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Lex Frieden Employment Awards

About the Awards

The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities is proud to announce that the annual employment awards have been renamed after disability rights champion and independent living movement leader Lex Frieden, one of the architects of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

front and back of Lex Frieden medallion

Frieden is the UT Chancellor's Health Fellow on Disability, a professor of biomedical informatics and rehabilitation at UT Health Science Center at Houston and director of the Independent Living Research Utilization Program (ILRU) at TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital. He was appointed by President George W. Bush as chair of the National Council on Disability in 2002, and also served an eight-year term on the United Nations Panel of Experts on the Standard Rules for Disability. Frieden is author or co-author of more than 60 articles on independent living, disability rights and rehabilitation. He 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 Governor's Committee 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.  An employer whose philosophy is to support employment opportunities for all Texans, including people with disabilities, benefits the local community as well as the 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.

Each year during the month of October (National Disability Employment Awareness Month), a local committee in Texas hosts the Annual Employment Awards Ceremony, and the winners in each of several categories are introduced to an appreciative audience. Award categories include large, medium, and small employers, as well as non-profit employers, the Entrepreneurship Award, Martha Arbuckle Award and the Governor’s Trophy.

Download and print a Lex Frieden Employment Awards Brochure in PDF format

Download and print Lex Frieden Employment Awards Brochure information in Word format

The Lex Frieden Employment Awards Brochure is also available in large print upon request.

Read about previous Lex Frieden Employment Awards Winners.

How to Submit a Nomination

Nominations are due by August 12 of each year. Please submit the appropriate Entry Form for your nomination. See Submission Guidelines for more information.

The group and individual categories are:

The Martha Arbuckle Award recognizes the most innovative local committee project, and is presented in memory of Austin's long-time disability advocate Martha Arbuckle.

Employer Awards are given in four categories - Small Employer (25 or fewer employees), Medium Employer (26 to 500 employees), Large Employer (more than 500 employees), and Non-Profit Employer. Each category serves to recognize employers in Texas who have fostered a diverse and accessible workplace and who have developed innovative ways to integrate people with disabilities into the workplace.

The Entrepreneurship Award is awarded to a living entrepreneur with a disability who has shown extraordinary ingenuity and drive to create and sustain a successful business that has created jobs and accessible services.

The Governor's Trophy is the Governor's Committee's highest honor and is awarded to the person who has achieved the highest success in enhancing the empowerment and employment of Texans with disabilities. The Governor's Trophy recognizes long-term commitment and outstanding efforts at both the community and state level.

Nominations, including self-nominations, in any of these categories are encouraged. A completed submission form specific to the category, along with any supporting material, can be sent by email or postal mail to:

Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities
P.O. Box 12428
Austin TX 78711

512-463-5740 - Phone
512-463-5746 - TDD or Dial 711 for Relay Services
512-463-5745 - Fax
Contact GCPD for more information.

2016 Awards Ceremony

The 2016 Lex Frieden Employment Awards luncheon ceremony will be held in Houston on Thursday, October 27, 11:00am, at the Crowne Plaza Houston, 8686 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77054. The awards program is hosted by the Houston Mayor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and the Greater Houston Business Leadership Network. For more information and to purchase tickets or sponsorships, visit the LFEA ceremony Registration site or send a message to the GCPD or call the GCPD at 512-463-5739.

2016 Save the Date Flyer

Above and Beyond:  Employment Practices

Suggestions for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for ALL people to help make your business or service stand out.

Above and Beyond: Employment Practices in PDF format

Download latest version of Acrobat Reader here

What Can YOU Do to Advance the Employment of People with Disabilities?

In support of the What Can YOU Do? outreach effort, the Campaign for Disability Employment is pleased to present the following video tools. Help us spread the word about the value and talent that people with disabilities bring to the workplace by sharing these videos and playing the Campaign for Disability Employment:
View the “I Can” public service announcement (PSA).
View the What Can YOU Do? Outreach Toolkit.