The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) announced today that applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Program. Each year the NFB presents cash awards to individuals and organizations that have demonstrated exemplary leadership and extraordinary accomplishments in improving the lives of blind people in the United States.
Dr. Jacob Bolotin was a blind physician who lived and practiced in Chicago in the early twentieth century. He was widely known and respected in Chicago and throughout the Midwest during his career, which spanned the period from 1912 until his untimely death at the age of thirty-six in 1924. He was particularly recognized for his expertise on diseases of the heart and lungs. Bolotin used his many public speaking engagements to advocate for the employment of the blind and their full integration into society.
Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “Dr. Jacob Bolotin was a pioneer who overcame low expectations and discrimination to become a renowned member of the medical profession without the benefit of the support services and civil rights protections available to blind people today. He was also a fierce advocate for greater opportunity for the blind in his time, and doubtless would have been a leader in the organized blind movement had he lived to see it come into being. The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Program celebrates his pioneering spirit by recognizing and supporting outstanding programs, technologies, and individual efforts that help blind Americans live the lives we want. Our previous winners represent projects and achievements of outstanding merit consistent with Dr. Bolotin’s legacy, and we look forward to honoring more trailblazers this year.”
Recipients of the 2016 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards will be determined by the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Committee of the National Federation of the Blind. Applications are due by April 15, 2016. Individuals or organizations are encouraged to apply on behalf of themselves or others. The award recipients will be announced at the 2016 NFB National Convention in Orlando.
The Jacob Bolotin Award Program is funded through the generosity of Dr. Bolotin’s nephew and niece, Alfred and Rosalind Pearlman. In addition to establishing the Alfred and Rosalind Pearlman Trust to endow the awards, the late Mrs. Pearlman also wrote The Blind Doctor: The Jacob Bolotin Story. The book is available through the National Federation of the Blind. For more information or to fill out the online application, please visit http://www.nfb.org/.