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In recent years, the amount of federal funding for specialized materials from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has been decreasing. Each student who is legally blind now generates only $298.45. Meanwhile, popular materials from APH have gotten more expensive such as the VisioBook (costs $3000.00 plus shipping) and the calculator Orion TI84 (costs $599.00 plus shipping). As a result, Texas ran out of APH Quota Funds by the middle of this school year. This meant some districts got an array of materials, ordered early in the year, while others got partial orders or none ordered in the second semester. The timing of the distribution of materials has not always been able to correspond to student need.

Beginning May 1, 2015, we will be allowed to access 50% of anticipated quota funding for the 2016-17 school year. That 50% funding is available from May 1 until October 1, 2015, at which time the remainder of the 2015-16 funding will be added to our account. These funds are available to us through September 30, 2016.

How can we use APH Quota funds more efficiently?

Order only what you need for the students you teach, and share if necessary. If you don't know whether material is appropriate for the student, borrow the item from another district, from the warehouse if we have it, or from the ESC. This is especially important if it is an expensive item.

Many of the technology materials can be tried out using the TSBVI tech loan program. You can borrow a piece of technology to see how it works before you purchase it. http://www.tsbvi.edu/technology-loan-program

There are other funds that can be used to purchase APH materials, including district instructional materials funds, IDEA-B funds, and local funds. Local service organizations are also often a great resource. Keep in mind that APH accepts cash. Fundraising by clubs, families, etc. works.

We encourage each district to appoint one person to submit materials requests from the district. We believe this will result in better oversight for inventory. APH materials are not free. They can be purchased with APH quota funds or other funds as listed above.

As always, teachers of students with visual impairments will have to be creative and cooperative to ensure that students get the specialized materials they need.

Ordering high cost items?

Materials requests for technology items will require justification. We will ask you about the proposed use of this item, what evaluations indicate that this is the needed item, alternative equipment options considered, and whether the item can be shared. An Outreach APH team will review these requests promptly.

The following items require justification for purchase and will only be available for students who are legally blind:

  • Visiobook
  • Orion TI84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator
  • Book Port DT
  • Book Port
  • Braille Plus 18
  • Refreshabraille 18

The APH Materials Request Documentation form can be downloaded.

How can we share materials across the state?

Return APH materials that are in good condition but not being used to the TSBVI Materials Center to be catalogued and used for other students. Directions for this are available at: http://www.tsbvi.edu/aph-materials-items/4015-aph-return-instructions. That generates the materials we need at no additional expense to our Quota funding. This spring we have sent out more than 167 APH instructional materials to districts! That's a lot of great support for students without spending any of the state's current Quota funding.

Working together we can better manage our limited APH Quota funds, while still supporting students with the things they need. We have programmed our system to be sure we know our status on a daily basis. We will help you make a decision about how you might get what you need. And we know that you may have great ideas of ways to help. Please share any suggestions you may have.

If you need assistance, or to share an idea, please contact:

Sue Enoch
TSBVI Materials Resource Center
(512)206-9270

Thank you!

Why did the policies change?

               The line item Federal budget appropriation for Quota Funds through the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) was decreased.  Therefore, the per/student allocation is less across the country.  Also, the technology now available from this source is very expensive and depletes the budget quickly.

 Which students are included in a district’s budget?

            All students included on the district’s VI Registration in January 2015 are included.

Why are 504 students included since they aren't special education students? 

               The monies from the Quota Fund are not special education funds.  They are a separate budget item.  The 504 students registered in your district are counted for funding in the same way special education students are counted. APH included these students 3 years ago, and we follow their direction.

What if I don’t have enough money in my APH account for what I need? 

               The APH Quota account has always been a supplemental fund, not intended to supplant district funds.  Other funds can be used to purchase materials, including but not limited to district assistive technology funds, State Supplemental Services for Students with Visual Impairments (SSVI), and Instructional materials allotment funds (IMA).  APH accepts cash and credit cards and purchase orders and accepts combination of fund sources. 

Will districts receive a credit for materials they return?

No.  Those materials have been paid for from Quota funds, and at this time we have no funding to pay for their return.  Returning unneeded items does, however, dramatically extend the number of items that are available for all students and lessen our dependence on the limited Quota funds.  This year we have shipped over 168 items from the warehouse that didn't cost us any Quota funds!

 Will money we don’t spend be carried over to the next year? 

No, however, money not spent by a district by Sept. 1 will return into the state APH budget.  This will allow us to stock up on frequently requested items in the warehouse, and prepare for your orders from the next year's funds.

What if I get a new student and don’t have the specialized supplies needed? 

               Call Sue Enoch at 512-206-9270.  We’ll work with you to help students get necessary instructional materials.  

Ordering Process Overview

  1. Access and log into the TEXAS APH materials ordering site

  2. Use the Find Teacher link from the Main Menu to enter the District/Teacher who the item is being ordered for.

  3. Add the Materials Request.

a. Bring up the Materials request page and press the Add Material Request button.

b. Press the Search Catalog to Add Lines button.

c. Enter the description of what you are looking for and press the Search button.

d. Mark the check box for the items you wish to order and press the Add Selected Lines to Service Request button.

e. Use the Refine Search option to search for more items and continue adding materials to the request.

f. When done adding lines, use the Back to Materials Request link to review your request.

g. Double check the quantities that you wish to request and press the Next Step: Choose Teacher/District button.

h. Make sure the proper District, Teacher, and Address are selected.

i. Press the Complete Request button to finalize the request.

j. Review your newly created Materials Request on the Materials Requests screen.

Instructions for Completing Return of Instructional Materials for Students Who Are Legally Blind, IMC-301

This form is to be used by districts ONLY for returning American Printing House for the Blind instructional materials in need of repair or no longer needed by students who are legally blind.

These instructional materials, including braillers and tape recorders, are loaned to school districts for use by students who are legally blind. They are the property of the state of Texas. Do not send these materials to your Education Service Center.

1. Enter information on the form as follows:

  • District Name, County-District Number, and ESC Region Number: Enter the district name, county-district number, and ESC region number.
  • Number of Boxes in Shipment: Enter the total number of boxes in the shipment.
  • APH Catalog Number: Enter the APH catalog number for each item as it appears in the APH catalog.
  • APH Catalog Name of Item: Enter the complete name of each item as it appears in the APH catalog.
  • Serial Number: Enter the serial number for all braillers, tape recorders, and Braille N' Speaks being returned.
  • Number Returned: Enter the quantity of each item being returned.
  • District Comments: If any materials or instructional aids are broken or incomplete, use this space to describe the specific problem. Items returned to the TIMCVI for repair will not be returned to the district. These items should be reordered on form IMC-101 if still needed by a student who is legally blind.

For additional information about completing this form, please refer to the 1996 Procedures for Ordering, Receiving, Accounting for, and Return of Instructional Materials for Students Who Are Legally Blind.

  • Typed Name of Special Education Contact, Telephone Number, Date, and E-mail Address: Enter the special education contact name, enter the date of the return, telephone number, and e-mail address.

2. Ship instructional materials to:

Texas Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired
TSBVI Warehouse
1100 W. 45th Street
Austin, Texas 78756-3494

All shipments should be marked FREE MATER FOR THE BLIND and packed in BOXES. Packed boxes must weigh at least 1 pound but cannot exceed 40 pounds. The total of the height, length, and width must not exceed 72 inches. For additional information concerning the shipment of free mater for the blind, contact the local Postmaster.

3. INCLUDE A COPY OF THE RETURN FORM AS A PACKING LIST WITH EACH SHIPMENT RETURNED.

What are APH Quota Funds?

Federal quota funds are an annual appropriation shared proportionally among all public institutions for students who are blind or visually impaired in the United States. All states conduct an annual registration of students who are visually impaired on the first Monday in January each year to determine their share of these funds. Each state's share of these funds is held in escrow at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and, as orders for materials are processed, their cost is drawn against that account.

TSBVI manages a statewide system of ordering, distributing, and repairing instructional materials purchased from APH with federal quota funds.  Specialized equipment and instructional materials may be requested by a local school district for the eligible visually impaired students it serves. 

More information about the American Printing House for the Blind, Federal Quota Funds, and how Texas manages these funds and materials may be found in the downloadable article "Ordering APH Materials Using Quota Funds in Texas".

If you have questions about ordering through APH using Quota Funds, returning APH products or repairing APH products, contact:

Randall McAlister, Administrative Assistant
(512) 206-9344
email: 

 
If you have questions outside of these areas, contact Miriam and she will direct your inquiry:
 
Sue Enoch, APH Materials Coordinator
(512) 206-9270
email: 

 

APH Materials Request Documentation form 


What are APH Quota Funds?

Federal quota funds are an annual appropriation shared proportionally among all public institutions for students who are blind or visually impaired in the United States. All states conduct an annual registration of students who are visually impaired on the first Monday in January each year to determine their share of these funds. Each state's share of these funds is held in escrow at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and, as orders for materials are processed, their cost is drawn against that account.

TSBVI manages a statewide system of ordering, distributing, and repairing instructional materials purchased from APH with federal quota funds. Specialized equipment and instructional materials may be requested by a local school district for the eligible visually impaired students it serves.

More information about the American Printing House for the Blind, Federal Quota Funds, and how Texas manages these funds and materials may be found in the downloadable article "Ordering APH Materials Using Quota Funds in Texas".

If you have questions about ordering through APH using Quota Funds, returning APH products or repairing APH products, contact:
Randall McAlister
(512) 206-9344
email:

If you have additional questions outside of these areas, please contact:
Miriam Miramontes
(512)206-9268
email:

APH materials obtained with quota funds are the property of the State of Texas and are loaned to districts for use by students who are legally blind. It is a district's responsibility to:

  • maintain an inventory of these materials
  • ensure their use only by students who are legally blind
  • return materials to the TIMCVI when broken or no longer needed by a student who is legally blind

Ordering APH materials with Quota Funds

Use the TEXAS On-line APH Ordering system. (Please read Federal Quota Materials from the American Printing House for the Blind - New guidelines for Texas)

When returning items, either to re-stock in the warehouse or for repair, please use the return form below. You do not need to email a copy of the return form but please do include the form with the item. Send return items to:

TSBVI
TIMCVI Warehouse
1100 West 45th St.
Austin, TX 78756

Ordering Process Overview

1. Access and log into the TEXAS APH materials ordering site.  << use this link

2. Use the Find Teacher link from the Main Menu to enter the District/Teacher who the item is being ordered for.

3.  Add the Materials Request.

a. Bring up the Materials request page and press the Add Material Request button.

b. Press the Search Catalog to Add Lines button.

c. Enter the description of what you are looking for and press the Search button.

d. Mark the check box for the items you wish to order and press the Add Selected Lines to Service Request button.

e. Use the Refine Search option to search for more items and continue adding materials to the request.

f. When done adding lines, use the Back to Materials Request link to review your request.

g. Double check the quantities that you wish to request and press the Next Step: Choose Teacher/District button.

h. Make sure the proper District, Teacher, and Address are selected.

i. Press the Complete Request button to finalize the request.

j. Review your newly created Materials Request on the Materials Requests screen.

Forms

Download the form at the link below, fill it out and email it back to for processing.

Visit APH and See What's New

American Printing House for the Blind continually produces new materials to help TVIs, COMS, and parents provide meaningful learning experiences for a student with visual impairments or blindness.