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ABILITY AWARD CRITERIA
In the 30 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), our society and economy have come a long way in providing accommodations for individuals with physical barriers to success in the workplace. Despite these strides, there is still much work to be done when it comes to innovation in accommodations towards the goal of a fully inclusive, neurodiverse workforce. Melwood’s Accelerator Award celebrates individuals, programs, and/or organizations that are paving the way for ADA 2.0 by innovating and pushing boundaries towards this end. Whether it be breakthroughs in brain research relating to training, or knocking down barriers to employment with new technologies and non-traditional approaches, the recipients of this award are paving the way for an inclusive and neurodiverse workforce through innovation in R&D, HR, new product development, or other innovation-related initiatives.
Advocacy in all its forms seeks to ensure that all people have their voices heard to defend and safeguard their rights, and to ensure their own views and wishes are considered when decisions are being made that impact their lives. Melwood’s Advocacy Award recognizes individuals, programs, and/or organizations whose advocacy has had a substantial impact on the employment rights of people of differing abilities. This impact could be related to local, state or national policies, laws or regulations, or judicial precedent. This award honors leaders who have been a passionate, educated, and consistent voice for individuals of differing abilities. Recipients of this award have faced challenges in our community head on, raised awareness for issues facing individuals of differing abilities in the workplace, and promoted platforms that are inclusive, helping shift the mindset of policymakers and the public about what is possible for all people.
Melwood’s Impact Award honors individuals, programs and/or organizations that have achieved extraordinary outcomes related to neurodiversity and employment. This award celebrates the extent and effectiveness of the nominees’ activities in promoting and securing employment opportunities for individuals of differing abilities – well beyond what is mandated by Federal, State, and local laws. The award recipients’ contributions to this field are impressive, measured, and provide a guide for others in our community.
ABILITY AWARD ELIGIBILITY:
Nominations for each of the 2020 Melwood Ability Awards are open to individuals, programs, businesses, nonprofits, universities, and/or public entities.
Each nomination is evaluated by our multi-disciplined Judges Panel, and judged on the 2020 Ability Awards – Criteria described above.
Nominees are encouraged to employ focus, clarity, and precision in their responses so each entry can best be assessed on its merits. If our Judges have questions, you may be contacted to provide additional information during the judging process.
The Judges Panel will give favorable consideration to nominees that have demonstrated outstanding support and commitment to the principles embodied in Melwood’s Mission and Vision over a sustained period.
Melwood’s vision is a world where people of differing abilities are fully included.
Melwood’s mission is to advocate for and empower individuals of differing abilities to transform their own lives through unique opportunities to work and play in the community.
Click here to Submit a Nomination