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Disability Manuscript Award 

2020 Disability Manuscript Award

The CSWE Council on Disability and Persons With Disabilities (CDPD) is pleased to announce the seventh Annual Disability Manuscript Award recipients. The award recognizes scholarship that contributes to knowledge about disability; full participation of persons with disabilities; social, political, and economic issues related to disability and persons with disabilities; and social work education curriculum materials focused on disability and persons with disabilities.

2020 Disability Award Winners

Methods to Decrease Disparities in Age of Autism Diagnosis and Treatment Access Among Latinx Children

Dr. Kristina Lopez, PhD, MSW, is an assistant professor at the Arizona State University School of Social Work. Her professional background includes work in special education. Dr. Lopez earned her B.A. and M.A. in psychology from California State University, Northridge. She earned her M.S.W. and M.S. in psychology, and her Ph.D. in social work and psychology, from the University of Michigan. Dr. Lopez is an expert in Latinx children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families.

Her research interests include family experiences raising children with ASD and childhood cancer, the development and implementation of culturally informed autism intervention for Latinx families, and ecological and socio-cultural perspectives of disparities in age of diagnosis and treatment access among underserved populations. A vital aspect of Dr. Lopez’s research is the integration of community resources to advance the design of culturally informed models of intervention that foster child outcomes, parent-child interactions, receipt of services and community involvement among Latinx families. Dr. Lopez teaches micro and macro courses in both the bachelors and masters degree programs and provides field supervision to social work interns at the Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels childhood cancer foundation in Phoenix, AZ. 

J. Marisol Marroquin, MSW, is a first-generation PhD student in the Arizona State University School of Social Work. She received her master of social work (MSW) degree from California State University, Long Beach and her undergraduate at Whittier College with a double major in Spanish and social work. Marisol is a clinical social worker in Arizona (LMSW) and California (ASW) and has focused on collaborating with the Latinx community by providing services in Spanish when preferred and using her bi-cultural experience to support clients’ overall mental health and access to basic needs such as housing, food, and health care.

Her work as a practitioner has influenced her research within intervention projects that aim to address the disparities with Latinx families with autism as well as the gaps in educational attainment among low-income Latinx families in poor-performing schools. Recently, her efforts have focused on understanding the intersectional variables impacting the self-management of Latinx individuals with long-term chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Collectively, Marisol’s scholarship, research, and practice aim to identify and intervene in the intersectional impact of mental well-being, disability and racial/ethnic identity as well as to create more culturally responsive efforts to support Latinx community well-being.  


Courtney Gutierrez, MA, graduated from Arizona State University with her Master of Arts in social justice and human rights. Courtney attended Northern Arizona University where she earned a dual degree in Bachelor of Arts in sociology and Bachelor of Science in criminology and criminal justice. Prior to ASU, Courtney worked as a youth service specialist in Santa Barbara, CA, providing socio-emotional support and substance abuse counseling to youth. She has experience as a case manager at a transitional housing program for homeless families in the Phoenix Metro area and a transitional housing program for homeless youth in the greater Washington, DC area. Courtney is passionate about positive youth development and facilitating access to resources among underserved communities. She also enjoys traveling, being active outdoors with her dogs, and being trained in the art of flamenco.

2020 Disability Award Honorable Mention

Disability Accommodation Experiences of Social Work Students in the United States

Claudia Sellmaier, PhD, MSW, joined the Social Work and Criminal Justice faculty in 2015. She received her social work degree in Germany and practiced social work mainly with homeless youth both in Germany and the United States for over seven years. Her teaching focuses on the role of macro contexts such as policies, communities, and institutions in social work practice and social work education. In her research, Claudia examines work-life fit at the intersection of gender and disability. She also looks at social work education and professional development in the context of disability both nationally and internationally.

JaeRan Kim, Ph.D., MSW, (she/hers) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice at the University of Washington at Tacoma. She is the recipient of the Title IV-E Doctoral Fellowship and was a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellow at the University of Minnesota.  Prior to completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Kim worked with foster and adopted children and families and with adults with disabilities in residential care. JaeRan’s research is focused on the intersection of adoption and disabilities, in particular exploring disability, race, and transnational experiences for adoptees. 

Award Requirements

All CSWE members with oral presentations, interactive posters, or interactive workshops are invited to submit relevant scholarly papers for consideration. CDPD particularly encourages submission of manuscripts that do the following:

  • Are consistent with the CDPD mission
  • Use appropriate methodology
  • Include well-developed applications to social work practice or policy
  • Include clear implications for social work education
  • Demonstrate a significant affect on the disability field and persons with disabilities through publication or other means
  • Are innovative in overall concepts and purpose

At least one author of the paper must agree to attend the award presentation during the CDPD community meeting at the Annual Program Meeting

Submit materials via e-mail to Mumbi Mwaura at

The 2020 Disability Manuscript Award cycle has ended.