple multiple-choice answer sheets, and crayons.
Advanced levels Listen and Think Level B (7-8 years) and Listen and Think Level C (8-9 years) introduce such concepts as main ideas, summarizing, outlining, and comparing. Level B and C each include introductory material and lessons on CDs, a print teacher's handbook, braille and large print multiple-choice answer sheets, braille and large print progress charts, crayons and marking pins.
Each lesson presents a recorded passage to the student which introduces various concepts. At the end of each passage are recorded questions that the student can answer using the provided crayons and simplified answer sheet. The correct answers and necessary explanations are provided on the recording as well so that these lessons can be completed independently, in small groupings, or with the entire class, providing flexibility for the teacher. Within the Teacher’s Handbook are additional questions and activities that can be used for follow-up reinforcement and to further extend the concepts presented to the curriculum areas of Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Music.
A variety of fundamental, interconnected skills are addressed in this product, including: coin and bill identification; counting money and making change; budgeting; basic employment strategies; banking skills; and handling money in a number of simulated and actual daily living situations, such as visiting a store or a bank.
Appendices include a glossary, references, resources, an aids/devices chart, and a record keeping skills chart. Included with this product is an adapted practice checkbook with a vinyl cover; a pack of 28 yellow, raised-line, large type practice checks bound with 8 white, raised-line, large type practice deposit tickets; and a white, large type, columned practice checks and deposits register. The resource guide, along with the adapted practice checkbook, helps students learn vital money handling skills.
The graphics included address the following concepts:
- straight lines and points
- compass circle and clock face
- city block with sidewalks
- intersection with lanes and sidewalks
- types of intersections
- T intersection
- city blocks, 4X4 grid
- advanced city block
- hallway and rooms
- room with objects
The kit comes with a printed instructional guidebook. This guidebook provides 36 lesson plans that cover topics which include:
- Introducing symbolic representation of objects and structures (scanning workspace, room representation, making a picture, left-right relationships, etc.)
- Mathematics (angle construction, area comparison, grouping, and equivalent fractions)
- Social studies (representation of organizational patterns, population information, and governmental body seating)
- Science (representation of wiring diagrams)
- Daily living skills (table setting, and dial-face orientations)
- Orientation and mobility (representation of street layouts, intersections, cardinal directions, traffic movement, etc.)
The kit can be easily added to and modified as needed by the instructor. For example, the kit does not contain small point symbols, but these can be made by adhering the included Velcro strips onto items to be used as symbols or by using Feel n’ Peel Stickers. This kit can also be used in conjunction with the Picture Maker: Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit (its smaller, more colorful, and more complex predecessor), the , or the
Time for Art: Art Projects and Lessons for Students with Visual Impairments is a handbook for teachers and parents that explains how to instruct visually impaired students in art, how to handle the media being explored, and points to consider in art program planning. Time for Art consists of a regular print guidebook and a CD-ROM containing an HTML edition of the guidebook, accessible to visually impaired users.
The projects included in the guidebook are:
- Fake Fossils
- Raised Line Drawings
- Aluminum Repoussé
- Papier-Mâché Bowls
- Free-Form Fuzzy Wire Shapes
- Fuzzy Wire Animals
- Mixed-Media Puzzle of Me
- Wire Sculpture
- Pinch Pot
- Coiled Pot
Instructors may want to consider using Time for Art as they work with students who are interested in submitting art work for the annual APH InSights art contest. For more information on this contest, visit the APH Museum website.
Tactile Treasures is packaged as a complete kit consisting of three individual binders housing a total of 79 white thermoformed sheets, measuring 8 1/2 x 11 inches, and a teacher's guidebook (both print and braille versions provided) with two suggested scripts or stories for each concept introduced. The guidebook also gives a general overview of the materials, instructions for use, and extended activities. The types of thermoformed objects are numerous: from pretzels, buttons, and rings to zippers, scissors, and shells. The variety of objects depicted adds interest, encourages exploration, and helps broaden vocabulary.
The tactile graphics contents of each binder are as follows:
- Binder I: Shape and Size Concepts
- Binder II: Comparing and Amount Concepts
- Binder III: Position and Pre-Reading Concepts
Parents And Visually Impaired Infants (PAVII)
The project authors are Deborah Chen, Clare Taylor Friedman, and Gail Calvello. These materials were created as a part of the three-year PAVII Project of the Blind Babies Foundation. The main objectives of the Project were to facilitate the parent's role as primary interventionist and to develop strategies which are ecologically valid and age-appropriate. These materials were first made available by APH in 1989 and are available for purchase using federal quota funds.
The materials are bound in a sturdy three-ring binder and the six major written components include:
- Parent Assessment of Needs: This is an ecological inventory which helps parents identify and prioritize home-based goals for infants.
- Parent Observation Protocol: This section provides direction for using video recording to encourage parent observation of self and child and identifies teaching strategies for facilitating early learning experiences.
- PAVII 'How-To' Papers on Assessment: This is a series of papers for home-based assessment which includes an "Overview of Assessment," "Identifying Visual Impairments in Infants," "Functional Hearing Screening," "Assessing Infant Communication," "Assessing Interaction with Objects," and "Developmental Assessment."
- The Art of Home Visiting: This section discusses the responsibilities of a home visitor and issues encountered in the home visit process.
- Getting Ready for School: This section outlines the learning environment, family factors, child factors, school district factors, expert input, and educational rights.
- Learning Together: A Parent Guide to Socially Based Routines for Visually Impaired Infants: The final section (also available separately) offers home-based strategies for helping parents decide which areas need work and for helping an infant learn during everyday activities.
The Impressor is a braille business card embosser available from the American Printing House that is similar in design to the stamp used by notary publics. The labeler is made of metal with an acrylic base for one-hand operation. The metal die, which embosses braille on your card, is custom-made with your information. You can emboss up to four lines of braille with 13 braille cells per line onto a standard 3.5 x 2 inch business card. Insert a business card into the embosser, squeeze the handle, and your card is brailled instantly!
Business card information is customized at the time of ordering, and can be easily revised later for an additional fee. Please note that this product requires special handling and cannot be ordered online. Please call us at 800-223-1839 to initiate your order. This product is not available with Federal Quota funds.
Please keep in mind that while APH strives to give you products that are timeless and durable, some of the materials that we use will eventually show signs of age. Please always inspect products—especially older products that may have been sitting unused for a period of time—before use, to ensure there are no signs of breakage or loose parts that could be dangerous for small children.