Community Builder Award

At the ANCOR Foundation, we measure the soul of the community by its inclusivity. We measure it by the attitudes and actions of every community member toward people with disabilities—from providers to businesses to the organizations and individuals who work together to expand opportunity for all people.

We also measure the soul of the community by examples of bold leadership. That’s why the ANCOR Foundation created the Community Builder Award.

The Foundation bestows this award in recognition of those individuals, communities or organizations that have had the courage to make inclusivity their mission—that is, those who have worked tirelessly so that people with disabilities may participate as contributing, valued members of their communities. See previous award recipients to understand the kind of leaders recognized with this prestigious honor.

Recipients of the Community Builder Award must represent initiatives that are rooted in evidence-based practices and have stood the test of time.


Established in 2004, the Community Builder Award recognizes exemplary and praiseworthy initiatives of individuals, communities and/or community-based organizations that create community inclusivity through opportunities for people with disabilities to build social capital and live full, meaningful lives in their community, as contributing and valued members of their community. 

After a brief hiatus, the ANCOR Foundation revived the Community Builder Award in 2021 to modernize the program and criteria for selecting partners who earn the distinction of being a Community Builder. With this re-launch, one award will be given to a community partner who demonstrates meaningful inclusion of people with I/DD. 

The ANCOR Foundation Community Builder Award, a distinguished award with the highest level of professional acknowledgement, seeks to showcase outstanding achievements in three key areas:

  1. Best Practices: Award recipients must offer an approach to community inclusivity that can serve as a model for others.

  2. Community Focus: Priority is given to those who provide invisible support for their efforts (i.e., the community is considered front and center in fostering inclusivity).

  3. Partnerships: Individuals and organizations that partner with employers, educational institutions, volunteers or other organizations to highlight the understanding that a vital, interconnected community benefits all citizens.

The Community Builder Awards are sponsored by the ANCOR Foundation, the nonprofit, charitable arm of ANCOR—the nation’s leading community of disability service providers. The ANCOR Foundation’s mission is to build the commitment and capacity of providers and communities to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.


Any individual, group or organization (such as a town, a state, a civic or religious organization, an employer, a park, a recreational program, etc.) whose commitment and creativity build sustained communities that fully include and value people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is eligible to be considered for the Community Builder Award. I/DD Service Providers, such as those that comprise ANCOR’s membership, are not eligible for this award.

Submit a nomination today!

Decisions & Notifications

A selection committee will review all the submissions. Finalists are expected to participate in an interview (virtual or onsite) with members of the selection committee. Additionally, a site visit may be conducted by the ANCOR Foundation. Complete submissions by January 28, 2022.

The ANCOR Foundation will offer one round-trip airfare and one-night hotel accommodation to travel to the ANCOR Annual Conference to participate in the awards ceremony where the Community Builder Award will be presented.

If you have questions about the nomination process, please email Gabrielle Sedor.