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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Leaders and Legends: Louis Vieceli

Louis Vieceli
Inducted 2002
Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

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, Illinois.

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 (1980).

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; and AFB's 2005 Migel Medal Award, Boston, MA.

Louis Vieceli Louis Vieceli's Hall of Fame Plaque
About the Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is dedicated to preserving, honoring, and promoting the tradition of excellence manifested by the specific individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame and through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired.

These significant professional colleagues of the recent and distant past are a fascinating cross-section of heroes and pioneers who not only shaped our rich history, philosophy, knowledge and skills, but also give us insights into current and future challenges. These giants shared their personal lives and showed us strategies to ensure that services for blind persons remain unique and specialized. Enjoy their lives and contributions and reflect upon your own list of heroes.

Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is a project of the entire field of blindness. It is curated by the American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

Visit the virtual Hall of Fame for the inspiring stories of many more heroes of the field of blindness.

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