National Center on Disability and Journalism award call for entries

Entries now being accepted for the NCDJ 2022 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability

Tuesday, May 24, 2022


The National Center on Disability and Journalism is now accepting entries for the 2022 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability, the only national journalism contest devoted exclusively to disability coverage.

For the first time this year, the Gary Corcoran Student Prize for Excellence in Reporting on Disability has been added. It will recognize the best work by college student journalists on topics related to disabilities.

For professional journalists, winners will receive a total of $8,000 in cash awards in large media and small media categories. First-place winners in each category will be awarded $2,500 and invited to the Cronkite School for a public lecture or presentation in fall 2022. Second-place winners will receive $1,000 and third-place winners $500.

The student award honors the life and advocacy of Gary S. Corcoran (1951-2015), a wheelchair user from the age of 19 who volunteered untold hours to help make airlines, transit and public venues in Phoenix accessible to all. The student prize amounts are $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place.

Entries must have been published or aired between July 1, 2021, and June 31, 2022. The deadline to enter is Aug. 7, 2022.

For both prizes, work may have been published in digital, print or broadcast formats. Entries are accepted from outside the U.S., although the work submitted must be in English. For the student prize, the entrant must have been an enrolled college student at the time of publication or broadcast.

The entry form for the Schneider Award professional prize can be found at Schneider Prize Entry 2022.

The entry form for the Corcoran Award student prize can be found at Corcoran Prize Entry 2022.

Entries are judged by professional journalists and experts on disability issues. Past judges have included “PBS NewsHour” anchor Judy Woodruff; Tony Coelho, former six-term U.S. congressman from California and the primary sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and Daniel Burke, CNN religion editor.

In 2021, Reporters from The Washington Post won the top two spots in the large media category. William Wan took first for “Pandemic Isolation has killed thousands of Alzheimer’s patients while families watch from afar,” which examines the number of deaths caused by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic and how the isolation associated with dementia has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Hannah Dreier of the Post took second for “What to do about Ahav?,” a profile about a mother working to take care of her Black, mentally ill son during the pandemic and a time of racial unrest, with photographs by Bonnie Mount.

In the small media category, reporters from the ARIJ Arab Investigative Network took first and second places. Ayat Khiry won first for “Falling on Deaf Ears,” an investigation into how deaf and hard-of-hearing people struggle to receive services at government hospitals in Egypt. Safaa Ashour finished second for “Blue, Beaten and Bruised,” which details physical abuse of children at special needs centers in Egypt.

For all past winners, visit

The professional prize is supported by a gift from Katherine Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist. Schneider, who has been blind since birth, established the award to help journalists improve their coverage of disability issues, moving beyond “inspirational” stories that don’t accurately represent the lives of people with disabilities. “That kind of stuff is remarkable, but that’s not life as most of us live it,” she said.

The Schneider and Corcoran awards are both administered by the NCDJ, which is part of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. The NCDJ offers resources and materials for journalists covering disability issues and topics, including a widely used disability language stylebook. For more information, visit