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.

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