American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
Future Reflections
       Winter 2019      ANNOUNCEMENTS

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General Announcements


National Federation of the Blind Scholarships
Contact: Cayte Mendez, [email protected]
410-659-9314, Extension 2415
Deadline for Applications: March 31, 2019

Every year the National Federation of the Blind awards more than $120,000 to blind scholars in the United States and Puerto Rico in recognition of their achievements and professional aspirations. Thanks to help from generous partners, there are thirty merit-based scholarships available, ranging from $3,000 to $12,000. All scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership. To be eligible a candidate must be legally blind in both eyes; must reside in the United States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico; must be pursuing or plan to pursue a full-time, postsecondary course of study in the US in the fall of 2019; and must participate in the entire NFB national convention and all of its scheduled scholarship program activities.

Yale School of Drama Scholarship for Actors with Disabilities

The Yale School of Drama has partnered with the Ruderman Family Foundation—an internationally recognized organization that advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in society—to support training for actors with disabilities. The foundation will provide an annual scholarship to fund the training of a student with a disability studying at the Yale School of Drama. The first recipient of this scholarship is Jessy Yates, an actor, performance artist, and comedian who has cerebral palsy. The scholarship provides $50,000 toward tuition plus a stipend for living expenses. Students do not complete an application to qualify for this scholarship. Instead, applicants must be enrolled at the school and must be recommended by the school to the Ruderman Foundation.


Holman Prizes for Blind Ambition
Contact: [email protected]
Deadline for Applications: February 28, 2019

The Holman Prizes are awarded annually to three blind individuals who wish to push limits and change perceptions about blindness around the world. The prizes are named for James Holman, a nineteenth-century blind explorer, who was the most prolific world traveler of anyone before the era of modern transportation. Each winner will receive $25,000 to fund an adventure. From teaching blind people to be beekeepers in Uganda to kayaking solo across the Bosporus Strait to hosting the first conference in Mexico for blind people led by blind people, the past six winners' projects are as varied as the winners themselves. Ambitious blind persons who will be eighteen years of age by October 1, 2019, are encouraged to apply.

Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards
Contact: James Gashel, 808-234-9259
[email protected]
Deadline for Applications: April 15, 2019

The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards are presented each year to persons or organizations that demonstrate exemplary leadership and extraordinary accomplishments in improving the lives of blind people in the United States. An application can be made by the applicant directly or by third parties who nominate an applicant. Each application requires an essay describing the work or project to be recognized. In addition, each application must have at least one letter of recommendation in support of the nominee.

2019 Distinguished Educator of Blind Students Award
522 65th St.
Springfield, OR 97478
Contact: Carla McQuillan: [email protected]
Application Deadline: May 1, 2019

The National Federation of the Blind will recognize an outstanding teacher of blind students at our 2019 national convention in Las Vegas. The winner of this award will receive an expense-paid trip to attend the convention, a check for $1,000, a commemorative plaque, and a place on the agenda of the annual meeting of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children to make a presentation about the education of blind children. Please help us recognize dedicated and innovative teachers who provide quality education and meaningful experiences and opportunities for their blind students. To apply for yourself or for a teacher you know, complete the application at the link above.


NASA Internships for Students with Disabilities

Every year NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) offers internships at centers around the country for high school and college students interested in the sciences. NASA is committed to including students with disabilities among its interns, and they are free to apply for any internship position. Internships for 2019 will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis, so it is wise to apply as soon as possible. To get announcements about opportunities for interns at NASA, join the listserv at [email protected]


2019 NFB Writers' Division Writing Contest
Deadline for Submissions: April 30, 2019

The annual youth and adult writing contests sponsored by the NFB Writers' Division are open to all aspiring writers, blind, sighted, or visually impaired. Adult contest categories are short fiction, nonfiction (including personal essay and memoir), and poetry. Youth contest categories are short fiction and poetry.

The youth contest is divided into three groups, determined by grade level: elementary (first through fourth grade), middle school (fifth through eighth grade), and high school. Youth contest winners will receive prizes up to $30 for first place, $20 for second place, and $10 for third place. The youth contest is a contest for students who write Braille. Entries must be submitted in hand-embossed, contracted Braille using a Perkins Brailler or slate and stylus. Each entrant must provide an electronic copy of the contest entry as a Microsoft Word or RTF file.

Each hard copy and electronic entry must be accompanied by a cover letter including the contestant's name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and grade level. List the titles of all submissions and the category in which they are being entered.

Attach the electronic copies to an email and send to Myrna Badgero, [email protected]

Send hardcopy Braille submissions and cover letter to:
Chelsea Cook
901 Englewood Parkway, Apt. J 304
Englewood, CO 80110


2019 Midwest Student Spring Seminar: "Owning Your Future"
Contact: Kathryn Webster, [email protected]
Location: Holiday Inn O'Hare, Chicago, IL
Dates: March 15-17, 2019

Secondary and postsecondary students from the midwestern states (and anywhere else) are cordially invited to attend the second Midwest Student Spring Seminar, coordinated by the National Association of Blind Students (NABS). Students will take part in a weekend of presentations and workshops on surviving college, honing social skills, and preparing to enter the workforce. The seminar is a great opportunity for students to learn, network, build new friendships, and have fun along the way.

Jacobus tenBroek Law Symposium
Dates: March 28-29, 2019
Location: National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, Baltimore, MD

The 2019 Jacobus tenBroek Law Symposium will focus on how public attitudes about disability induce negative stereotypes of persons with mental health diagnoses, the disabled homeless, and disabled immigrants, as well as how these attitudes influence treatment under the law of persons with disabilities in education, health care, employment, housing, and the criminal justice system. Finally, the symposium will explore strategies for combatting the stigma attributed to persons with disabilities by exploring how we frame the image of disability in advocacy.

Expanding Horizons for the Early Years
Location: Sheraton Airport Hotel and Conference Center, Toronto, Ontario
Dates: April 11-12, 2019

This event is designed for multidisciplinary practitioners dedicated to the care and wellbeing of infants and young children and their families in settings such as hospitals, family resource centers, and early intervention programs. This conference will bring together practitioners from multiple perspectives to reflect on the values of scientific research and evaluation when considering the promotion of early mental health. Symposia focus on early play, the neurorelational framework, programs to support mothers who have experienced family violence, and more.

16th Annual Young Child Expo and Conference NYC
535 8th Ave., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10018
Contact: Nancy Evangelista, Phone: 212-787-9700, Ex. 333
Dates: April 30-May 3, 2019

This conference covers a wide range of interventions for young children and allows networking among professionals from around the world. The first day of the conference, focusing on children in pre-kindergarten, is sponsored jointly by Los Niños Training and Bank Street College of Education.


K-12 and Higher Education Survey

The NFB is gathering information regarding the accessibility of educational technology used in our nation's schools, kindergarten through graduate level. If you are a student, parent, teacher, or administrator who uses screen access software or other accommodations to participate nonvisually in educational programs or services, or if you are the parent, teacher, or administrator of someone who does, please complete this survey once a semester.

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