Darrel Tillar Mason Award
The nomination period for the 2023 Darrel Tillar Mason Excellence in Advocacy Award has ended, and award winners will be announced shortly!
In 2023, the disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) will honor an individual whose work has promoted transition and telling one’s own story in the disability community. Think mentors, coaches, and storytellers when contemplating a nominee. Our narratives and real experiences have power when trying to help the larger world understand and empathize with the everyday experiences of people with disabilities.
The Darrel Tillar Mason Excellence in Advocacy Award is named in honor of a notable and longstanding advocate for people with disabilities. In past years we have been able to present this in recognition of the amazing advocacy work done with and on behalf of people with disabilities all across the Commonwealth. You may view our previous winners below.
dLCV recognizes the power of storytelling in building connections, empowering individuals, and forming community. Therefore, we especially seek a nominee whose efforts towards inclusion in the arts supports the principles embodied in the mission of the dLCV:
to advance independence, choice and self-determination; protect legal, human and civil rights; and eliminate abuse, neglect and discrimination of people with disabilities through zealous and uncompromising legal advocacy and representation.
The disAbility Law Center of Virginia’s (dLCV) mission is to advance independence, choice, and self-determination; protect legal, human and civil rights; and eliminate abuse, neglect and discrimination against people with disabilities through zealous and uncompromising legal advocacy and representation.
A nominee for dLCV’s Darrel Tillar Mason Excellence in Advocacy Award should have demonstrated effective support of the principles embodied in the mission of the dLCV by their advocacy. The nominator should specify which aspects of the dLCV’s mission have been the focus of the nominee’s advocacy.
The selection committee recognizes the importance of a family member’s tireless advocacy for his or her family member with a disability. Likewise, we recognize the importance of dedicated workers employed by agencies, companies, or organizations who faithfully serve individuals with disabilities. We also recognize there are many people with disabilities who serve as mentors, coaches, and storytellers and are talented in their own right. However, we are seeking to bestow this award on an individual who has gone beyond doing a great job for a family member or an employer. The committee is interested in honoring an individual whose advocacy or representation has had an impact on the larger disability community, which can include the nominated person.
When we think of advocacy in the context of the dLCV mission, for this year’s theme we are looking at times of transitioning to a new chapter or empowering individuals to share one’s own story. Nominees could be coaches, mentors, transitional advisors, or persons who help people with disabilities to tell their own stories. They may also be individuals with disabilities who use their own stories and narratives to shape a larger part of the disability rights or pride movement. Alternatively, the desired impact could be related to local, state or national volunteer initiatives that provide services to individuals with disabilities or raise the public’s awareness of the need for new, additional, or improved transitional, coaching, or mentoring services.
There are those who make changes so people with disabilities have the independence to participate in their own transition and storytelling. Another impact could be related to local, state, or national policies or regulation – support of, or opposition to. For example, an elected official who championed a policy or regulation benefitting the disability community or defeated one that did not, or a lobbyist who educated elected officials and motivated the introduction of the positive policy or regulation, or a private citizen who worked to encourage public support for the policy or regulation, would all be worthy nominees.
- Volunteer, personal efforts, and paid work are all eligible endeavors.
- The selection committee will give favorable consideration to advocacy over a sustained period.
- We are looking to support individuals, not businesses, governments, or non-profits.
- Nominees must be nominated for their impact in Virginia