by Allen Casey
April 1 is more than a day for practical jokes at the expense of family and friends. It also is the deadline for receipt of Durward K. McDaniel First-Timer application materials in the ACB national office. If you have never attended the ACB national conference and convention, 2015 could be your year for a special train ride.
First, you must be ready, willing and able to participate actively in one of the most rewarding learning experiences you could ever imagine. You will meet ACB leaders; hear presentations from state, national and international speakers; participate in seminars on issues important to the blindness community; and benefit from hands-on contact with the latest assistive technology. Applicants are required to satisfy each of the DKM First-Timer qualifications:
- Age 18 or older
- Blind or visually impaired
- Member in good standing of ACB
- Never attended a previous ACB national conference and convention
Next, you are ready for the final step in the application process – the letter of application and the letter of recommendation.
- The qualified applicant will submit a letter to the DKM committee outlining the applicant’s qualifications and experience and the benefits expected from the first-timer program.
- The president of the qualified applicant’s state or special-interest ACB affiliate will submit a letter of recommendation to the committee.
Eligible applicants will be interviewed by telephone in mid-April, with selections made by April 30.
Competition for DKM First-Timer selection is intense as only two applicants are selected annually – one from east and one from west of the Mississippi River. ACB and the DKM committee provide each First-Timer round-trip transportation, hotel accommodations (double occupancy), per diem allowance for meals and incidentals, convention registration fee and tickets to the DKM reception and ACB banquet. First-Timers are expected to participate in convention activities from the opening session Sunday evening through the ACB banquet Friday evening.
Finally, all application materials must be received in the ACB national office not later than April 1 and should be directed to Sharon Lovering, firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions should be addressed to DKM chair Allen Casey at email@example.com or (336) 222-0201.
If you miss the 2015 DKM train, you can’t catch another until 2016. Get on board before April 1!