Awards Program


The Arc Tennessee annually recognizes people or groups who have made significant contributions to enhance the inclusion and recognition of people with disabilities in their communities. Awards are presented at an Awards Banquet held the evening before the Tennessee Disability MegaConference.

Award Categories and Criteria for 2017

The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 7, 2017. Winners will be notified by May 1, 2017. Award winners will be honored at our Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 6:00 pm at the Nashville Airport Marriott.

Agency of Distinction
Honors a public or private community organization that provides exemplary supports and demonstrates a commitment to community inclusion for people with disabilities. 

Community Service
Honors an individual or group who has demonstrated commitment to the mission and positions of The Arc by volunteering time locally or on a statewide basis to enhance opportunities for people with disabilities or working on special projects or events.

Exemplary Educator
Honors a Tennessee educator or leader in education who has demonstrated excellence in providing for the education of students with developmental and other disabilities.  Nominees for this award may include teachers, principals, administrators, school board members, college faculty or researchers.

Inclusive Employer
Honors a Tennessee employer with an exceptional record of providing inclusive community employment opportunities and accommodations for people with disabilities. 

Public Awareness
Honors outstanding efforts by state and local media entities or individuals that create better public understanding of people with disabilities.  The award recognizes a variety of broadcast, print, and internet mass media, including – television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, podcasts, and blogs.

Work Initiative
Honors a person or a group who seeks or has the knowledge, skills and initiative to start and operate his/her/their own business or an employee with a disability who has positively contributed to a workplace setting.

Honors an outstanding self-advocate who is a role model for others.

Promising Young Leader
Honors an individual (under age 22) or a group whose members are age 22 or younger, who have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential as seen in volunteer efforts on special projects or events that enhance opportunities for people with disabilities in their community.

The Ruth Roberts Memorial
Honors a sibling (brother or sister) of a person with a disability who, through their community involvement and advocacy efforts, creates an environment that fosters inclusion for all.

To nominate for the above categories, download the form HERE and follow the directions.

Direct Support Professional (DSP) Above and Beyond
The criteria and nomination form for the DSP award is located HERE.