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.)


Thursday, September 01, 2016

Throwback Thursday Object: Pocket Braille Slate and a Tribute to Will Evans

This article was written by Micheal Hudson, Museum Director, American Printing House for the Blind.

Although our object this week is a simple pocket braille slate, I actually want to talk about Will Evans.  This slate was in his desk, and he donated it to the museum in 2012 when he retired from APH.  That happened all the time.  In his job at APH, Will shepherded new product ideas through their initial development.  So his office was filled with half baked ideas and the detritus of half a century of working with blind kids and their parents.  He was a great listener.  He was never too busy to talk to you.  I can’t count the number of times that I took some odd bit of history down to Will so that he could help me understand why it was important.  I have missed that since he retired, and now… well, Will died on Monday.  He was quite a fellow.  When I arrive in the morning, I drive down Will Evans Way and park near the dormitory at the Kentucky School for the Blind named in his honor.   Will came to KSB in 1946 as a student and really never left.  He was the school’s superintendent and left a mark that will never be forgotten.  And about the slate:  APH began making an anodized blue aluminum postcard slate in 1956.  It had become gold by 1968, and later bright aluminum, like this one.  Conventional slates from APH came with pins up.  But in 1968, the company added a pins-down version to allow documents to be checked without removing them from the slate.  I know that because Will told me.  Or if he didn’t tell me directly, he let me talk until I had figured it out for myself.  And he will be missed.

No comments:

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.