by Allen Casey
Since 1996, ACB has invited 45 members to the national conference and convention as Durward K. McDaniel First-Timers. The window for 2016 First-Timer applications is now open for Minneapolis in July. Established in memory of Durward K. McDaniel, the acknowledged father of ACB, the DKM First-Timer program offers two members – one from east and one from west of the Mississippi – the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in the business of ACB, meet national and international leaders of the blindness movement, interact with other members and learn more than one could imagine.
First-Timers are expected to participate fully in the conference and convention, from the opening session, Sunday, July 3, through the banquet, Friday July 8, including attendance at daily general sessions and special seminars throughout the week. Eligible applicants must meet four criteria: age 18 or older, blind or visually impaired, member in good standing of ACB, and never have attended a previous national conference and convention. First-Timers receive round-trip transportation, hotel accommodation (double occupancy), per diem allowance for meals and incidentals, reception and banquet tickets and convention registration fee.
To apply, you must submit a personal letter of application and a letter of recommendation from the president of your ACB state or special-interest affiliate. The letter of application should include your objective in applying to become a First-Timer; a brief summary of your background, education and affiliate experience; and how the DKM program will benefit you and your community. The letter from the president of your ACB state or special-interest affiliate should confirm and describe your participation in affiliate and community affairs and evaluate your potential as a leader.
Application materials should be forwarded to Kelly Gasque, email@example.com, in the ACB national office no later than the April 1 deadline. Questions regarding the program and your application may be directed to DKM chair Allen Casey, firstname.lastname@example.org. The DKM committee will review all applications and conduct telephone interviews with applicants in mid-April.