Showing posts from November, 2016

Quick Tip: Board Game Gift Ideas!


Quick Tip: Holiday Gift Recommendations for Professionals. Find the perfect Holiday gift at APH, for professionals and students in your life!


Solving Those Frustrating CAPTCHAs

The Problem
Creating an account on many websites, something that should be simple for anyone to do, often is burdensome for someone with blindness and visual impairment because the final step often includes the solving of a CAPTCHA. Having sighted assistance may not be a viable option, and even when it is, someone who is blind should be able to complete this task without it. In this post, we will define the term “CAPTCHA”, describe why one is used, and offer some solutions that individuals who are blind and visually impaired may use to solve them independently.
What is a CAPTCHA?
If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve encountered a CAPTCHA. The official CAPTCHA Site explains the tool. It is used to tell humans and bots apart. A CAPTCHA is a program that generates a test which humans can pass and current computer programs cannot. The term CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Touring Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. It was coined in 2000 by four individuals from Carnegie…

Throwback Thursday Object: Morrison "Perfection" Wire Stitching Machine

I apologize for the quality of the photograph of our object this week, but the stitcher is on exhibit in our basement and the lighting there is poor.  I hope the story makes up for the bad image.    A wire stitching machine was used in the APH bindery to staple the spines of braille magazines, sheet music, and pamphlets.  The machine feeds wire from a spool, cuts it, forms a staple, drives it, and folds over the points.  An operator used foot pedals to control the action.  Similar machines are still in use at APH every day although we also use an automatic stitcher/folder line too.  We acquired our first wire stitcher around 1902 and purchased our first "Perfection" model in 1910, but we bought this one used.  The Illinois Braille and Sightsaving School, now the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, was a major producer of braille music scores before it closed its print shop in the summer of 1963.  Most of the machinery in the shop was bought by APH and brought to Louis…

Quick Tip: Using the EZeeCOUNT Abacus to Make a 10X10 Array. Here's how to use the EZeeCount Abacus as a 10 by 10 array to illustrate multiplication tables!


November, 2016 APH News

**This Month’s Headlines:
You Can Test BrailleBlaster BetaNew ProductsGive Us Your Feedback on Teacher's Pet Software!Talking Typer for iOS: Field Testers Needed!APH Is Looking for Your Input on Audiojack!Touch, Label, and Learn Poster: Human Skeleton SurveyShare Your Creativity with Carousel of Textures!A Bold, Strong Annual MeetingFirst-Ever APH/AER Rehabilitation Institute16th Annual National Prison Braille ForumAPH Partners on a Landmark Book ProjectTyphlo & Tactus Tactile Book Contest 2017Compilation of National Listserv of State Vision ConsultantsFind a Winter Sports Camp!Tactile Art Products and MaterialsTogether with Braille TalesAPH Travel Calendar and much, much more… //

Throwback Thursday Object: APH Variable Speech Control Module

For readers of audio books, especially folks reading technical or reference material prior to the age of computer indexing, you often wanted to scan through material quickly to find the passage you needed.  Talking book machines for blind and visually impaired readers started to include such features almost from the very beginning.  But the first such controls were simple, speeding up the phonograph.  Most kids of my era know how entertaining it could be to play a 33 rpm record at 45.  It speeded it up, yes, but the singer sounded like one of Santa’s elves.  Sound guys called that “chipmunk distortion.”  Later machines that appeared in the 1970s included a component that adjusted the pitch as you increased the speed, and kept the speaker’s voice sounding relatively normal.  But if you couldn’t afford to buy a new player, you could get our Object of the Week, the APH Variable Speech Control Module.  It was basically a phonograph accessory allowing recorded speech to be increased or dec…

Quick Tip: Louis Plus. Emmy Malinovsky, APHSpecial Collections Librarian, discusses some of the advantages of using the Louis Plus database to locate accessible materials.


Throwback Thursday Object: A Tactile Puzzle from England

Our object this week comes from England.  It is a colorful 31-piece puzzle of a galleon, a type of large sailing ship in use from the 15th through 17th centuries, in full sail.  It is made from plywood with a paper illustration glued to the top.  The ship itself is raised higher than the background pieces.   The Royal National Institute for the Blind(RNIB) was founded in 1868 as the British and Foreign Blind Association for Promoting the Education and Employment of the Blind.  Its name changed to the National Institute for the Blind(NIB) in 1914, and to RNIB in 1953.  In 1920, the NIB expanded its mandate to include the production and sale of  "Apparatus for Use by the Blind" and produced its first catalog soon after.   It introduced its first tactile puzzles around 1927.

Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
American Printing House for the Blind

Quick Tip: Teaching Street Crossing. Teaching Street Crossing to Students with Visual Impairments addresses gaining street-crossing competency against the backdrop of three different theories of learning—skills-based, behavioral, and Piagetian.