Our contest archives contain results from every year of the Katherine Schneider Disability Reporting Contest.
Read about the 2020 winners below.
2020 Contest Winners
2013-2021 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability
FIRST PLACE (Large media)
The Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois
Jennifer Smith Richards and Jodi S. Cohen
Overview: This piece investigated the practice of isolating school children, many of whom have disabilities. The journalists examined records from more than 100 school districts across Illinois, concluding that while seclusion is sometimes legal, in many instances it was used outside the bounds of the law in ways that were cruel and unjustified.
SECOND PLACE (Large media)
Overview: Elsen-Rooney explored what happened when the families of two boys from different backgrounds—living just 15 blocks apart in New York City—tried to get help for their children, both of whom struggled to learn to read.
THIRD PLACE (Large media)
National Public Radio
Overview: Shapiro wrote about the specific challenges faced by people with disabilities during the pandemic.
HONORABLE MENTION (Large media)
Overview: Schulson takes a look at the science behind airplanes and wheelchairs and examines the challenges faced by people who use wheelchairs 30 years after the passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
FIRST PLACE (Small media)
Overview: The project explored the systematic decisions that lawmakers, educators and state officials have made at every level, leading to a dire lack of access to resources, accommodations and Deaf teachers.
SECOND PLACE (Small media)
The News-Press/Naples Daily News
Overview: This five-part series follows a young woman for a year, revealing the inadequacies of both Florida’s foster care and mental health systems.
THIRD PLACE (Small media)
Searchlight New Mexico
Overview: Williams exposed that not only are isolation rooms and restraint techniques misused in Albuquerque, New Mexico schools, but the actions are often kept secret.
HONORABLE MENTION (Small media)
Overview: This story revealed that changes in the law have meant that children with disabilities in Florida are being involuntarily committed to mental health facilities when it’s not always necessary.