Celebrate Durward’s Centennial: Be a DKM First-Timer

by Allen Casey

As we enter 2015, we prepare for the selection of two new DKM First-Timers, and we pause to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of ACB pioneer Durward K. McDaniel.  Durward’s contributions to ACB’s organizational growth and maturity are legendary.  In recognition of this dedication, the Durward K. McDaniel First-Timers program was created to foster participation of ACB members in the work he dearly loved.
Durward’s contributions are remembered each year with the selection of two DKM First-Timers who attend the national conference and convention as guests of ACB and the DKM committee.  The recipients — one from east and one from west of the Mississippi —receive round-trip air transportation, hotel accommodations (double occupancy), per diem allowance, convention registration fee and a ticket for the DKM reception and ACB banquet.  Eligible applicants must meet each of these qualifications:

  • Age 18 or older

  • Blind or visually impaired
  • Member in good standing of ACB
  • Never attended a previous national conference and convention

In keeping with Durward’s commitment to participation, DKM First-Timers are expected to be present for the full convention week and to involve themselves in convention activities, including attendance at daily general sessions and special seminars scheduled throughout the week. Interaction with ACB members from throughout the United States and from several foreign countries strengthens the convention as a social and learning experience.
How do you apply to become a first-timer?  First, you must meet each of the qualifications stated above.  Second, you must submit two letters to the DKM committee:

  • Letter from the applicant outlining personal qualifications, interest in the DKM program and the impact of the first-timer experience in the applicant’s personal and professional growth.  In other words, sell oneself to the committee; and
  • Letter of recommendation from the president of the applicant’s state or special-interest ACB affiliate.

Application materials should be forwarded to Francine Patterson in the ACB national office, fpatterson@acb.org. The deadline is April 1, 2015.  Questions should be directed to DKM chair Allen Casey, mahatmaac@aol.com.