Showing posts from May, 2017

Quick Tip: Push Button Padlock. A revised version of an old favorite. With the Push Button Padlock, you can have a combination that’s accessible only to you!


Throwback Thursday Object: Braille Tiles--A 19th Century Braille Teaching Tool

Our object this week is a new find, something I found in France with the help of our good friend, Mireille Duhen, a volunteer at the Association Valentin Haüy.  It is a beautiful set of nineteenth century braille tiles, a braille teaching tool.  The tin box holds six rows of red wooden tiles, with the braille symbols picked out in nickel-plated brass pins, and the print symbol stamped below.  Each tile is about the size of a domino.  The tiles are arranged in sets of ten, just as Louis Braille intended his code to be taught.  Braille originally published his system in 1829, but this set of teaching tiles reflects French braille as published in his second edition in 1837.  The use of nickel plating technology on the pins suggests a date in the second half of the nineteenth century when that process became practical for ordinary hardware.  The code is somewhat different from modern French braille, switching the symbols for parentheses and quotes, among other things. Photo Caption:

Quick Tip: Bright Shapes Knob Puzzle. The Bright Shapes Knob Puzzle is a fun kit whose components were designed for the early childhood population, focusing on those children with fine motor delays.


3 Reasons for Using a Fake Name for Your Service Animal in Public and 5 Tips for Choosing the Best One for You

Photo Caption: a black lab that's outside by a park railing laying in the shade and looking out beyond the railing.
I took my seat on the Paratransit vehicle, across from a colleague, a lady with her dog guide. The third traveler on the vehicle asked the lady what her dog’s name was; her reply totally took me by surprise.
“What did she just call that dog? That’s not that dog’s name!”
That was exactly what I was thinking. The other rider said hi to the dog using this fake name and then went about his business. The driver dropped him off, and immediately I asked the lady why she gave the guy a different name for her dog. You will discover her answer as we provide 3 reasons why you, also, may wish to use a false name for your service animal in public. Then we will offer 5 tips for picking the best made-up name for your service animal.
The Problem
Traveling with a service animal (a guide dog in my particular case) has many benefits; the admiring public often is not one of them. Sure, it’s …

Throwback Thursday Object: Voyager XL CCD Video Magnifier

Our object this week is an early video magnifier.  It was purchased second-hand by the donor, Pat Humphrey, circa 1985 from a Louisville Telesensory dealer, Dick Barnett, for $3,000. Low vision all her life, by the time she entered high school it had deteriorated to the point that she "couldn't read the blackboard."  Humphrey hid her visual abilities and remembered that "lots of people did not know I was blind."  She even drove a car, "though I knew I shouldn't."  After making do with optical magnifiers for years, she was delighted to acquire this unit, using it to read her mail and write checks.  A platter beneath the camera slides out and holds your reading material.  By moving the platter under the camera, you can scan around the document.  The picture from the camera is reproduced on the television monitor above.
The first closed circuit television or “CC-TV” units were developed by Samuel Genensky and his team at the Rand Corporation in the la…

Quick Tip: Number Line Device. The APH Number Line Device is a math aid that helps students who are blind and visually impaired comprehend abstract numerical concepts.


May 2017 APH News

This issue continues our focus on partnerships.
A Few of This Month’s Headlines: Partnerships: You Cannot do it Alone
NEW! Bright Shapes Knob PuzzleOrder Fall 2017 Textbooks Now!Field Tests and SurveysAPH Annual Report Celebrates the Year of Braille STEM Corner: the DNA RNA KitNew on the APH Website: Tactile Skills MatrixParts Lists Download Page Now Available!Typhlo and Tactus is Underway!Social Media SpotlightAPH Travel Calendar and more…

Throwback Thursday Object: Tactile Map of Southeast Asia

I love maps.  Maps help us find where we are right now, but they also help us dream of places we would like to go, and learn about places far away that we may never visit in person.  We have lots of maps here at APH, because geography is one of those core curriculum subjects that is not very accessible until you make a few adaptations.  Our object this week is a thermoformed relief map of Southeast Asia including the historical parts of Indochina—think Vietnam and Thailand--and island nations like Indonesia and the Philippines.  If you are not familiar with thermoforming, it basically involves heating sheet plastic in a way that forces it to form over a mold.  This one comes from a set made by the American Foundation for Oversea Blind (AFOB), around 1950, in Paris, France.  The water is indicated by horizontal ridges, and the relief helps you understand how mountainous the peninsula and many of the larger islands are.  The map is geopolitical, meaning it has national borders in raised…

Quick Tip: Tactile Skills Matrix. Use the Tactile Skills Matrix to locate APH products that support the development of skills and concepts that contribute to students’ tactile literacy.


Throwback Thursday Object: Light Detector Prototype

Light Detector Prototype              Our object this week is small, about 6” long by 1.5” square.  There is not much to it, an aluminum box with a short piece of PVC pipe on one end and a blue button on top.  It is a battery powered prototype developed by inventor Tim Cranmer around 1982 of the “Kentucky Light Probe”.   When you pointed the tube at something and pressed the button, the unit would beep if it detected light.  Tim was Director of Technical Services for the Kentucky Department of the Blind.  He and his staff, folks like Fred Gissoni and Wayne Thompson, were constantly coming up with handy little devices like this.  Often they would publish the plans along with parts lists and let hobbyists assemble their own creations on the cheap.  If you wonder how Radio Shack ever made a profit, there is your answer.  Tim conceived this device to detect small lights, such as an on/off light on a household appliance or computer, or to generally detect if lights were working in a room. …

Quick Tip: Sheet Music in the APH File Repository. New sheet music has been added to the APH File Repository! Follow these instructions from Liz Schaller of Resource Services, to find the titles you’re looking for.