About the Community Building Awards

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The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities looks to members of the community to help us identify individuals or organizations who have shown an exceptional commitment to promoting community inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities. Whether a devoted educator, a visionary community leader, or a diligent advocate, the Council believes such individuals or organizations should be encouraged, supported, and given recognition.

Currently, the NJCDD is not accepting public nominations for the Community Building Awards.

Award Criteria

The Colleen Fraser Self-Advocate Award honors a self-advocate who has shown outstanding efforts in advocating on behalf of themselves and other individuals.

Criteria
Nominee should be someone who has been a leader in their community by creating, promoting or implementing on-going advocacy activities, and taking necessary risks in their community or on the state or federal levels. Nominee should be someone who regularly lends their experience, expertise and effort to improve the community of and for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Community service, advocacy or volunteer work “above and beyond” expectations is a valued asset.

Additional Information Required for this Nomination

  • Describe the nominee’s commitment to advocacy and how the nominee has performed “above and beyond” expected levels of performance.
  • Describe how the nominee has demonstrated leadership, creativity and expertise while advocating for individuals and families.
  • Explain how the nominee has demonstrated compassion, integrity and high standards.
  • Letters of recommendation: 2 letters of recommendation must be included. Those making the recommendation should describe their affiliation with the candidate and provide their name, title, organization, address and telephone number.

The Elizabeth Boggs Family-Member Advocate Award honors a family member of an individual with a developmental disability who has shown outstanding advocacy efforts in the area of developmental disabilities.

Criteria
Recipient of this award is a family member who has been instrumental in leading or implementing disability advocacy activities in their community or on the state or federal levels. The award recipient should be a family member who lends theirexperience and takes the risks needed to improve the community for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Community service or volunteer work is a valued asset for this award. The nominee is a family member who has worked on disability issues in the following areas or combination of areas: Education, Employment, Transportation, Housing and other related areas.

Additional Information Required for this Nomination

  • Describe the nominee’s commitment to advocacy and how the nominee has performed “above and beyond” expected levels of performance.
  • Describe how the nominee demonstrated leadership, creativity and expertise while advocating for individuals and families.
  • Explain how the nominee has demonstrated compassion, integrity and high standards.
  • Letters of recommendation: 2 letters of recommendation must be included. Those making the recommendation should describe their affiliation with the candidate and provide their name, title, organization, address and telephone number.

The Lifetime Achievement Advocacy Award recognizes an individual for a lifetime commitment and contribution to inclusive communities.

Criteria
This is the highest honor bestowed by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities and is only given after careful consideration and deliberation by the Awards Committee. The Award may be given posthumously.
Individuals must demonstrate exceptional effort, commitment and determination in their professional and/or personal lives. Nominees can come from an individual or from any group: professional or parent/family. Nominees must represent an exceptional role model for people with developmental disabilities and their families and professionals in building community.

Additional Information Required for this Nomination

  • Resume or Bio of candidate summarizing work experience; awards received; service at the local, state and national levels; publications; and service to other grassroots and professional organizations.
  • Letters of recommendation: 2 or more letters of recommendation must be included. Those making the recommendation should describe their affiliation with the candidate and provide their name, title, organization, address and telephone number.
  • Letters of recommendation should focus on the quality and distinction of the candidate’s lifetime achievement rather than a single contribution.

The Distinguished DD Systems Change Award honors an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions over the past year toward real systems change and positive outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Criteria
The nominee must have demonstrated how modifying, altering, reorganizing, dissolving and/or creating systems or policies have resulted in positive change to serve or support people with developmental disabilities and their families. Systems can be at the local, county, state or the federal level in one or more of the following areas:

  • Education (all levels)
  • Employment (all levels)
  • Transportation (availability)
  • Housing (accessibility, affordability and/or availability)
  • Health Care (accessibility and/or availability)
  • Child Care Services (accessibility and/or availability)
  • Self-Direction and Personal Choice (all levels)

Additional Information Required for this Nomination

  • Describe the nominee’s commitment to advocacy and how the nominee has performed “above and beyond” expected levels of performance.
  • Describe how has the nominee has demonstrated leadership, creativity and expertise while advocating for individuals and families.
  • Explain how the nominee has demonstrated compassion, integrity and high standards.
  • Letters of recommendation: 2 letters of recommendation must be included. Those making the recommendation should describe their affiliation with the candidate and provide their name, title, organization, address and telephone number.

The Access Above and Beyond Award honors businesses and venues that have surpassed what is required by law for equal access.

Criteria
The Access Above and Beyond Award honors businesses that have gone above and beyond in the name of accessibility. The Access Award takes a holistic view of a business. Assessments are made on the physical property, while also assessing any attitudinal barriers that may exist, understanding the way their staff deliver a service, recognizing if it is inclusive and encouraging changes needed to improve where necessary.

Additional Information Required for this Nomination

  1. Describe the nominee’s commitment to accessibility.
  2. Describe how the nominee has performed “above and beyond” expected levels of performance, for example:
  • Arrangements made to enable easy access to payment facilities
  • Assistance with packing when shopping
  • Restaurant provides non-fixed seating
  • Staff training in providing assistance to customers with disabilities
  • Customer information signs to have large clear print in contrasting colors to the background
  • One to One assistance throughout shopping in the store

3. Letters of recommendation: 2 letters of recommendation must be included. Those making the recommendation should describe their affiliation with the candidate and provide their  name, title, organization, address and telephone number.

The Exceptional Policymaker Award honors someone who has made outstanding contributions in public policy, legislation or administration with the result of greatly enhancing the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

Criteria
This award will be given to a state or local elected official (including mayors, legislators, and governor) whose exceptional vision and/or action has dramatically expanded or enhanced community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities in their local community, state or region. The award recipient should be someone who lends their experience and takes the risks needed to improve the community for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Additional Information Required for this Nomination

  • Demonstrated leadership, vision, action and innovation in community inclusion
  • Explain how the person’s efforts address key issues and needs facing people with developmental disabilities and their families in New Jersey.
  • Explain the outcome, including real evidence of positive outcomes for people with developmental disabilities and their families in New Jersey.
  • Letters of recommendation: 2 letters of recommendation must be included. Those making the recommendation should describe their affiliation with the candidate and provide their name, title, organization, address and telephone number.

The Multi-Media Award honors mainstream media for accurate and inclusive representations of people with developmental disabilities.

Criteria
Entries will be judged by a panel composed of members of the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities and communications professionals on the following:

    1. Journalistic quality: Display creativity and originality while fostering public understanding of people with developmental disabilities: use of person-first, non-offensive and affirmative language, and maintains high journalistic and technical standards.
    2. Understanding of people with disabilities: Demonstrates the accomplishments and contributions of people with developmental disabilities; recognizes the needs and preferences of people with developmental disabilities; positively portrays them as valued citizens living typical and productive lives; having choices; participating in relationships; being involved in integrated settings; in age-appropriate activities and having opportunities to develop and grow.
    3. Depth and continuity of coverage: Choice of topic applies to the full spectrum of people with developmental disabilities even if showcasing one element or issue; demonstrates consistent and accurate reporting that raises public awareness of those issues.

Additional Information Required for this Nomination

  • Sample of the media piece (DVD, audio tape, copy of article, etc.) in a universal format.
  • Letters of recommendation: 2 letters of recommendation must be included. Those making the recommendation should describe their affiliation with the candidate and provide their name, title, organization, address and telephone number.
  • Tapes should be no longer than 60 minutes in length and contain complete programs or series, or a synopsis of a longer series. If no tape is available, a script of a program that was aired is acceptable. Television entries must be submitted on PC compatible DVDs. Radio entries must be submitted on CDs.

The Inclusive Education Award honors individuals and groups of individuals who encourage the participation and equal membership of students with disabilities in all areas of school life, including academic and non-academic activities.

Criteria

  1. Nominees will be judged by the extent to which they engage in innovative educational practices that provide students with developmental disabilities: (a) meaningful academic experiences in general education settings; and / or (b) opportunities to form reciprocal relationships and lasting friendships with their peers in general education settings.
  2. 2014 Areas of Focus: This year, NJCDD is particularly interested in recognizing innovative, individualized, research-based practices that effectively accomplish one or more of the following: inclusive academic or social experiences in middle school or high school

a. transition to post-secondary education, training, employment or other activities that are integrated and community based

• meaningful inclusion of students with extensive intellectual disabilities;

• positive behavioral interventions and supports in inclusive settings

3.  The practice may not be a separate practice that involves only students who receive special education services and supports: there must be direct involvement with peers in general education programs. The practice should be part of the general education program and involve collaboration between general education and special education staff.

4. The practice must be an ongoing inclusive practice, not a single special event. Adaptations must be the norm, not just practiced for a particular student.

Additional Instructions:

A. Describe the practice, including the length of time it has been in place and the number of students with and without Individual Education Plans (IEPs) who have participated in the program or practice.

B. Describe ways the practice involves innovations or enhancements to conventional inclusion practices, for example, innovations to in-class supports and co-teaching models.

C. Describe ways the practice uses a strengths-based model and sets high expectations for the achievement of students with disabilities.

D. Specify how the district or school administration supports the practice.

E. Specify whether the practice has been or will be continued, expanded or duplicated.

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