Lex Frieden Employment Awards

front and back of Lex Frieden medallion The Lex Frieden Employment Awards are named in honor of disability rights champion and independent living movement leader, Lex Frieden. One of the chief architects of the Americans with Disabilities Act, he is the UT Chancellor’s Health Fellow on Disability, a professor of biomedical informatics and rehabilitation at the UT Health Science Center- Houston, and director of the Independent Living Research Utilization Program (ILRU) at TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital.

The Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities has worked to highlight the outstanding efforts of employers to hire and retain employees with disabilities for over thirty years. The Lex Frieden Employment Awards (LFEA) are held each October to coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month; by recognizing these best practices in hiring and accommodation, GCPD hopes to help build an inclusive, accessible work environment for all Texans with disabilities. When an employer makes creating a supportive work environment a centerpiece of their philosophy, everyone benefits! Lex Frieden Employment Award winners are employers who see themselves as community partners, and enthusiastically promote and pursue business opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information on LFEA categories and entry forms, continue below.

Read about previous Lex Frieden Employment Awards Winners

How to Submit a Nomination

Nominations are due by noon on September 18, 2020. Please submit the appropriate Entry Form for your nomination.

See Submission Guidelines for more information

Category Descriptions and Entry Forms

  • 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 to:

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

512-463-5739 - Phone
Dial 711 for Relay Services
512-463-5745 - Fax

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

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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)