The Advocacy and Leadership Awards, hosted by the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCCDD), honor the significant contributions made by advocates who are actively working to change attitudes and support greater choices and build a more inclusive North Carolina for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD).
The awards honor self-advocates, professionals who work for people with I/DD and advocates and volunteers who have passionately worked and continue to work to build a better North Carolina for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
Winners were announced at the November 2023 Quarterly Council Meeting during the Advocacy & Leadership Awards Ceremony.
For more information about the annual awards, check out the Frequently Asked Questions.
Listed below are the award recipients for this year along with a video about their important contributions. You can also read about them here.
The Leadership Achievement Award is presented to an outstanding North Carolina self-advocate whose work has improved the quality of life for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. This award was presented for the first time at the 2018 November quarterly meeting of the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Watch a video about Jacklyn Boheler.
Jack B. Hefner served the State of North Carolina as a member of the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCCDD) from 1982 until his passing in 1994. As a father to a son with intellectual disabilities, "Big Jack" was willing to do whatever it took to enhance the quality of life for North Carolinians affected by disability. Jack B. Hefner's leadership inspired a generation of advocates and people with I/DD to work forcefully.
On October 27, 1994, the NCCDD established the Jack B. Hefner Award to celebrate the vision and achievement of North Carolina's families and people with I/DD. The Council presents the award annually.
Watch a video about Sarah Potter.
Helen C. "Holly" Riddle served as the Executive Director for the NCCDD for 23 years. Through her professionalism, innovation and tireless dedication to look beyond the barriers and focus on creative solutions, she led the journey to make North Carolina a state where inclusion and full participation are possible for all citizens. This award is the highest recognition given by the NCCDD to those professionals who have made lasting contributions towards improving opportunities, breaking down barriers, and promoting increased quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In 2013, the NCCDD established the Helen C. "Holly" Riddle Award to celebrate the work of professionals with North Carolina's families and people with I/DD. The Council presents the award annually.
Watch a video about Dr. Bill Milner and Betsy White of ACCESS Dental.
What kind of nominees are you looking for? The Council seeks an outstanding North Carolina self-advocate whose work has improved the quality of life for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities for the newly established North Carolina Leadership Achievement Award. The Council seeks family members or community members for the Jack B. Hefner Award who have been involved in making an impact in their local communities that not only benefit their family member, but will positively impact other individuals as well. For the Helen C. “Holly” Riddle Awards, the Council seeks nominees from professionals in the field who have devoted to their career to improving the systems in NC that serve individuals with I/DD and their families.
What do you look for not only in nominees, but award winners? The Council promotes the three awards and seeks nominations from the general public, Council members, professionals in the field, individuals with I/DD, and family members. Those making nominations must show that the person they are nominating is making an impact in their local community that benefits others with I/DD. Those professionals nominated for the Riddle Award will demonstrate improvement of systems serving individuals with I/DD that will have or have had a statewide impact.
How are the recipients selected? A selection committee of NCCDD members reviews all applications and carefully considers all information submitted for the candidates and chooses a candidate for the respective awards. These candidates are submitted to the executive committee for review and endorsement.
What do the recipients get? The winner of the NCCDD Advocacy and Leadership awards are invited to the November Council meeting and can invite up to four guests to the awards ceremony. The award winners will receive a plaque, an opportunity to address the Council, and their story will be promoted on the Council website, the social media pages, and in their hometown newspapers.
How does the selection process go? The Council opens up the nominating process in the Spring of each year with announcements going out throughout the Council and Council member networks. Nomination forms can be downloaded or completed online. For those who need assistance completing the nomination form, they can call the NCCDD office at 919-850-2901.