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American Printing House for the Blind

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Program Office: Office of Special Institutions

CFDA Number: 84.906
Program Type: Direct Appropriation
Also Known As: APH


APH produces and distributes educational materials adapted for students who are legally blind and enrolled in formal education programs below the college level. The materials are distributed to public and private nonprofit institutions serving individuals who are blind through allotments to the states. The allotments are based on an annual census conducted by APH of the number of students who are legally blind in each state and are provided in the form of credits. State education agencies (SEAs) and public and private nonprofit institutions serving persons who are blind may order materials free of charge up to the amount of funds allocated to each state for educational materials. APH also uses its appropriation to conduct research related to developing and improving products and provides advisory services to professional and consumer organizations on the availability and use of materials produced by APH. In FY 2008, APH served 58,388 students.


Materials produced by APH include: textbooks in Braille and large type; education tools, such as Braille typewriters and computer software and hardware; teaching aides, such as tests and performance measures; and other special supplies. APH conducts basic and applied research necessary to develop and improve instructional materials in such areas as Braille reading, science, mathematics, and social studies and to adapt testing materials related to these subject areas. Special materials also are developed in such areas as early childhood education, prevocational training, the use of computer applications, the functional use of residual vision, and to teach students with additional disabilities. Advisory services activities include operation of APH’s Student Registration System, Louis Database of Accessible Materials, electronic File Repository, Expert Database, and National Instructional Partnership, and use of a variety of mechanisms to provide information on APH services, such as catalogs, brochures, and videos.

Last Modified: 04/01/2014