Books Eligible for Consideration

  1. Children's books that include a main or supporting character with developmental disabilities. Developmental Disability is defined as follows: a severe, chronic, mental and/or physical disability occurring before age 22 that is likely to continue indefinitely and require a combination of lifelong support and services. The disability results in substantial functional limitations in at least three major life activities: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, or economic self-sufficiency.

Typical developmental disabilities considered for this award include:

Autism spectrum disorders

Intellectual disabilities (e.g., Down syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder)

Developmental delays, and

Physical combined with intellectual disabilities.

For this award, developmental disabilities must align with the mission of the CEC Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (e.g., if the character with a disability would likely be served by DADD rather than another CEC division, such as the Division on Learning Disabilities, then its inclusion is appropriate).

  1. For the picture book award, the book must be recognized as a picture book written for children in story format. Biographies written in story format are included.

  2. For the chapter book award, the book must be recognized as a fictional chapter book (generally a novel divided into chapters) written for children or young adults in story format. This includes easy readers, juvenile fiction, and young adult fiction. Biographies in story format are also included.

  3. The book must be published in English with an initial copyright/publication date within a predetermined two year period prior to the award date (e.g., 2022-2023 awarded in 2024). If a book was published/copyrighted at the end of an award cycle year and/or reprinted and not previously considered it may be considered for the current award. Books translated from another language must have an English-Language edition copyright/publication within the same two-year period.

Books Not Eligible for Consideration

  1. Non-fiction books (i.e., books that present factual information not in story format) and books that are intended to primarily teach about a disability (rather than to present a story)

  2. Books published through vanity press

  3. Books that present the character with developmental disabilities as an inanimate object, animal, or other non-human.