News from the Hall of Fame

May 30, 2017 — Robert Smithdas and William B. Wait
 to be Inducted into the
Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends
of the Blindness Field in 2017

Induction Ceremony



The ceremony to induct Smithdas and Wait will take place in October 2017, in conjunction with APH’s 149th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Joining the fifty-eight outstanding legends previously inducted, are these two remarkable figures whose innovations changed lives. Their stories of accomplishment are powerful.
 


The Class of 2017

Robert Smithdas, 1925-2014

snapshot of Robert Smithdas

Smithdas served as Associate Director of Services for the Deaf-Blind, Helen Keller National Center. Continuing the work of Helen Keller, his eloquence, example, and lobbying led to the development of legislation enacted in the 1967 Amendments to the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, and which authorized the establishment of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults.

Smithdas was awarded four honorary doctoral degrees, was named Handicapped American of the Year, served on the President’s Committee on Employment of People Who Are Disabled, was awarded AFB’s Migel Medal and the Peter J. Salmon Memorial Award, was inducted into the National Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities, and was the Poetry Society of America’s Poet of the Year.

“I saw firsthand the effect he had on visitors, professionals in the fields of education and rehabilitation, parents of children who are deaf-blind, and, most importantly, the deaf-blind individuals themselves. He was a role model for students who came to HKNC, a person they looked up to and would often visit with to discuss their goals and the day to day challenges they faced.” —Joseph J. McNulty

William B. Wait, 1839–1916

portrait of William B. Wait

Wait was Superintendent of the New York Institute for the Blind for forty-one years and heavily involved with the American Association of Instructors of the Blind. He Also invented and promoted the tactile writing method, New York Point.

In addition to administering the institute and writing books on the education of the blind, Wait developed a method of musical notation, invented equipment to produce his point materials, developed the kleidograph for embossing his New York Point system on paper, invented the sterograph for embossing metal plates for producing books, developed a method of embossing New York Point on both sides of a piece of paper, and developed and patented a method of binding books in New York Point that improved their durability and reduced the cost of producing the books.

In 1879, Wait was spokesman for a committee that successfully lobbied the U.S. Congress for the first allocation of federal funds to be administered by the American Printing House for the Blind, in order to produce books and devices for the education of blind and visually impaired students.

“It is amazing to think that one person could accomplish so much. The Institute prospered under his direction and his contributions to the field of blindness were so important to the future of literacy and education for children who are blind.” —Bernadette Kappen

August 31, 2016 — In Memoriam Will D. Evans

The Hall has lost a hero and champion in the passing of founding advisory board member Will D. Evans. Twice honored with stones on the Wall of Tribute, this remarkable man was beloved by all who knew him.

Will Evans and Mary Robinson

Will D. Evans was legendary, both at the Kentucky School for the Blind and later at the American Printing House for the Blind for his insight, wisdom, and passion for helping people who are blind and visually impaired lead independent lives. Evans retired from APH as our Products and Services Advisor and was known as an “elder statesman” who had thoughtful perspectives on all aspects of our field. Many staff members went to Evans for advice, both professionally and personally. He will be greatly missed.

The photo depicts Will Evans with Mary Robinson. Robinson worked with Will for many years at both KSB and APH. Will is holding his “street sign,” reading “Will Evans Way.” The driveway that runs between KSB and APH is named “Will Evans Way” in his honor.

http://arch-l-heady-son-cralle.tributes.com/dignitymemorial/obituary/Will-D.-Evans-103898067

June 16, 2016 — Sir Charles Frederick Fraser and Dr. Randall T. Jose to be Inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2016

The Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. Although housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky, it belongs to the entire field.

Induction Ceremony

The ceremony to induct Fraser and Jose, will take place on Friday evening, October 7, 2016, in conjunction with APH’s 148th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Joining the fifty-six outstanding legends previously inducted, are these two remarkable figures whose innovations changed lives. Their stories of accomplishment are powerful.

The Class of 2016:

Charles Frederick Fraser, 1850-1925

Charles Frederick Fraser

Sir Frederick Fraser was an inspirational, dedicated and innovative educator of the blind. He dedicated his life’s work to creating educational and vocational programs and services to allow those with visual impairments to become self-supporting and contributing citizens. In 1873, at age 22, he became the first superintendent of the “Halifax Asylum for the Blind,” named the Halifax School for the Blind in 1884 due to his efforts, which provided comprehensive programs in primary through high school education, physical education, music, and vocational and career skills and education to students from four Atlantic provinces.

Fraser established a provincial circulating library of Braille books in 1881, and in 1898 was successful in persuading the Canadian Post Office to handle Braille books postage-free which is still in effect today. In 1883, Fraser expanded a financial assistance program for graduates embarking on careers or further training. He also founded the Canadian Printing House for the Blind which was housed at the school (1901). In June 1914 He was knighted and referred to as the “the blind Knight of Nova Scotia.”

Randall T. Jose, 1943-

Randall T. Jose

Dr. Randy Jose is the founding chairman of the Diplomate of the Low Vision Section of the American Academy of Optometry, receiving his doctorate at UC Berkley, where he then taught. A tenured professor at the University of Houston, he also served as the Clinical Director at the Lighthouse of Houston and the Tulsa Low Vision Center, a new concept in the delivery of low vision services in the private sector. Later he became the Director of Clinical Services for UH’s Center for Sight Enhancement.

The author of over 50 articles, Jose authored the low vision text, “Understanding Low Vision” which received AAWB’s Bledsoe Award. He also co-authored, “The Art and Practice of Low Vision” and has received AER’s McFarland Award and the American Optometric Association’s Vision Care Award.

September 2015 — JOHN MAXSON, former Hall of Fame Board Member, passes away

Board chair Billy Brookshire shares:

Well, folks, I have some sad news. My friend & mentor John Maxson, former AAWB President & former Training Director at MSU/RRTC, has passed. John was a true pioneer in our field who helped bring us all together.

Here is a link to a video where John & friends unveiled the 32 Heroes & Pioneers of the Blindness Field, all of whom became the first inductees into the Hall of Fame for Leaders & Legends of the Blindness Field.

BJ LeJeune’s note regarding John’s passing on AERNet: Yesterday John passed away – one day before his 73rd Birthday. He was a strong advocate for high quality professional development and recognition. He was instrumental in the merging of our 2 professional organizations into what is now AER. He also was a strong advocate in the founding of the Hall of Fame of Leaders and Legends in our field. In his career which started as an O & M instructor, he also was the Dean of Students at the NM School for the Blind, pass director of AAWB, the training director at the NRTC at MSU, and the director of the Foundation for Blind Children. He had suffered quite a bit with the ravages of Agent Orange poisoning from his service in Vietnam, which is what contributed to his death. He is survived by his wife Dona and his daughters Jenny and Kym. Also by 6 grandchildren. He will have a military burial in Crescent City CA. The family asks that donations be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project or the Vietnam Veterans of America. He would have also been pleased by donations to the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends in the Blindness Field. Rest in Peace, John.

Fresh Insights from Jo Taylor

For the first time, you can enjoy a never before published 1987 interview with Josephine L. Taylor, gently edited by the original interviewer, Michael Bina. This historic narrative provides the reader with a unique glimpse in to the life and motivation of one of our most legendary figures. You will most assuredly enjoy and gain valuable insights from this fascinating find.

Our sincere gratitude to Dr. Bina for giving the Hall this amazing gift.

May 12, 2015 — Sir Francis Campbell and Dr. Alan Koenig to be Inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2015

The Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. Although housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky, it belongs to the entire field.

The ceremony to induct Campbell and Koenig, will take place on Friday evening, October 9, 2015, in conjunction with APH’s 147th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Joining the fifty-four outstanding legends previously inducted, are these two remarkable figures who changed lives around the world. Their stories of accomplishment are powerful.

The Class of 2015

Francis Joseph Campbell (1832–1914)

Francis Joseph Campbell

Sir Francis Campbell’s service began as a music teacher and interim Superintendent of the Tennessee School for the Blind in 1850. He then served as a music teacher and special assistant to Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe at the Perkins School for the Blind from 1857 to 1868. In 1872, he established the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind (RNC) in London where he served as Principal until retirement in 1912. His school was built on the belief that blind people can accomplish great things with good instruction. He built a firm base of physical education and provided strong academic training with an emphasis on logic and mathematics as a basis for music instruction. Campbell’s school was enormously successful. Today it is known as the Royal National College and continues to receive awards for its status as an extremely effective school and training program for people who are blind.

“Francis Campbell was the character and personality on which modern work for the blind hinged. After Howe, he was the undoubted champion of the capabilities of blind people, both by his own example, his demands on himself and what he asked of other blind people and society.” —C. Warren Bledsoe

“His approach was based on a realistic understanding of what was capable without vision and on a strong belief in the ability of blind people to function independently. He demonstrated the value of educating the whole child. He understood the need to encourage the development of the physical, intellectual, and emotional sides of each individual. And he appreciated the need for functional life skills that lead to jobs that enabled independence. By including Francis Campbell in our Hall of Fame, we will not only honor his work, but we will create an opportunity for future professionals in this field to be influenced by his insights and success.” —Dr. Richard Welsh

Alan J. Koenig (1954–2005)

Alan J. Koenig

Dr. Koenig strongly influenced the way teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs) viewed their roles and responsibilities related to literacy instruction. Alan was clear that TVIs are teaching reading and writing when they provide instruction to young children who will read braille or children with low vision who will read print.

Koenig revolutionized the way that educational teams approach the decision regarding whether a student with low vision should begin reading and writing in braille, print, or a combination of braille and print. Prior to his landmark work on Learning Media Assessment (LMA), teachers and parents struggled with the decision of whether to teach a child braille or print. LMA provides a data-driven procedure that supports decisions of educational teams. For the first time, teachers and parents had a systematic guide for gathering pertinent information and using that information to support on-going educational decisions.

“Dr. Koenig shared his knowledge, expertise, and love of the field of visual impairment with thousands of people at over 150 conference presentations and workshops both locally and internationally. Of particular note was his support of the Unified English Braille (UEB) code. Twenty years ago, the thought of introducing a new braille code to North America was daunting. Without his early support, Canada would likely not be where it is today with respect to UEB.” —Dr. Carol Farrenkopf

“I was fortunate to work with and learn from Alan. My life and my work is better because of my collaboration with him. Although I was his closest and most frequent collaborator, I was by no means alone. Alan was a generous colleague and published with 42 co-authors. Each of these people will have a tale to tell about Alan’s influence on them!” —Dr. Cay Holbrook

May 12, 2015

AER “Heroes And Pioneers” Presentation, July 2000

Recovered from the dark archival depths of a neglected desk drawer, we present this video from the year 2000 at the AER International Conference in Denver, Colorado. The presentation, “Heroes and Pioneers,” was the catalyst for our Hall of Fame.

Stars on the stage are Michael Nelipovich, Rod Kossick, and John Maxson. The biographical material was researched and written by Dean and Naomi Tuttle, who were in the audience.

The 32 heroes that they honored with individual posters became our first 32 Hall of Fame inductees.

February 9, 2015

2015 Hall of Fame Governing Board

In December 2014, the Hall of Fame Board traveled to Louisville for the first “face to face” meeting since 2008. At that meeting Billy Brookshire was elected as the new Chair. Sadly, the board had to say goodbye to the voting members rotating off the board, including Janie Blome, Mike Cole, John Maxson, and Diane Wormsley. The board welcomed new members by telephone, including Jim Deremeik, Marje Kaiser, BJ LeJeune, Gary Mudd, Ann Wadsworth, and George Zimmerman. Janie Blome became an Ex Officio Trustee and took over as Curator from Bob Brasher, who remains as an Ex Officio Trustee. At a telephone meeting in January, the officers for 2015 were elected.

Here is the 2015 slate of officers and Hall of Fame board member roster:

December 30, 2014

Kathleen Huebner writes:
One of our Hall of Famers has passed on to another life. Natalie Barraga was a leader among us. She recognized the potential of individuals with low vision. I urge all my colleagues in the education and rehabilitation of individuals who are blind or have low vision to visit the Hall of Fame site located at APH. Besides her history there are interviews and videos and many photos of her smiling and laughing heartily. Many of us were privilege to not only learn from her but to work with her and enjoy her friendship. She will live on in many hearts.

December 10, 2014

The Board of the Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field met in Louisville (December 9-10) for the first face-to-face meeting since 2008.

First picture:

1st row — Rosanne Silberman (NY), Jane Erin, Chair (AZ), Ann MacCuspie, Secretary (CAN).

2nd row — Greg Goodrich (CA), Janie Blome, Tresurer (KY), Bob Brasher, Curator (KY), Jim Deremeik (MD), Mike Cole (CA), Billy Brookshire, Chair-Elect (TX).

formal group photo, see description above

Jim Deremeik, Mike Cole, Ann MacCuspie, and Jane Erin Mike Cole checks out Newel Perry's plaque

Rosanne Silberman and Bob Brasher at Wall of Tribute

September 17, 2014 — In Memoriam Richard Welsh

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dr. Richard Welsh. Welsh was born in Pittsburgh, PA and received his doctorate in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Pittsburgh. He had three adult children and five grandchildren. He remarried in 2001 to fellow professional and APH staff member Mary Nelle McLennan.

Welsh was an instructor at Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, at the University of Pittsburgh, and then at Cleveland State University. Beginning in 1978, Welsh served as Superintendent of the Maryland School for the Blind. From 1990 until 2003 he was an administrator of Pittsburgh Vision Services. Welsh served as an Ex Officio Trustee of APH and provided his valued input on many Trustee committees.

The remarkable contributions to his chosen profession centered around Welsh’s visionary leadership in orientation and mobility. He was instrumental in establishing the O&M profession’s Code of Ethics. Welsh, along with co-editor Bruce Blasch, wrote the authoritative textbook Foundations of Orientation and Mobility. He also wrote many articles and chapters in texts on mobility and on the psycho-social aspects of rehabilitation of the people who are visually impaired.

Among the many honors Welsh received are the Migel medal from AFB in 2004, NCPABVI Leadership Award in 2003, AER’s Ambrose Shotwell Award in 1996, AER’s Lawrence Blaha Award in 1988 and the C. Warren Bledsoe Award from AAWB in 1981. Professional awards were named in his honor, and he was named the 2008 Distinguished Alumni of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. Welsh was inducted into the blindness field’s Hall of Fame in 2008.

Welsh’s accomplishments are too numerous to list here, for more information on his extraordinary life, visit Welsh’s Hall of Fame biography page. Rick has been described as “larger than life,” a visionary leader, very humble, approachable and a wise mentor and role model who quietly listened to others and made them feel valued.

May 20, 2014 — Michael Collins and Newel Perry to be Inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2014

The Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. It is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky, but belongs to all.

The ceremony to induct Collins and Perry, will take place on Friday evening, October 17, 2014, in conjunction with APH’s 146th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Joining the fifty-two outstanding legends previously inducted, are these two remarkable figures who changed lives around the world. Their stories of accomplishment are powerful.

The Class of 2014:

Michael T. Collins 1947–2008

Michael T. Collins

Mike Collins dedicated 30 years of his career to Perkins; first as supervisor of the Perkins School for the Blind’s campus-based Deafblind Program and then as founder and director of the Hilton/Perkins International Program, with the mission of training teachers to teach children who are deafblind with multiple disabilities in developing countries. Under his leadership, the program grew from serving a few hundred students to helping more than 10,000 children annually in 63 countries. He traveled to dozens of countries as a “missionary” for children who are deafblind and blind with additional disabilities working with education and government officials. He was, however, most comfortable on a mat with students explaining to parents and teachers how to help students achieve more than their families and teachers thought possible. Before his extensive work in special education, Michael studied theological studies at St. John’s Seminary in Boston. He brought that care, compassion and understanding with him to his work with students who are deafblind.

Mr. Collins served as vice president and president of Deafblind International and was a board member of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment. He also founded the National Coalition on Deafblindness. Collins received the distinguished Perkins’ Annie Sullivan Award and Deafblind International’s Lifetime Achievement Award and their Distinguished Service Award.

“His love for children with multiple disabilities and his deep understanding of their needs was evident when he visited programs and dangled children on his knee.” —Nandini Rawal, project director of the Blind People’s Association in Gujarat, India

Newel Perry (1873–1961)

Newel Perry

Dr. Newel Perry was called the father of the modern civil rights movement of the blind. According to Matson (1990), Perry “presided as mentor and godfather to the [organized blind] movement,” spawning the California Council of the Blind (1934), and the National Federation of the Blind (1940). In 1912, Dr. Perry took the post which would define his career, Director of Advanced Studies at the California School for the Blind, and was in this position until retirement in 1947. He is best known for having mentored “Perry’s Boys (and Girls),” a group of talented blind young men and women who would, with Perry’s assistance, begin the organized blind movement of advocacy and civil rights.

Honors include: California Council of the Blind, Hall of Fame, 1996 (original member), California Council of the Blinds Newel Perry Endowment Trust, the National Federation of the Blinds highest award—named for Newel Perry, and, within NFB’s Jacobus tenBroek Library, the Newel Perry Conference Room, appropriately named for tenBroek’s beloved mentor.

“Newel Perry educated, indoctrinated and persuaded a distinguished group of cohorts to join him in carrying on the struggle and carrying out its goals. Those whom Doctor gathered around him were other blind men and women, mostly former students whose special talents and professional positions uniquely supplemented his.” Jacobus tenBroek, 1961

When asked what was his most important work, Dr. Perry answered, “Oh, my most important work was my dragging the blind out of their sleep, stirring them up, putting some ambition into them, and then helping them.”

April 2, 2014 — In Memoriam: Alice Geisler Raftary (1927–2014)

Alice smiling with flowers

On Sunday morning, March 30, we lost a true friend and hero when Alice Raftary, often called the Mother of Rehabilitation Teaching, passed away quietly. Alice was one of the initial 32 inductees in to the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2002. From that time forward, Alice became an ardent fan of, and asset to, the Hall. She participated in subsequent Induction Ceremonies through this past October, always intent on honoring those who were inducted and/or their families and friends. On the morning after the Induction Ceremonies, she often co-hosted a visit with the new inductees and/or their families in the Hall of Fame.

Alice put her life’s work in perspective this way, “It’s exciting to participate in the restoration of life styles. Helping people to progress from hopelessness to confidence and competence is a thrill and a joy.”

In a January 2014 interview for the Hall, Mike Bina asked Alice; What are three to five pieces of advice you would give those in the field? Her response, “Invest your time and some money into the growth of your profession. Join and be active in your professional associations (AERBVI, MACRT), go to conferences, etc. Continue to learn new techniques and new systems. Share your expertise. Mentor others in the field and encourage others to work in the field of blindness.”

Alice’s daughter and our friend, Mary, shared that, “we are suggesting donations in Mom’s name to the Hall of Fame.”

Her legacy of support and participation continues.

A Memorial Service is planned for June.

January 8, 2014 — 2014 Hall of Fame Nominations Now Being Accepted

Who should be the next inductees into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field?

If you are interested in learning more about the easy (electronic) process for submitting a nominee to join the 52 inductees, please visit: www.aph.org/hall/nominate/.

The nomination process will close Friday, March 28, 2014.

September 11, 2013 — Hall of Fame Then and Now, Revisited!

Hall of Fame space in 1931, when it housed the APH machine shop.
Click to enlarge

In 2010, we posted before and after renovation pictures of the Hall of Fame space. APH Museum Director Mike Hudson recently shared this photo of that same space circa 1931. The far wall is the Wall of Tribute.

Mike adds, “That floor (of APH) was added in 1927, and until 1931 it housed all of our presses. They were moved to the basement in 1931, but the machine shop stayed there until the late 30s, when it moved off-site along with all of our other presses. I have other photos of the floor showing presses, but that one is unique because of the angle—it is similar to the before and after shots you took of the Hall of Fame…”

August 30, 2013 — Online Donations Now Possible

It is now easier than ever before to support the Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, thanks to our new Online Donation Page. Earmark your donation to sponsor a bas-relief plaque, or simply make a general donation. NEW! Ordering Wall of Tribute stones is now possible online as well.

May 17, 2013 — Martha Louise Morrow Foxx and Laurence Clifton Jones to be Inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2013

The Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. It is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky, but belongs to all.

The ceremony to induct Ms. Foxx and Dr. Jones, connected through their work at Mississippi’s Piney Woods Country Life School, will take place on Friday evening, October 18, 2013 in conjunction with APH’s Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Joining the 50 outstanding legends previously inducted, are these two remarkable historic figures who literally changed lives and altered history. Their stories of accomplishment—in the face of staggering odds—are still powerfully touching lives. Dr. Jones and Ms. Foxx opened, and held open, a door that was seen as forever closed to black Americans, including those who were blind. Their heroic actions were not accomplished without personal danger and danger to their fellow workers, their supporters, and students in their charge.

The Class of 2013:

Martha Louise Morrow Foxx (1902–1985)

Martha Louise Morrow Foxx

Ms. Foxx was the primary teacher of the blind at the Piney Woods Country Life School in Mississippi from 1929 until 1942. She then became principal until 1951, when the school moved to a new campus in Jackson, thus becoming the Mississippi School for Blind Negroes, where she served as director until retirement in 1969. Martha Louise began her journey in the Piney Woods as an 18-year-old (1928) graduate of the Overbrook School for the Blind (PA). She went on to study at several colleges during summers, earning her bachelor and master degrees.

Mrs. Foxx became widely known for her innovative and dynamic teaching philosophy which entailed instruction outside the walls of the school. She insisted that the students be allowed to enjoy outings into the woods around Piney Woods School to hone their senses of touch, sound, and smell. Using what were considered to be progressive techniques she taught students to read braille and large print and insisted that they learn to be self reliant and develop careers to insure they would succeed in making their own way after graduating from the school. Teachers, both black and white, from around the country, came to the Piney Woods to learn and embrace her methods—all before PL 94-142, IDEA, and the Civil Rights movement. This was happening in the heart of our segregated country. It took courage, persistence and unlimited patience. Her curriculum was adopted by the “white” school for the blind in the late 1940s.

“Challenging minds, expanding possibilities, securing opportunities, and changing what it means to be blind for African-Americans who happened to be blind — this is what Mrs. Fox did with her life. She accepted the call, challenged her limits, and impacted lives by making a difference in the dignity and quality of life of hundreds of blind individuals who are now living all across America. Those same individuals are carrying on her legacy not only today, but for many years to come.” —Barbara White Hadnott, former student

Dr. Laurence C. Jones (1884–1975)

Laurence C. Jones

The Piney Woods School was founded in 1909 by Dr. Jones as a place to provide vocational and academic schooling for poor black children and grandchildren of slaves in the rural piney woods area—just south of Jackson, Mississippi. The school started with one 16-year-old student at a tree stump and the next day there were 2 more students. As word got around, the school continued to grow. Many students came in mule-drawn wagons and were dropped off with tuition partially paid in crops and homemade goods. Their families left them at the school with the hope of a better life made possible through education. All students at the school were required to work; they helped to grow food for the school, built and repaired the grounds, or toured in music ensembles. In an early photograph, the motto of the school reads “Work is the Mother of Contentment.”

In the 1920s, sparked by two events, Dr. Jones became aware that there was no school to educate Negro children who were blind. He observed a young blind girl begging on the streets of Vicksburg and a young blind boy, whose sharecropper parents were killed in a fire, was left at the school for him to care for. Never one to turn away a child in need or a challenge, and believing every child deserved an opportunity, Dr. Jones added the education of blind children to the school’s purpose which remained a focus until 1951.

Dr. Jones authored several books and tirelessly toured the country telling of the work and inviting national and international dignitaries to visit the campus. He attracted both white and black teachers from around the country to the Piney Woods to learn the methods used at the school for the blind. He advocated education which touched “the mind, the heart, and the hands.” This credo was evidenced in education for the mind, spiritual growth and service for the heart, and putting the hands to good old fashioned work.

Dr. Jones was a pioneering educator of the blind in Mississippi and he is credited with guiding the Mississippi Blind School for Negroes towards its move to Jackson and eventually to integration. The first big step was embodied by the creation of a new campus in Jackson in 1950, after almost 30 years of effort. In 1945, Helen Keller, after visiting the school and learning of Dr. Jones and Miss Foxx and their work, helped convince the Mississippi legislature to fund the establishment of the school. The Piney Woods School received state funding and moved to become a sister school of the Jackson based Mississippi School for the Blind.

The combined efforts of Dr. Jones and Ms. Foxx were rewarded when the two campuses combined in 1974. “Dr. Jones should be noted and recognized for his work in the field of blindness. Because of his willingness to take on the challenge of educating black children, including those that were blind, Mississippi can tout the legacy of Martha Foxx. Dr. Jones was the first spark that initiated a fireball of interest and support to educate all children, including those of former slaves and those who were blind. This leader dared to educate the excluded. This leader dared to include a department to educate the blind which was far different from the expectations during that time. His leadership and professional practice are unsurpassed.” —Dr. Rosie L. T. Pridgen


Helen Keller visits the Piney Woods School in 1945. Dr. Jones and Mrs. Foxx are seated on the first row to the far right.

For additional information on Dr. Jones, Ms. Foxx and the Piney Woods School, visit this website: http://captionmax.com/blog/2012/02/dr-laurence-jones-martha-louise-morrow-foxx/ or the Piney Woods School website: http://www.pineywoods.org/

Dean and Naomi Tuttle Honored for their Work

All Hall of Fame biographies through 2011 were written by Dean and Naomi Tuttle.

On behalf of the Governing Board of the Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field, Dr. Kay Ferrell framed and presented Dr. Dean and Naomi Tuttle with a copy of the engraved stone that is now mounted on the Wall of Tribute in the Hall of Fame. This tribute honors Dean and Naomi for creating the first 48 Hall of Fame Inductee biographies! As the stone states: Their words truly do bring our heroes to life. The Board also thanks the many fans and friends of the Tuttles whose donations made this possible.

May 30, 2012 — Phil Hatlen and Pete Wurzburger to be Inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2012

The Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky. The Hall, which belongs to the entire field of blindness, is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America.

To date, forty-eight outstanding professionals have been inducted into the Hall. Joining those legends are two remarkable icons, each of whom has mentored professionals and consumers throughout their careers and as a result their impact will be felt for generations to come.

The ceremony to induct Dr. Phil Hatlen and Mr. Pete Wurzburger will take place on Friday evening, October 12, 2012 in conjunction with APH’s Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Class of 2012:

Philip H. Hatlen

Philip H. Hatlen

During his career, Dr. Phil Hatlen has served as Executive Director of the Blind Babies Foundation, founder and current board member of the Living Skills Center for the Visually Impaired now named the Hatlen Center for the Blind, Professor at San Francisco State University, and Superintendent of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He has also served as President of the Council of Schools for the Blind, President of the Association for the Education of the Visually Handicapped, Co-Chair of the National Agenda, and Executive in Residence at the American Printing House for the Blind.

Dr. Hatlen has written extensively on curriculum for students with visual impairments and on education placement issues. He is the author of what is considered the most important pillar in the instruction of children with visual impairments in the field today — The Expanded Core Curriculum.

Among his honors, Dr. Hatlen has received AER’s Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Award and the Mary K. Bauman Award, AFB’s Migel Medal, CEC-DVI’s Distinguished Service Award, CEC’s Outstanding Leadership Award, and APH’s Wings of Freedom Award.

Induction into the Hall of Fame is intended for individuals who have made “significant contributions to improve the lives of those who are blind or visually impaired in such areas as professional practice, research, writing, leadership, direct service, and/or in their professional organizations.” Phil Hatlen has contributed in all of these areas, sometimes simultaneously, but always with passion, conviction, innovation, and sagacity. —Dr. Kay Ferrell

Berdell “Pete” Wurzburger

Berdell "Pete" Wurzburger

During his career, Pete Wurzburger served as Coordinator and Professor of the San Francisco State University Graduate Program in Orientation and Mobility (O&M), and taught O&M skills at the Hines Center, at the Orientation Center for the Blind, and at Sonoma State Hospital.

Mr. Wurzburger, who was one of the first peripatologists in the field, was extremely innovative. He founded and served as the first president of the California Association for Orientation and Mobility Specialists (CAOMS), invented the “marshmallow tip” for multiply disabled students who needed constant contact—now used worldwide, was one of first to teach O&M to preschool children, and was the first university professor to accept a blind or visually impaired person into the O&M program.

Among his awards Mr. Wurzberger received AER’s Blaha Award, the first NCAOMS Berdell “Pete” Wurzburger Biennial Award, the Sandy Kolterman Award, and AFB’s Migel Medal.

Pete made it clear, in words and actions, that he considered every client his equal, deserving of the same respect and dignity as every human being. Pete never judges people. Rather, he takes them as they are, warts and all, nurtures them, finds the good in them, and supports them. —Dr. Phil Hatlen

Rod Kossick video interviews: Warren Bledsoe, Russell Williams, and Stanley Suterko

Watch these uncut video interviews from Rod Kossick with Hall of Famers Warren Bledsoe, Russell Williams, and Stanley Suterko.

2011 Induction Ceremony Videos Are Available

Class of 2011: Edward Ellis Allen; Sally Rogow

Video: Jim Deremiek: Opening Remarks and History


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Video: 2011 Induction Ceremony


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Video: Sally Rogow Response


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2010 Induction Ceremony Videos Are Available

Class of 2010: Morris Frank; M.C. Migel

Hall of Fame 2010 Induction Ceremony


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Morris Frank


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May 31, 2011 — Sally Rogow and Edward Allen to be Inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

The Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field, founded in 2001, is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky. The Hall, which belongs to the entire field of blindness, is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. The Hall is guided by a nine member Governing Board.

To date, forty-six outstanding professionals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Joining those legends are two remarkable icons whose impact has been felt internationally. The ceremony to induct Dr. Sally Rogow and Dr. Edward Allen will take place Friday evening, October 14, 2011, in conjunction with APH’s Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Class of 2011:

Edward Ellis Allen (1861-1941)

Dr. Edward Ellis Allen was instrumental in professionalizing the field of education for students who are blind and visually impaired. His high personal and professional standards infuse the work of our schools for the blind daily. Allen oversaw the design and construction of two residential schools for the blind: Overbrook (1899) and Perkins (1912) which are still in use. In 1920 he created the first teacher training program for students who were blind and visually impaired in partnership with Harvard College, now housed at University of Massachusetts Boston. Allen Introduced the first interpoint and interlinear braille embossing equipment in the U.S. in 1898 and sponsored research and the development of standardized testing which established that the intelligence of people with visual impairment is unimpaired.

“Edward Ellis Allen’s greatest contribution lay in his insistence that educational methods focus on the student. His forward-thinking innovations presaged the child-centered teaching methods that are the foundation of our field today. His educational innovations were driven by the understanding that the needs and gifts of the individual student must be integrated into the teaching plan.” —Jan Seymour-Ford

Sally Rogow

Dr. Sally Rogow is a renowned educator, researcher, author, and human rights advocate who pioneered teacher preparation programs in the area of visual impairment across Canada. Among her accomplishments were creating and directing the master’s program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and her studies significantly expanding our understanding of language development and literacy in children with disabilities. Rogow has shared her findings in numerous books, articles, stories, and presentations. Following her retirement from UBC, Dr. Rogow became an international advocate against the abuse and neglect of children with disabilities through her writings, lectures, and as director of The Person Within program.

“Dr. Rogow’s boundless energy stems from her uncompromising belief in human potential and equality and from her celebration of diversity. Her unflagging resolve to advance the needs of students with visual impairments is a wonderful inspiration to all and I, like so many others, am deeply indebted to her. Dr. Rogow exemplifies the commitment, self-reflection, professionalism, expertise, and humility needed to enable children to reach their full potential.” —Dr. Erika Forster

May 11, 2010 — Morris Frank and M. C. Migel will be Inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, founded in 2001, is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky. The Hall, which belongs to the entire field of blindness, is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. The Hall is guided by a nine member Governing Board.

To date, forty-four outstanding professionals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Joining those legends are two remarkable icons from our past whose impact is still felt internationally. The ceremony to induct M. C. Migel and Morris Frank will take place Friday evening, October 15, 2010 in conjunction with APH’s Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Class of 2010:

M. C. Migel

M. C. Migel

Working with the American Red Cross during World War I, Major Moses Charles Migel was exposed to countless veterans who lost their sight in combat. These experiences inspired him to dedicate himself to helping people with vision loss lead independent and fulfilling lives. Migel founded the American Foundation for the Blind in 1921 and served as President of the Board of Trustees until 1945. Among his honors was being proclaimed a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor for his work in France during World War I.

“The past 20 years of my life’s work has been shaped by and dependent upon the work of M.C. Migel. Without his leadership, knowledge of the business world, and willingness to contribute personally, professionally, and monetarily, I honestly believe that the American Foundation for the Blind would not be the organization it is today.” —Carl Augusto

Morris Frank

Morris Frank

As the first person in North America to use a guide dog, Morris Frank promised to spread the word about the independence and enhanced mobility that could be experienced. Together with Dorothy Harrison Eustis, Frank founded The Seeing Eye in 1929, basing the organization on the philosophy that limitless possibilities exist within the lives of people who are blind. He was almost single-handedly responsible for the passage of initial legislation relevant to dog guide access in every state and province.

His famous book, “First Lady of The Seeing Eye,” co-written with Blake Clark, was the story of Buddy, his first dog guide. This eventually led to being the subject of the Walt Disney movie, “Love Leads the Way.”

“It was his leadership and role modeling behavior that founded not only the first dog guide school but the entire industry — an industry that today has over 80 accredited schools around the world.” —James Kutsch, Jr.

January 1, 2010 — Hall of Fame Then and Now

The first photo shows the cleared Hall space in December of 2001. The second photo was December of 2010. Both were taken in approximately the same place with approximately the same people.

First photo: Don Keefe, Bob Brasher, Janie Blome, Gary Mudd, Will Evans

Hall of Fame space before the renovation

Second photo: Paul Zurkuhlen, Bob Brasher, Janie Blome, Gary Mudd, Will Evans

Hall of Fame space after the renovation

 

May 7, 2009 — Two Legends to Enter the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2009

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, founded in 2001, is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky. The Hall, which belongs to the entire field of blindness, is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. The Hall is guided by a nine member Governing Board.

To date, forty-two outstanding professionals who made significant contributions to the field of blindness have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Now joining those legends are two remarkable individuals who will be inducted on Friday evening, October 16, 2009 during a ceremony that will be held in conjunction with APH’s Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Class of 2009:

Euclid Herie

Euclid Herie

Dr. Euclid Herie exhibited tremendous leadership and vision as President of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and as President of the World Blind Union. This inspiring and committed leader has continued to exemplify his strong advocacy for braille by establishing, in his retirement, a foundation to help implement braille literacy programs in developing countries. Dr. Herie has received many honors, including his 2001 appointment as CNIB President Emeritus. In 2002 he received AER’s Ambrose M. Shotwell Award. Herie is also the recipient of the Queen’s 50th Anniversary Commemorative Medal and the Canadian Government’s prestigious Member of the Order of Canada.

“Aside from his technical skills and brilliance as a public speaker, I value most highly his warmth of personality and ability to touch the lives of disempowered people.” —Dr. William Rowland

Dean Tuttle

Dean Tuttle

Dr. Dean Tuttle served as the innovative Principal of the California School for the Blind before joining the faculty of the University of Northern Colorado where he created one of the finest, most respected teacher preparation centers in visual impairment in the country. His 58 publications include the classic text, Self-Esteem and Adjusting with Blindness, co-authored with his wife Naomi. Honors and awards include APH’s Wings of Freedom (2004), AFB’s Migel Medal (2000), and CEC/DVI’s Distinguished Service Award (1991).

“We should all be thankful that Dean Tuttle is blind. For in being blind, he has given us a legacy of insight and self examination that has provided new understandings about the children we teach.” —Dr. Kay A. Ferrell

2008 Induction Ceremony Video Is Available

Class of 2008: Sally Mangold, Ph.D.; Richard L. Welsh, Ph.D.

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Bonus Movie! The Stone Presentations to Susan Spungin and Bob Brasher are also available:

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May 29, 2008 — Two Giants to Enter the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2008

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, founded in 2001, is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louis-ville, Kentucky. The Hall, which belongs to the entire field of blindness, is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. The Hall is guided by a nine member Advisory Board.

To date, forty outstanding professionals who made significant contributions to the field of blindness in the recent and distant past have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Now joining those legends are two remarkable individuals who will be inducted on Friday evening, October 3, at a ceremony that will be held in conjunction with APH’s Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests.

The Class of 2008:

Sally Mangold, Ph.D.

Sally Mangold

Sally Mangold served as a Resource Room teacher for students with visual impairments for 18 years. She followed that important role with that of Professor at San Francisco State University for another 18 years. Sally was a passionate proponent and champion of braille literacy throughout her career. She was a pioneer in the institution of the Distance Education Program at SFSU. She and husband Phil founded Exceptional Teaching Aids, a company promoting and selling products for visually impaired clients and teachers. Among her many achievements was the creation of the Mangold Developmental Program of Tactile Perception and Braille Letter Recognition, hailed as a landmark program for braille instruction.

According to AFB President Carl Augusto, “Sally Mangold’s writings, technol-ogical breakthroughs, and teachings have not only enabled children and adults who are blind or visually impaired to learn braille, but also have raised awareness to the critical importance of braille literacy.”

Among her awards and honors were the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Award, the California Transcribers (CTEVH) Fred L. Sinclair Award, the Holbrook-Humphries Literacy Award, the American Foundation for the Blind Migel Medal, and the American Printing House for the Blind Creative Use of Braille Award.

Richard L. Welsh, Ph.D.

Richard L. Welsh

During his illustrious career, Rick Welsh has served as an orientation and mobility specialist, a college instructor and professor, a counselor, a coordinator of rehabilitation services, and an agency administrator, most notably as President of both the Maryland School for the Blind and Pittsburgh Vision Services.

Two of Dr. Welsh’s many significant contributions include co-editing the first and second editions of the primary textbook used by programs educating orientation and mobility specialists, Foundations in Orientation and Mobility, and providing the leadership in the consolidation of two prior, long-standing professional associations to form the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) in 1984. He then served as the first elected President of the organization.

Frances Mary D’Andrea observes, “Rick has that rare ability to take the long view, and with remarkable foresight to forge a vision of what could be–and then work hard to make it a reality.”

Among his honors and awards are the inaugural D.C./Maryland AER Chapter Service Award, established in his honor, the American Foundation for the Blind Migel Medal, the American Association for Blind Workers C. Warren Bledsoe Award, and the AER Ambrose M. Shotwell Award.

The entire historic 2002 Induction Ceremony is now available for viewing.

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Virtual Tour of the Hall of Fame Now Online

2007 Induction Ceremony Video Is Available

Class of 2007: Charles F.F. Campbell; “Butch” Hill

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New Video on Biography Pages

To view historic footage of meetings, dedications, and interviews with Georgie Lee Abel, Kathern Gruber, Berthold Lowenfeld, and Josephine Taylor, visit their Hall of Fame biography pages. The Hall gratefully acknowledges Dr. Phil Hatlen for providing these amazing videos.

New Video on the Website: AER/Hall of Fame Connections

This eight-minute Hall of Fame Video was produced for a general session of the 2006 AER International Conference in Utah. The video highlights the various AER connections with the Hall of Fame, including many of the engraved stones that appear on the Wall of Tribute.

Due to the popular demand after that viewing, DVDs of the presentation were sent to all AER chapters, divisions, and International officers. Now we have made the video available here on our website. Please feel free to share this video with any person or group who might be interested in AER and the Hall of Fame.

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May 21, 2007 — Two Giants to Enter the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2007 Induction

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, founded in 2001, is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky. The Hall, which belongs to the entire field of blindness, is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. The Hall is guided by a nine member Advisory Board.

To date, thirty-eight outstanding professionals who made significant contributions to the field of blindness in the recent and distant past have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Now joining those legends is the Class of 2007, made up of two remarkable individuals who will be inducted in October at a ceremony that will be held in conjunction with APH’s 139th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests.

Come to the Induction Ceremony!

The Class of 2007:

Charles F.F. Campbell (1876-1935)

Charles F.F. Campbell

Charles Campbell led the development of modern vocational rehabilitation for blind adults through the establishment of work stations that demonstrated to blind people and the public the many and varied jobs that could be done without sight. In 1907, he launched a journal which has become the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, and he led the creation of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) to continue the journal and to take on other projects of national significance. He then persuaded Helen Keller to dedicate her life to the support of AFB. “While I was still at Radcliffe College, his eloquent pleadings convinced my teacher and me that there was something we could do to better the condition of the adult blind.” —Helen Keller, 1936

“The modern conception of work for the adult blind throughout the entire country owes more to his inspirational, vivacious initiative than to any other single factor.” — C. W. Holmes 1936

Everett “Butch” Hill (1943–1994)

Everett 'Butch' Hill

Dr. Hill‘s significant contributions to our body of literature include his work in spatial positional concepts, preschool orientation and mobility, and the classic textbook: Orientation and Mobility Techniques: A Guide for the Practitioner, co-written with Purvis Ponder. For the last 14 years of his life he served as Professor at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University where his teaching and mentorship of O&M practitioners was legendary. As recognition to his competence in this area, he received the first Outstanding Teaching Award from Peabody in 1986. “In his all too short 28 years with us, he single-handedly accomplished what he set-out to do when he entered the field of O&M, which was to heighten the awareness and recognition of the field of O&M by creating a well defined base of research literature.” —George Zimmerman

“Through his early work on concept development with children who were congenitally blind, Dr. Hill helped to build the bridge between the approach to the systematic delivery of orientation and mobility training as it was developed for adventitiously blinded adults and O&M services for congenitally blind children.” —Rick Welsh

April 3, 2007 — We’ve Decked the Hall with a New Website Design!

Anne Sullivan's Hall of Fame Plaque

We’re excited to launch our redesign of the virtual Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field.

The wealth of information on the Hall of Fame site has been reorganized for easier navigation. The site features: