Release Date: 
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
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 Announces Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards

National Federation of the Blind to Award $50,000 in 2010

Baltimore, Maryland (October 7, 2009): The National Federation of the Blind today announced that applications are now being accepted for the 2010 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Program. Each year the National Federation of the Blind presents cash awards to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions toward achieving the full integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality.

Dr. Jacob Bolotin was a blind physician who lived and practiced in Chicago in the early twentieth century. He was widely known and respected in Chicago and throughout the Midwest during his career, which spanned the period from 1912 until his untimely death at the age of thirty-six in 1924. He was particularly recognized for his expertise on diseases of the heart and lungs. Bolotin used his many public speaking engagements to advocate for the employment of the blind and their full integration into society.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “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. He was also a fierce advocate for greater opportunity for the blind in his time, and doubtless would have been a leader in the organized blind movement had he lived to see it come into being. The Jacob Bolotin Award Program celebrates his pioneering spirit by recognizing and supporting outstanding programs, technologies, and individual efforts that promote independence and opportunity for blind Americans.”

Recipients of the 2010 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards will be determined by the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Committee of the National Federation of the Blind. Online applications are due by April 15, 2010. Individuals or organizations are encouraged to apply on behalf of themselves or others. The award recipients will be announced at the 2010 National Federation of the Blind Convention in Dallas. A total of $50,000 will be distributed to the award recipients.

The Jacob Bolotin Award Program is funded through the generosity of Dr. Bolotin’s nephew and niece, Alfred and Rosalind Pearlman. In addition to establishing the Alfred and Rosalind Pearlman Trust to endow the awards, the late Mrs. Pearlman also wrote The Blind Doctor: The Jacob Bolotin Story. The book has been published by Blue Point Books and can be ordered directly from the publisher at Proceeds from book sales will also benefit the award program. For more information or to fill out the online application, please visit