Announcing the 2019 DKM First-Timers

The American Council of the Blind and the DKM First-Timers Committee is pleased to announce the 2019 DKM First-Timers. Each recipient met all of the requirements necessary for consideration of the honor of receiving this award. Make plans to attend the DKM First-Timers Reception on Wednesday July 10th in Rochester to witness the honorees being recognized and to participate in our Gift Card Fundraiser and Sports Fans activities. The DKM First-Timers Award is ACB's primary leadership development award and it is given in memory of Durward K. McDaniel, also known as the founding father of ACB. 

The DKM First-Timers Program and ACB honors recipients by funding round-trip air travel and supporting transportation, hotel accommodations (double occupancy), per diem allowance for meals and incidentals and leadership activities, reception, banquet tickets, the general convention registration fee, and other activities determined by the committee and ACB Board of Directors. The responsibilities of each recipient include but are not limited to attending the full week of conference and convention activities from Friday July 5 – Friday July 12; participating in daily general sessions, Keys to the Convention Seminar along with special-interest and committee seminars. Read below the introductions to find out more about the DKM First-Timers Program.

Introducing Ted Boardman of Bloomington, Indiana as the 2019 DKM First-Timer (East of the Mississippi River)

Ted works full-time managing information technology for an academic department at Indiana University. He also does freelance app and web development. Ted has worked hard to strengthen his chapter, Heartland ACB by assisting with administrative tasks and broadening awareness of their efforts, while also serving as chapter representative to the ACB of Indiana board of directors. Other efforts include actively advocating to improve access to transportation and employment. Even while facing challenges with progressive vision loss, he exhibits positive energy and is determined to serve and assist others while advancing his career goals.  

Introducing Steven Salas of Austin, Texas as the 2019 DKM First-Timer (West of the Mississippi River)

Steven is in his final year at Austin Community College as he works to acquire his degree in Music Business, Performance and Technology. He eagerly plans to move forward with a career in Music Business with a goal to become a music teacher and performing artist. Since joining the Austin Council of the Blind, Steven has served on the nominating committee and the public relations committee while assisting his chapter by maintaining a presence on social media, the chapter website and community projects, including public speaking. Steven desires to share his abilities as he identifies areas that he can contribute to throughout the organization. 

To be eligible for consideration, each applicant had to meet specific requirements, which includes being age 18 or older; blind or visually impaired; an ACB member in good standing, and never have attended a previous ACB national conference and convention. In addition, two letters were submitted for each applicant — a letter of application from the interested member and a letter of recommendation from a state or special interest affiliate president. The letter of application introduced the applicant to the committee and contained reasons for applying for the award, a brief summary of education and experience related to the applicants community service, contributions to the affiliate, and the significance of the First-Timers award to the applicant’s personal or career development. The letter of recommendation included the applicant’s leadership contributions and potential. Applicants also participated in a 30 minute interview.