NYS CEC Awards

The NYS Council for Exceptional Children honors individuals annually for their perseverance, hard work, and advocacy. Four awards are given each year: Excellence in Teaching, Excellence in Community Service, Excellence in Leadership, and the Student Yes! I Can award. Recipients are honored at a luncheon held each year during the annual conference. In 2017, this luncheon will be held on Friday, October 20th in Binghamton.


Nominations for the 2017 awards must be submitted here by August 1st and should include a short description of the reason for nomination. Winners and nominators will be notified by September 1, 2017.


Category: Excellence in Teaching

Nominees for the Excellence in Teaching award must demonstrate outstanding contributions to and support for the education and school life of students with disabilities and special education continuum of programs. The nominee should be be currently employed as either a special education teaching professional or a general educator involved in collaborative programming for students with disabilities


On the application, the nominator should provide evidence of Excellence in Teaching, including unique activities, projects and responsibilities which qualify the nominee for the award.

Category: Excellence in Leadership

Nominees for the Excellence in Leadership award must demonstrate excellence in creating and promoting an atmosphere of inclusion for all students with disabilities, advocating parental and student rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and generally assuming a leadership role within the community. The nominee should currently have responsibilities in administration, supervision, or hold a major office in a recognized organization or agency for children and youth with disabilities (teachers and non-administrative personnel are not eligible).


On the application, the nominator should describe unique activities, projects, and responsibilities that reflect the individual’s Excellence in Leadership.

Category: Excellence in Community Service

Nominees for the Excellence in Community Service award must be involved in activities related to assisting citizens who have a disability to enjoy and participate more fully in his or her community (e.g., volunteering at recreation programs, fundraising, supplying free food or beverages, etc.). The nominee should be a non-teaching individual who exhibits a strong commitment to the well-being and enhanced quality of life for children and youth with disabilities.


To nominate an individual, the nominator should describe the ways the individual demonstrated Excellence in Community Service through their unique activities, projects, and responsibilities.


Category: Yes! I Can

The Yes I Can! Award honors students with disabilities who excel. These awards celebrate the achievements of children, youth, and adolescence with disabilities; encourage these individuals to seek their highest potential; and increase public awareness of the abilities, aspirations, and personal qualities of those with disabilities. Each candidate must be nominated by one individual (e.g., teacher, principal, related service provider, friend, parent). The nominator does not need to be a CEC member.Individuals must be 5–21 years of age when they are nominated and have an identified disability.


To nominate an individual for the Yes! I Can award, please describe the attributes of the individual and your reason for nomination for this award.


To fill out the nomination form click here