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.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Your Wish List for Accessible Cities



A Wish List for Accessible Cities

by Craig Meador, President, APH

At the American Printing House for the Blind, we believe accessibility is for everyone, everywhere. But as we all know, most cities and communities aren’t fully accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. APH wants to change that, and we took a big step forward by asking people who are blind or visually impaired what they want and need to navigate the world independently.
 
Over the summer, we conducted a survey at major field conferences asking participants to give us their definition of an accessible city and community. We interviewed 397 people, including those who are blind and visually impaired, as well as caregivers, family members, and practitioners in the field. We also received 436 online survey responses, making this the largest study of this topic to date.

First, I want to thank everyone who participated in our survey. Our vision of creating fully accessible communities — like the Accessible Louisville plan we’re already working on — won’t be a reality without your input and support. Your participation was invaluable.

I’d also like to share a little bit about what we learned. You told us you want all-inclusive cities that make true independence possible for everyone. You want auditory and haptic pedestrian signals at every stoplight, with vocal feedback about crossing times and directions. You want beacons to read signs independently in public buildings, braille signage, and armor tile on all blended curb cutouts. You need more accessible solutions for transportation and shopping.

Those are just a few of the things on your wish list for a fully accessible community. Now, we’ll be using what we learned from the survey to do even more research and explore partnerships with other organizations. We’ll also continue with our Accessible Louisville plan that will not only make our home city more accessible but will create a template for other cities to follow. This plan includes a 20-location pilot project of APH’s indoor navigation technology, Nearby Explorer Online with Indoor Explorer™.

 If you participated in our survey, we want you to know that your perspective is guiding our accessibility priorities. We’ll keep listening to what you have to say; you will hear much more from us about this topic.

APH has always been committed to breaking down barriers to learning and living. Now our classrooms are everywhere in this wide, changing world, with opportunities to explore and discover that belong to everyone. Thank you for being part of our work and helping us shape the future of accessibility.

For questions about APH's accessible communities initiative, please email info@aph.org.
Top photo shows a man navigating a library with Indoor Explorer on a smartphone; bottom photo shows a talking street crossing unit.
 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday Object: Perkins Details a Catastrophic Event from 1917 that Changed the Treatment of Blindness

On the morning of December 6th, 1917, a French cargo ship loaded with explosives collided with a Norwegian freighter in the harbor of Halifax Canada.  The resulting explosion killed about 2,000 people and the flying glass that resulted from thousands of windows blown out by the pressure wave injured the eyes of almost six thousand people and blinded 41 permanently.  The large number of eye injuries turned out to an important event in both medical care for eye injuries and rehabilitation efforts for people who are blind.  This week the archives at the Perkins School for the Blind commemorates the centennial of this awful event and its aftermath by posting documents that tell the story.  Perkins has several other online exhibits that are equally fascinating.
Photo caption: View of the Halifax Harbor area after the explosion. Every tree and building in sight is shattered and broken. Everything is covered in snow.
Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
APH

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Throwback Thursday Object: An Early Math Aid


Our object this week is a wooden frame with small compartments in a twenty by thirty grid.  There are metal types with a raised Arabic numeral on the end that fit into the “cells.”  Originally called an Arabic Slate, this style of math aid was developed in Paris, France in the 19th century.  One source from 1910 called it the Paris Method.  This particular model, known as an Arithmetic Type Frame, was developed in 1936 at APH as an instructional aid for working problems in long division, multiplication, subtraction, and addition.   The supplied lead type was called Philadelphia Great Primer Type.  In 1959, APH introduced the Texas slate to replace the Arithmetic Type Frame.
Photo Captions: First Photo: The eight inch by thirteen inch Arithmetic Type Frame had 600 “cells.”
The second image shows you a close-up of the raised number types.
Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
APH

 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

November 2017 APH News


This month, APH is transforming access as dramatically as braille did back in the 1850s with the introduction of BrailleBlaster™ software.
A Few of This Month’s Headlines:

  • Blasting Braille Into the Future
  • NEW! Increasing Complexity Pegboard
  • NEW! Large Magnetic/Dry-Erase Board
  • NEW! DeafBlind Pocket Communicator
  • NEW! Braille Datebook, 2018
  • Field Tests and Surveys
  • 2017 Wings of Freedom Award
  • Some Daring Adventurers from Annual Meeting 2017!
  • Essay Contest Coming Soon - APH 160th Anniversary!
  • APH InSights Art Competition 2018 Now Open!
  • Social Media Spotlight
  • APH Travel Calendar and more…
  • http://www.aph.org/news/november-2017/

Quick Tip: Reach And Match Learning Kit. The Reach and Match Learning Kit is an innovative system for students with sensory impairment and other special needs to help them learn while engaging with their peers.


Thursday, November 02, 2017

Throwback Thursday Object: Cabinet of Printer's Type

Did you ever wonder why we call capital letters “upper case” and non-capitals “lower case”?  They are printing terms.  From the origins of printing, Mr. Gutenberg and all that, some poor fellow had to sit with a “case” of printing type and lay out the page in a frame called a “galley” one letter at a time.  The capitals were in the top drawers of the case and so on.  Our object today is a cabinet of printer’s type.  The angled top allowed the typesetter to place his galley frame there while he loaded it with type from the drawers, or maybe rest a drawer there while he unloaded a previously used arrangement.  APH used type in several ways.  In more modern times, we used traditional type to print labels on book spines and Talking Book records.  In our early days, we used specialized type to manufacture raised letter books, the tactile books that preceded braille.
(Photo Caption:  Forty-four inch tall wooden case with space for twenty-four drawers, each drawer is about an inch high and is divided into many small compartments filled with printer’s type.)
Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
APH

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