Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities

Houston Commission on Disabilities

Award Graphic
MDAYA Guidelines

The Mayor’s Disability Advocate of the Year Award (MDAYA) seeks to recognize and honor the contributions of advocates who, through their volunteerism in the community, have provided a notable effort towards one or more of the following:

  • Increasing Houston community awareness of issues related to disabilities.
  • Working towards dissolution of one or more barriers to people with disabilities.
  • Being the voice for those who have difficulty or cannot represent themselves.

Selected from Houston each year are two adult disability advocates (one with a disability and one without), and one youth disability advocate. At the discretion of the MDAYA selection committee, one posthumous award may be given.

All awards are based on the virtue and impact of their work using the following criteria:

Community Advocate (Disabled, Nondisabled and Posthumous) -recognizes the outstanding volunteer efforts of an individual dedicated toward improving conditions and opportunities in the disability community. He/she should be a positive role model whose actions encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

Youth Advocate -recognizes a young person no older than 18 years of age for outstanding work in the community. This work should include selfless volunteer work exhibiting leadership qualities that will inspire our youth to become future leaders and advocates for the disability community.

MDAYA Criteria

All nominations must include the Nomination Form and a narrative statement/letter of recommendation which highlights volunteer services performed by the nominee.

  • An individual currently engaged in volunteer service that improves the quality of life of people with disabilities in Houston.
  • Contribution and/or activity must have been performed in the greater Houston area for a minimum of one calendar year.
  • Incomplete nominations will not be considered.
  • Award recipients will be asked to attend a recognition event during Disability Unity and Pride Celebration at Metropolitan Multi-Service Center on September 28, 2019.
  • Award recipients may be asked to do media interviews.
  • DEADLINE to submit nomination form: September 9, 2019
  • All submissions must be done electronically, no handwritten submissions will be considered.
  • Nominees are not eligible if they
  1. are currently serving on the Houston Commission on Disabilities;
  2. Have received the award within the last four years.

Please submit your complete nomination packet electronically, including:

  • Nomination form (mandatory)
  • Narrative statement/ Letter of Recommendation (mandatory)
  • Other supporting materials (Optional)

Nominee will not be considered if all mandatory materials are not submitted. The deadline to submit nominations is: September 9, 2019.

Submit your .docx nomination to If you choose to submit your nomination online via the form below, it will also be received by