We are pleased to announce that Rod Haneline has been awarded the Sandy Kronick Distinguished Service Award by the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) Orientation & Mobility Division. This illustrious recognition is not always given but awarded only when the selection committee deems that a worthy candidate has been nominated. Rod is indeed a worthy candidate for this recognition!
To be eligible for the award, a nominee must have at least ten years of experience in the field of blindness with the majority of their professional career in direct service teaching O&M to visually impaired people, and have demonstrated distinguished service by doing one or more of the following:
- extend beyond the usual job requirements by using talents and expertise to enhance the field of O&M
- initiate innovative or unique programs
- serve as a mentor to other O&M specialists
- present at local, regional, or international conferences
- publish work in a professional journal
Rod meets these criteria and more. In his 40+ years of service at Leader Dog, Rod has played a vital role in enhancing mobility services available to people who are blind or visually impaired with a truly global impact. Just a few of his many accomplishments shared with the selection committee included:
- Developing and modifying curricula and training to enable Deaf-Blind and other individuals who were multiply disabled the ability to work with a guide dog.
- Developing and implementing orientation and mobility training at Leader Dog to provide individuals who were interested but had not been taught the necessary requisite O&M skills the opportunity to gain those core skills.
- Exploring and implementing the use of electronic orientation aids with guide dog users. Succinctly, the guide dog would avoid obstacles, find landmarks, provide safe travel, exercise intelligent disobedience when necessary, and the user would always know his or her location—a “win-win” combination.
- Presenting frequently at regional, national and international conferences and authoring numerous publications. Rod is a valued resource and a welcomed author in the most prominent O&M textbooks, the most recent being Wiener, Welsh, and Blasch (2010) Foundations of Orientation and Mobility, Volumes I and II, AFB Press, where he co-authored two chapters.
Congratulations, Rod! Everyone at Leader Dog thanks you for all that you have done (and continue to do) to enhance the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired!