Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards

The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards honor individuals and organizations that are a positive force in the lives of blind people.

The 2023 Jacob Bolotin Award Winners with members of the Bolotin Committee: Neil Soiffer, Andy Burstein, Everette Bacon, Norma Crosby, Mary Ellen Jernigan, Peggy Chong, Donald Porterfield, Danielle Montour, Jessica Beecham, and Lindsey Yazzolino.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.

Winners of the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards:

  • Break down barriers facing blind people in an innovative way
  • Change negative perceptions of blindness and blind people
  • Push past existing boundaries to inspire blind people to achieve new heights

Winners receive a cash award and have included entrepreneurs, volunteers, filmmakers, authors, mathematicians, technology developers, artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations, programs, partnerships, and more.

I am so honored and privileged to be receiving this and to be associated with such incredible pioneers like Kate Meredith and her team and everybody else that is doing work to actually raise the bar, because it has been so low! In the entertainment industry, the bar literally doesn't exist. We've been invisible this whole time. So to be recognized for the work that I'm doing not only as an individual artist for twenty-five years but also to be recognized doing the work for Access Acting Academy is incredible. — Marilee Talkington, 2020 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Recipient

The awards are presented annually at our national convention in July.

The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards are funded by the National Federation of the Blind with assistance from the Alfred and Rosalind Perlman Trust, which was created by a bequest left to the Santa Barbara Foundation and the NFB by Dr. Jacob Bolotin’s niece-in-law, author Rosalind Perlman.

Congratulations to the 2024 Winners

  • Deborah Kendrick, a writer whose body of work advances understanding of blindness and disability and provides useful information to the blind community.
  • Donna Posont, who conducts an innovative program at the Environmental Interpretive Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn that helps blind people of all ages learn about birding and explore nature.
  • Living Blindfully, a podcast that provides information to help blind people live their best lives.
  • Handid Braille services, which provides Braille documents in multiple languages, including many (such as Arabic and Japanese) that do not use the Latin alphabet.

Read the full press release.


The online application for the 2024 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards is closed.

Past Award Recipients

Read about more recipients in past issues the Braille Monitor. Bolotin Award recipients are typically highlighted in the August-September issue every year.

More Information

Blue badge that reads "National Federation of the Blind Bolotin Award Winner."Everette Bacon, Chairman
Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Committee
Cell: 801-631-8108
Email: [email protected]

Sponsored by the Alfred & Rosalind Perlman Trust. Presented by the National Federation of the Blind.