AER Awards

AER proudly recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations that have made a positive impact in the field of visual impairment through the presentation of prestigious awards at the AER Biennial Conference. Additionally, a number of AER Divisions and Chapters recognize their members for outstanding contributions.

Winners Announced for the 2016 AER Awards

The AER Awards Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 AER Awards for outstanding service and excellence in the field of visual impairment and blindness. Congratulations to the following accomplished individuals whose careers epitomize the standards of the following awards:

Ms. Linda Lyle – Alfred Allen Award
This award honors professionals who have spent their career in direct service to people with visual impairments. These professionals exemplify the character and dedication that epitomize the spirit and quality of direct service to people with visual impairments.

Dr. John Mascia – John H. McAulay Award
This award recognizes outstanding achievement in the placement of blind and visually impaired persons into employment and is named for a pioneer in vocational rehabilitation of people who are blind.

Mr. Cliff Olstrom – Douglas C. MacFarland Award
This award was established to honor an individual who has provided leadership in the field of blindness and visual impairment and is now retired from the field. This individual will have made innovative, significant or outstanding contributions to the education or rehabilitation of people who are visually impaired, through either direct service, professional organizations, research, literature and/or preparation of professionals. These contributions should have had an impact on a national or international level.

Physical Education and Sports for People with Visual Impairments and Deafblindness by Drs. Lauren Lieberman, Paul Ponchillia, and Susan Ponchillia – Warren Bledsoe Award
This honor recognizes a particularly noteworthy piece of literature in the field. The winning recipient has presented new facts and/or concepts about blindness, presented new perspectives on fundamental problems in blindness, clearly relayed some particular need in the field and elicited responses in concrete form of contributions and/or legislative advocacy, and/or successfully popularized the life and times of people with visual impairments within the sighted community.

Ms. Gale R. Watson – Ambrose M. Shotwell Award
This award honors someone who has made significant contributions to the personal adjustment or rehabilitation of adults who are blind or visually impaired and whose leadership and services have exerted influence on a national or international scale. Past Shotwell Award recipients have included Peter Salmon and Helen Keller.

Dr. Tuck Tinsley III – Mary K. Bauman Award
The award was established to honor an individual who has made a significant contribution to the education of children who are visually impaired. All nominees have worked in/for the education of persons who are blind and have made a significant contribution to the professional organization.

Mr. Joseph P. Helm – Richard L. Welsh Chapter Leadership Award
The award was established in 2016 to recognize a professional who has contributed outstanding efforts in AER chapter leadership. It is named in honor of AER’s first president.

AER Nebraska Chapter – Outstanding AER Chapter Award
This award goes to a chapter whose membership efforts have been outstanding. Criteria include: increase in the number of members; number and quality of services and/or programs offered by the chapter; legislative activity significantly affecting the lives of blind people.

Thank you to everyone who nominated these outstanding professionals and organizations.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our colleagues when these awards are presented at the AER Awards Luncheon on Friday, July 22, 2016, in Jacksonville, Florida, at the AER International Conference 2016.