Self-Direction Awards

The Self-Direction Awards Ceremony recognizes individuals’ exceptional contribution to advancing self-direction and supporting self-directing participants. Award recipients are nominated by the public, determined by our members, and announced during our biennial Self-Direction Conference.

The 2019 Self-Direction Awards Ceremony will be held on Monday, April 29th in Baltimore, Maryland. Submit your nominatons by Friday, March 15th here.

Self-Direction Award Categories

All awards are given to individuals, not programs or providers. In each case, awards recognize contributions over a career of service or an exceptional contribution during the past two years.

  1. Excellence in Self-Direction Program: This award goes to an employee of a state or managed care organization (MCO) who has advanced self-direction.

  2. Excellence in Financial Management Services: This award goes to an employee of a Financial Management Services (FMS) entity who has advanced self-direction through FMS.

  3. Excellence in Information & Assistance: This award goes to an employee of an Information & Assistance (I&A) agency or an independent I&A provider who has advanced self-direction better through I&A.

  4. Outstanding Involvement in Self-Direction: This award goes to a self-directing participant or family member who has gone beyond successful management of her or his care to helping others in self-direction programs or helping improve self-direction programs as a whole.

  5. Outstanding Worker in Self-Direction: This award goes to a direct care worker who has gone above and beyond to support the self-directing individual(s) she or he serves.

  6. The Tom Nerney Lifetime Achievement Award: Tom Nerney was a pioneer in the self-determination movement and a passionate advocate for people with disabilities. He was one of the early fighters for civil rights, inclusion and de-institutionalization. In one of the first monographs on self-determination, Tom challenged us to achieve “new goals for a new future.” The first goal laid the foundation for self-direction: “Goal #1: Self-determined personal support. Each individual with a disability has the authority to plan for his or her own future and oversee the implementation of those plans. This is the core principle underlying our vision. With assistance from a person agent and/or others invited to participate, individuals determine what they need in terms of support, then negotiate funding for support.” The Tom Nerney Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to an individual who has consistently advocated for self-direction with persistence, passion, and eloquence. Nominees may be a participant, direct care worker, state program staff, FMS employee, I&A provider, or anyone whose work honors the memory and legacy of Tom Nerney.

You can learn about our 2017 Self-Direction Award winners here.