by Cindy Van Winkle

At the upcoming ACB convention in Phoenix, Ariz., the American Council of the Blind will bestow some prestigious awards on some very special people. It is your job to inform this year's awards committee who those special people are to be considered for these awards.

Below are the criteria for each award. We are seeking nominees who have made a real impact on ACB and the blind community on a national level. Most importantly, it's up to each of you to think of worthy nominees and share details about him or her that would cause the awards committee to take notice.

Please e-mail nomination letters to Hard-copy letters may be sent to: ACB Awards Committee, c/o American Council of the Blind, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201.

The deadline date for nominations is May 15, 2010. This means they should be received electronically by 11:59 p.m. on May 15 or be postmarked by that date if coming via U.S. Postal Service.

The George Card Award is given to an individual who has dedicated his or her life to work with and for blind people, making a real difference and improving quality of life, for providing leadership and being a positive role model.

The Robert S. Bray Award is given to a person who has made a contribution for improving library technology or communication devices. It could also be given for expanding access for blind people, or making opportunities within the mainstream media.

The Durward K. McDaniel Ambassador Award is given in recognition of a blind person who may or may not be a member of a blindness organization but who has, through his or her personal characteristics and activities, unrelated to his or her employment, contributed most to the acceptance and understanding of blind people as capable and contributing members of the community.

The James R. Olsen Distinguished Service Award is periodically given to individuals who have made important contributions which have advanced opportunities for the blind community. This award can be given to an individual or an organization.

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.

The Affiliate Growth Award is based on the greatest increase in membership, as determined by the 2009-2010 membership reports.

Please do not delay; submit your nominations now! The awards committee looks forward to the challenge of selecting worthy recipients of the above awards to be presented in 2010. We need your help to learn about these special people and how they meet the prescribed criteria.

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