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, October 17, 2012

The Long and Winding Road: APH’s Annual Meeting in Kentucky

By Kristie Smith
         I have been a frequent blogger for Fred’s Head for about two years. Imagine how thrilled I was when one night I began to play with the new item, “TACTILE TOWN”. I was home alone, feeling lonely, when the lights went out from a storm, as did the television set.  I looked over and saw Tactile Town sitting in my living room.  

         The nerd in me jumped up and began building a community.  The ideas began to unfold for me as I was playing (working) for my student.  I grabbed The Game Kit from outside and Recipe cards as well as a large print ruler, a Talking Calculator and may other items in my garage.  

         I began writing activities for a community – a bank, a bakery ( I was hungry for cupcakes) a pond and railroad tracks with houses.  The brailled labels helped my imagination.  

         The following morning I thanked APH for this teaching tool that is unbeatable.  Next thing I knew, I was on my way to the conference and was in for an incredibly educational and fun trip.  (I did run to the Princess Diana exhibit at the Frazier Museum and had to run to meet with one of the awesome project leaders. “See my new Princess Diana earrings?" I told everyone on the shuttle on my way to see the "palace," APH.  The women were impressed and asked all about Princess Diana’s dress. It was awesome.  

         I met the geniuses and creators during my visit, and these are simply amazing and caring people who want the best for our children and adults who have a visual impairment. 

         Karen Poppe presented Tactile Town and I was her co-presenter.  Karen is one classy lady, beautiful inside and out, and I kept wondering how lucky I was to be there and learn about all the materials and the creation from Karen’s husband, Tom.  What another great genius I met.  He demonstrated the makings of the new globe with tactual formatting.  It was incredible to watch and listen to the intelligent people while I am playing with activities across the Tactile board laughing as I make my movable people cross town and go fish in the pond along with many other activities.  

         The conference was one of the most fun and exciting conference I was able to attend.  

         I can’t wait to go next year, if they have lifted the stalking bond off of me.  (Just Kidding!)  It was a great time and a wonderful time to learn so much.  

         Karen opened up with the words from “The Long and Winding Road." After listening to the words, two words came into my mind, “Well said!’ 

The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I've seen that road before it always leads me here
Leads me to your door

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