Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship
Valued at $12,000, the Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship is the largest scholarship granted in the United States to a legally blind person.* It is given annually to a legally blind student who exemplifies the fruits of Dr. Jernigan's teachings.
Dr. Jernigan changed perceptions regarding the capabilities of the blind in this country and throughout the world. He was active in affairs of the blind for over half a century and taught that, with proper training in the skills of blindness and a proper attitude toward blindness, any blind person can be as successful as a similarly situated sighted person. He also taught that the real barrier to success as a blind person is the public's misconceptions concerning blindness, often shared and even affirmed by the blind themselves.
How to Apply
Applications are available from November 1 to March 31 of the following year. The funding is offered as one of the many available scholarships in the National Federation of the Blind's scholarship program, however the Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship is funded entirely by the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults. To apply, please visit nfb.org/scholarships after November 1.
The winner of the 2020 Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship was Precious Perez of Massachusetts, an aspiring music educator. Precious looks forward to continuing to give back to others in the blind community. Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship winners have the opportunity to say a few words during the award ceremony. The National Federation of the Blind 2020 scholarship program awards were announced March 8, 2021 during the Washington Seminar Great Gathering-In.
*Legal Blindness is defined using the federal statue as follows: [T]he term "blindness" means central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens. An eye which is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall be considered for purposes in this paragraph as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less. 42 U.S.C. - 416(i)(1)(B) (Supp. IV 1986).