Showing posts from January, 2019

Innovation Starts Here

Something big is coming to APH. For the first time ever, we’re offering a product line for all ages, featuring unique innovations from companies large and small around the globe. Introducing APH Innovations,a line of specially chosen, ground-breaking products designed to meet the expanding needs of people who are blind and visually impaired living in a fast-paced world. This forward-thinking line will energize our mission to bring tools of value that support exploration, independence, and empowerment to our customers. Some of the products in the APH Innovations line will be experimental, and not as well known, while others will be reliable tools with outstanding or unique features you won’t find elsewhere. Regardless, they will be carefully curated and thoroughly vetted for quality by our team of APH experts. Our goal is to support you in living a successful, barrier-free life.
Why the Innovations Line is Needed
We’re making sure the best and most innovative products are easy for you to…

A New Website: Making the Web More Accessible

We’re excited to announce that a new APH website is just around the corner! Before the coding even started we looked at all the feedback from you, our users, to determine how our site would best serve you. We held external focus groups comprised of educators, EOTs, consumers, and those working in the field of blindness and visual impairment. The overhaul has been a project of colossal proportion, and phase one is almost done.
Accessibility First
From day one, the work on our new website has put accessibility first. The new user experience uses the very best technology we have to offer. For users who are visually impaired, it will be easy to change the font size. The navigation is clean and simple: screen readers will have no problem working with the site.
Important Features
The new APH shopping experience will be like shopping on Amazon. Customers will have up-to-date shipping information and can put items into a wish list. The new site was designed with our customers in mind. How does th…

APH Founder's Day: 161 Years of Accessibility

Our Throwback object this week is coming a day early, and truthfully, it is a story without an object.  Today is our Founder’s Day.  One hundred and sixty-one years ago, the American Printing House for the Blind came into being when its chartering legislation was signed into law by Kentucky GovernorCharles Moreheadon January 23, 1858.  It was a humble beginning.  Due to the difficulties posed by the Civil War, APH would not be able to assemble its equipment and emboss its first book in raised letters until 1866.   We did not own a building, we operated in a borrowed basement workroom, and it would be years before we assembled a paid staff.  It was a much different world.  For children that were blind, their only hopes for an education were scattered schools founded to teach them, often a day or more away by train from their families. And those schools were chronically underfunded and often lacked even the most basic educational tools.  The library of the Kentucky School for the Blind …

Doors to Access and Understanding: A Conversation with Author, Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy

It’s no secret: there are not enough resources or materials about Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) - this includes resources for families and teachers. To fill this gap, Dr. Christine Roman has now released her second book on the topic in partnership with APH Press.
CVI: Advanced Principles is the continuation of foundational information provided in CVI: An Approach to Identification, Assessment & Intervention. The book is a collaboration among experts in several disciplines in the field and dives into topics that are extensions of the concepts in Dr. Roman-Lantzy’s first book.
American Printing House is pleased to be a part of this collaborative effort that will get important information into the hands of parents and teachers.
“The purpose is to move beyond the essential topics into those that are more specialized and expanded within topical areas,” explains Dr. Roman-Lantzy. “The chapters represent CVI-related content most requested by educators and parents. The two books are compa…

Special CEC DVIDB Pre-Convention Workshops


Throwback Thursday: Game of Beetle

Our object this week reminds me of a game I had as a kid, called Cootie.  You built this bug out of bright plastic.  I think it is still on the market.  Turns out that “Cootie” was introduced in Minneapolis in 1949 by a postman, William Schaper.  And as often happens, the idea was “borrowed” by another manufacturer, the Royal National Institute for the Blind in London, England.  RNIB’s version was called “Beetle” and it was made of wood, but otherwise it was pretty much “Cootie” under another name.  It seems unlikely that you could get away with something like that today without getting a nice “cease-and-desist” letter.  The game came with four sets of pieces to assemble your “bug,” braille instructions and a molded plastic die with raised dots.

The Bird Box Challenge: Don’t Mistake a Blindfold for Blindess

Netflix has made it clear: don’t try the Bird Box Challenge – it’s dangerous. If you don’t know what the Bird Box Challenge is, it comes from a recent Netflix hit: Bird Box. In the movie people have to wear blindfolds in order to escape a mysterious force – if you see it, you die. Now the internet is full of people trying to climb stairs, cross through traffic, or cook dinner in a blindfold.
At American Printing House for the Blind (APH) we see more than just the physical danger of wearing a blindfold: there’s another harmful consequence that affects people who are blind. Putting on a blindfold and trying to do day-to-day tasks may seem like it lets you know what it’s like to be blind, but it doesn’t.
Most people who are blind lose their vision slowly and have time to learn and adapt. It’s not as scary or as difficult as losing all sight immediately. While unintended, the Bird Box Challenge can have negative side effects: It can create the false impression that people who are blind are …

Skills and Actions from APH

Free fun at home! Did you know American Printing House has skills and actions for your virtual assistant that you can play right now? With the help of your Amazon Alexa® or Google Assistant™, you could be playing one of these fun and educational games at home, or in the classroom! 

Three kids lay on the floor by a Google Home O&M TriviaO&M Trivia is a fun way to learn and reinforce orientation and mobility knowledge for people of all ages! Cardinal directions, cane techniques, and landmarks are just a few of the topics covered within the game. Users can play alone or with up to three additional players. Scores are calculated automatically for friendly competition. Game settings also allow users to select appropriate difficulty levels.

Google Invocation: “Ok Google, talk to Orientation and Mobility Trivia”
Amazon Invocation: “Alexa, open O M Trivia”

Math FlashWe’ve taken our popular Math Flash desktop flash card game and brought it to you…

Two Partnerships, One Goal: Braille Books for Children

It all started with feedback from parents: they couldn’t find affordable braille books. In fact, they were almost unattainable to families of preschool aged children. Any parent of a sighted child can find books in a bookstore, library, or even in the grocery store to read. A parent of a child who is blind or visually impaired doesn’t have that luxury. It can cost $6 – $20 to transcribe just one page, making the books expensive!
The first thing APH had to do was find affordable books – something we were able to do through a partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL). The Dollywood Foundation allows us to buy Penguin Publishing books at a reduced rate! Now all we need to do was  figure out how to add braille to the books.
With transcription and labor costs being so high, APH had to find a way to make things more affordable. We already had a partnership with the Women’s Kentucky Correctional Institute (KCI) and their Prison Braille Program, so it made sense to expand tha…

Illinois Braille Series now teaches Unified English Braille (UEB) code!