By Sue Lichtenfels
It’s been tradition for PCB to honor deserving individuals and organizations for their efforts to improve the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. That recognition will continue at the 2018 PCB Conference and Convention, but with a few changes. We’ve updated our awards program and are excited to share the news.
Most notable among the change is the development of the John A. Horst Champion of Independence honor. This award is being named after PCB’s current Director of Community Affairs who served in many positions within PCB including President and Executive Director. John has not only been an advocate on the frontlines of PCB and in his Lancaster County community, but he advocated in a professional capacity for decades in his work as a rehabilitation counselor and supervisor at the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services. While we honored John for his Lifetime of Distinguished Service a few years ago, PCB leadership believes it would be an even greater honor to remember John’s contributions to people with blindness and vision loss every time we bestow this award in recognition of others’ dedication and service.
As PCB works to promote independence and opportunity for people with vision loss, the fundamental key to success is reshaping the perceptions the world has about life without sight. TheReImage campaign, where we showcase our stories of shared human experiences, is an important part of our efforts to recreate our image. Even more important to this end though are the real-time, in-person interactions and examples we demonstrate in our everyday lives. With the creation of TheReImage Leadership Award, PCB intends to honor an individual who truly embodies the spirit of TheReImage campaign through his or her actions, lifestyle, and leadership.
Another new honor is the PCB Peer Excellence Award. This recognition is to be given to a long-time PCB member who, in addition to having been a steady volunteer for PCB events, projects, and chapters, has demonstrated distinguished service to PCB and its peers by taking on leadership roles or continually surpassing volunteer service expectations.
The fourth and final award is the PCB Community Impact Award. This was previously our award for corporate service and the criteria remain the same. We changed the name to clearly identify that the purpose of the award is to recognize an entity for the impact it has made on the vision loss community.
This year’s awards will be bestowed at the 2018 PCB Conference and Convention at our banquet on Saturday, October 20 in Pittsburgh. Please take some time to consider and nominate deserving people and businesses for the awards. Criteria for each award follows. Members of PCB’s current Board of Directors are not eligible to be nominated. Any individual, regardless of PCB membership, can make nominations for these awards.
Please email nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the PCB office at 877-617-7407. Please include the following information about you and your nominee: name, mailing address, phone, and email address. Please indicate which award the nomination is for and share a justification for the award in 100 words or less. All nominations are due by Friday, August 31, 2018.
John A. Horst Champion of Independence
* The award may be given to an individual who has:
A. performed at least 20 years of professional service in fields related to the rehabilitation or the education of people who are blind or visually impaired or
B. Dedicated more than 20 years of service to collective advocacy and public awareness efforts that promote independence and opportunity for people with blindness or vision loss.
* Additionally, the recipient’s service contributions must be well recognized in the community in which they live or throughout the state or nation as significant to the betterment of the lives of those with vision loss.
TheReImage Leadership Award
* The recipient must have overcome both the real and perceived challenges of blindness or vision loss to achieve an active, multi-faceted life;
* Have proven him/herself as a role model and leader within the blindness community through service, perseverance, empowerment, or achievement and;
* Have demonstrated to the world, through his/her independence and action, TheReImage of people with vision loss
PCB Peer Excellence Award
* The recipient must be or have been a member of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind for more than 10 years;
* Have provided a long history of volunteer service to PCB’s events, projects, or chapters and;
* Have demonstrated distinguished service by taking on leadership roles within PCB or regularly going beyond expectations in service to PCB and fellow peers.
PCB Community Impact Award
* The recipient of this award shall have made a significant difference in the lives of people with blindness or vision loss through a product, a service, or an employment practice that leads to greater independence and opportunity; or
* This award may be presented to a corporation, agency, or foundation that has provided significant support to the mission or projects of PCB.