Roland, AR (November 28, 2012) - The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) recently presented Jo Ellen Croft, a Facilitator for the Visually Impaired for the Pulaski County Special School District, with the 2012 Extra Mile Award at APH’s 144th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees in Louisville, Kentucky. Ms. Croft was recognized for her contribution to the Building on Patterns (BOP) primary literacy program. BOP is designed to teach beginning braille users all language arts – reading, writing, and spelling and is based on the most recent reading research available. It is a complete reading program that will result in students being able to transition into their individual school district’s reading program by the 3rd grade or sooner. It is the most utilized program in the United States for teaching reading to a young student who is blind.
Between 1980 and 1983, APH published a series called Patterns that was widely used in teaching braille to young children. By 1996, as new research was done about effective methods for instruction, it was decided that this new information should be incorporated into the program. Work on an update of Patterns was begun, with work by APH staff and outside consultants. By 2004, a group of professionals from around the country were brought in to work at APH for a week to write material. This became an annual event, and each summer the BOP writers, who were trained teachers of children who are blind, came and not only wrote the content, but planned for the work that was to be done the following school year. Bob Brasher, Vice President of Advisory Services and Research said “They sacrificed precious free time with their families and friends to make BOP a priority. They stayed up late at night, worked on weekends, got up to be prepared for weekly 7:00 am teleconferences, and worked on BOP while on vacations. These professionals have gone the EXTRA MILE.”
For more information, call 502.895.2405 or log on to www.aph.org.
More about BOP
BOP addresses the five critical areas identified for reading instruction by the National Reading Panel (2000): vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, phonemic awareness (ability to hear and interpret sounds in speech), and phonics (the association of written symbols with the sounds they represent). BOP also addresses specific skill areas needed by the child who is blind, such as language development, sound discrimination, tactual discrimination, and concept development. Braille contractions are introduced from the beginning along with sound and letter associations. Comprehensive in scope, its many volumes cover material for students from Kindergarten through grade two.
The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the world’s largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level.
APH manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also manufactures hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products. APH’s fully-accessible web site (www.aph.org) features information about APH products and services, online ordering of products, and free information on a wide variety of blindness-related topics. One popular feature of the site is the Louis Database, a free tool to help locate accessible books available from organizations across the U.S.
The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, call 502.895.2405 or log on to www.aph.org.