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 visually impaired - and it's been around since before the Civil War!
The American Printing House for the Blind (also referred to as APH) was founded in 1858 - the oldest organization of its kind in the US - with a mission to promote the independence of the visually impaired through products and services, primarily educational materials, such as embossed books, globes, and, in the modern world, audio products.
Unfortunately, the Civil War interrupted things, to say the least, and it wasn't until after the war that the American Printing House for the Blind produced its first book: "Fables and Tales for Children." The American Printing House for the Blind now makes thousands of products, both for students and adults in the active attempt to help the visually impaired achieve ever-greater independence.
Louisville's Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind tracks the extraordinary 157 year history of the APH, from the early days in 1854, when the blind Morrison Heady collected donations for the embossing of Milton’s Paradise Lost, to 2010, when the last Talking Book produced on cassette rolled off the line before the switch to digital.
Housed in the the historic factory building of the APH, the unique and award-winning Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind provides a literal hands-on experience. Visitors are encouraged to use touch and interactive exploration at exhibits to more fully understand the world of the visually impaired.
At the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind, you'll have the opportunity to learn about common causes of blindness, experience the effects of different vision impairments, discover the maddening "War of the Dots" that occurred as rival factions fought to have their Braille alphabet codified, use a Braille writer to write in Braille, see the Book of Psalms from Helen Keller’s bible, and so much more.
Visitors can enjoy a free, self-guided visit or take one of a number of different guided tours, some of which include a tour of the APH factory as well as the museum. Guided tours last approximately 1 and 1/2 hours. For more information, please visit: www.aph.org/museum/visit/group-tours/