Showing posts from February, 2019

140 Years of Educational Access

This week we celebrate the 140th anniversary of the signing of the Act to Promote the Education of the Blind by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1879. In the 1870s, APH was a struggling company making excellent books that no one could afford to buy.  The Act was only the second piece of federal legislation addressing special education (the first created Gallaudet University). It created a fund of $10,000 from which students across the U.S. could draw to get accessible educational materials from the American Printing House. That stable funding gave the Printing House a foundation from which it could grow and innovate.  Back then it was just books, but today we provide a whole catalog of different products “for education and for life.”  The fund, we call the “Federal Quota”, was enlarged several times over the next 80 years, but by 1961, Congress realized it needed the flexibility to adjust the fund’s size without amending the Act on an annual basis. The solution was to move the appropr…

APH ConnectCenter Family of Websites Will Change Servers on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) are announcing a web server location change for several key programs founded by AFB.
In February of 2018, APH and AFB were pleased to announce a partnership with the mutual goal of generating substantial impact on the lives of children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. On July 1, 2018, APH became the steward of several key programs founded by AFB and assumed responsibility for ensuring their continued impact. AFB has taken their work to a new level by investing in policy and programs focused on creating stronger social systems, and ultimately a more inclusive, accessible society for people with vision loss.
APH has become the caretaker of the following websites: – an online program that gives parents of children who are visually impaired a place to find resources and support.
CareerConnect – now called – an online p…

The Whole Is Greater

You Start by Meeting Your AudienceWhen I started working at the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind, I immediately knew something was wrong. The display cases open up to allow their contents to be touched, and there is not a single “Don’t Touch” sign in the building. I had a fairly conventional museum studies education and a fairly conventional job at a state history museum before this one, so it all seemed very unorthodox to me.
Years later, I see things differently. Our museum is located in the original 1883 building of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky. APH was founded in 1858 to supply accessible learning materials for students who are blind or visually impaired. Today, it is the largest such company in the world. How could we possibly justify exhibiting tactile globes and braille writing machines, teaching tools meant to be used by touch, under Plexiglas covers so that the very people they were designed to serve cannot “see” th…

Charlottes Web Coming to APH: "I like acting more than anything!"

“Templeton, Templeton! Wake up you lazy rat!” yells sixth grader Luke Hagen. He’s telling me about his role as Wilber in the upcoming Braille Reader’s theater production of Charlotte’s Web. That line wasn’t in the original script, but when you have as much energy as Luke, the script is just a place to start.

“I don’t say this to be rude, but I think the kids are basically the main attraction.” If you haven’t caught on yet – Luke is pretty funny kid.“Because when you think of plays you mainly think it’s going to be adults only, but NO, these are KIDS!” To be fair, there are many talented adults in the production, but they’re not as cute as Luke and his younger co-stars.
“My mom told me about the play, and I really wanted to do it because I like acting more than anything,” said fourth grader Makenna Harrod, who plays a lamb. “She is kind of sassy like me, and she doesn’t like Wilber. She’s his enemy.”

Charlotte’s Web is going to make you laugh, but have a tissue at hand. “It’s very funny.…