The ACB Board of Publications proudly recognizes excellence each year with two awards. The Ned E. Freeman Writing Award, instituted in 1970, is named for the first president of the American Council of the Blind who, after completing his term of office, became editor of "The Braille Forum." The Vernon Henley Media Award was established in 1988 to honor the man who created and first produced ACB Reports, a radio presentation distributed to radio reading services around the country.

The Freeman Award applies to articles published in either the Forum or an affiliate publication and is awarded to an individual piece of work. Mastery of the craft of writing is a major consideration by BOP voters. Interesting subject matter, originality in recounting an experience, or novelty of approach are also considered.

All articles published in “The Braille Forum” between April 2008 and March 2009 are automatically eligible for the Freeman Award. Articles published in state or special-interest affiliate publications are also eligible if submitted by either the president or newsletter editor from that affiliate. If submitting such an article for consideration, please include a cover letter noting the affiliate, publication name, edition and a brief notation about the article.

The Vernon Henley Media Award is presented to an organization or person, either sighted or blind, who has made a positive difference in the media -- whether in radio, TV, magazines, newspapers or electronic media -- that may change public attitudes to recognize the capabilities of people who are blind, rather than focusing on outdated stereotypes and misconceptions. Programs and/or articles written and produced specifically for a visually impaired audience, as well as those intended for the general public, are eligible. Multiple articles or programs submitted by one author or organization will be judged as separate entries.

Recipients of these awards for the last five years are ineligible to enter the contests. Members of the ACB national office staff, the board of directors or board of publications serving during the awarding period are also not eligible.

Submissions for both awards must be received by Sharon Lovering at the ACB national office on or before April 15, 2009. Presentations will be made at the 2009 national convention. For more information about judging criteria, please consult the Board of Publications Policy Manual, found on the ACB web site at

Send all submissions with cover letter to: BOP Awards, c/o Sharon Lovering, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201, and e-mail [email protected]

Best of luck to all!

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