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USD Center for Disabilities Executive Director Eric Kurtz Discusses Center's Mission and 50th Anniversary on Credit Hour

Eric Kurtz Eric Kurtz, executive director of the USD Center for Disabilities, discussed the center's mission and its 50th anniversary on the Credit Hour podcast.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Eric Kurtz, ’09 Ph.D., the executive director of the University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities, discussed the center’s mission and 50th anniversary on the podcast, Credit Hour.

“I wish people would perceive disabilities as being a natural part of the human existence,” said Kurtz. “People with disabilities make up a large proportion of our population. One in six children are diagnosed with a developmental disability and 61 million adults live with a disability. They shouldn’t be shamed or thought of as needing fixing.”

Kurtz was named the executive director of the USD Center for Disabilities in 2019. Kurtz earned a Ph.D. in school psychology at USD and has previously served as an associate professor of pediatrics at the USD Sanford School of Medicine.

The Center for Disabilities is South Dakota’s federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) which provides training, clinical services, research and information dissemination with a vision that all people, including individuals with disabilities, can achieve independence, self-determination, productivity and community inclusion. It was established in 1971 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.

“The mission is to improve the care and lives of individuals,” said Kurtz. “We do that through direct clinical services, research, training and technical assistance, information dissemination and policy work."

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and www.usd.edu/podcast.

ABOUT THE SANFORD SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

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.

ABOUT USD

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.

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