Each year at the national convention of the American Council of the Blind, the board of publications (affectionately known as the BOP) presents awards. The first is the Ned E. Freeman Award, instituted in 1970 and named for the first president of the American Council of the Blind who, after completing his term of office, became editor of "The Braille Forum."

The board of publications accepts submissions for the Freeman Award from any writer on a topic of interest to readers of "The Braille Forum." Submissions may be published in the magazine if space allows. Articles appearing in the "Forum" between April 2005 and March 2006 are automatically eligible. Materials published by an ACB affiliate are also welcome. Send a print, braille or electronic copy of the published article accompanied by a letter of nomination.

Mastery of the craft of writing is a major consideration by BOP voters. Interesting subject matter, originality in recounting an experience, or novelty of approach are also considered. A Freeman Award winner will receive a plaque and $100.

The Vernon Henley Media Award was established in 1988 to honor the man who created and first produced ACB Reports, a radio presentation distributed to radio reading services around the country. At the time of his death, he was chair of the board of publications, having assisted editors by conducting writing workshops and by recording for them on audiocassette materials otherwise not available to them. The award is presented to a person, either sighted or blind, who has made a positive difference in the media -- whether in radio, TV, magazines, or daily newspapers -- which may change public attitudes to recognize the capabilities of people who are blind, rather than focusing on outdated stereotypes and misconceptions. Programs and/or articles written and produced specifically for a visually impaired audience, as well as those intended for the general public, are eligible. Multiple articles or programs submitted by one author or organization will be judged as separate entries. The Henley Award is intended to be a vehicle for publicizing ACB throughout the general media, and to encourage excellence and accuracy in electronic and print coverage of items relating to blindness.

Recipients of these awards for the last five years are ineligible to enter the contests. Nor are those who are members of the ACB national office staff, members of the board of directors or board of publications during the awarding period eligible for the Freeman or the Henley awards. Freeman Award winners from 2001 through 2005 are: Lisa Mauldin, Barry Levine, Mike Godino, Rebecca Shields, and Carl Jarvis. Henley Award winners from 2001 to 2005 are: Jonathan Mosen; Carol Greenwald and Mathayu Lane; Pat Price; Mark Ashby and Potomac Talking Book Services; and Lynn Manning, Ron Eldard, Steven Bochco Productions and GW Micro.

Submissions for both awards must be postmarked no later than April 1, 2006. All submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter providing details about the submission, its origin, and any other pertinent information. Include your return address in the cover letter, and, if you want your manuscript returned, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Send submissions to ACB Board of Publications Awards, 1155 15th St. NW, Suite 1004, Washington, DC 20005.

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