Chapter Awards

Each year, the Michigan AER chapter seeks to recognize organization members or community members for their efforts in providing resources and accessibility to the blind and visually impaired and extended the mission of the organization into their work. 

MAER Award

The MAER Recognition Award has been awarded annually since AER was established in 1984 when the Association of Educators of the Visually Handicapped (AEVH) and American Association of Workers for the Blind (AAWB) merged. Its purpose is to recognize individual(s) who or organization(s) which contributed significantly to the profession or services to individuals who are blind or have low vision in Michigan. Individuals have been honored as well as organizations reaching milestones such as a significant anniversary, creating a unique project, or having a significant impact as a mentor.

Selection and Criteria

The MAER Award shall be given to an individual(s) or organization(s) who has/have made a significant contribution: “To the Field of Blindness and/or In the service of blind and visually impaired persons in Michigan.”

YearPresenterRecipient
Fall 1992Paula KorelitzWilma Seely
Fall 1993Bill WeinerDonald Blasch and George Mallison
Fall 1994Nancy LadleyHarold Payne
Fall 1996Dorothy WardJoyce Raducha
Summer 1997John BoesPaul Glatz
Fall 2001Richard LongRobert LaDuke
David SearchGeorge Ossentjuk
Fall 2002Judy HolmesJim Carrick
Fall 2003Beth MersfelfderViginia Dean
Spring 2005Alice RaftaryAbraham Nemeth
Spring 2006Annette SkellengerMarvin Weessies
Spring 2007Roberta McCallPaul Ponchillia
Spring 2008Tina AkensJeanne Church
Spring 2009Paul PonchilliaSusan Ponchillia
Spring 2011Kami FortierCheryl Nametz
Tina SmithSusan Langendonk
Spring 2012Tina SmithCatherine Hula
Spring 2013Susan BradleyCollette Bauman
Spring 2014Mary Beth KullenSusan Bradley
Spring 2015Paul KorelitzRosemary Blaszkiewicz

David and Joann Search Life Time Achievement Award

The David and Joann Search Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 1992 to honor two long-time members of MAER who had gone above and beyond the level of involvement in AER at the local, state, regional, and international levels. At the same time, they both worked full-time as Rehabilitation Teachers. Over the years, they served on the MAER Board of Directors, represented MAER at the international conferences, and spearheaded the 1995 AER Regional Conference which was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They exemplified leadership, professionalism, and dedication.

Selection and Criteria

The Lifetime Achievement Award shall be given to an individual(s) at the annual conference who has demonstrated a lifelong dedication to serving blind and visually impaired persons in Michigan.”

The process for selecting award recipients has evolved over the years. Early on, the MAER Board of Directors would discuss possible recipients and make a decision on their own. Later, the process was codified with a nominations form and procedure for making the selection(s) allowing for greater member input.

YearPresenterRecipient
Fall 1992Paula KorelitzWilma Seely
Fall 1993Bill WeinerDonald Blasch and George Mallison
Fall 1994Nancy LadleyHarold Payne
Fall 1996Dorothy WardJoyce Raducha
Summer 1997John BoesPaul Glatz
Fall 2001Richard LongRobert LaDuke
David SearchGeorge Ossentjuk
Fall 2002Judy HolmesJim Carrick
Fall 2003Beth MersfelfderViginia Dean
Spring 2005Alice RaftaryAbraham Nemeth
Spring 2006Annette SkellengerMarvin Weessies
Spring 2007Roberta McCallPaul Ponchillia
Spring 2008Tina AkensJeanne Church
Spring 2009Paul PonchilliaSusan Ponchillia
Spring 2011Kami FortierCheryl Nametz
Tina SmithSusan Langendonk
Spring 2012Tina SmithCatherine Hula
Spring 2013Susan BradleyCollette Bauman
Spring 2014Mary Beth KullenSusan Bradley
Spring 2015Paul KorelitzRosemary Blaszkiewicz