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Showing posts from December, 2016

Throwback Thursday Object: Early Large Type Book

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Early Large Type Book
Our object this week continues our December holiday theme.  Hall of Famer Robert Irwin started his career leading classes for blind students in the Cleveland public schools in 1909.  One of his many innovations was the creation of “conservation of vision” classes around 1913 for low vision students.  These later became known as “sight-saving” classrooms and to facilitate his work, Irwin founded a publishing company to print the large type books his students would need.  Our object is one of Irwin’s books from the Cleveland Clear Type Publishing Committee, “The First Christmas Tree,” from 1926.  It was printed in a 30 point san serif font, with no illustrations.  It is bound in a simple green linen.  The story, by American religious writer Henry Van Dyke, revolves around a trip by the Christian missionary St. Boniface in the 8th century A.D. to tribes in Germany.  Let’s just say that Marvel’s super hero Thor is the bad guy and leave it at that.  But my favorite pa…

Throwback Thursday Object: Hellen Keller Describes One Christmas As a Student at a School for the Blind

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Our object this week continues our celebration here at APH of the holiday season.  In the December 1906 issue of Ladies' Home Journal,  author and activist Helen Keller describes the Christmas holidays as experienced by herself and other blind students at the Perkins Institution for the Blind in the late 19th century.  Enjoy!

*The Ladies' Home Journal, December, 1906


Christmas in the Dark, by Helen Keller

When I was a little girl I spent the Christmas holidays one year at the Perkins Institution for the Blind. Some of the children, whose homes were far away, or who had no homes, had remained at the school. I have never known a merrier Christmas than that.
I hear some one ask: "What pleasure can Christmas hold for children who cannot see their gifts or the sparkling tree or the ruddy smile of Santa Claus? "The question would be answered if you had seen that Christmas of the blind children. The only real blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his hea…

Quick Tip: Outtakes from the Cutting Room Floor. For our last Quick Tip of 2016, have a laugh with us as we enjoy some Quick Tips outtakes!

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Get Information for and About Children Who Are Blind from Paths to Literacy

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In this post, we wish to share a comprehensive online resource called Paths to Literacy that provides a wide range of information for and about children and youth who are blind, deafblind, or have multiple disabilities. Besides general information about Paths to Literacy, we also will share a specific post to their blog written by an APH employee.
What Is Paths to Literacy?
We received the following description of Paths to Literacy from one of its main contributors:
Paths to Literacy http://www.pathstoliteracy.org/ is an online Community of Practice, devoted to literacy for children and youth who are blind or visually impaired, including those with deafblindness or multiple disabilities.A collaboration between Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Perkins School for the Blind, the site offers lesson ideas, resources, tech updates, and more.The emphasis is on practical ideas that can be used in the classroom, home or community.Topics range widely, from braille drawing to UE…

Throwback Thursday Object: APH Employees Standing behind an Unusually Unique Ornament

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In honor of the holiday season, our object this week comes from the photograph collection of long time APH employee Jim Hill.  Jim was an amateur photographer and he loved APH and all of its various characters.  Before he retired a few years ago, Jim donated his huge collection of snapshots of his coworkers and we are still going through it.  This photograph features four women standing with big smiles on their faces behind an impossibly ludicrous table ornament that looks straight out of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  It is constructed of six or seven striped orange boxes of gradually decreasing diameter, topped by an orange cone and a glass tree topper.  The whole confection is wrapped with a string of electric lights and tinsel garland trimmed with tiny glass balls.  It towers over the four women.  Betty Cook, a receptionist, stands on the far left next to office manager Jane Kent, another unidentified lady is partially obscured behind the table decoration—maybe she is hiding?—…

Quick Tip: Holiday Gift Ideas for Picky People. APH wants to help you get just the right thing for those hard-to-buy-for types on your list!

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The Sero App: Available for Your Listening Pleasure

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One can find a plethora of apps and websites that broadcast music, sports, and talk shows. Many are excellent resources providing seemingly endless entertainment. As good as these services are, they, with just a few exceptions, fail to include audio with a special interest to or created by people who are blind and visually impaired. One app seeks to change that.

Sero
Sero, formerly iBlink Radio, contains several types of information and resources especially tailored to people who are blind or anyone who wishes to know more about blindness issues and concerns. The app, developed by the assistive technology company called Serotek Corporation, offers both free content and paid/premium content.
History
Thanks to Serotek’s technical support, here is a brief history of Sero:
The iBlink Radio app was first published to the iOS App Store in the fall of 2009. We released the first Android version in the spring of 2011. In 2012, we extended the iOS version with access to the paid subscription servic…

Quick Tip: Early Childhood Gift Recommendations. Baby, it's cold outside! Speaking of babies, here are some great gift recommendations for babies and young children in your life.

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December 2016 APH News

APH News
 is your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, field tests, and training opportunities from the American Printing House for the Blind. 
A Few of This Month’s Headlines:
Annual Meeting 2016 Photo Memory Photo AlbumNew Products: TADPOLE Interactive ImagesField Tests and Surveys, including Interactive U.S. MapOn the Road at New York State School for the BlindTreasure from the Migel: Hall of Fame Living Legends VideoSocial Media Spotlight: Throwback Thursday from the APH MuseumQuick Tips Corner: Some Favorite VideosAPH Travel Calendar and more…http://www.aph.org/news

iDentifi: Object Recognition for Visually Impaired

Apps used to recognize objects and/or read text for people who are blind and visually impaired have increased in number. We have discussed TapTapSee recently, an others exist as well.
This post details iDentifi, a new free app that attempts to describe objects and read text for people who are blind and visually impaired.
What is iDentifi?
Anmol Tuckrel, a high school student from Toronto, Canada, began work on the app about a year ago. According to a TechCrunch article, Tuckrel was fascinated by the possibilities of machine learning and computer vision. The app uses Google Vision, CloudSight and Google Translate, all trusted resources that can distinguish objects easily. These facts indicate that iDentifi uses artificial intelligence to identify objects whereas apps like TapTapSee use crowdsourcing.
Using the App
Before attempting to use the app, please note that you must be connected to the internet to use it. The app’s layout is quite easy to comprehend. Its initial screen contains four …

Throwback Thursday Object: Tactile Picture of a Turkey

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To celebrate Thanksgiving and the subsequent holidays, this week, our throwback object comes from our excellent collection of nineteenth century tactile prints by Martin Kunz (1847-1923).  Kunz was a pioneer creator of mass-produced tactile graphics, operating out of the print shop at the Blind Institute in Illzach, Germany.  He also published influential tactile science illustrations and maps that were used in schools for the blind across Europe and the United States.  His pictures were embossed in wooden molds and—as this one is--reinforced with varnish and plaster.  The second picture shows the Illzach printing operation with the heavy iron press and molds stored on racks.   Our glorious turkey— meleagris gallopavo—is joined on the print by fellow ground birds grouse, partridge, and guinea hen.   There are print captions in French, Italian, German, and English.  The braille captions are in German Braille.
Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
American Printing House for the Blind