Awards Committee Seeks Nominees for 2017 ACB Awards

by Chelle Hart and Chip Hailey, Awards Committee Co-chairs
It’s that time of year again!  The awards committee is searching for nominees who are deserving of national recognition for their work in ACB or the blindness community.  The awards will be presented at the upcoming conference and convention in Sparks, Nev.  Candidates will be judged on the quality of their nomination letter and how well they meet the spirit of the award for which they are nominated.  Please assist the awards committee by presenting commendable candidates and clearly identifying the reasons you believe the candidate is worthy of receiving the specific award for which you have nominated him or her.
The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2017.  This means letters must be received electronically by 11:59 p.m. on that day.  Send your nomination letters via e-mail to Chip Hailey,, and Chelle Hart, Once we receive your nominations, the awards committee must review and score the entries submitted.  This work takes a little time, and it is helpful to begin the process as soon as possible.
The committee looks forward to the challenge of selecting worthy recipients of the 2017 ACB awards.  We need your help to complete our job.  The wording for the award criteria has been updated by the committee and approved by the ACB board of directors. 
Now it is your job to tell us about these special people and how they meet the criteria listed below.  Remember that these are national awards, and nominees will be judged accordingly.
1.   The Robert S. Bray Award is given in honor of the first director of what is now the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. This award may be given to an individual or an organization in the area of accessing information.
2.   The Durward K. McDaniel Ambassador Award is given in honor of ACB’s founding father and first national representative. It is presented to a recipient who exhibits a positive image for blindness in his/her community. This candidate does not have to be a member of or active in any organization of the blind or be engaged in work for the blind.
3.   The George Card Award is given in honor of George Card, who was the executive secretary of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind, a member of ACB’s board of directors, a delegate to the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind, and an associate editor of “The Braille Forum.” It is presented in recognition of outstanding service by a blind person who has contributed to the betterment of the blindness community. This recipient must possess leadership qualities and demonstrate strength of a positive role model.
4.   The James R. Olsen Distinguished Service Award is given in honor of Jim Olsen, ACB’s longest serving staff member, who served as assistant treasurer, treasurer, and executive director of ACB Enterprises and Services. It may be given to individuals or organizations who have made important contributions to advance opportunities for the blindness community.
5.   The Margarine Beaman ACB Volunteer Recognition Award was created to honor individuals (either sighted or blind) or organizations who have given tirelessly of their resources, expertise or time toward enhancing the quality of life within the blindness community in general, or for an ACB local, state or special-interest affiliate.  The achievements, accomplishments or service on which nominations are based must reflect ACB’s vision and mission.  This recognition may be awarded to an individual or an organization to note appreciation for invaluable assistance.
6.   The Affiliate Growth Awards are based on the greatest increase in membership, as determined by the 2016-2017 membership reports.
7.   The Affiliate Outreach Award is based on a recommendation by an affiliate president, which recognizes a local chapter for a new outreach program.  This program must have a measurable outcome.
Submit nominations right away.  Late submissions will NOT be considered!  If you need help with the nomination process, call Chelle at (605) 332-6059 or Chip at (417) 781-6728.