The Fred's Head blog contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Fred's Head is offered by the American Printing House for the Blind. It was voted best blindness-related blog three years in a row by BlindBargains.com.

Search This Blog

Loading...

Welcome

Fred's Head is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni of APH's Customer Relations Department, who is now retired. Check out the bottom of this page for: browsing articles by subject; receiving posts by email; subscribing to RSS feeds; APH resources; the archive of this blog; APH on YouTube; contributing articles to Fred's Head; and disclaimers.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

APH News: December 2012

APH News

Your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, and training opportunities from the American Printing House for the Blind.

December 2012

Exciting New APH Products Announced!

Read on to learn about these new products - now available!

Field Test Opportunity!

APH is seeking field evaluators for Magnetic Dolch Word Wall. Field testing will begin in February 2013 and extend until the end of the school year. The prototype provides over 500 print/braille magnetic word labels (in both contracted and uncontracted braille), magnetic sorting strips, magnetic divider/storage pages, a housing binder, and suggested activities. [Note: The magnetic labels can be used in combination with APH’s ALL-IN-ONE Boards].
Evaluators will be asked to a) use the prototype with as many students as possible within the given timeframe, b) complete a product evaluation form, and c) report student outcome data. After returning a completed evaluation form, the field test site will be allowed to keep the prototype for future use. Field test prototypes are limited. Field test sites will be selected based upon geographic location, type of setting, and the grade levels/ages of the students.
If you are interested in possibly serving as a field evaluator, please provide the following information: name, title, school/agency, complete contact information (phone number, mailing address, email address), expected number of students, and the educational levels/ages of your students. Send this information to Karen J. Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, kpoppe@aph.org, by December 21, 2012. You may also contact Karen at 502-899-2322 or 800-223-1839, ext. 322.

Awards For BOP

APH was present as exhibitors and participants at the AER of Ohio state conference which was held November 14 to November 16, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. To go along with the AERO theme, the exhibits focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) products. Attendees were especially interested in Life Science Tactile Graphics, Azer’s Interactive Periodic Table, and the new VisioBook. The conference program chair and AERO President, Brett Page guided those in attendance through an exciting and professionally rewarding set of presentations. Another highlight was the awards banquet on Thursday evening where arrangements were made for APH to honor the Ohio Building on Patterns (BOP) writers. The writers were key contributors in the early planning for BOP and they received plaques that were made by students at the Ohio State School for the Blind. Superintendent and APH EOT Cynthia Johnson assisted with the presentation of the APH Extra Mile Awards. Dr. Marjorie Ward, who assisted in setting up the awards, had been presented at the APH October Annual Meeting with an APH Extra Mile Award in recognition of the advice and counsel she had provided to this important project.
Left to Right, Dr. Marjorie Ward, Sharon Cuniak, Robin Finley, Dr. Cynthia Johnson (APH EOT), Cheryl Boley, and Lisa Goshe.

Treasures from the APH Libraries

The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collection of nonmedical information related to blindness in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, arrangements can be made to use the materials on-site. In addition, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will continue to make materials available through the online catalog at http://migel.aph.org.
Two of the many "Treasures from the APH Libraries" are described below.

From the Migel Library: Der Kriegsblinde: Zeitschrift Für Verständnis Und Verständigung. Bonn: Organ Des Bundes Der Kriegsblinden Deutschlands, 1950-1952.

Still published today, The War Blind: Journal of Understanding and Communication is the official publication of the the Federation of German War Blind. The volumes held in the Migel Library reflect the immediate post-war era. Even if the reader does not know German, the Journal is a valuable tool. It is heavily illustrated with photographs that reflect attitudes and daily living during the early 1950s. The German war blind of the time are often shown wearing a yellow armband with three black dots and a German cross. A similar insignia is sometimes worn by blind civilians in Germany and Austria to this day. Additionally, some of the photographs of blinded veterans have been edited by having the eyes blackened out of the photograph. And, on one of the most interesting covers, a movie still of a blinded American G.I. is shown feeling the face of his "new girlfriend." It is especially important to preserve not only because of the information and photographs, but because it is printed on extremely brittle and acidic paper. Without proper care, the volumes could have been lost.

From the Barr Library: Caton, Hilda R. A Review and Evaluation of Research on the Literary Braille Codes, 1900-1986. Rep. Louisville: American Printing House for the Blind, 1987.

This comprehensive review of research on the literary braille codes includes all literary braille codes of English speaking countries. The report begins by organizing and synthesizing the current research, as of 1987. It then evaluates the quality of that research by decade, identifies trends in the 87-year period, identifies gaps in research, and prioritizes needs for further research in literary braille. The report concludes that a coordinated braille program should be developed among English-speaking countries that includes research on contractions in American braille, user error studies, difficulty of braille code categories, problems with speed and comprehension, and especially the efficiency of instructional procedures and materials.
Contact Library staff: library@aph.org, 800-223-1839, ext. 705

From the Field:

Stepping Up Technology Survey

The Braille Institute of America needs your help to determine which mainstream devices students with visual impairments are using most often, and what equipment may need to be purchased to test and build curriculum for the new Braille Challenge Mobile App.
Please take a few minutes to complete this very important short survey to help identify how many students are using iOS devices with refreshable braille displays. Your help now will greatly inform future decisions and programs!
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SteppingUpTechnology

What is it Like to be an APH Scholar?

By Liz Schomerus, APH Scholar from Nebraska 2012
My experience as an APH Scholar at this year’s Annual Meeting was absolutely wonderful. I felt like I was in Hollywood when all of the people whose books I have been reading while going through the TVI program were there and talking to me!
APH made the experience very special. The accommodations were amazing, the hotel was simply beautiful. Everyone was so helpful and nice, and they feed you way too well. Louisville is a beautiful city with lots to visit.
The meet and greet for the APH Scholars was a nice way to break the ice and let us know what we should do. Lou Tutt gave an inspiring welcome, reminding us to keep in mind why we entered this profession, and why we stay in this profession...the kids. It was nice to see that whatever part of the country we were from, we all had similar experiences and memories of "our" kids. Lou also told us to be sure to take in all we could from the experiences at the APH meetings, go to sessions ("sit in the third row") and introduce ourselves to everyone and participate, not just stand by and watch.
I really enjoyed the product sessions when we could ask questions and APH staff asked questions of us for our input. I have field tested a few products and it was nice to feel like they really were interested in our opinions. It was also fun to see the products in the early stages, to see what is going to be coming soon.
The tour of APH was amazing. I was surprised by how much of the process of production is still done by hand, and how few people are really there doing the work. It was like stepping back in time, but yet some of the technology used is the newest available. It was quite a mix of old and new. The only regret I had was that I didn’t have more time to mill around in the Museum and Hall of Fame.
The awards banquet was so special. The smiles on the children whose art creations won awards were priceless. Tuck’s smile was just as big. Again, they are why we do what we do.
Being an APH Scholar was a great experience. If you get the chance to be nominated follow through with it and try to go to Louisville. It really is an excellent opportunity to make connections with others in the field, and see what APH has to offer.

Future is Now: PATINS Explores Tools for Teaching in the Digital Classroom

APH was represented at the recent Indiana PATINS (Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students) assistive technology conference by Nicole Gaines, NIMAC, and Ralph Bartley, Research. The theme was "Accessible Instruction: Every Educator’s Responsibility." Leslie Durst, EOT from Indiana, was not only in attendance, but played a significant role as one of six experts who staffed the Digital Rights Manager (DRM) Corner Chat Area. DRM’s, other educators, and parents were provided answers to their questions about digital rights, and how it impacts textbooks for students.
From the presenters, who were from as far away as Alaska, there was a consensus that Apple products and iOS platforms will continue to play a significant role in the future. In some states and school districts, Apple will be the exclusive option for instruction. This was particularly highlighted in Mystie Rail’s presentation, "Apple, No Longer the Forbidden Fruit."
Several of the presentations focused on the plethora of new online tools and free or inexpensive software that teachers can use to enhance learning for all students. There has been an explosion recently of apps, software and online tools, to the extent that it can be difficult for teachers to keep up with all the available options.
As these tools become more integrated into the mainstream classroom, they open up new alternatives for print disabled students as well. It was exciting to see how the move toward digital learning for all students provides a great potential to benefit print disabled students. At the same time, it is clear that "digital" and "online" are not necessarily inherently accessible—especially to students with visual impairment—and there continues to be a strong need for teachers—and other accessibility advocates—to ensure that technology that is adopted includes all the needed accessibility features.

Field Services Activities

An APH Presence at Tennessee AER and Unity Conferences

On October 26th and 27th, Field Services Representative Kerry Isham presented and exhibited at the TN AER and Unity 2-in-1 conference. Approximately 90 participants gathered in Nashville for the two conferences. Kerry’s presentations were on the topics of APH Literacy Resources and APH Products for Students with Multiple Impairments. Products featured at the exhibit included: Best for a Nest, Building on Patterns (BOP), Lots of Dots ABCs, The Sensory Learning Kit, Setting the Stage for Tactile Understanding, Symbols and Meaning (SAM), and Tactile Connections. Without a doubt, the eager attendees helped make this dual event interesting, useful and fun!

AER Utah Chapter Conference Exhibit in November

On November 2nd and 3rd, APH’s tables attracted inquisitive conference-goers at the AER Utah Chapter Fall Conference 2012 in Salt Lake City. APH Field Services Representative Kerry Isham exhibited a number of products for approximately 100 attendees. Among the products that garnered attention from the VI professionals and parents were Experiential Learning: Activities for Concept Development, Giant Textured Beads with Pattern Cards, Multiplication and Division Table Kit, the Student All-In-One Board, Tactile Town, TREKS, and the VisioBook.

Northeast AER 2012 Conference Exhibit

On November 15th, Field Services Representative Kerry Isham worked the APH exhibit table at the Northeast Regional Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) Conference in Newport, Rhode Island. Approximately 200 vision professionals and parents were in attendance as they perused such products as Getting to Know You, Symbols and Meaning (SAM), MathBuilders Unit 5, Tactile Town, Flip-Over Concept Books, and the VisioBook. The booth stayed consistently busy since many of the enthusiastic conference-goers had questions and comments about the APH products on hand.

KY CEC 47th Conference Presentation

On November 18th, Field Services Representative Kerry Isham presented "The Sensory Learning Kit and ToAD and Tadpole Kits – A Multimedia Overview" at the 47th Kentucky Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference. This conference was held at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, and drew approximately 800 attendees. During her 3-hour workshop, Kerry discussed APH products--Tools for Assessment and Development of Visual Skills (ToAD), Tools and Activities for the Development of Visual Skills (Tadpole), and the Sensory Learning Kit--along with showing videos demonstrating proper use of the products.

Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series

The U.S. Puzzle Map is a large, tactile, take-apart political/topographical map of the United States that has many features to help make learning fun for all students. The U.S. states puzzle pieces are bright, contrasting colors with tactile mountains, rivers, and state capitals. A lightweight frame, measuring 32½ x 18 inches, has incised state boundaries and state abbreviations in braille, plus latitude/longitude lines. The frame also has finger holes for easy removal of pieces. Masking overlays are provided for assessment purposes.
Large print and braille reference guides are included with this product and the file is also available as a free-of-charge download which you may emboss or print as needed. Visit our downloadable manuals page at: www.aph.org/manuals/index.html.
If you have any suggestions for other products you would like to see highlighted in this monthly feature, please send your comments to Monica Turner at mmturner@aph.org.

National Instructional Partnership (NIP) on Social Skills Scheduled for March in Kentucky

Product:
Getting to Know You: A Social Skills/Ability Awareness Curriculum with Authors Nita Crow & Stephanie Herlich
Where:
Lake Barkley State Resort Park, Cadiz, KY (special room rates available), Toll-free: (800) 325-1708
Date:
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Time:
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM (box lunch provided)
Registration:
Contact Monica Vaught-Compton to register: mvaught@aph.org, (502) 899-2297
Getting to Know You is a social skills/ability awareness curriculum for grades K–12. This curriculum engages students who are blind and visually impaired with sighted peers in activities that promote social interaction, social competence, and ability awareness. The product is designed for TVIs, O&M specialists, related service personnel, general education teachers, and families.
This free NIP Event is held as a KAER pre-conference workshop, and is a great opportunity to receive training on a new APH product and earn continuing education credit. The KAER Conference begins the evening of March 13 and concludes at noon on March 15. We encourage anyone who attends the Getting to Know You NIP Event to stay for the KAER Conference! For more information about the KAER Conference registration and fees, please email Jane Thompson: jthompson@aph.org

Child In A Strange Country Website Goes Live

Installing Child In A Strange Country for its opening at the Louisville Free Public Library, October 9, 2012
Our informational website for the museum’s newest traveling exhibit, Child In A Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired is live. Check out www.aph.org/museum/traveling.html for images of the exhibit, details on hosting, and contact information to bring this exciting new show to your community. "Child" explores math, science, geography, and reading through the lens of activist and author Helen Keller. Designed to be fully accessible, each section features multiple opportunities to explore history through touch and hearing, with a soundtrack narrated by legendary APH Talking Book narrator Mitzi Freidlander. Designed to fit in a variety of exhibit spaces, the exhibit’s flexible floor plan works best in a gallery between 1,000 and 1,500 square feet.

2013 Nomination Process for the Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

The Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations for 2013 induction consideration. If you are interested in learning more about the process for submitting a nominee to join the 50 inductees, please visit: www.aph.org/hall_fame/nominate.html. The nomination process will close March 29, 2013.
"The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is dedicated to preserving, honoring, and promoting the tradition of excellence manifested by the specific individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame and through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired."

New on the Hall of Fame site

New Trustee Announced for New Account!

Please welcome Shelly Faust-Jones as the new Ex Officio Trustee to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, a new account as of November 1, 2012.

"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!

We invite you to visit our Facebook page and "Like" us! You can find APH at these social media sites: Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and at our blog, Fred's Head from APH.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Printing-House-for-the-Blind/122879984400686

APH Travel Calendar

on the road with APH

December

December 5 - 7, 2012
Braille Challenge Apps Advisory Board;
Los Angeles, CA
December 6, 2012
Early Braille Tradebooks Training;
Bronx, NY
December 10 – 11, 2012
Appropriation: Legislative Visits on Capitol Hill;
Washington, DC

January

January 7-8, 2013
2012 Pacific VIP Winter Intercession;
Mangilao, Guam
January 18, 2013
Braille Plus 18 Hands On Training;
Elizabethtown, KY
January 28 - 30, 2013
NIMAS Board Meeting and AIM Advisory Committee Meetings;
Orlando, FL
January 30-February 2, 2013
ATIA 2013;
Orlando, FL

February

February 25 - March 1, 2013
CSUN 2013;
San Diego, CA
February 27, 2013
Sensory Learning Kit NIP Event;
Bend, OR
February 27-March 1, 2013
Virginia Chapter AER Conference;
Richmond, VA

APH Fall Harvest Sale

Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH's Fall Harvest Sale 2012, October 1—December 31. As always, first come, first served.
www.aph.org/products/harvest.html

New Downloadable Manual Available

Get the manual you need instantly! APH offers a selected list of product manuals available for free download (www.aph.org/manuals/). You may print or emboss these as needed. We will continue to package hard copies of these manuals with their products and sell hard copy replacements.
Newly added manual: Game Kit Booklet (61-131-035)

NEW! Number Line Device

1-03480-01 -- $149.00
This math aid helps students who are blind and visually impaired comprehend abstract numerical concepts.
The number line is a basic tool for teaching number concepts, number sequence, counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, rounding, estimating whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.
The Common Core State Standard for Mathematics (2010) references of number lines for teaching mathematical concepts. The standards range from representing whole number sums at the elementary level, to representing fractions at the intermediate level, to locating irrational numbers at the middle school level.
The Number Line Device consists of three parts: a blue plastic base with storage compartment for number lines and pegs; 15 interchangeable vinyl number line segments in large print and braille; 40 white plastic cylinders/pegs used to show simple numerical relationships, and 10 yellow plastic cylinders/pegs with an arrow on one end that may be used by older math students as they graph lines and rays.
Also included is a large print manual and a CD-ROM with manual in accessible file formats. Print and braille versions of the manual are available as a free download at www.aph.org/manuals
WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD -- Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.
Recommended ages: 5 years and up.

NEW! Tactile Tangrams Kit

1-08439-00 -- $139.00
Note: The kit contains a large print guidebook, the braille guidebook is available separately.

Optional Item

Tactile Tangrams: Teacher's Guidebook, Braille (w/CD-ROM containing accessible files): 6-08439-00 -- $22.00

Replacement Item

Tactile Tangrams: Teacher's Guidebook, Large Print (w/CD-ROM containing accessible files): 8-08439-00 -- $22.00
A tangram is an ancient Chinese puzzle consisting of seven pieces in three different shapes: triangle (2 large, 1 medium, 2 small), square, and parallelogram.
The materials and activities presented in APH's Tactile Tangrams make this timeless and popular puzzle accessible to students and adults with visual impairments and blindness.
The use of tangram puzzles encourages the development and reinforcement of many educational and recreational skills including spatial reasoning, shape recognition, size comparison, pattern replication, and independent problem solving. Many geometry concepts such as congruence, symmetry, sides and angles, fractions, measurement, area and perimeter, rotation/reflection, and concave/convex shapes are also reinforced.
These skills are also addressed:
  • Visual/tactile discrimination
  • Visual/tactile memory
  • Visual/tactile spatial orientation
  • Parts of a whole understanding
  • Recreational/leisure skills

Tactile Tangrams Kit Includes

  • 2 sets of Magnetic-backed Tangram Puzzle Pieces (for use on a metal surface)
  • 2 sets of Translucent Tangram Puzzle Pieces (for use on a light box)
  • 2 sets of Foam Tangram Puzzle Pieces
  • 26 Tactile/Print Puzzle Frames
  • Tactile/Print Puzzle Solutions showing a dissected view of each puzzle image
  • Magnetic Strips for mounting puzzle frames to a metal surface
  • Tactile/Print Grid Sheets
  • Large Print Teacher's Guidebook (includes CD-ROM with accessible files)
  • 3-Ring Storage binder
WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD -- Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.
Recommended ages: 7 years and up.

APH Braille Book Corner

APH offers a number of recreational books in braille (Quota funds can be used). Each of these titles was originally transcribed and produced by APH for the National Library Service which has graciously granted permission for this offering. As usual, these titles have been added to the APH Louis Database where you can find thousands of titles produced in accessible formats.
Note: all books are produced upon receipt of orders, therefore, please allow several weeks for delivery.
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, Josh Greenhut: T-N1885-20 -- $10.00
Stingy Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who convince him to be kinder to people. Scrooge learns the meaning of Christmas and helps Tiny Tim and his family. A shorter version of the 1843 classic tale. Grades 2-5. *(AR Quiz No. 141175, BL 4.0, Pts. 0.5)
Attica
by Garry Kilworth: T-N1884-30 -- $93.00
Their crusty downstairs neighbor, Mr. Grantham, asks new stepsiblings Jordy, Chloe, and Alex to search the attic for a long-lost pocket watch. But this attic expands into another world of magical treasures and dangerous creatures. The trick is to survive and find the exit. Grades 5-8
Stop Second Guessing Yourself: The Toddler Years, A Field-Tested Guide to Confident Parenting
by Jen Singer: T-N1868-60 -- $62.00
The creator of the web site MommaSaid.net offers light-hearted advice for parents of children ages one to three. Topics include understanding your child's transition from baby to toddler, taking your tot out in public, managing sleep issues, potty training, handling play dates, disciplining, and dealing with illness.
Labors of Hercules: A Hercule Poirot Novel
by Agatha Christie: T-N1870-30 -- $88.00
Before he retires, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot vows to solve twelve puzzles mirroring the mythical labors of the ancient Greek hero Hercules. Modern-day versions of such challenges involve a lost Pekinese, a gentleman ruined by gossip, and a missing amorous Russian countess -- each case more baffling than the last.
The Right Wedding Gown
by Shirley Hailstock: T-N1870-40 -- $52.00
After living in a dysfunctional family, National Archives employee Samara Scott is adamant that she will never marry -- until she falls in love with attorney Justin Beckett. Justin wants to wed but can't convince Samara to take a chance and risk emotional involvement. Some mature content. Adult Reader.
*Accelerated Reader quiz number, book level, and point value. For more information on the Accelerated Reader program, see the January 2006 APH News or www.renlearn.com/ar/

Browse Fred's Head Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter!

Syndication

RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts. Users of RSS content use programs called feed "readers" or "aggregators": the user subscribes to a feed by supplying to his or her reader a link to the feed; the reader can then check the user's subscribed feeds to see if any of those feeds have new content since the last time it checked, and if so, retrieve that content and present it to the user.

APH on YouTube

Fred's Head from APH Archives

YOU Can Contribute to Fred's Head!

Your

input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Please contact us if you have suggestions for updating an existing article or adding a new article. Email us at fredshead@aph.org.

Disclaimers

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 fredshead@aph.org 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.