There's Only One...American Printing House for the Blind
Located within the historic factory building of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), this unique award-winning museum offers visitors an experience in hands-on history. Visitors are encouraged to touch objects to increase their understanding of how people with visual impairments experience the world. Two gallery spaces invite interactive exploration:
The 1883 Gallery is the setting for the newest feature exhibit, "History in the Making: APH Past to Present." It explores the history of the American Printing House (founded in 1858) and how it grew from a modest beginning in a neighbor's basement to the largest manufacturer of education products for people with vision loss in the world. They can use vision simulators to learn about common causes of blindness and their effects, learn about the "War of the Dots," play with classic APH educational toys like Constructo and APH Baseball, and watch a vintage film of the factory at work in 1958.
The Marie and Eugene Callahan Gallery explores the international history of education for the blind in a fun and accessible setting. Visitors may write in braille using a mechanical writer, wrap their arms around a floor model tactile globe, play a computer game designed for blind students, explore other raised letter and tactile alphabets that competed with braille, see the Book of Psalms from Helen Keller’s Bible, and much more.
Free self-guided visits to the museum allow visitors to explore at their pace, Monday- Friday from 8:30 a.m - 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Those who want to see the factory in action and learn more about how products are made, may take a guided tour that combines braille and audio book production with the museum visit. Factory/Museum tours are offered Monday-Thursday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and every other Friday. These guided tours last about 1 1/2 hours. Call 502-899-2242 for reservation information.
The American Printing House for the Blind, is the world's largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. 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. It manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats as well as hundreds of recreational and daily living products.