Vocational Rehabilitation Services Accepting Nominees for Assistive Technology Awards


The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services is accepting applications for the Stephen E. Sallee Assistive Technology Awards of Excellence.
The awards recognize North Carolinians who support assistive technology users, including professionals, advocates, volunteers, family members, caretakers and the users themselves. Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment or product system that increases, maintains or improves the functional capabilities of someone with disabilities.
"These awards give us a chance to highlight the benefits of assistive technology," said Tara Myers, DVRS Director. "More importantly, it lets us recognize those who rely on assistive technology to lead productive, independent lives."
Sponsored by the Grant Advisory Council of the NC Assistive Technology Program, the awards are presented annually to individuals in two categories:

  • Category 1: Professional, volunteer or advocate of assistive technology
  • Category 2: Assistive technology user, family member of a user or caretaker

The deadline for nominations is noon on Aug. 31, 2018. The nomination form can be found at www.ncdhhs.gov/stephen-e-sallee-assistive-technology-awards-excellence.

Since their introduction in 1995, 52 people have been selected for an assistive technology award, including elected officials who advocated for assistive technology, health professionals who developed the expertise needed to match people to appropriate assistive technology, educators of future assistive technology professionals and assistive technology users themselves. Those honored over the years include former state representative and senator the late John H. Kerr III of Goldsboro, 1996; former 10th District U.S. Representative Cass Ballenger of Hickory, 1997; former State Auditor, the late Ralph Campbell Jr., 2001; and former DHHS Secretary Carmen Hooker Odom, 2007. 

The awards will be presented on Oct. 5 at the 2018 Assistive Technology Vendor Expo at the McKimmon Center, NC State University, 1101 Gorman St., Raleigh, NC 27606.
Stephen E. Sallee was confined to the use of a wheelchair after a diving accident in 1962. Despite physical challenges, he received BS and MS degrees from the University of Oklahoma and an EDS from Appalachian State University. After teaching for several years, Sallee moved to Winston-Salem to focus on his health. It was there he started volunteering with the NC Assistive Technology Program and later became a part-time technologist for them. Sallee also helped create the Assistive Technology Center in Winston-Salem, which serves the north-central region of North Carolina. Sallee died on May 10, 2002.
After Sallee's death, the awards were renamed the Stephen E. Sallee Assistive Technology Awards of Excellence in 2003 to commemorate his contributions to assistive technology and his service to people with disabilities.
For more information about the awards, contact Frank Harden at the NC Assistive Technology Program at 919-859-8360 or frank.harden@dhhs.nc.gov.