The John H. McAulay Award was established to honor professionals who have contributed outstanding efforts and achievements leading to the placement of people with visual impairments in productive employment. The award is one of the premier awards presented at the AER International Conference. Recent winners include:

2016 John Mascia
2014 Margaret Cleary
2012 Kathleen Gallagher
2008 Adele L. Crudden
2006 Anthony Candela
2004 Chuck Young
2002 Karen Wolffe
2000 Gil Johnson

Louis Vieceli Award
In 2004, the executive board of AER’s Employment & Rehabilitation Counseling Division decided to name its biennial award after Louis Vieceli. The award is given to an outstanding employment specialist or rehabilitation counselor at the Division’s biennial business meeting at the AER International conference. The award consists of a plaque containing the AER logo and the following inscription:

Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and Employment Services

In recognition of excellence in promoting the education, effectiveness, and professional standing of its members and the economic independence of people who are blind, primarily through advocating for the profession the value and benefits of work in a continuum of the vocational rehabilitation process and employment settings, the Division proudly presents its 2004 Louis Vieceli Award to ___________. (Name of recipient)

Past Louis Vieceli Award Winners
Joe Strechay
Pennsylvania Bureau of Blindness & Vision Services for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Karen Wolffe, Ph.D.
Career Counselor and Consultant

Adele Crudden
Mississippi State University

Michael Gandy
Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services

Greg Polman
Chicago Lighthouse

Ed Bible
South Carolina Commission for the Blind

Anthony Candela
American Foundation for the Blind

Timothy Farnsworth
Arizona Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind

About Louis Vieceli
Lou Vieceli was born in 1921 in Illinois. He attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale where he received his B.A. (1948) in physical education and mathematics and his M.Ed. (1959) in guidance and counseling. He and his wife Jewell have a son and two grandchildren, all are currently living in Carbondale, Ill.

In 1948, Lou Vieceli began his professional career as a rehabilitation counselor for the Illinois Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, a position he held until 1959. At that time, he was invited to join the faculty of the Rehabilitation Institute at Southern Illinois University where he served until his retirement in 1993. He is best known for the development of his Placement Counselor Training Program for the Blind which he conducted from 1959 until 1993. He also provided Small Business Enterprise Supervisor Training for the Vending Stand Program.

As a nationally recognized authority on job placement of blind persons, his advice and counsel were in high demand. He served as consultant to numerous State Rehabilitation Agencies including Ohio Services for Visually Handicapped, Florida Commission for the Blind, Arkansas Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, and the Texas Commission for the Blind. He worked on the “Careers for the Blind” project for the American Foundation for the Blind. He was frequently asked to evaluate manuscripts for journals and book publishers as well as grant proposals for a variety of agencies.

Lou Vieceli was active in several rehabilitation associations. He served as president (1965-1966) of the Illinois Association of Workers for the Blind. He was treasurer (1969-1971) and board member (1979-1983) for the American Association of Workers for the Blind. He served as editor of the Employment Counselor’s Newsletter for AAWB’s Group 2. He was a Louis P. Ortale Lecturer for the Job Placement Division of the National Rehabilitation Association

Fortunately for the field, some of Lou Vieceli’s expertise is in published form. He and Thomas Dickey edited the book Guidelines for the Selection, Training and Placement of Blind Persons in Information Service Expediting (Southern Illinois University Press,1975). Among a dozen chapters and articles, he co-authored with George Magers “Occupational Information and Job Development,” in Services to the Blind: A Community Concern (1973).

Lou Vieceli received many honors and awards in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the rehabilitation and job placement of blind persons. They include: AAWB’s John H. McAulay Award, Chicago, 1969 for outstanding achievement in the placement of blind persons; Certificate of Appreciation, State of Illinois, Department of Rehabilitation Services, 1982; the Ambrose Shotwell Memorial Award, AAWB Convention, Phoenix, Arizona, 1983; and Community Service Award, The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, Chicago, 1985.