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Yes I Can Awards Nominations

A group photo of the 2020 Yes I Can recipients smiling and posing on stage with their awards

2022 Yes I Can Award Nominations Are Now Closed

CEC is no longer accepting nominations for the 2022 Yes I Can Awards. Join us during CEC 2022 Convention & Expo and 100th Anniversary Celebration in Orlando, January 16 – 19 to celebrate the 2022 Yes I Can Award recipients.


Pearson Logo

CEC is grateful to Pearson for its generous support of the Yes I Can Awards Program


The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is proud to recognize children and youth with exceptionalities who have demonstrated their determination and achievements in multiple ways. Presented each year at the CEC Convention & Expo, the Yes I Can Awards recognize 12 outstanding students with exceptionalities in six categories: Academics, Arts, School & Community Activities, Self-Advocacy, Technology, and Transition.  

The Yes I Can Awards Ceremony is a highlight of every CEC Convention & Expo. Recipients and their families, with travel stipends from CEC, will join convention attendees in Orlando, Florida, as they are honored live during a general session. Recipients who cannot to travel to Orlando will be recognized and celebrated via video. 

Any questions? Please call (703) 264-9433

Award Categories

We all know that 2020 and 2021 have represented unique educational experiences, so the selection committee is open to unique nominations. Use the categories below as your guide and consider your observations as well as accomplishments and actions by students that you would consider note-worthy. For example, most School & Community Activities were limited or impossible to conduct but perhaps you noticed a student who went out of their way to help fellow students participate remotely.

  • Academics
    The student demonstrates achievement in a particular subject area such as math, science, reading, social studies, language arts, foreign language, etc.; overall academic achievement; or a high level of achievement on standardized tests, etc.
  • Arts
    The student demonstrates achievement in a particular medium such as music, art, drama, dance, written expression, etc.
  • School & Community Activities
    The student demonstrates achievement in organized activities at the school or community level through groups such as school-based clubs/activities (yearbook, theater, debate, tutoring, peer mentoring, social, service, etc.) or community-based clubs/activities (volunteer work, Boy/Girl Scouts, church/temple, service, cleanup campaigns, etc.) This category will demand a lot of flexibility for the 2022 awards given the limitations on such activities since 2020.
  • Self-Advocacy
    The student demonstrates achievement in assuming practical responsibility for oneself, using knowledge of legal rights, advancing one’s goals, or effectively obtaining appropriate accommodations for oneself or others.
  • Technology
    The student demonstrates achievement through the use of assistive and adaptive technology devices and equipment (computerized or otherwise). 
  • Transition
    The student demonstrates achievement in mastering activities that lead to successful experiences in the areas of work, vocational training, and/or independent living.

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