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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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Friday, March 09, 2018

Check out the March 2018 APH News!

photo of a young girl seated at a brailler

Partnering with local organizations is a win-win for APH employees. Last month’s eighth annual Kentucky Regional Braille Challenge afforded APH employees the opportunity to support 34 Kentucky students who rose to the Challenge to compete in contests of braille skill and ability.

A Few of This Month’s Headlines:

  • Statement Regarding the Availability of Orbit Reader 20
  • APH and KSB Host 8th Kentucky Regional Braille Challenge
  • New! Tactile Algebra Tiles
  • New! Holy Moly
  • Updated! Expanded Dolch Word Cards
  • Updated! Braille Contraction Cards
  • Field Testers Wanted
  • STEM Corner
  • Delta Gamma Foundation Awards $6,000 to Braille Tales Program
  • Share Your Story
  • Social Media Spotlight
  • APH Travel Calendar and more…

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Throwback Thursday Object: the Atkinson Braille Writer

Our Throwback Thursday artifact this week comes from the Braille Institute of America in Los Angeles, or as it was originally called by its legendary founder, “Fighting Bob” Atkinson, the Universal Braille Press.  Atkinson founded the press in 1919 and it was a fierce competitor with APH for embossing and recording contracts.  The Braille Press began funding the development of a braillewriter in the 1930s.  The Atkinson Portable Braillewriter was introduced in 1948.  The design was unique.  Its keyboard, located on the top of the writer and above the paper rollers, made it very different from machines inspired by the Hall Braillewriter.  Most of its working parts were concealed, the paper carriage was fixed,  and only the embossing head moved across the paper.  A machine from another braille press, introduced only a few years later, included most of these advantages in a more traditional typewriter arrangement, and proved to be the better of the two designs.  And the Perkins Braillewriter is still in production today.
First Photo caption:  The Atkinson Portable Braillewriter was charcoal gray, fourteen inches wide, and its keyboard was mounted on a bar on top of the machine.  The paper fed into a flat tray underneath. Second Photo Caption: This is a side view of the Atkinson Braillewriter.
Micheal Hudson, Museum Director, APH 

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