June 21, 2024

Do you know an employer, entrepreneur, volunteer, or local disability organization that has gone above and beyond the legal requirements to ensure full inclusion of people with disabilities in your community and in the workplace? If so, please help us acknowledge them with a nomination for a Lex Frieden Employment Award from the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD) as we celebrate Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM). This year’s DEAM theme is “Access to Good Jobs for All.”

Each year, the GCPD partners with the Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Workforce Solutions to promote the Texas HireAbility campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities and to highlight the contributions of people with disabilities in the workforce. GCPD seeks nominations to recognize employers who have consistently exceeded requirements to ensure full inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace. Submission guidelines and Employment Award nomination forms are available on the GCPD website. The deadline to receive submissions for the 2024 awards is June 30, 2024.

Awards categories include:

  • Employer Awards (Small, Medium, Large, or Non-Profit Employer) recognize employers in Texas who have fostered a diverse and accessible workplace.
  • The Entrepreneurship Award recognizes a living entrepreneur with a disability with a drive to create and sustain a successful business.
  • The Martha Arbuckle Award recognizes an innovative local committee project.
  • The Governor’s Trophy is the highest honor to an individual for lifetime achievement in support of Texans with disabilities.

There is NO FEE for submissions. Self-nominations by employers are encouraged. Please help us with our outreach efforts by sharing this call for nominations with contacts in your network so that we may ensure that exemplary efforts in Texas are acknowledged.

For information or questions about the annual Lex Frieden Employment Awards, contact the GCPD staff at gcpd@gov.texas.gov or (512) 463-5739.

About the Awards

The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities’ annual Employment Awards are named after disability rights champion and independent living movement leader Lex Frieden, one of the architects of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Frieden is the University of Texas (UT) Chancellor’s Health Fellow on Disability, a professor of biomedical informatics and rehabilitation at the UT Health Science Center at Houston, and director of the Independent Living Research Utilization Program (ILRU) at TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital. President George W. Bush appointed Frieden as chair of the National Council on Disability in 2002 and he served an eight-year term on the United Nations Panel of Experts on the Standard Rules for Disability. Frieden has received two Presidential Citations for his work in the field of disability and was awarded an honorary doctorate in law by the National University of Ireland in 2004.

Since 1979, the GCPD has worked to highlight the efforts of employers to hire and retain employees with disabilities and to recognize best practices that positively affect employees with disabilities within the workplace. Employers whose philosophy is to support employment opportunities for all Texans, including people with disabilities, benefit the local community as well as the entire state. The attitude of working as a partner in the community is considered a strength to be highlighted and encouraged by the presentation of our annual Employment Awards. The active and enthusiastic promotion of business opportunities for people with disabilities is also an important element in the consideration of the award.