Awards Program

Program Background

The Committee administers an awards program to honor individuals and organizations that have promoted independence and civil rights for people with disabilities. An awards ceremony is held annually to recognize the award winners. Award categories include Employee, Agency, Business/Non-profit organization, the Media, Advocate, and Legislator.

Award Categories


Award criteria include: An employee who is employed by an agency, board, or commission under the jurisdiction of the Governor and is:

  • A State of Illinois Employee with a Disability who is employed by an agency, board or commission under the jurisdiction of the Governor.
  • An enthusiastic employee who exhibits a creative approach to work that reflects initiative and goes beyond job requirements.
  • An employee who displays good human relations skill, works well with others and is respectful of co-workers.
  • An employee who exhibits sensitivity to disability issues and promotes disability awareness and self-respect.
  • An employee with good job performance.
  • An employee who has made outstanding achievements in improving the status of people with disabilities.


  • Agencies are evaluated on a variety of factors, including: innovative programs to assist employees with disabilities; percentage of employees with disabilities; percentage of promotions involving employees with disabilities; agency's experience in regards to provision of accommodation; and training efforts.
  • Information provided should be based on accomplishments from the previous fiscal year.
  • Agencies will compete within the following three categories:
    • Small -- under 300 employees;
    • Medium -- 301 to 1000 employees; and
    • Large -- over 1000 employees
  • Agencies that are statutory members of the Committee, including the Departments of Human Rights, Human Services, Central Management Services, Veterans Affairs, the Civil Service Commission, the Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Offices of the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Comptroller, and the Treasurer are not eligible to participate in this category.

Business or Non-profit Organization

Awards program criteria for an Illinois Business or Non-profit organization include: An Illinois business or non-profit organization that has taken efforts in the previous fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) to:

  • Enhance the independence of people with disabilities, or
  • Contribute to improved access to facilities or programs in the state, or
  • Address attitudinal barriers facing people with disabilities.
  • Information provided should be based on the previous fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) accomplishments.


Awards criteria include: stories that accurately depict the lives of people with disabilities, those that illustrate the barriers faced by this group, or those that promote the independence of this group. Media prepared during the last year is eligible for this award.


A State employee who has worked to advance the rights, opportunities or independence of people with disabilities either in the last year or over his/her state career. Individuals who serve on ICED are not eligible for this award.


A State legislator who has worked to advance the rights, opportunities or independence of people with disabilities through legislation. Efforts can include lifetime legislative work.

Award Ceremonies

2016 Awards Ceremony

On May 11, 2016 the State of Illinois honored the achievements of those who have done an outstanding job providing equal opportunity and access to people with disabilities in state employment, including the Department of Employment Security and a number of other agencies that have participated in the Successful Disabilities Opportunities Program. The awards were presented by Governor Bruce Rauner and Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti at the annual Awards Ceremony hosted by the state's Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities (ICED).

2015 Awards Ceremony

Governor Bruce Rauner addressed an audience of over 100 individuals assembled for the ICED Awards Ceremony on May 19, 2015 at the Historic Preservation Agency in Springfield. The Governor stressed the importance of independence and opportunity for all people in the State, including people with disabilities. Governor Rauner presented awards for Non-profit of the Year, Business of the Year, the Dan Dickerson Advocate of the Year, State Agency of the Year and State Employee of the Year. In addition nine agencies that participated in the Successful Disability (SD) Opportunities Program were honored with certificates presented by Governor Rauner. The ceremony also featured a performance from Illinois School for the Deaf students, a panel discussion on the SD program, a Disability Quote activity, and exhibits from the Illinois Technology Assistance Program and the Illinois State Library Talking Book Program.

2014 Awards Ceremony

ICED hosted a successful Awards Ceremony on May 20, 2014 in Springfield. About 90 individuals gathered at the office of the Historic Preservation Agency to honor individuals, agencies, and entities in the following categories: Employee of the Year, State Agency, Media, Legislator, Non-profit (2 winners), and Advocate.  The program for the event consisted of a presentation from a caterer with a disability and a panel discussion about state programs for business owners with disabilities. A news release was issued and media coverage was obtained.

2012 Awards Ceremony

On April 25, ICED hosted its annual awards event to recognize a state employee, state agencies, non-profit groups and businesses for their support of employees with disabilities, and for promoting a greater awareness of disability issues. Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon presented the awards and commended the agencies and organizations for helping individuals with disabilities. Image gallery from the ceremony

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