The Unicorn Children’s Foundation is excited to announce the 3rd Annual Community Inclusion Awards! This will be the largest celebration of people with special needs and those who provide services and supports to enrich their lives. Awards for 16 categories will be presented at a special ceremony and luncheon. We can't wait to celebrate the actions and impact being made in by local leaders, service providers and advocates.
Nominations are now being accepted in fifteen (15) different categories:
Champion of Inclusion– nominees should embody excellence, integrity and passion in providing support/services to the special needs community that encourage inclusive practices
Employee of the Year – nominees with special needs should exhibit commitment to quality in carrying out job responsibilities and be an asset to the staff of his/her department
Employer of the Year – nominees should demonstrate excellence in providing competitive employment opportunities and meaningful outcomes for people with special needs in integrated settings
Healthcare Provider of the Year – nominees should make significant contributions in improving health outcomes for people with special needs by providing services that reflect best practices and by giving people with special needs more support to make informed choices about their healthcare
Innovation & Collaboration of the Year – nominees should bring new ideas to life in a collaborative manner that address critical gaps/barriers while implementing creativity and innovation in its strategy
Legal Service Provider of the Year – nominees should be an attorney, law firm, or legal department who have used their professional skills to enhance the lives of people with special needs
Legislative Official of the Year – nominees should hold an elected office, at any level of government, and whose official acts have influenced government policy and have made significant mainstream changes to services and supports for people with special needs
Media Influencer of the Year – nominees should demonstrate commitment in reporting issues, using any media platform or channel, that are important to people with special needs and their families
Postsecondary Program of the Year – nominees should provide pathways to supportive engagement in the community, higher education, technical and career preparation, occupational training programs or competitive employment
Respite Care Companion of the Year – nominees should provide exceptional support to a family/families so they can be more supportive of their family member with special needs and incorporate community integration as part of their respite services
Self-Advocate of the Year – nominees with special needs who, through their personal or professional achievements, has brought a greater public awareness of and recognition to the abilities of all people with special needs.
Service Professional of the Year – nominees should provide services to individuals with special needs that allow them to integrate with their local community so they may lead a self-directed life and contribute to the community and encourage attitudes and behaviors that enhance community inclusion. (e.g. speech therapist, occupational therapist, paraprofessional, etc.)
Supportive Housing Provider of the Year – nominees should provide supportive housing which is affordable with wrap-around services to support individuals with special needs
Teacher/Educator of the Year – nominees work should reflect significant, documented educational success for students with special needs
Volunteer of the Year - nominees with a special need who has made significant contributions to an organization through their volunteer service
Individuals, nonprofit and for-profit organizations are encouraged to submit an application in one or more categories. There are no geographic restrictions on where programs, services are offered or where nominees live.
Winner will be selected in each category by a panel of independent judges. Nominees will be revealed at a VIP Announcement Party to be scheduled in the fall (details pending). All nominees will receive publicity via press releases and social media activity. All nominees will be eligible for the Community Choice Award. Community Choice Award recipient will be determined by on-line voting following the VIP Announcement Party.
Criteria & Instructions Deadline for submissions to be announced soon.
All nominees must meet the following criteria:
Individuals/organizations must regularly advocate, deliver services and/or support to the special needs community.
Individuals/organizations may self-nominate or be nominated by others.
Organizations/Individuals may be nominated in more than one category.
An organization may only be a finalist in one category (the category in which the organization scored the highest).
Application instructions and required attachments
Complete one nomination form for each nominee in each award category.
Nomination forms must be completed in full to be considered.
Nominations are evaluated based on the nominee’s achievements and contributions, not on the number of nominations received. Our panel of judges will score nominations based solely on information provided in the nomination application package.