Yes I Can! Awards nominations extended to July 1

Nomination Information

The California Council for Exceptional Children is a community of professionals who are the voice and vision of special and gifted education. CEC’s mission is to improve, through excellence and advocacy, the education and quality of life for children and youth with exceptionalities and to enhance the engagement of their families.

The California Yes I Can! Awards honor students with exceptionalities. These awards celebrate the achievements of children and youth with exceptionalities; encourage these individuals to seek their highest potential; and increase public awareness of the abilities, aspirations, and personal qualities of those with disabilities.

Nominations may be made by teachers, principals, related service providers, friends, and parents. The nominator does not need to be a CEC member.

The Yes I Can! Awards Review Committee will select winners in the following categories:

  • Academics: achievement in a particular subject area such as math, science, reading, social studies, language arts, or foreign language; overall academic achievement; or a high level of achievement on standardized tests.
  • Arts: achievement in a particular medium such as music, art, drama, dance, or written expression.
  • School and Community Activities: 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) or community-based clubs/activities (volunteer work, Boy/Girl Scouts, places of worship, service, cleanup campaigns).
  • Self-Advocacy: 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: achievement through the use of assistive and adaptive technology devices and equipment (computerized or otherwise).
  • Transition: achievement in mastering activities that leads to successful experiences in the areas of work, vocational training, or independent living. Nominations should be made in only one of the three areas.


Each Yes I Can! Award winner will:

  • Receive a Certificate of Award Winner.
  • Be honored at the 2019 CACEC conference in Burlingame, October 11 & 12.
  • Receive a letter of congratulations from the California CEC President.
  • Be featured on California CEC’s Web site (

Each individual nominated for a California Yes I Can! Award will:

  • Receive a Certificate of Accomplishment.Certificates are sent to the nominator, not the nominee.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must be 2–21 years of age when they are nominated.
  • The nominee must have an identified disability.

Award Selection Considerations

  • The Selection Committee looks at not only the student’s achievements, but also the severity of the student’s disability in relation to his or her achievements.


Rules and Instructions for Nomination 

  • Each candidate may be nominated inone category only.
  • Nominations will be accepted electronically via e-mail
  • If you are unable to submit the nomination materials electronically, please contact Leah Wood at awood17@calpoly.edufor more information.
  • All materials submitted become the property of California CEC and will not be returned.
  • All nomination materials (including letters of recommendation and additional documentation) must be submitted together.
  • Each candidate must be nominated by one individual (g.,teacher, principal, parent, related service provider, friend). The nominator does not need to be a CEC member.
  • All nomination materials must be submitted in one email no later than June 1, 2019. 

If the student is selected as an award winner for California, the nominator will be asked to complete the application form for the international CEC Yes I Can!awards.


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