RESNA Awards
Nomination Instructions and Criteria

Approved by the RESNA Board of Directors on November 1, 2011

Deadline for Submission of Nominations
Monday, April 18, 2016


Introduction

The RESNA Awards Committee solicits, accepts, and considers the appropriateness of award nominations. The Committee relies on the RESNA membership to identify and submit nominations of individuals and organizations worthy of recognition. They review and judge the merit of these submissions. Their recommendations are sent to the Board of Directors for approval. The Awards Committee also organizes and conducts the Awards Ceremony at the Annual Conference.

Please adhere to the following criteria, instructions, and procedures when submitting an award nomination. The Awards Committee has developed these guidelines in an effort to make the nomination and award process as straightforward and impartial as possible.

General Nomination Instructions

Nominators are encouraged to contact and discuss proposed nominations with the Awards Committee Chair before nominations are submitted. Advice on the general nomination process and policy will be given, but no judgement will be made on the suitability of a specific individual or organization for an award.

Please read all the requirements for a given award, and submit clear, concise, complete, passionate, and overwhelmingly convincing documentation. This material must comply with all the following nomination policies and procedures and must address each award requirement. The award categories and their criteria are listed below.

Nominators should refer to a list of service to RESNA, questions posed to RESNA Fellows, a nomination example, and an awards checklist to assist in composing an award nomination.

General Information and Requirements

  • Nominators for any award must be current RESNA members in good standing.

  • All award nominations and letters of support for agencies, facilities, companies, or organizations must come from RESNA members outside the nominee's agency, facility, company, or organization.

  • Nominations and letters of support for individuals from colleagues or co-workers can come from within the nominee's agency, facility, company, or organization.

  • Each award category may have more than one awardee.

  • An individual or organization may be considered for an award in more than one category for separate and distinct contributions.

  • Nomination applications for multiple awards for an individual or organization for the same effort or contribution will not be considered.

  • While it is permissible for an individual or an organization to receive the same award (except for Fellow) more than once, it must be for new efforts or contributions not previously recognized.

  • RESNA staff or individuals under contract by RESNA are not eligible to receive awards.

  • Although awards may be given posthumously, it is suggested that nominations be submitted soon after an individual's passing.

  • All nomination documents must use standard fonts, type sizes, and margins.

  • All nomination material must be emailed as one Word (much preferred) or pdf file only. Nominations consisting of scanned tif files, email text, Excel files, or fax submissions are not acceptable. All nomination documents must be emailed to RESNA in one shipment and not require the Awards Committee to seek or gather any additional material such as the membership status of the nominator or the nominee. The Awards Committee will acknowledge receipt of all nominations.

  • The Awards Committee will consider only the submitted nomination letters and supporting documentation when judging award candidates. This documentation should stand on its own and will be the basis for judging the suitability of award candidates.

  • It is inappropriate for anyone including nominators or nominees to lobby or influence the Awards Committee directly by any means. If such action occurs, the nomination may not be considered.

  • The decisions of the Awards Committee and Board of Directors are final. There is no appeal process or opportunity to resubmit a nomination in the current year.

  • Nominators cannot suggest a different award in the current year if the submitted nomination is not awarded.

  • Submission of a nomination for consideration does not guarantee that the award will be made.

  • All nominations, letters of support, and essays of support must include the name, address, phone number, and email address of both the nominator and nominee.

  • Nominators may be asked to present the award at the Annual Conference.

  • Awardees will be asked to submit a digital photograph of themselves for the awards presentation ceremony and the awards website. (Photographs are not required with nominations.)

Please submit award nominations directly to RESNA by email (awards@resna.org). Please enter "RESNA Award Nomination" on the Subject line.

If you have any questions about the awards criteria or process, please contact:

Alex Mihailidis, PhD, P.Eng
Chair, RESNA Governance Committee
416/946-8565
alex.mihailidis@utoronto.ca

Award Categories


  • Fellow - RESNA Fellow Awards recognize members who have made long term and substantial contributions to the fields of rehabilitation or assistive technology as well as significant contributions to RESNA.

  • Honorary Fellow - RESNA Honorary Fellow Awards recognize non-members who have promoted issues and demonstrated leadership highly relevant to the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering and who have encouraged the independence of individuals with disabilities.

  • Distinguished Service Award - RESNA Distinguished Service Awards recognize members for their sustained contributions and service to RESNA and the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering.

  • Leadership Award - RESNA Leadership Awards recognize an agency, company, association, or university for their significant contributions to the advancement of the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering and who have provided recognition and support for RESNA.

  • Sam McFarland Memorial Mentor Award - RESNA Mentor Awards recognize members or groups of members who have influenced, counseled, and nurtured others in the fields of rehabilitation engineering or assistive technology.

  • Emerging Leader Award (formerly known as "Rookie" Award) - RESNA "Rookie" Awards recognize newer members who have made significant contributions, provided leadership, and have made an impact to RESNA during their first several years of active participation.

  • Certificate of Appreciation - RESNA Certificates of Appreciation recognize members or non-members for special one-time activities benefiting either RESNA or the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering.

Fellow - RESNA Fellow Awards recognize members who have made long term and substantial contributions to the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering as well as significant contributions to RESNA.

Award requirements:

  • The nominee must have been a RESNA member for at least ten years. (The ten years of membership need not be consecutive.)

  • The nominee must have made substantial and extraordinary contributions (above and beyond normal responsibilities and expectations) to the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering in such areas as:
    • Teaching and education
    • Communication and public awareness
    • Recognized research
    • Design and development
    • Technology transfer
    • Clinical practice
    • Service provision
    • Manufacturing or production
    • Mentorship and/or counselorship
    • Public policy
    • Advocacy

  • The nominee must have also made significant contributions to RESNA through comprehensive leadership activities such as:
    • Member of the Board of Directors
    • Chair, Co-Chair, or Vice-Chair of a Special Interest Group
    • Chair, Co-Chair, or Vice-Chair of a Professional Specialty Group
    • Chair, Co-Chair, or Vice-Chair of a Committee
    • Other service positions and/or activities
    • Volunteerism

Nomination instructions:

  • The nomination packet must include a cover letter from the nominator outlining why the nominee is deserving of this award, the nominee's complete curriculum vitae, and two letters of support from RESNA members. The packet must be emailed as one Word (much preferred) or pdf file.

  • The nomination cover letter and letters of support must document the nominee's leadership, contributions, and accomplishments to both the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering and to RESNA. The nomination must describe explicitly the nominee's contributions (not just a list of leadership positions, papers, and presentations) as well as their significance and impact.

  • A RESNA member may only nominate one Fellow per year, but may submit letters of support for multiple candidates.

  • Indicate if the award, should it be approved, is to be a surprise to the nominee.

  • RESNA Fellow nominators may be asked to present the award at the Annual Conference.

Honorary Fellow - RESNA Honorary Fellow Awards recognize non-members who have promoted issues and demonstrated leadership highly relevant to the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering and who have encouraged the independence of individuals with disabilities.

Award requirements:

  • The nominee must have promoted issues highly relevant to the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering for a minimum of five years.

  • The nominee must not be a RESNA member (or have made the contributions while not a RESNA member).

  • The nominee must have contributed and/or demonstrated leadership in an area which has encouraged the independence of individuals with disabilities through the use of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering. Examples areas include, but are not limited, to the following:
    • Legislation / policy
    • Education of consumers or professionals
    • Design and development
    • Research
    • Health promotion
    • Employment
    • Recreation
    • Publications
    • Financial contributions

Nomination instructions:

  • The nomination packet must include a cover letter from the nominator outlining why the nominee is deserving of this award and two letters of support from RESNA members. The packet must be emailed as one Word (much preferred) or pdf file.

  • The nomination cover letter and letters of support must document the nominee's leadership, contributions, and accomplishments with respect to the above requirements. The nomination must describe explicitly the nominee's contributions (not just a list of leadership positions, papers, and presentations) as well as their significance and impact.

  • A RESNA member may only nominate one Honorary Fellow per year, but may submit letters of support for multiple candidates.

  • RESNA Honorary Fellow nominators may be asked to present the award at the Annual Conference.

Distinguished Service Award - RESNA Distinguished Service Awards recognize members for their sustained contributions and service to RESNA and the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering.

Award requirements:

  • The nominee must have made a sustained contribution and/or service to RESNA for a minimum of three years.

  • The nominee must be a RESNA member.

Nomination instructions:

  • The nomination must describe explicitly the nominee's contributions and/or service to RESNA (not just a list of service activities) as well as their significance and impact.

  • RESNA Distinguished Service Award nominators may be asked to present the award at the Annual Conference.

Leadership Award - RESNA Leadership Awards recognize an agency, company, association, or university for their significant contributions to the advancement of the fields of assistive technology and who have provided recognition and support for RESNA.

Award requirements:

  • This award is given to an agency, company, association, or university for their significant contributions to the advancement of the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering for a minimum of five years. (This five-year requirement may be waived for innovative programs or progressive policies which directly enhance consumer access to assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering.)

  • This contribution must have made an impact on a major segment of the population (e.g., students or consumers).

  • The nominee must have recognized and supported RESNA.

Nomination instructions:

  • The nomination must come from a RESNA member outside the nominee's agency, facility, company, or organization.

  • The nomination must describe explicitly the nominee's contributions and accomplishments to leadership in the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering (not just a list of leadership activities) as well as their significance and impact.

  • RESNA Leadership Award nominators may be asked to present the award at the Annual Conference.

Sam McFarland Memorial Mentor Award - RESNA Mentor Awards recognize members or groups of members who have influenced, counseled, and nurtured others in the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering.

Award requirements:

  • The nominee must be a RESNA member or group of RESNA members.

  • The nominee must possess characteristics of a nurturer and counselor.

Nomination instructions:

  • The nomination must include a cover letter from a RESNA member and at least three essays of support, with at least one essay from a RESNA member. Essays from colleagues, students, and former students are particularly welcomed. The nomination packet must be emailed as one Word (much preferred) or pdf file.

  • The essays must describe explicitly how the nominee has influenced and nurtured others; the nominee's leadership, contributions, and accomplishments to mentorship and education in the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering (not just a list of mentor activities) as well as their significance and impact.

  • RESNA Mentor Award nominators may be asked to present the award at the Annual Conference.

Emerging Leader Award (formerly known as "Rookie" Award) - RESNA Emerging Leader Awards recognize newer members who have made significant contributions, provided leadership, and have made an impact to RESNA during their first several years of active participation.

Award requirements:

  • The nominee must be a RESNA member for no more than two years. (For the first year of the award, 2005, longer-term members who made significant contributions during their first few years with RESNA were considered.)

  • The nominee must have documented evidence of leadership and impact in their RESNA participation such as:
    • Instructional Course presenter and/or organizer
    • Podium and/or poster presenter
    • Concurrent or Workshop Session presenter and/or organizer
    • Participation in SIGs and/or PSGs
    • RESNA Committee membership
    • Other RESNA leadership and/or service activities

Nomination instructions:

  • The nomination must describe explicitly the nominee's leadership, contributions, and accomplishments to volunteerism, leadership, and participation to RESNA (not just a list of activities and service) as well as their significance and impact.

  • RESNA Emerging Leader Award nominators may be asked to present the award at the Annual Conference.

Certificate of Appreciation - RESNA Certificates of Appreciation recognize members or non-members for special one-time activities benefiting either RESNA or the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering.

Award requirements:

  • The nominee may either be a RESNA member or non-member.

  • The nominee must have performed a special, one time, task-limited activity and/or service for RESNA and/or the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering.

Nomination instructions:

  • The nomination must describe explicitly the nominee's activities and accomplishments for RESNA and/or in the fields of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering (not just a list of activities and service) as well as their significance and impact.