National Federation of the Blind Awards $50,000
Thirteenth Annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Presented at 2020 Convention Banquet
Baltimore, Maryland (July 20, 2020): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has once again presented fifty thousand dollars 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, the thirteenth annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards honored two innovators who are helping blind people live the lives they want.
An award of twenty-five thousand dollars was presented to Marilee Talkington, actor, director, and founder and executive director of Access Acting Academy, a nonvisual training program for blind performers with the goal of increasing participation of the blind in arts and entertainment. A second award of twenty-five thousand dollars was presented to Geneva Lake Astrophysics and STEAM Education for their innovative programs to make astronomical data and the study of astrophysics accessible to blind people.
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 also breaking through the barriers created by low expectations and 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 in part 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 to help administer 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.