The Disability Manuscript 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. The Disability Manuscript Award winner(s) are recognized during the Annual Program Meeting (APM). 

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
  • Manuscripts featuring experiences of disabled people and people with disabilities will be prioritized
  • Positionality statements within manuscripts are highly encouraged

Please note that there is a 30-page limit on manuscript submissions. Manuscripts that are over the page limit will not be considered. Applicants should remove all identifying information from the manuscript upload.

At least one (1) author of the paper must agree to attend the award presentation during the CDPD Connect session at the APM.

CSWE membership is an eligibility requirement for all commission and council awards. To check your membership status, or link your membership your social work program visit and click Link to Program/Join CSWE.

The call for nominations will open on February 22, 2024, and close on April 4, 2024, at 11:59 PM (ET).

Nominations must be submitted through Submittable. Emailed or incomplete nominations will not be accepted.

Please contact [email protected] if you have questions.

2023 Disability Manuscript Award Recipients

The CSWE Council on Disability and Persons With Disabilities (CDPD) is pleased to announce the 2023 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.

The 2023 Disability Manuscript Award goes to Stephanie L. Baird, PhD, RSW, and Ami Goulden, PhD, RSW, for their submission titled, "Re-Imagining Neoliberal Ideologies in Social Work Education Using Critical Feminist and Disability Theories: A Phenomenological Autoethnographic Account."

Stephanie L. Baird, PhD, RSW is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at King's University College at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. Her research focuses on understanding and responding to experiences of truama and intimate partner violence. Her scholarly work is informed by her community and clinical social work practice.

Ami Goulden, PhD(c), RSW, is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada and a registered social worker. Her research agenda promotes disability justice and anti-ableist approaches in social work practice and education. She is currently coordinating projects related to reproductive health among disabled young people, gender-based violence among disabled women, and universal design for learning in social work practice-based education.


2023 Honorable Mention Recipients

The 2023 Honorable Mention is awarded to Mustafa Rfat, MSW, Dr. Yingying Zeng, Yibin Yang, MSW, Kusum Adhikari, and Dr. Yiqi Zhu for their submission, "A Scoping Review of Needs and Barriers to Achieving a Livable Life Among Refugees With Disabilities: Implication for Future Research, Practice, and Policy."

Mustafa Rfat, is a PhD student in social work at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. At the Brown School, Mustafa's research focuses on exploring the needs and barriers refugees/immigrants with disabilities experience. Mustafa works on multiple projects with Dr. Mitra to improve the lives of refugees and immigrants. Internationally, he works with Dr. Trani on education equity in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Turkey, he works with Dr. Orhan Kocak to research the unique needs of persons with disabilities and their caregivers. Mustafa Rfat came to the United States as a refugee with disabilities in 2011 and completed his BSW and MSW with an emphasis on mental health at West Virginia University. He began working at the Center for Excellence in Disabilities as a passionate community advocate. Mustafa then pursued an MPA with an emphasis on healthcare policy and community work.

Dr. Yingying Zeng is a PhD in social work at the Brown School of Washington University in St. Louis and an incoming assistant professor at the School of Social Work, University of Georgia. Zeng’s research is focused on economic wellbeing, health disparities, and socio-economic mobility among disadvantaged populations. Zeng’s dissertation, titled “Examining U.S. Immigrant Experience in Asset Building: Implications for Asset-Based Policies,” examines immigrants’ wellbeing with a focus on their asset accumulation in the United States. Specifically, she analyzes the role of legal statuses upon arrival and access to formal banks in determining immigrant asset ownership and wealth trajectories between children of immigrants and native-born parents. Her dissertation won the Grand Challenge for Social Work Doctoral Award in 2023. Zeng is involved in multiple research projects at the nexus of inequality, financial well-being, and policy.

Yibin Yang is an active, energetic, and passionate social work scholar who empowers children, youth, and families from diverse backgrounds through multi-systemic collaborations. His research interests mainly focus on culturally sensitive design and implementation of evidence-based practices and interventions for young children and their families, especially those living in socially and economically disadvantaged situations, intending to promote their mental well-being and positive development. Specifically, Yibin is interested in exploring factors impacting the social and emotional development and mental health of young children from diverse cultural backgrounds. Additionally, he is keen to explore and understand implementation facilitators and barriers that may influence the implementation process of the designed practices and interventions for practitioners and social workers working with families from diverse backgrounds within local communities. 

Dr. Yiqi Zhu is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at Adelphi University. Before joining Adelphi University, Yiqi studied social work at the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, and earned her PhD in 2021. Yiqi's scholarship aims to develop and support strategies to improve the well-being of children and families from impoverished communities in response to rapid globalization, urbanization, and modernization. She has conducted research and consultant work on the health disabilities and educational attainment with organizations in China, Afghanistan, and India.

Kusum Adhikari completed her undergraduate degree in law and got her license in Nepal before coming to the United States to pursue a Masters in Social Work. She is a student at Adelphi University, and currently works as an Intern at AHRC NYC Fisher Center. Growing up with both working parents, she always saw them work and advocate for various social causes which inspired her to engage in various social activities since she was in middle school. She has experience of working as a volunteer for renown non-profits in Nepal, both national and international, which also has helped her distinguish and differentiate the different parts of the world, and their different social issues.