by Allen Casey
As ACB approaches its 55th year, the path to leadership is expanding with an enhanced emphasis on developing new leaders for the future. A special grant will fund a one-year program bringing 10 ACB members with recognized leadership potential to the July 2016 national conference and convention in Minneapolis.
Two applicants will be selected for the traditional leadership program, the Durward K. McDaniel First-Timers program, which is entering its 20th year. DKM recipients must satisfy four basic criteria — 18 years of age or older; blind or visually impaired; members in good standing of ACB; and never have attended a national conference and convention. Eligible applicants must be recommended by the president of their respective ACB state or special-interest affiliates. The application process consists of submitting two letters and participating in a telephone interview with DKM committee members. The first letter, submitted by the applicant, will include the objectives in applying to become a First-Timer, a brief summary of the applicant’s background and education, participation in affiliate activities and an assessment of how the DKM program will benefit the applicant and his or her community. The letter from the ACB state or special-interest affiliate president will describe and confirm the applicant’s participation in affiliate and community affairs as well as an evaluation of leadership potential. Telephone interviews will be scheduled with all eligible applicants in mid-April.
Additionally, eight applicants will be selected for the new DKM Leadership Award. Recipients must satisfy three basic criteria — 18 years of age or older; blind or visually impaired; and members in good standing of ACB. The restriction on previous conference and convention attendance is waived. Eligible applicants must be recommended by the president of their respective affiliates. The application process for the DKM Leadership Award also consists of submitting two letters and participating in a telephone interview with DKM committee members. The applicant’s letter will include the objectives in applying for the leadership award; a brief summary of the applicant’s education and relevant experience; number of years of membership in ACB as well as previous conventions attended, if any; description of one’s role as a leader; and an assessment of what one brings to ACB. The affiliate president’s letter of recommendation should address the applicant’s contributions to the affiliate, ACB and community organizations; and describe the applicant’s demonstrated leadership skills and leadership potential. Telephone interviews will be scheduled for mid-April.
All recipients receive round-trip transportation; hotel accommodation (double occupancy), per diem stipend for meals and incidentals, convention registration fee and reception and banquet tickets. Recipients are expected to attend the convention from the opening session Sunday evening, July 3, through the Friday evening banquet, July 8, and to participate actively in all convention activities including the daily general sessions, special-interest presentations, seminars and workshops.
Application documents should be forwarded to Kelly Gasque in the ACB national office, [email protected]. Deadline for receipt is April 1. Questions regarding the application process and required documentation should be directed to DKM chair Allen Casey, [email protected].