Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization Bosma has announced Dr. Debra McConnaha, PPG and the Blinded Veterans Association are the recipients of the organization’s annual awards. The awards were presented at the Hasbrook Award event hosted by the Bosma Visionary Opportunities Foundation, the organization’s philanthropic arm.
Bosma provides training and employment for people who are blind or visually impaired.
Bosma says McConnaha received the 2021 Thomas C. Hasbrook Award, which honors the late Thomas Hasbrook, who lost his sight in combat during WWII and spent his life working to better the lives of the blind community.
McConnaha spent 30 years with the Indiana University School of Optometry Clinic in Indianapolis and the Roudebush VA Medical Center, where she was the low vision specialist. Along with instructing hundreds of future optometrists, she saw thousands of patients. She also was the vision specialist at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, evaluating neurologically injured individuals.
“Dr. McConnaha is an admirable recipient,” said Bosma President Jeffrey Mittman. “Her career exemplifies Mr. Hasbrook’s sustained commitment to meaningful service. Dr. McConnaha has dedicated her life to helping those who are blind or visually impaired achieve independence while ensuring a new generation of optometrists can continue to do the same.”
PPG received the 2021 Employment Innovation Award, which recognizes a company or organization contributing to employment opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired. In 2019, Bosma says PPG’s Indianapolis Aerospace Application Support Center began extending light assembly work to Bosma Enterprises.
“Congratulations to PPG for its deserved recognition as an innovator,” said Mittman. “Bosma Enterprises’ relationship with PPG leverages our experience in light manufacturing to fill a need in the company’s supply chain. This collaboration creates much-needed employment for people who are blind and would otherwise face a 70% unemployment rate. It makes a huge difference, and we believe PPG should be recognized for it.”
The 2021 Community Partner Award was given to the Blinded Veterans Association. Bosma says the award honors an organization for “extraordinary collaboration to better the lives of people who are visually impaired.”
BVA is the country’s only congressionally-chartered veterans service organization created for veterans who are visually impaired. The organization was established to help veterans and their families meet and overcome the challenges of blindness.