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Registration opens for the USD Center for Disabilities 2015 Spring Symposium

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Last year in March, the University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities launched its inaugural Spring Symposium. Building off the momentum of that symposium, the Center has now opened registration for its second-annual symposium, to be held March 30–April 1 in Chamberlain, S.D. at Cedar Shore Resort, with the theme of “Promoting Leadership and Engaging Communities.”

The purpose of the Spring Symposium is to bring a myriad of Center interactive activities, trainings, and workshops to one location, all at one three-day event. The keynote speaker this year is Andy Imparato, Association of University Centers on Disabilities executive director, which is the membership organization supporting the nation’s 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, one of which is the USD Center for Disabilities.

A brief overview of topics at the symposium includes using technology to upgrade everyday life, including live demonstrations of how the Center has put telehealth models into practice; implementing effective transition tools and practices; supporting individuals in integrated competitive employment; and so much more. Like last year, there will also be World Café and topical table discussions, where attendees can share their knowledge and experience and work together as a team to discuss how to overcome job-related challenges and community issues.

“From all corners of the state, the topics of leadership and community engagement are being discussed as issues people face every day,” said Wendy Parent-Johnson, Center for Disabilities executive director. “This symposium is the opportunity to bring people together—persons with a disability, direct service providers, advocates, families of individuals with disabilities, educators, employment specialists, community support specialists, case managers, rehabilitation counselors and more—and work on solving these issues to enhance the lives of all South Dakotans.”

For more information on the Center, go to To register for the Spring Symposium, go to If you register before Feb. 1, the early bird price is $135, and goes up to $150 after that date. Student registration cost is $75, and family members of or a person with a disability is also $75.


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News