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Showing posts from September, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Raised Letter Book from Mexico

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by Mike Hudson

Our object this week is a new acquisition, and a wonderful find.  This is a raised letter edition of a geography textbook, “Pequeña Geografia del Distrito Federal,” or "Geography of the Federal District."  It was embossed at the Escuela Nacional de Ciegos (National School for the Blind in Mexico City, Mexico) in 1899.  I consulted our friends at the Perkins School, the American Foundation for the Blind, and the NFB Jacobus tenBroek Library, and none had any raised letter books from Mexico.  The font is heavily influenced by the flowery fonts used by Valentin Haüy and Sebastien Guillie to emboss the first raised letter books in France rather than the angular fonts more popular in England and the United States.

Joining Blindness Organizations

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Throwback Thursday: A Candelabra Club Original

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This month celebrates—I guess—our sixth year of writing this blog about the interesting things we hold in our museum collection here at APH.   I don’t know that I thought it would last this long, but our object this week is a hoot.  Back in the 1950s, one of the biggest celebrities anywhere was pianist and showmanLiberace.  And he had at least one huge fan at APH, a lady named Elizabeth Judd who had been working here since before World War One!  Elizabeth was a member of a local Liberace fan club—do those still exist? —called the Candelabra Club.  She worked in braille production, and in 1954 she used the tactile graphics machinery there to make a very clever embossing plate featuring Liberace’s piano with his signature candelabra sitting on it and his poodle Suzette nearby.  Everything is captioned in braille.  Several proofs, like our object, were taken from the plate, but the original was given to Liberace—he loved it! —at his concert that week in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. 

MATT Connect Software Gets Update

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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.

If you choose the Standard Interface, you…

Throwback Thursday: Patronato Nacional de Ciegos

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Our collection includes items from all over the world.  This poster come from the Patronato Nacional de Ciegos, the National Association for the Blind in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The colorful design, by H. Olivera, features a large yellow eye on a blue background above stylized male and female figures.  The Spanish text translates to “Good vision contributes to good health and good health to good vision.”  As in America, public health officials in Argentina knew that many eye conditions that can lead to blindness are easily preventable.  We have several other posters in the country’s campaign to encourage its citizens to have their eyes checked.  This poster dates from the 1950s, but even today, the World Health Organization estimates that over 80% of all vision impairment, worldwide, can be prevented or cured.

Internships: A Beneficial Endeavor

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by Jessica Minneci
If you are blind or visually impaired like me, the thought of obtaining an internship might feel overwhelming. Questions that swam through my head included: "Will they have the assistive technology I need? Will my boss be willing to adapt things for me, like converting PDFs into word documents? Will I do well at the tasks assigned to me? Will my co-workers like me?" All of these questions could run through your head when you are deciding if you want to do an internship. I hope insight from my experiences as an intern at American Printing House for the Blind will assist others by shedding light on the advantages and disadvantages of being an intern.  A quick Google search reveals some of the disadvantages of an internship. Many don't pay and you may be assigned to work odd hours or given menial tasks. If you want the internship to count toward your college credits, you still have to pay the college for those credits: so you could end up losing money. A…