Awards Program

Each year, TASH honors those whose contributions have advanced equity, opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities, and whose actions set a high standard for human rights every day. TASH award recipients are acknowledged during the annual TASH Conference. The 2019 nominations forms will close on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Thank you to those of you who submitted nominations. Direct questions regarding award nominations to Ruthie-Marie Beckwith,


Larry J. Brumond Supportive Relationship Award

This award was first presented in 2007 to its namesake, Larry J. Brumond, and Thomas Ryan. Larry and Thomas knew each other for 21 years, 17 of which Larry was the primary support person in Thomas’s life. This award program was started by Total Living Concept (TLC), a Washington agency supporting people with disabilities to live in homes of their choosing with whom they want, where they want and for as long as they want. This award annually honors two individuals who have maintained a mutually supportive relationship for at least five years in which the dreams and aspirations of the support recipient are supported in that person’s chosen home and community. The net result when such a relationship is formed is the fulfillment of two lives: in learning and teaching each other; in discovering better who they each are; and in understanding more deeply how critical relationships are to a satisfying and valued life. TLC will present each award recipient with a $500 check at the TASH Annual Conference. To nominate someone for this award click here.


June Downing Breakthroughs in Inclusive Education Award

This award is given in honor of June Downing, a long time TASH member, Board of Directors member, author and beloved friend and colleague. June Downing had a profound impact on families, young professionals, educators and individuals with disabilities and her contributions to inclusion will be felt for many years to come. The purpose this award is to honor the important and courageous contributions of individuals and school districts in advancing inclusive education and equitable opportunities for students pre-school through grade 12, particularly those with the most significant disabilities and support needs. TASH recognizes the path to full inclusion can be challenging, depending on the local community, state and local leadership and other factors. Nominations are requested for individuals, schools and districts that are consistent with TASH’s mission regarding inclusive education. To nominate someone for this award click here.

Awards categories include: School District, Administrator, Teacher, School, and Advocate/Family/Self-Advocate


Marc Gold Award for Employment Award

This award honors the contribution of Marc Gold, both to the disability field and to TASH. Marc was a founding board member of TASH and continued his affiliation until his death in 1982. His research and advocacy provided the rationale for supported employment by establishing that persons with significant disabilities could learn complex tasks. He formed Marc Gold & Associates in 1976 to promote the concepts of competence and contribution by all persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities through a series of nationally relevant projects that focused on staff development and employment. His company continues today. This award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to increasing access to community, integrated employment for persons with significant disabilities. The focus of the award may be related either to a lifelong body of work or to work performed within a current year. Recipients may include employment professionals, researchers, state agency personnel, professors, legislators, family members or employers.

To nominate someone for this award click here.

Alice H. Hayden Emerging Leader Award

The Alice H. Hayden Emerging Leader Award, established in 1978 and the first of its kind, is in honor of the leadership and inspiration of one of the founding members of TASH. Dr. Hayden was the Founder and Director of the Model Pre-School Center for Handicapped Children, of the University of Washington Child Development and Mental Retardation, Center Experimental Education Unit. She received international recognition for establishing an early intervention project for infants with Down syndrome. Her curriculum and intervention procedures were replicated in many states, Canada, and Italy, and disproved prevailing views about the hopelessness of this disability. This award is presented to a doctoral student enrolled in a program in education or a related field, and who demonstrates potential for leadership in teaching, scholarship, and service on behalf of people with significant disabilities. The individual needs to have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to working in partnership with people with disabilities. To nominate someone for this award click here.

The Alice H. Hayden Emerging Leader Award will be given for accomplishments in one or more of the following areas: Leadership in Teaching, Leadership in Scholarship and Research, Leadership in Service


Positive Images in the Media Award

The TASH Positive Images in the Media Award honors presentations in print, film or other forms of media that promote positive images of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life. Awardees are recognized for their contribution to the elimination of stereotypes by portraying people with disabilities and their lives accurately with recognition of the complexities of being human. Awardees are requested to have their material available in alternative formats that are optimally accessible to all viewers and participants. To nominate someone for this award click here.


Positive Behavior Support Award

This award is presented to an individual who has made significant positive contributions to promoting and developing positive behavior supports in lieu of aversive and coercive strategies for persons with severe disabilities. The focus of the award may be presented for a lifelong body of work or for work performed over a short period of time that had a significant positive impact on the lives of persons with severe disabilities and their families. Recipients may include special educators, family members, researchers, self advocates, trainers, staff members, policy people, administrators, lawyers, professors, or legislators. To nominate someone for this award click here.


Barbara R. Trader Leadership Award

The Barbara R. Trader Leadership Award is presented to a TASH member who demonstrates extraordinary leadership toward the enrichment of the organization. This individual must exemplify TASH values, possess a profile of courage, contribute to the growth and success of the organization, and promote TASH’s contribution to advocacy and social justice for individuals with disabilities. This award is presented in honor of Barbara R. Trader, who, as executive director (2006-2016), contributed to the growth and success of TASH. Barb was the 2015 inaugural recipient. To nominate someone for this award click here.


Early Career Researcher Award

The recipient of this award will have a research agenda that is focused on inclusive practices and has the potential to impact change in equity, inclusion, and full participation for individuals with significant disabilities. This award honors the contributions of researchers who are in the beginning stages of their career. To be eligible for this award, nominees must have been active in the field for less than ten years after receiving their advanced graduate degree (EdD, PhD). To nominate someone for this award click here.

2018 was the inaugural year for this award, sponsored by members of the TASH Early Career Researcher Network. The TASH Early Career Researcher Network is a group of early career researchers who are focused on promoting the development and dissemination of evidence-based practices aligned with the TASH National Agenda. As part of our commitment to advance the TASH National Agenda, this network is also focused on the mentorship and support of new researchers. The recipient of this award will have the opportunity to work with a mentor who is a veteran researcher.


Ralph Edwards Diversity and Social Impact Award

This award is given to an individual who -like its namesake- has a keen eye for what isn’t working and an urgency to see what is possible and to make it happen.Ralph Edwards has spent his life taking on things that just were not right. Whether it was advocating and fighting for his son Jonathon to be fully included or working at the grassroots levels to support political candidates who would make a difference, Ralph was involved.  Ralph is also a skilled community organizer.  He has the amazing ability to identify what and who are missing to make something right and then work with people to find the people and resources to make it right.  Ralph showed up, even in the midst of personal struggles, he never dropped the ball.  With his deep respect for people, Ralph is also an amazing mentor and role model, leading by example and bringing people along with him.  This award is established in 2018 to honor the life work of Ralph Edwards and his commitment to promoting and living the TASH mission.

To nominate someone for this award click here.