Four women in Red Cross uniforms work in a braille book bindery
Our Throwback this week comes from a wonderful set of five scrapbooks assembled by Dorothy Fuller in Berkeley, California between about 1936 and 1989. Fuller was an American Red Cross volunteer who worked in a shop that translated and bound braille books. The black and white photograph from 1948 shows four women in neat uniform dresses, each with a Red Cross emblem and pin on their right pocket. Dorothy Fuller is on the far left, stitching the spine of a book together. To her right, Julia Philbrick uses a machine to manually punch holes in paper. Further right and in the background, Daphne Isenhour uses a glue pot and brush to assemble book covers. And in the far right foreground, Calla Baker brushes the braille pages with shellac to reinforce and stiffen them. An accompanying news story brags that the shop is the largest braille bindery in the west. The Braille Division of the Berkeley Chapter of the American Red Cross began in 1928, with Daisy Beck as chairman. Volunteers in the Division provided braille transcription services, primarily producing braille materials for local schools, and offered braille transcription classes. In 1936, the Division added their braille bindery service. Books were bound by hand, using the "Berkeley Method," until the process was mechanized in 1976. Volunteer braille translation has always been an important part of the American braille scene.
The MATT Connect from APH just got a makeover! We're happy to announce software modifications that will benefit all MATT Connect users. This software update, which is exclusive to APH, will change the interface options. Currently, users have two options: Standard and Simple. The Simple Interface will be completely removed and the MATT Connect will now feature three interfaces: Basic, Standard, and Advanced! These interfaces will increase user-ability for learners of all skills and ages.
Basic Interface will allow the MATT Connect to operate as a basic video magnifier. Users will have access to two live image modes: Magnifier and Distance Viewing. This setting is perfect for first time assistive tech users, young and old. With simplified options on the button banner, users will more easily learn to operate this interface. Personalized settings can be locked by a teacher or caregiver to ensure end users get the most out of their MATT Connect.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (October 11, 2018) – On Tuesday President Trump gave final approval to the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act. This comes after bipartisan support of the bill in the both the House and the Senate. The change gives Americans who are blind or visually impaired access to accessible books from more than 40 countries that have joined the Marrakesh Treaty.
“We are excited to see the United States government understand how important accessible books are for everyone,” said Gary Mudd, VP of Government and Community Affairs at American Printing House for the Blind (APH). “At APH, we believe accessible information is more than a convenience, but a human right. We look forward to the role we will play in the sharing of these important publications. This is a major step forward for people who are blind or visually impaired here in the states, and across the globe.”
The Marrakesh Treaty creates a copyright exemption for domestic reproduction and use of accessible literary works an…
by Monica Turner As a Field Services Representative, one of my responsibilities is to go to conferences and exhibit APH products. Oftentimes I will display many of the new and exciting products that we have to offer in order to provide consumers an opportunity to see the items firsthand before making the decision to purchase them. While it is wonderful that APH has been producing so many new products over the past several years, I find that I'm not often able to take along as many of the wonderful, older products that we still have available. We give you information about our new products each month as they are released, and we have been thinking that it might be beneficial to also go back and revisit some of the "oldies but goodies." We hope you agree and we welcome any suggestions you may have about products that you would like to see highlighted.