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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

American Foundation for the Blind Announces Call for Nominations for 2009 Migel Medals

New York, NY (July 25, 2008)—The American Foundation for the Blind Migel Medal, the highest honor in the blindness field, was established in 1937 by the late M.C. Migel, the first chairperson of AFB, to honor professionals and volunteers whose dedication and achievements have significantly improved the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired.

The Migel Medal Awards are given in two categories—Professional and Lay Volunteer Award. Professional Award nominees should be those whose career work significantly impacted services to people with vision loss on a national level. Prospective candidates include, but are not limited to, professionals with specific training and expertise in education, rehabilitation, assistive technology, vision rehabilitation, personnel preparation, administration, or related fields. They may work in the public or private sector and their work should span several years.

Past recipients include:
2008: Lou Alonso, who initiated the Teacher Preparation Program in Deafblindness and the Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Training Program at Michigan State University;
2007: Berdell (Pete) Wurzburger, who established and ran a training program in orientation and mobility for more than 20 years training hundreds of teachers and mobility specialists;
2006: Rachel Rosenbaum, President of the Carroll Center for the Blind for over 30 years and co-founder of the National Association of Private Agencies for the Blind;
2005: Louis Vieceli, who established and taught job placement techniques for over 30 years, training hundreds of rehabilitation practitioners.

Lay Volunteer Award nominees may be volunteers or employees within the blindness and visual impairment field whose efforts have supported or extended service to people with vision loss. Professionals from other disciplines may include, but are not limited to, those who develop assistive technology equipment and software, health care devices, and improved medical services.

Past recipients include:
2008: LeRoy Saunders, who expanded employment opportunities for people who are blind through his leadership at the Virginia Commission for the Blind and the Oklahoma League for the Blind;
2007: Jim Bliss, co-inventor of a reading device that converted print into tactile replicas, and David Holladay, developer of braille translation software that benefited thousands of school age students and adults;
2006: Carol McCarl, publisher of a nationally distributed magazine, Dialogue, read by hundreds of blind and visually impaired persons;
2005: Bernard Krebs, producer of numerous guides for braille transcribers for over 40 years, making braille material more readily available to blind persons.

To see the entire list of Migel recipients since 1937, go to the Migel Medal Awards section of AFB's web site. Nominations for AFB's Migel Medals are due by Friday, September 26, 2008, and should be e-mailed to Mary Ann Siller, National Project Manager, Professional Development, at


Media Contact: Caitlin McFeely

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