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The Missouri Governor's Council on Disability is accepting nominations for its annual awards programs that recognize employers and other organizations' successful efforts to include people with disabilities, and youth with a disability who have demonstrated exemplary leadership.

The Governor's Council on Disability promotes full participation and inclusion of Missourians with disabilities — who number nearly 1 million — in all aspects of community life by educating them, fellow citizens, employers, and educators of rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The council's Inclusion Award is presented each year to recognize "private and public employers, individuals, and organizations that have successfully included people with disabilities in education, employment, housing, leisure activities, universal design and website accessibility," according to a news release.

State and local government divisions or employees that excel in inclusive practices are also welcome to be nominated.

The nomination form and criteria are available at

The council's Youth Leadership Award recognizes a Missouri youth between ages 16-26, with a disability, who "has demonstrated exemplary leadership by engaging in activities that improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in their communities in Missouri."

Youths with disabilities can be nominated at

In addition to online submissions, nominations can also be made by fax at 573-526-4109; email at [email protected]; or mail at Governor's Council on Disability, PO Box 1668, Jefferson City, MO, 65102.

The deadline for submitting nominations is Jan. 31.

More information is available by calling the Governor's Council on Disability at 573-751-2600.

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