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Each year, SDS bestows an array of prestigious awards for excellence in the field of Disability Studies. Indeed, gathering and considering nominations for each constitutes one of the board's major--and most rewarding--tasks outside of annual conference planning.

With these many awards, SDS strives to recognize the diverse pursuits and measures of success that are represented by its members: the Senior Scholar award recognizes lifetime contributions to the field, while the Irving K Zola award honors an emerging scholar. The Tanis Doe Prize is a number of awards for best poster, while the DSQ Award recognizes the author(s) of best article published in DSQ. The President's Award is given to a person who has advanced the mission of SDS and the Chris Bell Memorial Scholarship honors the life and scholarship of Chris Bell.