Oct 1, 2013

USD Center for Disabilities awarded five-year Deaf-Blind Project Extension

VERMILLION, S.D. -- On Thursday, Sept. 26, the U.S. Department of Education notified the Center for Disabilities that their funding for the Deaf-Blind Project has been renewed. Officially called “Technical Assistance to State Deaf and Blind Projects,” the award project length is for 6o months, beginning Oct. 1, and the total amount is over half a million dollars.

The purpose of the South Dakota Deaf-Blind Project is to promote academic achievement and improve results for children who are deaf-blind by providing technical assistance, disseminating useful information, and ensuring all children will graduate from high school ready for college and/or a career.  While the Center for Disabilities is the lead applicant for the project, key collaborators include the South Dakota School for the Deaf; the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired; South Dakota Parent Connection; the South Dakota Department of Education, Office of Special Education; and the South Dakota Department of Education, Birth to Three Program. 

“In such a large geological state like South Dakota, with widely scattered populations, it is important to build capacity across the state systems and work with like-minded service providers and institutions,” said Wendy Parent-Johnson, Center for Disabilities executive director. “We thank the U.S. Department of Education for identifying the critical need for the continuation of the deaf-blind project in South Dakota.”

Some of the main goals of the project are to develop an outreach and referral process to improve identification of all students who are deaf-blind; develop and implement individualized technical assistance plans for each student and their family; and provide onsite or long distance trainings to personnel in the schools, classrooms, or EIS providers, among others.

For more information about the Center for Disabilities or the Deaf-Blind Project, go to www.usd.edu/cd.

About the Sanford School of Medicine

For more than a century, the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine has set the standard for medical education of students, residents and professionals in the state. The school’s mission includes education, research and service. It emphasizes family practice to help create the next generation of doctors for all parts of the state. The school’s economic impact includes attracting $17 million annually in research funding as well as hosting two of the four 2010 Research Centers designated by the governor.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at www.usd.edu/press/news.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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