APH News: September 2013
Exciting New APH Products Announced!
Are You Ready to Be STEMulated? Don’t Forget to Register for Annual Meeting!
Kevin O’Connor, Keynote Speaker Millie Smith Ellen Trief Kristie Smith Susan Osterhaus
Highlights will include the opening keynote session by Kevin O’Connor, Tuck Tinsley’s “State of the Company” address, “Teacher Talks” in the APH Product Showcase, the Information Fair, the InSights Art Awards banquet and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and more. Product training sessions will feature, among others, the new Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator, STACS, and the new Transition Tote System. You will have the opportunity to provide input on future products and projects such as 3D printing, tests and assessment products, Building on Patterns, and more. Special Ex Officio Trustee-only events will provide EOTs with opportunities to guide APH, network with colleagues, and gather the latest information about all things APH.
Enjoy the presentation of the APH Creative Use of Braille Award to the Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band!
You can find additional information on all of the above, and register for Annual Meeting by clicking on this link: http://www.cvent.com/d/scqy9s/1Q
If you want additional information, or have questions, please contact Janie Blome, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-223-1839, ext. 367.
More Teachers! More Talking!We are pleased to announce a new addition to the Teacher Talks lineup during Annual Meeting. Dr. Ellen Trief, Hunter College Professor and author of STACS: Standardized Tactile Augmentative Communication Symbols, will join previously scheduled teachers Millie Smith (SAM: Symbols and Meaning), Susan Osterhaus (Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator) and Kristie Smith (Tactile Town and more) in the APH Product Showcase on Thursday afternoon, October 17, from 2:00 – 5:00. You will have the opportunity to hear brief presentations by the expert teachers along with a chance to meet with them one-on-one to share your experiences and ask your questions. Plan to arrive in Louisville in time to hear what they have to say, talk to the teachers, and return home ready to teach with these great APH products!
Creepy! Snap, Snap! Kooky! Snap, Snap!
Find out more about this national touring company production here: www.louisville-theater.com/theaters/whitney-hall/the-addams-family.php?gclid=CJSX1YWRxrgCFREV7AodNzEAOg
Not into the kooky, mysterious, and spooky, but still looking for a good dinner opportunity? You are also welcome to attend just the buffet dinner at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts for only $25!
You can sign up when you register for Annual Meeting. Deadline for purchase of tickets is September 24, so be sure register for Annual Meeting by that date and join your friends and colleagues for a fun evening!
National Prison Braille Forum to be held October 16
John Linton, Director, Office of Correctional Education, U.S. Department of Education, has been invited to speak at the upcoming Forum on current national trends in correctional education, and funding sources for programs designed to prepare offenders for successful careers on the outside.
A panel of teachers and students with vision loss will discuss ways in which tactile graphics are used to learn, focusing on STEM subject areas (science technology, engineering, and math). Forum participants will give individual reports on their prison braille programs or work as independent transcribers. And a very special member of the prison braille community, Fran Wonders, will be recognized for her many years working with the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund, and with many former offenders as they established transcription careers after being released from prison.
There is no charge to attend the National Prison Braille Forum, and anyone interested in learning about prison braille programs is welcome to join us. For more information or to register for the Forum, visit the APH Annual Meeting Registration Website.
Your Input DOES Make a Difference!Please complete the brief APH 2013 Satisfaction Survey!
As many of you know, each year the U.S. Department of Education seeks input from YOU on the effectiveness of products and services provided through the Federal Quota Program, which is administered by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). We certainly appreciate your help in gathering experienced-based feedback.
The 2013 survey is now available on the APH website, and you are encouraged to respond based on your experience with products provided through Federal Quota funds. The survey concludes with an open-ended item that gives you the opportunity to comment and share your thoughts and recommendations.
This brief online survey is available at www.aph.org/products/gpra.html through Thursday, September 20, 2013.
If you have inquiries or require assistance, please contact Mary Nelle McLennan at email@example.com.
Your honest input does make a difference!
Seeking Field Evaluators for the Tactile Graphic Line Slate
Evaluators will be asked to use the prototype to design, create, and embellish tactile displays of their own choosing using a variety of media. A box of PermaBraille sheets will be furnished with the Tactile Line Drawing Slate. Evaluators will then complete a product evaluation form at the end of the testing period. Field test sites will be selected based upon geographic location and type of instructional setting. The number of prototypes is limited.
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), and a brief description of your current familiarity and involvement in designing tactile materials/displays for students. Send this information to Karen J. Poppe, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org, by September 30, 2013. You may also contact Karen at 502-899-2322 or 800-223-1839, ext. 322. Field testing will begin in early November 2013.
Seeking Field Evaluators for Tactile World Globe
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. Field test sites will be selected based upon geographic location, type of setting, and the grade levels/ages of the students. The number of prototypes is limited.
If you are interested in possibly serving as a field evaluator and you have access to APH’s current tactile globe, 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, email@example.com, by September 13, 2013. You may also contact Karen at 502-899-2322 or 800-223-1839, ext. 322.
Braille Instruction for the Upper Grades – What’s Your Opinion?APH is considering the development of a braille instructional program for upper elementary, middle, and high school students who have learned to read print in the primary grades. The Braille Transition Tool Kit will provide a scaffolding of materials, strategies, and resources to support the instruction of braille to students in a general education setting. The program will incorporate current trends in literacy instruction and the Common Core State Standards. It will encourage high expectations for student achievement and will focus on learning needs and progress directed by the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
The determination may be made that transitioning to braille as the primary literacy medium will provide a student with greater access. However, learning to read and write in a new medium requires diversion of time and energy from other school work and activities.
The goal of this instructional approach is to facilitate the transition from print to braille literacy with minimal disruption to a student’s academic program. The Tool Kit will provide strategies and resources to assist teachers with this complex task.
Your comments, ideas and suggestions would be welcome. For example, what are you currently using? How many students have you had, or do you have now, that might benefit from this proposed product? Would you agree to be a field test site?
Please direct your input to: Susan L Spicknall, Braille Literacy Project Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Bang Star Takes APH Product on the Road
Dr. Mayim Bialik
Several weeks later came a request from Dr. Bialik for product information to share on her summer engagements for Texas Instruments. We supplied her with product brochures, sample tactile versions of graphs that appear on the calculator screen, AND a demo unit!
We are very excited and honored to have such a fan of this remarkable new product—helping us in spreading the good word!
Dr. Bialik serves as the official STEM advocate for Texas Instruments. Here is the website: http://education.ti.com/en/us/stem-hollywood
Update Your Nearby Explorer App!
If you are running Nearby Explorer on APH's Braille Plus 18, the new version will come to you on the next system update.
Here are some of the new features in Nearby Explorer:
Version 1.0.8, August 2013
- Adds Nearby Explorer to the choices you get when you pick an address from another app.
- Adds Clock Face and Degrees as additional ways of displaying the heading.
- Adds the ability to obtain the street address from Google services. Some users may find this address reporting more accurate than the reports from the onboard maps.
- Adds distance indication to the tone played when using Geo Beam to point to a POI
- Adds the ability to pick a different voice from the normal voice for use within Nearby Explorer. This helps prevent Talkback from cutting off speech for important announcements.
- Saves the last 20 destinations to make returning to recent destinations easier.
HALL OF FAME Online Donations Now Possible!
Hall of Fame Induction of Martha Louise Foxx and Dr. Laurence C. Jones – October 18, 2013
including those who were blind. Their heroic actions were not accomplished without personal danger and danger to their fellow workers, their supporters, and students in their charge. Join us!
Tennis for Players with Visual Impairment and Blindness Gains Global MomentumAPH’s newest feature added to the PE Website outlines the progress of tennis in 20 countries. Visit the new International Blind Tennis Association’s Facebook page and learn how you can establish tennis in your school or local community.
APH on the Road
APH Goes to Almost-Heaven—West Virginia!
Presentation attendees wave for the cameraField Services Representative Kerry Isham gave a presentation and exhibited products at the 2013 West Virginia AER Conference held at Alpine Lake Resort in Terra Alta, WV, August 2-4. Kerry’s presentation and exhibit highlighted APH products for the core and expanded core curricula along with new products such as Touch ‘em All Baseball, the Orion TI-84 Talking Graphing Calculator, Everybody Plays, EZee COUNT Abacus, and the Getting to Know You Kit. Approximately 50 attendees participated in the conference events and sessions, and APH was glad to be a part of it!
Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series
Watch a teacher and student-made video showing how the Hundreds Boards can be used to make learning math concepts into a fun activity. This video was one of the many wonderful videos that have been submitted as part of APH's Unforgettable APH Star Contest. For information on how to submit your own video of an APH product, please review the official rules of the summer 2013 contest. Anyone can enter to win cash prizes of up to $150!
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 email@example.com.
Treasures From the APH LibrariesThe APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collections 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: Story of the Typewriter, 1873-1923. New York: Herkimer County Historical Society, 1923.While a history of the typewriter may not seem like an obvious choice for the Migel Library, the needs of the visually impaired were often influential on the inventors who first developed the typewriter. According to the 1973 article U.S. Typewriter Industry Marks 100th Anniversary, Pellegrino Turri created a writing machine in 1808 for Countess Carolina Fantoni, who was visually impaired. The story has recently been novelized by Carey Wallace in The Blind Contessa’s New Machine, which is also held in the Migel Library. An even earlier influence on the typewriter, though, was a machine used to emboss tactile characters for the blind that was developed in 1784. Another precursor to the typewriter was Charles Thurber’s writing machine for the blind, developed in 1845. Story of the Typewriter claims that even the method of touch-typing was first developed by users who were blind. Previous to this method being employed by sighted people in 1878, typists had relied on the "peck and hunt" method of typing. Of additional interest in this 1923 history, available at Internet Archive at http://archive.org/details/storyoftypewrite00unse, is the running theme that the inventor of the first typewriter, Christopher Latham Sholes, had emancipated women from a life of hard work, thus prolonging their lives and making him a leader in the feminist movement of the day.
From the Barr Library: Halliday, Carol. "An American Swiss Experience: With Special Regard to the Field of Visual Impairment, 1972-1990". 1991.As Carol Halliday reflects on her 18 years spent teaching at Zurich’s Special School for Visually Impaired Children, she connects her experiences to the global developments that were occurring within the field of blindness. Specializing in speech, language, crafts, and music, Halliday was part of a two-person staff at the day school. While braille was taught to the majority of students, the inculcation of daily living skills was not included, as it was deemed to be a parental responsibility.
One pedagogical transformation that Halliday witnessed was the awareness that residual vision among students would require individualized programming, enabling them to effectively use whatever level of vision they possessed. Thus, the school hired Low Vision specialists and more consideration was given to ensure that children were provided with the most suitable learning media, whether it was braille, some form of print, or a mixture. Another improvement was the increasingly diverse array of learning materials available for classroom use; however, these tools were still not widespread within the home environment. The author was most heartened by the extent to which school authorities began taking interest in the progress that the rest of the world was making in these areas.
APH is working with the LYRASIS Consortium and Internet Archive to digitize portions of the M.C. Migel Library. Search the phrase “full text” to find these items at http://migel.aph.org. The digitized texts are available in a variety of formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, etc.
Contact Library staff: firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-223-1839, ext. 705
Around the House:
APH Employees Recycle Printing Supplies Using Cost-free Recycling programs.Department Efforts towards being “Green:”
- Large Type and Braille: Sends all supply items back for free recycling with postage paid by Xerox Green World Alliance recycling program.
- Educational Aids: The copiers used to print product labels and print parts list are recycled using Konica Minolta’s Clean Planet Program.
- Braille Translation: The ink cartridges used to create masters are recycled through the Funding Factory, another cost-free program with the added benefit of raising money for APH at a rate of $0.10 per cartridge.
- Computer Technology Services: Recycles supply items using the same programs mentioned above.
- Purchasing: All Konica Minolta machine supply items are recyclable though the Clean Planet Program.
- Everyone: Inkjet recycling though the Funding Factory.
From the Field:
BANA Welcomes Two New Member Organizations and Four New Board MembersThe Braille Authority of North America (BANA) is pleased to announce two new organizational members—COSB (Council of Schools and Services for the Blind) and the Hadley School for the Blind. These prestigious organizations are now full members of BANA and, as such, have voting rights and a representative on the BANA Board. Dr. Stuart Wittenstein, Superintendent of the California School for the Blind, is the BANA representative from COSB, and Ruth Rozen who designs and writes many of Hadley’s courses, represents the Hadley School for the Blind.
Two other new Board members were recently named by their respective organizations. Diane Spence replaces Cindi Laurent as the representative from the National Braille Association, and Jeff Baugher assumes the role of representative from ATPC (Alternate Text Production Center of the California Community Colleges) following the retirement of Sandy Greenberg, who had served as their representative. BANA looks forward to working with all four new Board members as they participate in their first Board meeting as this fall.
BANA meets face-to-face semiannually and will hold its fall meeting on November 8—10, 2013, in Louisville, KY. This meeting will be hosted by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), a BANA member organization. More information about the fall Board meeting will be distributed in the next few weeks.
For additional resources and information, visit www.brailleauthority.org.
Submitted by Mary Nelle McLennan, APH Representative and Vice Chair of BANA
Wanted: KSB PrincipalThe Kentucky Department of Education has opened a search for the position of Principal for the Kentucky School for the Blind. (There is no designated director or superintendent.) Interested? Visit this link for additional information: http://education.ky.gov/jobs/Pages/KBE-KDE-KSB-Principal.aspx
Videos on Hot New Product: Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator
Social Media Spotlight
"It’s Like Being Here!"
Bloggers for the prolific travel blog Cleared and Ready for Takeoff—they've traveled to destinations all over the world—visited Louisville this summer. During their trip, they came to APH.
Blogger Posts Visit to APH – GREAT PICTURES!
The first blog post describes the history and founding of APH, as well as a detailed and photo-filled account of the factory tour. They even took a beautiful photo of the flowering magnolia out front.
Part II describes in depth the APH Museum and the Hall of Fame.
The bloggers write that they thoroughly enjoyed their tour and wrote that "it's every bit as interesting as the Louisville Slugger Museum or the Muhammad Ali Center."
See what's new at the Museum: www.aph.org/museum/.
"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.
APH Welcomes New Ex Officio TrusteesGregory Polman, the Illinois State Board of Education, replacing Melanie Hennessy.
Douglas (Doug) Anzlovar, the Hadley School for the Blind, replacing Dawn Turco.
Kim Esco-Collins, the Mississippi State Department of Education, replacing Rosie Pridgen.
John Oliveira, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, replacing Janet LaBreck.
APH Travel Calendar
SeptemberSeptember 10-11, 2013
Title Management Web Bootcamp 2013;
September 17-18, 2013
Two-day Summit on Common Core State Standards: Next Generation Assessments;
September 20-22, 2013
Louisiana Center for the Blind & the Professional Development and Research Institute of Blindness Fall Conference;
September 26, 2013
September 27, 2013
Human Development Institute: APH Products, Services, and Accessibility Workshop;
September 28, 2013
Indiana Vision Expo 2013;
OctoberOctober 7-8, 2013
NIP Event: SAM;
October 10, 2013
Nevada Early Intervention Services and CCSD APH Product Presentation;
Las Vegas, NV
October 16-19, 2013
APH Annual Meeting;
October 24, 2013
October 24-25, 2013
Nebraska Fall Conference on APH Products;
Nebraska City, NE
October 25, 2013
NIP Event: Math;
October 31 – November 1, 2013
NY State Technology Hands-On Training;
NovemberNovember 7, 2013
NIP: Symbols & Meaning Kit and the APH Intervention Continuum including SLK and Tactile Connections;
St. Louis, MO
November 11-13, 2013
November 14-15, 2013
South Carolina AER 2013 (SCAER);
DecemberDecember 4-8, 2013
Getting In Touch With Literacy Conference 2013
December 5-6, 2013
NIP Event: Cortical Visual Impairment;
Grand Forks, ND
December 11-14, 2013
AER International: All-Orientation & Mobility Conference 2013;
New Orleans, LA
December 13, 2013
VRATE-17th Annual Vision Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology Expo;
APH Sizzlin' Summer Savings SaleLoad up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH's Sizzlin' Summer Savings Sale 2013, July 1—September 30. As always, first come, first served.
NEW! DNA Twist1-08978-00 -- $57.00
The DNA Twist model is made of two foam sidebars representing the sugar-phosphate "backbone" and ten rungs representing the paired bases. The paired-base rungs are made of contrasting colors and textures to convey the concept of the base-pairing rules that govern the structure of double-stranded DNA molecules.
The model is shipped flat and easily twists to form the familiar double-helix configuration of a DNA molecule. The model holds its shape when twisted. The included stand holds the model in its twisted formation, and a short instruction booklet provides information about DNA and educational resources.
- DNA Twist model
- Stand with a non-slip adhesive bottom (customer applies)
- Instruction booklet, large print
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.
by Sue Stauffacher: T-N1936-10 -- $30.00
Keisha’s family members, who run an animal-rescue center, are called to a nearby college that is overrun with squirrels. At the same time, Keisha is nervous about the regional jump-rope competition and keeps messing up during practices. Grades 3-6. *(AR Quiz No. 142483, BL 4.8 Pts 4.0)
Thomas and the Dragon Queen
by Shutta Crum: T-N1920-10 -- $34.00
When the princess is kidnapped by a dragon queen, thirteen-year-old Thomas, a new -- and very small -- squire-in-training boldly sets out on a quest to rescue her. Grades 4-8. *(AR Quiz No. 138341, BL 5.3 Pts 6.0)
The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824
by Harvey Sachs: T-N1939-30 -- $82.50
Music historian and former conductor explores the intricacies of Beethoven’s symphonic masterpiece and examines the politics and aesthetics of western Europe at that time. Discusses the enduring value of the Ninth Symphony and the fight the deaf composer and his contemporaries waged against oppression.
Ride the Man Down
by Luke Short: T-N1920-00 -- $59.00
With owner Phil Evarts’s death, the Hatchet spread is up for grabs. Seventy thousand acres of range is a lot of loot, and Bide Marriner wants it all -- the grass, the water, and the power that comes with it. Only one man stands in his way -- foreman Will Ballard.
Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day
by Diane Ackerman: T-N1919-60 -- $59.50
A celebrated storyteller-poet-naturalist explores a year of dawns, drawing on sources as diverse as meteorology, world religion, etymology, art history, poetry, organic farming, and beekeeping.
*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/