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.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Importance of Positioning

Girl in a yoga pose with mountain scenery background
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Sigurdas, author

By Marty Klein

A few days ago I found myself lying on my back on the yoga mat, feeling the ends of the mat with my hands to see if my body was positioned correctly. I had just come out of a posture and, due to my lack of sight, felt the need to check in with my body alignment. My body was lying right in the center of the yoga mat correctly and I smiled, feeling good about my commitment to my yoga practice as well as to my desire for correct positioning. Then I had a sweet memory about positioning.

Years ago I used to play a lot of pool. Pocket billiards was the official name of the game that I loved so much. I got pretty good in a short time while attending the University of Miami, and, after winning the South Florida Amateur championship, I became known in Brooklyn as Florida Marty. The nickname was fun and part of the pool room parlance in those days, but more than that I loved the recognition and respect I received from all the good players.

One of the main reasons I developed excellence in the game was because of my practice routine. I worked consistently on my body mechanics, my stroke with the cue stick and my ability to understand the angles involved with making all the shots. But the most important practice had to do with positioning the cue ball for the next shot.

I’d take all the balls off the table except two; the cue ball and one numbered ball. I’d then line up a shot and then ask a friend to put a nine by eleven piece of paper anywhere on the pool table. My job was to make that shot and have the cue ball end up on that piece of paper. It was very challenging and I only on occasion watched the cue ball come to rest directly on that piece of paper. But my understanding of positioning and its importance to the game grew immensely, and looking back, I think that particular practice was a huge factor in my becoming successful.

Today I woke up with a new revelation about the thought of positioning. I had been dreaming about teaching people the art of positioning, but not just in pocket billiards. I was teaching them the importance of positioning ourselves in life so that we are set up to succeed. My explanation was taken right from the pool room, but instead of talking about a cue ball and a numbered ball, I was talking to them about people and the surroundings they find themselves in. I realized that the practice in the pool room helped me integrate the idea of positioning myself in all of life. 

Most of us have the ability to focus our sights on a specific desire, just like those folks who can make a shot in pool. But there’s more to the game in pool and there’s more to the game of life. When we learn the skill of positioning, life can become much easier and more enjoyable. Those who don’t understand positioning are all too often in the unfortunate position of having to work very hard just to sustain their lives. Of course there are many factors involved, and every now and then those with no positioning skills just fall into an easy period. But it’s usually a random experience, and as easy as it comes, it can easily disappear. That’s what happens to those who are only in reaction to random events. But each one of us has the ability to develop the skill of positioning. And when we integrate that skill in our lives we have basically set ourselves up for success. It doesn’t mean that things will always go well. But it does mean that we now have the odds for success in our favor, and any gambler will tell you that is exactly where you want to be!


Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Marty Klein has written and published three books. His first, a memoir, “Blindsighted, One Man’s Journey from Sight to Insight,” is an account of his transition from being a self-centered, cocky soldier in the Air Force with normal vision, to a compassionate, loving counselor, workshop leader and family man with no sight at all. His second, a self help book is a compilation of insights and wisdom, gained from years of experience in the counseling world. His latest book, THE ENLIGHTENED GAMBLER, The Heart and Spirit of the Risk Taker in All of Us, has just recently been published and is now available on Amazon. He has co-produced a 5 CD yoga program, Beginning Yoga for the Blind and Visually Impaired.” In addition Marty was the founder and CEO of Southern Springs, a holistic learning center in Tallahassee, Florida. He has been totally blind for more than forty years, a counselor and workshop leader for over thirty-five years and currently lives in Woodstock, New York.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Product: Consumable Hundreds Chart

5-82710-00 -- $15.00

Related Product

Hundreds Boards and Manipulatives: 1-03105-00 -- $140.00

Consumable Hundreds Chart photo
APH's Consumable Hundreds Chart is a graphic organizer for the numbers 1–100. Working with the Hundreds Chart helps learners develop the skills they need to become flexible and fluent problem solvers and meet the requirements of many state standards as well as the Common Core State Standards.

The chart is printed/embossed on heavy white index stock paper. Alternating rows are highlighted to help students with low vision easily track numbers. Five sheets have no highlighting so students can easily color or mark numbers and patterns.


  • 10 charts: 5 with highlighting, 5 without highlighting
  • Guidebook, large print
The Consumable Hundreds Chart Guidebook is available as a free download in accessible formats of .brf and .txt from the APH website:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

APH News: November 2013

APH wins Manufacturer of the Year Award
Greg Higdon (KAM), Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Frank Hayden, Dr. Tuck Tinsley, Judge David Holton II, Bill Beavin, Mustapha Debbabi, and Jack Decke

The November 2013 issue of the APH News is now online!

In this issue:

...and much more! Visit

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


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 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.