Showing posts from April, 2018

International Guide Dogs Day

I guess we can call this Throwback Wednesday because we are moving up our regular Thursday blog post to celebrate International Guide Dogs Day.  About ten years ago, I was talking with Mike Meteyer, a field rep for Guide Dogs for the Blind.  I had pulled together a small case of orientation and mobility artifacts, and as Mike and I talked, we started discussing Morris Frank, one of the co-founders of the first dog guide school in America, the Seeing Eye. As the conversation shifted around to Morris Frank’s dog, Buddy, we wondered “where is Buddy’s harness?”  We assumed it would be in the Smithsonian.  It is that kind of artifact, right?  First formally trained dog guide in America, we thought, although later I learned that there was an earlier one, a dog named Lux that was owned by a U.S. Senator.

And just as we were wrong about that, we were also wrong about the harness.  A few years later, I found out where it was.  The Seeing Eye still had two of Buddy’s original leather harness set…

Throw Back Thursday: Tactile Drawing Tools

Occasionally, like most museums, we will get a “box” in the mail.  Someone is cleaning house, and either they want to remain anonymous, or they absolutely, definitely do NOT want anything returned.  So, there is no return address.  Last week, I received such a box, carefully packed inside were a New Hall Braillewriter (serial# 3268, nothing special), and an old record album box full of drawing tools.  There were eight in total, all stamped with the Howe Press/Perkins School mark.  Now, I’ll admit, I don’t really like receiving these boxes.  Without documentation, we can’t establish ownership, and we’re reluctant to expend resources on things we do not own.  But these tools help tell the story of how our field made it possible for students who are blind or visually impaired to succeed in classes like geometry, or to make all sorts of maps and diagrams.  So our Throwback Thursday blog is a little long this week.  Mea culpa.
In 1939, Edward Waterhouse, a math teacher at the Perkins School…

Quick Tip: History in the Making

History in the Making: The Story of the American Printing House for the Blind, 1858-2008 is a handsome keepsake book that describes the rich history of the American Printing House for the Blind.

Excerpt from Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention

Below is an excerpt from Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention(Second Edition), by Christine Roman-Lantzy.* This publication is available through AFB Press ( APH is in the process of assuming stewardship of AFB Press. This title and others will soon be available in the APH Store.
Introducing Two-Dimensional Materials
The suggestions presented here provide methods for including two-dimensional materials in the learning routines of students who have CVI. It is important to remember that two-dimensional materials are generally used with students who score above 6 on the CVI Range, unless the two-dimensional image is presented using a backlit system such as a tablet. Moving from three-dimensional objects, such as Slinkies, pom-poms, and balls, to two-dimensional pictures requires careful planning, so that students will be challenged at, but not beyond, their assessed level of CVI. The suggestions that follow…

Scattered Crowns: Tactile Attribute Game

Looking for a fun, versatile board game that encourages young children, especially those with visual impairments and blindness, to develop tactile skills? Check out Scattered Crowns!

April has been declared CVI Literacy Awareness Month!

There have been various strategies explored for learners diagnosed with CVI to help them learn to read. The APH CVI website has several pages addressing literacy, starting with the developmental need of emergent skills. Emergent skills need to be developed before children are ready for formal reading instruction. Exposing young children to books, putting foam letters in their hands, listening to letter sounds and nursery rhymes are great activities! Once a child understands that symbols/pictures have meaning, they may be ready to explore letters and words.  Another prerequisite to reading is the Learning Media Assessment. We cannot assume that we know how any child with visual impairment will best utilize reading materials unless we collect data through a learning media assessment. If a learner is determined to be tactual reader, exposure to braille materials is necessary. If a learner is determined to learn through listening, then listening skills need to be developed. If a learner is de…

Quick Tip: A Touch

The perfect picture book to help teach young children with blindness and visual impairments pre-braille and pre-literacy skills!

The CSUN Synergy - Building a Future That Belongs to Everyone

By Dave Wilkinson, Director of Sales, APH
Anyone who has attended the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference knows there is nothing quite like it. I went to my first CSUN in 1999, just 3 weeks after taking my first job in this industry. I was mesmerized by all the hustle and bustle that was going on around me. It seems fitting that just one month into my new position as Director of Sales with APH that I would be back at CSUN as part of the introduction to my new position. The experience did not disappoint. The excitement and wonder that comes with passion and innovation is still in evidence.
APH prides itself for being on the cutting edge of assistive technology.At this year's CSUN it was easy to see why. People crowded our booth to get their hands on the Graphiti, our one-of-a-kind tactile display. They eagerly sought out the Orbit Reader 20, a device that is revolutionizing the cost of refreshable braille. Our friends at Bristol Braille came to our booth and demonstrated the Canute,…