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School of Medicine Columbia

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Center for Disability Resources

We're proud to serve as a bridge between the university and the community for the benefit of people with intellectual, developmental and related disabilities. Our efforts focus on addressing meaningful issues, finding solutions and advancing research related to the needs of people with disabilities and their families.

Our Role in the Community 

We function as a bridge to connect people with disabilities to knowledge, expertise, and resources. Our center works to provide five main services to the community. 

  1. Interdisciplinary Training: We provide interdisciplinary pre-service training and continuing education for students and fellows from diverse disciplines for preparation in leadership and direct service.
  2. Training and Technical Assistance: We provide training opportunities for people with disabilities, students, professionals, family members and paraprofessionals.
  3. Community Services and Technical Assistance: We provide community services and technical assistance in order to expand and enhance options for choice and inclusion of people with disabilities.
  4. Research: We implement and disseminate research in the areas of person-centered planning, positive behavior support, transition and psychopharmacology, to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities.
  5. Dissemination: We develop and disseminate information in print and electronic formats to people with disabilities, students, professionals, family members, paraprofessionals and policymakers.  

Visit the Center for Disability Resources website for more information.

Our Programs

The Attendant Care Project was established in 1996 in an effort to promote personal care choices among participants eligible for services under Home and Community Based Waivers.

Five Medicaid Waivers are now participating:
  1. The Community Choices Waiver
  2. HIV/AIDS Waiver
  3. The Mechanical Ventilator Dependent Program
  4. The Head and Spinal Cord Injury (HASCI) Waiver
  5. The Intellectual Disability and Related Disabilities (IR/RD) Waiver

Attendant Care staff facilitates recruitment and provider enrollment of attendant(s), chosen by the participants.  Attendants are reimbursed with Medicaid funds for services they provide.

CDR (UCEDD) Nurse Consultants observe attendants providing care to ensure they understand what is needed and are capable of providing good, safe care. Participants are encouraged to participate as much as possible with their care to maintain as much independence as possible.

Teaching and educational materials are tailored to the individual needs of each participant and the chosen attendant. Attendants and participants are assisted in enrolling with a fiscal intermediary, who handles the Medicaid reimbursement.  The participant becomes the employer of record and the attendant becomes the employee.  

Types of services provided by Attendant Care:
  • Training
  • Consulting
  • Technical assistance
  • Dissemination of information
Topics of training for participants:
  • Being employers of record
  • Being supervisors
  • Recruiting providers
  • Individualized training on personal care
Participants are given information on topics such as:
  • advanced directives.
  • emergency preparedness.
  • health care rights.
  • hiring and managing personal care assistants.
Topics of training for providers:
  • Enrollment as providers
  • Enrollment with a fiscal agent
  • Specific personal care needs of participants
  • Diagnosis-specific information
  • Standard Precautions

This project promotes consumer choice within the state’s system-driven long-term care system. It enables consumers to choose their provider and determine the schedule for services according to their needs rather than having both decided by a PCA agency or service coordinator. 

Project Director:
Cheryl Sibert, RN, Project Director

The CDR Library is a collaborative effort between the Center for Disability Resources, the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Library. 

The CDR Library consists of books, videos, brochures and audiotapes covering a variety of disability-related topics. The Center for Disability Resources Library is located in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Library on Garners Ferry Road.

Visit the Center for Disability Resources Library site.

Access tutorial for the CDR Library and the InfoAble Portal.

Information Services

We are now happy to offer our materials nationwide! Anyone in the fifty states may now check out items.

  • Reference librarians are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.
  • Requests are accepted by mail, email (, telephone (803-216-3206) or on a walk-in basis.
  • Books may be borrowed for a month. Videos may be borrowed for two weeks.
  • Materials can be mailed to your home or office.
  • Postage-paid return mailers are available for materials sent to South Carolina families. And all South Carolina residents may continue borrowing multiple items at one time. 

Residents of states other than South Carolina may check out one item at a time and are responsible for return postage.

At the Center for Disability Resources, our Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) uses the self-chosen name of the Council on Consumer Affairs (COCA).

The CDR COCA consists of a majority of individuals with developmental disabilities and family members of such individuals who represent the seven congressional districts in South Carolina. It meets quarterly at the CDR during which time the CDR Director (or in his absence the assistant director) provides an update on current UCEDD events and state and national issues that may be of relevance or interest to COCA members.

At least once per year the UCEDD Director provides information on changes, potential changes and issues to consider related to the CDR 5-year plan. At that time (and additionally upon request from COCA members) opportunity for discussion, input and review is provided.

COCA Liaison:
Karen Irick

The Child Development and Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic evaluates children who have developmental, academic and/or behavioral difficulties and other special issues such as cerebral palsy, which may be associated with learning problems. The goal is to generate a profile, an appropriate diagnosis and a treatment plan that reflects the input of every team member, including the parents. The family plays the key role in the evaluation; a family-centered approach is utilized.

In most cases, the developmental pediatrician evaluates the child initially and upon referral, the patient is seen by other specialists. A parent conference is arranged for discussion and specific recommendations, with most children returned to the referring physician or agency for care. We try to liaison with schools, and their representatives may attend the parent conferences.

Pediatric residents and third-year medical students rotate through the clinic as do students from a variety of other disciplines such as speech/language pathology and psychology.

Referrals are usually generated by physicians and other community professionals.

Contact Us

Office Hours - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 803-434-6598
Fax: 803-434-1920

9 Richland Medical Park, Suite 210
Columbia, SC 29203


Individuals Motivating People to Achieve Change Together (I.M.P.A.C.T.) is a statewide self-advocacy council for South Carolina. IMPACT SC was established on May 7, 2005, when a group of self-advocates and advisors came together with a common goal to give a voice to the disabled.

IMPACT SC members present and attend statewide and national conferences and represent our state by participating in various committees to address issues, such as transportation and voting rights.

IMPACT SC believes in encouraging positive change for people with disabilities through working together to enhance lives while making a stand for change.

In order to reach their mission, IMPACT SC performs various tasks:
  • Provide information, training and leadership opportunities to enhance self-advocacy for people with disabilities
  • Encourage people with disabilities to take an active role in their lives to achieve personal goals
  • Participate in the community by increasing awareness of values, rights and abilities of people with disabilities
  • Promote the development of local self-advocacy groups in the state
  • Encourage people with disabilities to have a voice in government decision-making, funding and program development

Funding to support IMPACT SC efforts is provided by the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council and the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.

Program Coordinator:
Kristi Hartwell
Center for Disability Resources 
1-866-697-0732 (toll free)

The Center for Disability Resources partners with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the Greenville Hospital System to provide the South Carolina LEND program.

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs provide long-term, graduate level interdisciplinary training as well as interdisciplinary services and care.

The purpose of the LEND training program is to improve the health of infants, children and adolescents with disabilities. This is achieved by preparing trainees from diverse professional disciplines to assume leadership roles in their respective fields and by ensuring high levels of interdisciplinary clinical competence.

In order to improve the quality of life for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families, we create and maintain a repository of information on evidence-based autism practices for use in South Carolina.

We work to provide focused collaboration among leaders representing professionals, state agencies, universities, healthcare systems, private organizations and families.


The vision of the SC Act Early Team is for children, youth and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder to lead productive lives, as valued citizens of South Carolina, in a community of their choice.

  • Information is provided to increase awareness of the prevalence and the importance of screening and referral for Autism Spectrum Disorder;
  • Early identification, diagnostic and intervention efforts are implemented effectively in a timely manner consistent with appropriate professional and evidence-based practices
  • Information about services is easily available to families
  • Services reflecting evidence-based practices are provided by competent personnel at a high level of quality
  • Cross-system collaboration is seamless and there is ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of services

Initial Objectives

  • Develop and disseminate a “roadmap to services” throughout South Carolina
  • Seek funding for master clinician training to enhance screening competencies among pediatricians.
  • Provide recommendations for appropriate professional practices in South Carolina to identify, screen, evaluate and intervene on behalf of young children with ASD. This would include recommendations for required qualifications, training and experience to conduct this work and standards of practice specific to the area of ASD.


  • Developed and distributed South Carolina Roadmap to Developmental Screening for Children Birth to 36+ Months (English and Spanish, printed and web-based).
  • Provided three sessions of training on advanced screening tool to identify children at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (STAT; Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers and Young Children).  Courses were in Charleston, Greenville and Columbia.
  • Developed new policy on presumptive eligibility by which young children who screen positive for ASD on two screening tools including the STAT, can receive early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) through BabyNet. This policy also provides for seamless transition of these children and their EIBI services to the DDSN system.
  • Developed policy recommendations for improvement of services for children, youth and adults with ASD while increasing efficiency and making the process more family friendly.


In November 2008, the Center for Disability Resources at the University of South Carolina joined a national effort organized by the Association for University Centers on Disabilities which was facilitating a collaboration between the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. The purpose was to create a team in South Carolina focused on the many issues facing children with autism and their families.  The Center for Disability Resources director collaborated with the South Carolina Autism Society executive director to form the SC Act Early Team. 

Since the early organizational efforts, the South Carolina Act Early Team has been fortunate to have a dedicated group of key stakeholders and experts in autism voluntarily contributing time and effort to improve early identification and intervention for children with autism in South Carolina.


The SC Act Early Team has professionals (including family member representative) contributing effort without compensation.  We have been fortunate to receive a few grants for specific efforts as listed below:

  • $3,000 (2009) from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities for initial team support efforts
  • $15,000 (2011) from the Association of Maternal Child Health Programs for the first session of STAT training and for the initial printing of the South Carolina Roadmap to Developmental Screening for Children Birth to 36+ months

Current Membership

  • Chair, Center for Disability Resources USC –Director and Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  • Co-chair, Greenville Hospital, Developmental Pediatrics – Licensed Psychologist
  • Medical University of South Carolina – Developmental Pediatrician
  • South Carolina Autism Society – Executive Director
  • Winston’s Wish – President and Founder • South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs –Autism Division Director
  • South Carolina Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities – Executive Director
  • BabyNet - Part C Coordinator for South Carolina
  • Family Connection – Executive Director
  • South Carolina Department of Education – Education Associate
  • University of South Carolina – Program Associate
  • University of South Carolina – College of Education/Special Education – Professor (now on hiatus and available for return if needed)

David A. Rotholz, Ph.D., BCBA-D 
Executive Director, Center for Disability Resources

The South Carolina Assistive Technology Program (SCATP) is a part of a national network of technology-related assistance programs. Our goal is to enhance independence, productivity and quality of life for all South Carolinians through access to assistive technology devices and services.

SCATP provides training and technical assistance and works with consumers, family members, service providers, state agencies and policy makers to support children and adults with disabilities in their efforts to acquire and use technology as a routine part of day-to-day living.

We link people with technology. Our goal is to enable people with disabilities, their families and professionals to learn about the latest innovations and identify funding for assistive devices and services. As a result, children, students, working people and senior citizens are able to lead independent and productive lives.

Program Manager:
Rachell Johnson

Administrative Assistant:
Janet Lambert 

Collaborative efforts with national and state organizations on issues and efforts related to positive behavior supports in community settings for adults who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and exhibit challenging behavior. Our primary collaborators in this effort are the: Association for Positive Behavior Support; National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services; and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Additional collaborators include the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and the University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration.



Executive Director
David A. Rotholz, Ph.D.

The Supported Employment Program; A Customer Driven Approach, was developed as a universal system of service delivery throughout the state of South Carolina for the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. The primary mission of the program is to work toward the understanding, respect and support in securing appropriate employment for all customers. To provide the highest quality service available, the program promotes and supports an innovative business environment where customers have equal access to employment opportunities and are encouraged to reach their full potential.

Program Goals

  • Develop a comprehensive statewide Supported Employment service delivery system for the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Agency (SC DDSN).
  • Provide Supported Employment Training to all DDSN providers throughout the state.
  • Provide ongoing technical assistance to all Supported Employment providers participating in the SC DDSN system.

Program Coordinator:
Susan Davis

As a program of the Center for Disability Resources, the Team for Early Childhood Solutions (TECS) is responsible for various activities related to South Carolina’s statewide system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families

These include:
  • managing the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) for South Carolina’s Part C early intervention system (BabyNet).
  • maintaining the database for the BabyNet System Personnel Credential, to assist the Part C lead agency in ensuring that providers of early intervention services meet the state’s personnel standards.
  • researching and reporting information on Child and Family Outcomes that measure the efficacy of early intervention efforts in South Carolina, to assist the BabyNet system lead agency in meeting federal reporting requirements.

Project Director:
Kerri Wikel

The Transition Alliance of South Carolina works to increase successful post-secondary transition outcomes for youth with disabilities through active interagency collaboration.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.