BOSTON (JTA) — The Ruderman Family Foundation has opened the nomination period for its international Ruderman Prize in Inclusion, honoring companies and organizations that operate innovative programs and provide services that foster the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Five individual $50,000 awards will be awarded. Now in its fifth consecutive year of operation, the prize has been awarded to 25 organizations in Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico, Israel, South Africa, Australia, Canada and Argentina.
Past winners include schools, houses of worship, a dance company, a university, a bakery and an employment service.
“Although people with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world, making up 20 percent of our population, they are amongst the most discriminated and segregated populations,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “In order to attempt to change this injustice, our foundation created the Ruderman Prize in Inclusion to recognize organizations across the globe who have led the way in including people with disabilities in all aspects of life.”
Nominating organizations for the prize can be 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations or companies with an American nonprofit fiscal sponsor. This year, priority will be given to innovations in the fields of technology, entertainment, art and fashion, media, social businesses and advocacy.
The prize is a signature program of the Ruderman Family Foundation, which believes that inclusion and understanding of people with disabilities is essential to a fair and flourishing community.
“Our foundation is constantly exploring new innovative ways to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in our worldwide society,” Ruderman said. “We strive to highlight the rights of people with disabilities as civil and human rights, and this year’s Prize is dedicated to the entrepreneurial spirit that changes life as we know it and makes us a fairer, more inclusive society.”
The first stage of the application is due Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. EST. Organizations that pass the first stage of the application process will receive an email inviting them to submit a second, more detailed stage of the application. The second stage deadline is Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. EST.
JTA is a media partner of the Ruderman Prize in Inclusion.
For more information on how to apply for a Ruderman Prize, go to www.rudermanfoundation.org.