by Allen J. Casey
Most of us will remember our first ACB conference and convention, the city, the hotel, new friendships forged and perhaps a few of the speakers. It was a fast-paced, event-filled week, a time we are likely to recall and recount in the future. ACB offers members the opportunity to experience their first conference and convention through the Durward K. McDaniel First-Timer program.
In commemoration of the life and work of ACB pioneer Durward K. McDaniel and with the objective of promoting new leadership in ACB and its affiliates, the DKM program recognizes two ACB members who possess leadership potential and have never attended the national convention. DKM recipients - one from east and one from west of the Mississippi River - attend the convention as guests of ACB and the DKM committee. All reasonable expenses are covered, including transportation, lodging, meals and conference fees. DKM first-timers are expected to be active participants in conference and convention sessions, as well as educational and special-interest seminars.
Eligible applicants must meet each of the following criteria: (1) age 18 or older; (2) blind or visually impaired; (3) active member in good standing of ACB or one of its affiliates; and (4) must not have attended a previous national conference and convention. Additionally, each applicant will submit required supporting documentation to the committee: (1) a personal narrative describing the applicant's background, contributions to ACB and the applicant's affiliate and community as well as a statement of the importance of the first-timer experience to the applicant's growth as a future ACB leader; and (2) a letter of recommendation from the president of the applicant's ACB affiliate. It is imperative that appropriate contact information be provided, i.e., current mailing address, e-mail address and telephone number. Applicants may be contacted by DKM committee members for a follow-up telephone interview. All application materials must be received in the ACB national office no later than April 1, 2013. Questions may be directed to DKM committee chair Allen Casey at (336) 222-0201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are ready for the experience of a first-timer - the experience of a lifetime - then submit your DKM application to the ACB national office before the April 1 deadline.