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.