Each year DEC honors individuals who are making a difference in the lives of young children and their families. We are pleased to honor individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving outcomes for young children with disabilities and their families.
The 2020 Awards Ceremony will take place at DEC's 36th Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families.
The nomination process is now closed. Award winners will be announced late July 2020.
The Rose C. Engel Award for Excellence in Professional Practice is given to a DEC member who is a practicing professional and whose primary role is serving young children with special needs and their families.
The Mary McEvoy Service to the Field Award is given to a DEC member who has made significant national or international contributions to the field of early childhood special education. It is given in memory of Mary McEvoy, who was a leader in the early childhood special education field.
The J. David Sexton Doctoral Student Award is given to a DEC member and doctoral-level student who has made contributions to young children with special needs and their families through their efforts in research, higher education, publications, policy, and information dissemination.
The Kathleen W. McCartan Award is given to an undergraduate or masters-level student who has made significant contributions through service to the field, community, and professional organizations. It is given in memory of Kathleen McCartan, who was a leader in the field of personnel preparation and served on the DEC Executive Board.
The Merle B. Karnes Award for Service to the Division for Early Childhood is given to a DEC member who has made a significant contribution to DEC in areas of leadership, service, research, advocacy, or publications. The award is given in honor of Dr. Merle Karnes, who served on the DEC Executive Board and was the founder and first editor of the Journal for Early Intervention.
The DEC Parent/Family Award is given to a DEC member and parent who has made significant contributions through service to the field and community. This award is given to demonstrate the importance of recognizing parents and families who are making a difference in the field.
The DEC Award for Mentoring is given to a DEC member who has provided significant guidance to the development of students and/or new practitioners in the field. This award is given to demonstrate the importance of training and guiding the next generation of leaders in the field.
See a list of past award recipients.