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Can anyone nominate submit a nomination or does the nomination need to come from an EKO member organization?

Nominations are welcome, both from EKO members and from individuals and organizations that are not EKO members.

Are the awards for individuals or for groups? Is there an award for an organization?

Each award category is open to individuals, teams, and organizations from Ontario.

How do I make sure I’m submitting a strong nomination?

The nomination package is very important. You’ll find some tips below. Each nomination includes four parts:

  1. Your information: your name and contact
  2. The nominee’s information: who they are and how to reach them
  3. Why: What is the nominee’s impact? Show us what they’ve done and why it matters. What is their contribution and significant impact for kids with disabilities and their families? Where do they stand among their peers—are the responsible for a game changer for kids and families? Are they leading social change? Have they forged partnerships that advance understanding or service delivery in ways that are beyond expectation? If there others who make equally vital contributions, you may want to note this or even nominate them as well—it’s to the advantage of your nominee to provide a balanced nomination.
  4. Letter/s of endorsement

Who should write an endorsement for the nomination?

Choose those who also believe the nominee deserves this recognition, and can make a compelling case. Select endorsers who know the nominee’s work and will be able to explain how and why the nominee stands out. Variety in the endorsement letter writers shows the Review Committee the reach and depth of the nominee.

How many endorsement letters should be submitted?

At least one and no more than four. Quality is more important than quantity. Nominators are urged to provide two very compelling letters from different perspectives, rather than four generic letters that don’t provide unique insights.

Can a letter of support be submitted directly to EKO rather than submitted through the nominator?

It’s preferred that the complete nomination package is submitted through the online form. If necessary, nominators can let us know that a support letter for your nominee will be sent directly to Nicole at info@empoweredkidsontario.ca. Please ask your endorser to note in the subject line Nomination for Tribute Award along with the category, and include the nominator and nominee names in the body of the email.

What format should be used for endorsement letters?

Endorsement letters can be submitted as PDF or as Word documents.

Can I update a nomination submitted previously?

Yes. Every year when nominations are open, past nominators can update and submit their nomination – including new letters of support – for consideration.

Is there a minimum age or experience requirement for Tribute Award candidates?

There is no minimum age or experience required. There must be compelling evidence of the nominee’s impact (not just potential). Consider how has the nominee changed perceptions, advanced inclusion, pioneered service delivery, created innovative and effective partnerships, or improved our understanding of disability. Be sure to note how kids and families benefit from the nominee’s work.

What does the Review Committee look for in a nomination?

The areas of achievement evaluated for Tribute Awards are listed under in the description for each award category.

The EKO Tribute Awards Review Committee and EKO’s Board of Directors assesses all nominations with consideration to:

  • Transferability
  • Quality impact
  • Transformative value
  • Equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Reach

Use your limited space carefully to describe the nominee’s impact. Be brief, but also explicit, and provide a succinct example or two. Indicate the importance of the nominee’s work by describing its specific consequences (e.g., a new line of research taken up by others, a system or product in widespread use, an important policy advanced and adopted). The ideal nominee will have notable and widely-regarded accomplishments and a reputation for innovation and impact.

How should I choose my endorsers?

Good question - the choice of endorsers is crucial. The Review Committee appreciates the judgment of endorsers who are recognized authorities in their field. Each endorser should be personally familiar with the work of the nominee, and able to provide firsthand testimony of its importance and impact. Collectively, endorsers should represent a variety of perspectives and viewpoints in order to show the breadth of that impact. In general, it’s better to choose endorsers from outside the nominee’s own organization. Choose endorsers who can address specific areas of accomplishment in detail and give evidence of the overall reach of their impact.

It’s important to confirm individuals are willing to serve as endorsers for the nominee. Nominators should be confident that the endorsers will submit letters that will strengthen the case for the nominee.

What should nominators tell endorsers?

It’s a good idea to remind the endorsers of the deadline date for submitting the complete nomination package. Endorsement requirements are listed under Submissions, so point them to that page as well as this one, or include the information in your message.

You may want to advise endorsers they need to provide personal commentary that offers concrete evidence of how the nominee’s work generated positive change for kids with disabilities and their families.

A successful nomination package will include endorsements describing the nominee’s impact from different, personal perspectives.

Each endorsement should make it clear that the endorser knows the nominee’s work well and is able to provide unique insights into their achievements.

Endorsements that are general, or that simply echo of the nominator’s comments, will not be regarded as strengthening the case for your nominee.

Does the EKO Tribute Award recognize individuals posthumously?

While it is preferable to present EKO Tribute Awards to living recipients, posthumous awards may be given at the discretion of EKO’s Board of Directors.

After submitting a nomination, can I access it to make minor changes?

No. Once you’ve selected submit, the nomination cannot be changed.

When will I know if my nominee has been selected and how will I be notified?

The Review Committee and EKO’s Board of Directors normally completes its selections within several weeks of the deadline. All nominators whose submissions were complete by the deadline will receive a notification once the selection process is finished.

If my nominee is not selected can I resubmit the nomination?

You may resubmit a new nomination when the Tribute Awards Call for Nominations opens again the coming year. A new nomination and new endorsements are required. It may help you to know that each nomination is considered independently of the others being submitted.

Are nominations confidential?

Yes, all EKO Tribute Award nomination materials are confidential.  


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Did You Hear?!

EKO Spring Symposium is Back in 2025!

Every two years EKO hosts this pinnacle event for the child development sector and the largest gathering of professionals and stakeholders from Ontario and across Canada.

learn more about the event!