The Governor’s Council on Disability’s annual Inclusion Award program recognizes and honors a Missouri resident, organization or business that illustrates excellence in leadership for best inclusion practices.

The Inclusion Award and one Honorable Mention are presented annually to recognize private and public employers, individuals, and organizations that have successfully included people with disabilities in education, employment, housing, leisure activities, universal design, and website accessibility. Individuals are also encouraged to nominate state and local government divisions or employees they truly feel excel in inclusive practices.

The winning award and honorable mention are presented annually at the Power Up assistive technology conference.

To submit a nomination for the 2019 Inclusion Award, please use one of the following forms:

2018 Winners

Inclusion Award winner: Bloom Café, St. Louis

Bloom Café is a universally designed restaurant owned and operated by Paraquad that provides job training for adults with disabilities, and serves as a model of integrated employment. Approximately 60% of Bloom Café’s staff have disabilities. In addition to the restaurant, Bloom Café provides individuals with disabilities a pathway to economic independence through a formal job training program which includes job skills training, soft skills training and paid internships in the community as well as assistance with finding permanent jobs. Through this program, Bloom Café is promoting inclusion and equal participation for people with all types of disabilities.

Honorable Mention: Jim and Theresa Edwards/Sophie’s Run

Jim and Theresa Edwards are prime examples of community leaders for students with disabilities. In memory of their daughter, the Edwards started Sophie’s Run, a non-profit organization to raise funds to support families and students who need augmentative and alternative communication devices in the Park Hill School District and throughout their transition to college and post-secondary opportunities. These devices allow nonverbal students to have a voice, independence, and the opportunity to advocate for themselves and live a meaningful, purposeful life.

Contact Information:

Governor's Council on Disability
301 West High Street, Room 620
P.O. Box 1668
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1668
(800) 877-8249 (v/tty)
(573) 751-2600 (v/tty)
(573) 526-4109 (fax)
E-mail GCD