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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Friday, August 10, 2012

APH and Dollywood Foundation Partner to Make Books Available in Braille



Louisville, KY (August 1, 2012) – Since June of 2011, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and the Dollywood Foundation have been working to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) so that they can provide young blind and visually impaired children from birth to kindergarten age with accessible books. For the past year, audio versions of dozens of titles have been available as a download from the APH web site.  Today, we are pleased to announce that five titles each year will also be available in braille. This year's books include: Old Bear and His Cub (by Olivier Dunrea), A Mud Pie for Mother (by Scott Beck), My Lucky Day (by Keiko Kasza), Read to Tiger (by S. J. Fore), and Llama Llama Misses Mama (by Anna Dewdney).

Among Parton’s most passionate humanitarian efforts is her commitment to encourage a love of reading among preschool children and their families through her Imagination Library.  “I am so excited that we can now bring this same joy to all children who may have trouble seeing but have no trouble in believing that all of their dreams can come true,” said Parton.

The titles selected from the current year’s list of DPIL books published by Penguin Group, are those most appropriate to translate into braille. For this first year, there are 200 copies of each of the five titles available free to blind and visually impaired children.  Applications for the books will be accepted on a first come/first served basis. 

“We’re very excited that APH's partnership with DPIL not only expands the number of accessible books for young children, but also connects families to a wide range of resources that will enable them to locate and bring more accessible books into their home,” said APH President Tuck Tinsley. “All children should have books of their own to share with parents and grandparents -- more braille -- more literacy.”

This free program is made possible through the generous support of donors from across the country who believe all children deserve an opportunity to read and learn.  APH welcomes contributions to help defray initial costs and to expand the program so more children will benefit from this service. The American Printing House for the Blind is a registered 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization - all donations are tax-deductible. 

Parents and legal guardians of visually impaired children from birth to kindergarten age can apply and enroll a child in the program by visiting or calling 502-899-2361. Please help us spread the word to families who can benefit from this service.

For more information about APH, visit For more information about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, visit, or the official Facebook page.

If you would like to donate to this program, visit

About The Imagination Library

Founded in 1996 in Parton’s native Sevier County in East Tennessee, The Imagination Library works with thousands of local sponsors such as United Way, Rotary, and Kiwanis to provide an age appropriate book to participating children ages five and under in 1,642 communities in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.  In 2011, 685,000 children participated each month and nearly 8,000,000 books were distributed, bringing the total number of books given out by the program since it started to 42,000,000. 
To provide the Imagination Library, a community must make the program accessible to all preschool children in their area, and the community pays for the books, promotes the program, and registers the children. Parton’s not-for-profit Dollywood Foundation manages the delivery of books to children’s homes.

The Dollywood Foundation is based in Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit or the official Facebook page.

About the American Printing House for the Blind:

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the world's largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 Federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level.

APH manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also manufactures hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products. APH's fully accessible web site ( features information about APH products and services, online ordering of products, and free information on a wide variety of blindness-related topics.

The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, call (502) 895-2405 or log on to

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