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Meet APH: American Printing House for the Blind

When navigating life with a challenge like blindness, it is comforting to know there are organizations that provide valuable resources that can help. American Printing House For The Blind (APH) is one such organization, providing resources and support to sight-impaired individuals.

For over 150 years, APH has proudly served the blind and visually impaired community by creating educational and functionalAmerican Printing House for the Blind living products for those that suffer from visual impairment. It is now the largest non-profit organization in the world that serves this community.

Tracing its roots back to 1858, APH was founded when it first saw a need to assist blind students. After the opening of the first schools for blind children in the 1830’s, it was clear that teachers had precious few books and educational resources. Funds were raised and locations discussed. Finally, in 1858, the General Assembly of Kentucky passed an Act to establish The American Printing House For The Blind. In 1860, a press was purchased, and, after disruption by the Civil War, the first book was produced by APH in 1866.

Since then, APH has worked tirelessly to provide products to the blind and visually impaired community. In 1879, under the Federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH became the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students. The funding for this Act benefitting blind and visually impaired students continues today through the Federal Quota Program. Funds from each state are used to purchase educational materials for blind and visually impaired students.

As both a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a manufacturing company, American Printing House for the Blind serves a unique and important public role, but is also able to manufacture and offer incredible products to the individual consumer. Browsing their shop shows an array of:

  • Braille textbooks, magazines, custom braille
  • Large print textbooks, custom large print
  • Talking Books on a contract basis
  • Accessible tests
  • Educational kits, tools, and supplies
  • Talking software and hardware
  • Independent living products such as talking color identifiers

APH and CVI

American Printing House for the Blind is a leading resource for the Cortical Visual Impairment community. APH understands the importance of education for CVI.

“Those working with children diagnosed (and many who remain undiagnosed)  with CVI understand that the more we learn about this neurological visual impairment the more complicated the conversation becomes.”

To this end, they have numerous educational resources and posts on their website http://tech.aph.org/cvi/.

Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy notes that CVI “is the leading cause of visual impairment in children today”.  At CVi Connect, we are happy to see the commitment from APH to the CVI community. Please visit http://www.aph.org/ to see their vast educational resources and products that support the blind and visually impaired community.

CVi Connect Mission

The CVi Connect mission focuses on providing cutting edge technology, proven teaching techniques and a program of iPad-based activities for children with cortical visual impairment. CVi Connect is intended for use by parents and teachers who are searching for learning opportunities that are designed to meet the specialized learning needs of children with CVI. Through consistent use of the app, CVi Connect’s mission is to provide targeted activities that facilitate improvements in functional vision in children with CVI.

The CVi Connect Story

Brent Kevern is the VP of Research and Development at LifeScience Therapies, LLC. As a result of Brent’s own personal experiences and his many years at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Brent has a passion and desire to help sick kids and those with special needs.

Brent has a unique combination of technical expertise and medical education that he has successfully applied to software solutions for the healthcare industry.

At a family reunion, Brent was visiting with his niece, Stephanie, who is a Teacher of the Visually Impaired.  Upon learning about some of the new technologies that Brent was working on, Stephanie suggested that there was applicability and could be useful with kids with CVI.  Brent was skeptical at first, but together they collaborated and formed an idea for a potential technology solution that could provide new hope for the community of parents and children struggling with CVI. Brent sought out leading experts in the field of CVI and Stephanie suggested only one – Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy.

Dr. Roman-Lantzy is recognized as a leader and innovator in the creation of an approach to assessment and intervention for CVI children. Her methodology has been widely implemented and incorporates use of functional vision into educational and everyday activities. Brent reached out to Christine and, together, they set out to create a cutting edge iPad app that could take Christine’s protocol to the digital screen.

With the technology available, they all agreed that the goal would be to not only provide appropriate activities, but to simultaneously track and record data that could be used to guide parents and teachers. Today, that technology is a reality. In early 2017, Brent and Dr. Roman-Lantzy, along with a team of dedicated staff, launched CVi Connect. CVi Connect’s state-of-the-art technology, incorporates The CVI Range and intervention methods developed by Dr. Roman-Lantzy and is delivering on the hope of facilitating improvements in functional vision for thousands of children with CVI.