Self-Direction Awards

2019 Self-Direction Award WinnersThe 2019 Self-Direction Awards recognizes individuals’ exceptional contribution to advancing self-direction and supporting self-directing participants.

All awards were given to individuals, not programs or providers.

Award recipients were nominated by the public, determined by our members, and announced during our biennial Self-Direction Conference.


Self-Direction Award Winners

  1. Excellence in Self-Direction Program: Chris Sell and Bernard Simons. This award goes to an employee of a state or managed care organization (MCO) who has advanced self-direction. View Chris' nomination here and Bernard's nomination here.

  2. Excellence in Financial Management Services: Melissa Blake. This award goes to an employee of a Financial Management Services (FMS) entity who has advanced self-direction through FMS. View Melissa's nomination here.

  3. Excellence in Information & Assistance: Joan Rumenap. This award goes to an employee of an Information & Assistance (I&A) agency or an independent I&A provider who has advanced self-direction through I&A. View Joan's nomination here.

  4. Outstanding Involvement in Self-Direction: Tony Sampson. 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. View Tony's nomination here.

  5. Outstanding Worker in Self-Direction: Faith Fritz. 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. View Faith's nomination here.

  6. Excellence Federal Leadership in Self-Direction: Pamela Doty. This award goes to a federal leader who has advanced self-direction. View Pamela's nomination here.

  7. The Tom Nerney Lifetime Achievement Award: Patricia Carver. 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. View Patricia's nomination here.

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