National Federation of the Blind Names Graciela L. Olivo 2020 Distinguished Educator of Blind Students
Baltimore, Maryland (July 16, 2020): The National Federation of the Blind has presented its annual Distinguished Educator of Blind Students Award to Graciela L. Olivo of Brownsville, Texas. Mrs. Olivo, a teacher of blind students for some twenty years, now consults with parents and school districts to help them meet the educational needs of blind students and does extensive volunteer work in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She educates and mentors other teachers of blind students as well as working with mainstream teachers to meet the needs of blind students in their classrooms. She started her career as a home economics teacher, but when she was challenged to instruct a blind student in her class, teaching the blind became a passion. Her volunteer work includes participating in the NFB of Texas Cambiando Vidas program, which helps Spanish-speaking families with blind members in Texas and Mexico, and serving as an instructor for the NFB BELL Academy.
“Mrs. Olivo’s colleagues and students testify that she has high expectations and has helped them transform their dreams into reality,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “She is an outstanding advocate for Braille literacy, early travel with the long white cane, and other skills of blindness, focusing on the individual needs of her students rather than on their visual acuity. These qualities, and her willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty in all respects, make her an ideal recipient of our Distinguished Educator of Blind Students award.”
The Distinguished Educator of Blind Students award carries with it a $1,000 cash prize and an opportunity to address hundreds of parents of blind students and network with other blind individuals and teachers of blind students at the 2020 National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind, which this year is connecting blind people and their friends and families from anywhere to build opportunities everywhere.