AFB Names Kay Ferrell, Ph.D. and Jim Fruchterman 2013 Migel Medal Recipients
New York (December 7, 2012)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the 2013 winners of the Migel Medals, the highest honor in the blindness field. This year's recipients are Kay Ferrell, Ph.D., and Jim Fruchterman.
"I am honored to present these medals to Jim and Kay for their exceptional accomplishments in the blindness and low vision field," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and CEO. "This year's awardees have dedicated their professional lives to advancement of education and technology so that people with vision loss can thrive in the classroom, the workplace, and in their daily activities."
The Migel Medals will be presented to the recipients at the 2013 AFB National Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois, in April 2013.
About the Awardees
Kay Ferrell, Ph.D. is Professor of Special Education, University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley. She is the author of Reach Out and Teach: Helping Your Child who is Visually Impaired Learn and Grow, and has taught all ages of individuals with visual and multiple disabilities, from infants through adults.
She holds a special interest in working with young children and their families, having written extensively for parents and professionals, and has published on topics including education, personnel preparation, distance education methodologies, and image description.
Dr. Ferrell has received numerous state and national awards for her work with and on behalf of children and youth who are blind and visually impaired, including the Mary Kay Bauman and Josephine L. Taylor Awards from the Association for Education & Rehabilitation of the Blind & Visually Impaired (AER), AFB's Corinne M. Kirchner Research Award, the Ray McGeorge Award from the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, UNC's Winchester Distinguished Scholar Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Visual Impairments, and the Alumni Award for Research in Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Jim Fruchterman has a long track record as a high technology and social entrepreneur. He helped create two of Silicon Valley's leading companies building optical character recognition products, for commercial and government applications, including routing the mail for the United States Postal Service. He founded Benetech in 1989 as a nonprofit technology organization to make affordable reading machines people who are blind or have low vision.
In 2002, he launched Bookshare, now the world's largest online library of accessible digital books for people with disabilities, with more than 170,000 titles.
Jim has received many awards for his work helping people with disabilities, including the MacArthur Fellowship, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and the American Library Association’s Francis Joseph Campbell award. He has served on three federal advisory committees addressing national accessibility policies and assisted the World Blind Union in creating the proposed global Treaty for the Visually Impaired.
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. Headquartered in New York, AFB is proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB.