AR-AER Awards

Arkansas AER presents awards on an annual basis to recognize outstanding professionals and advocates within the field of blindness and visual impairment.

Prior to submitting your nomination, we invite you to learn more about each award below.

Nomination Form


J. Max Woolly Award

This award is presented in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of work for people with visual impairments. The award may be given to an AR- AER member for the following reasons:

  1. Going above and beyond the call of one’s professional responsibilities.
  2. Professional excellence or accomplishment and outstanding achievements in one’s own profession.
  3. Personal intervention, which directly helped a client with a visually impairment who was classified as difficult, resulting in changing the client to a successful orientation.
  4. Research or literature accomplishments.
  5. Development of a new technical adaptation or strategy that will benefit the consumer.
  6. Accomplishments in organization of and for the blind.

Guidelines:

  • Recipients must be AR-AER members.
  • Nominations may be made by AR-AER members only and accompanied by three letters of support.
  • Note: all letters of support will be held in confidence by the Nomination Committee.

Joyce Ogburn Memorial Award

The Joyce Ogburn Memorial Award is dedicated to the memory of Joyce Ogburn, a teacher at the Arkansas School for the Blind from 1971 to 1985. The dedication she showed to her students, school and colleagues was an inspiration to all who knew and worked with her. This award is meant to inspire others to walk in her footsteps and will honor only those who aspire to her ideals. The award will be made when deemed appropriate by the AR-AER Awards Committee based on the following:

  1. The recipient must be an instructor/teacher of students with visual impairments.
  2. The award will be presented to a person who has rendered outstanding service in the field of education or rehabilitation of the visually impaired as demonstrated by:
    • Willingness to work beyond usual job requirements;
    • Concern for individual needs of students or clients;
    • Involvement in professional organizations;
    • Dedication to the highest professional ideals.

Guidelines:

  • Recipients must be AR-AER members.
  • Nominations may be made by AR-AER members only and accompanied by three letters of support.
  • Note: all letters of support will be held in confidence by the Nomination Committee.

Tom Phifer Award

This award is in recognition of Tom Phifer, an Arkansas rehabilitation counselor who worked tirelessly to improve and enhance employment opportunities for persons who are blind and visually impaired. The award is to be given to an individual working in the field of blindness who has made significant contributions toward the independence of persons who are blind and visually impaired living in the state of Arkansas. Contributions may be made in the following areas:

  1. Professional excellence or accomplishment in rehabilitation teaching or vocational rehabilitation.
  2. Utilization of new strategies, techniques or equipment to achieve the independence goals of individuals with visual impairments.
  3. Promotion of a positive image for potential employment of individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
  4. Promoting the transition of persons who are blind or visually impaired into an independent lifestyle.

Guidelines:

  • The award will only be given when an individual with significant merit is nominated.
  • Recipients must be AR-AER members.
  • Nominations may be made by AR-AER members only. Nominations must refer to specific criteria and should be accompanied by three letters of support.
  • Note: all letters of support will be held in confidence by the Nomination Committee.

Arkansas Distinguished Advocate Award (“ADAA Boy Awards”)

These awards are designed to honor individuals and organizations, groups, or businesses outside the “traditional” professional field of education and rehabilitation of the blind and visually impaired. Contrary to other established awards, these will be announced prior to the state conference. The criteria for the awards are as follows:

  1. Nominations for either an individual or business award may come from any source.
  2. Award recipients are NOT limited to citizens of Arkansas or AER members.
  3. The nominated person or group must demonstrate outstanding contributions to the dignity, independence, and/or advancement of persons who are visually impaired in Arkansas.
  4. The person or group efforts should benefit Arkansans who are blind or visually impaired.
  5. Nominations must refer to specific criteria and should be accompanied by two letters of support. Note: all letters of support will be held in confidence by the Nomination Committee. Letters of nomination must be from current AR-AER members.

Guidelines:

  • Nominations may be made by AR-AER members only. Nominations must refer to specific criteria and should be accompanied by two letters of support.
  • Note: all letters of support will be held in confidence by the Nomination Committee.

Wall of Tribute

The Wall of Tribute gives you the opportunity to honor those who have made a difference in your life – be it a spouse or family member, a teacher or other mentor. You may also wish to commemorate an historical figure or special organization.
The Wall of Tribute, located in the APH Hall of Fame, is made up of inscribed stones with accompanying braille labels placed in beautifully detailed wooden columns. Your support is vital in helping us to remember and honor the leaders of our field. This honor will not necessarily be a yearly award but will be made at the discretion of the Board.

  1. The nominee must have been retired from his or her primary work in the field of vision for at least five years.
  2. The nominee’s career should have been at least twenty-five years in duration in the education or rehabilitation fields.
  3. A nominee should have been a twenty-year active member of AEVH, AAWB, and/or AER. An active member is an individual who has attended or presented at state and international conferences on a regular basis, has served on committees, held an office, or served on the Board of AEVH, AAWB, and/or AER.
  4. The AR-AER Board shall vote on nominees for the Wall of Tribute plaque including determining the size and wording for the plaque.

Guidelines:

  • Nominations may be made by AR-AER members only.