National Federation of the Blind Awards $50,000
Twelfth Annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Presented at 2019 Convention
Las Vegas, Nevada (July 12, 2019): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has presented $50,000 in cash awards to individuals and organizations that are a positive force in the lives of blind people and whose work advances the goal of helping transform their dreams into reality. At the National Federation of the Blind annual convention in Las Vegas, the twelfth annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards honored five innovators who are helping blind people live the lives they want.
Awards of $5,000 were presented to each of the following individuals and organizations:
Blindconnect of Las Vegas, Nevada, for its training facility Angela’s House, named in loving memory of Blindconnect board member Angela Hoffman, which provides blindness skills training and emotional support to adults who are losing vision.
Libra Robinson of Washington, DC, for her outstanding leadership of NSight VIP Services, which provides basic computer, technology, and Braille training to blind people and seniors losing vision in the DC area.
The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) for its National Fitness Challenge, which provides Fitbits to blind people in sponsored localities and encourages their participation in athletic and outdoor events by collaborating with local partners.
An award of $15,000 was presented to Michael Nye, a San Antonio-based artist and documentarian. Mr. Nye created the book and art exhibit My Heart Is Not Blind, which educates the public about blindness through portraits, text, and audio interviews about the lives of forty-six blind and low-vision individuals.
The top award of $20,000 was presented to Bristol Braille Technology, the UK-based developer of the Canute 360, a nine-line, 360-cell Braille display using new technology that will make it less expensive than any 40-cell single-line Braille display on the market today.
Dr. Jacob W. Bolotin (1888-1924) was the world’s first physician who was blind from birth. He achieved that goal despite the tremendous challenges faced by blind people in his time. Not only did he realize his own dream, but he also went on to support and inspire many others.
“Dr. Jacob Bolotin was a pioneer who overcame low expectations and discrimination to become a renowned member of the medical profession without the benefit of the support services and civil rights protections available to blind people today,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “The National Federation of the Blind is proud to honor the memory and spirit of Dr. Bolotin by recognizing and financially supporting those individuals and organizations who are doing exceptional work to help achieve the shared dream of Dr. Bolotin and the National Federation of the Blind—a society in which the blind, like all other Americans, can pursue their goals and live the lives they want.”
The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Program is funded through the generosity of Dr. Bolotin’s nephew and niece-in-law, Alfred and Rosalind Perlman. The late Mrs. Perlman established the Alfred and Rosalind Perlman Trust to endow the awards. Income from the trust is distributed to the National Federation of the Blind and the Santa Barbara Foundation for administering the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Program. For more information about the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Program—including more about this year’s winners, as well as eligibility criteria and application procedures—please visit www.nfb.org/bolotin.