FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Monday, July 23, 2018
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Awards $50,000

Eleventh Annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards Presented at 2018 Convention

Orlando, Florida (July 23, 2018): 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 ultimate goal of helping transform their dreams into reality. At the National Federation of the Blind annual convention in Orlando, the eleventh annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards honored six innovators and advocates who are helping blind people live the lives they want.

Awards of $5,000 were presented to each of the following individuals and organizations:

  • Carol Begay Green of Farmington, New Mexico, who developed a Braille code for the Navajo language and will use the funds to teach the code to blind students and others in the Navajo Nation.
  • Peggy Chong, also known as the blind history lady, who shares stories of notable blind individuals throughout history through her website, books, and articles, and who will use the funds to take research trips to complete more of these profiles.
  • IBUG (iOS Blind User group) of Houston, Texas, a network of volunteers using both in-person and virtual training methods to help blind people learn to use the iPhone and other technologies.
  • Ski for Light, an organization that connects the blind, sighted, and others with disabilities through annual cross-country skiing events.
  • The Tactile Map Automation Project (TMAP) of the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco, developers of an automated process that can produce a tactile map of any neighborhood in the United states from an address provided by a user.

The top award of $25,000 was presented to Be My Eyes Inc., the Denmark-based developer of the Be My Eyes app, which connects blind people with sighted volunteers around the world via video conference to provide real-time visual assistance, such as reading labels or identifying colors.

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 the purpose of 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.