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Golden Palmetto Award


Pictured from left to right are: Rev. Dr. Linwood Cooper, Chairman, Williamsburg County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, Faye Dozier, Executive Director, Williamsburg County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, Stanley Pasley, Chairman, Williamsburg County Council, Gary Lemel, Vice Chairman, SC Commission on Disabilities and Special Needs, John Thomas, Georgetown County Councilman, Elizabeth Krauss, Executive Director, Georgetown County Disabilities and Special Needs Board and Thomas Williams, Sr., Chairman, Georgetown County Disabilities and Special Needs Board.

August 7, 2017


The SC Commission on Disabilities and Special Needs presented the prestigious Golden Palmetto Award to Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties for providing exemplary support to people with disabilities during 2016. DSN Commission Vice Chairman Gary Lemel presented the awards July 31st at the 50th Annual Conference of the South Carolina Association of Counties.

“Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties have each done an exemplary job. Significant improvements have resulted from their commitment to people with disabilities,” said Lemel, when presenting the awards to Georgetown Councilman John Thomas and Stanley Pasley, Chairman of Williamsburg County Council. “These two counties richly deserve this honor. Meaningful jobs, having friends and earning money are very important to people with disabilities, just like everyone else. Georgetown County’s and Williamsburg County’s enthusiasm and commitment to individuals with disabilities is transforming people’s lives daily through jobs, essential services and increased community involvement.”

Highlights of Georgetown County’s accomplishments include the Parks and Recreation Department’s hiring of two individuals with disabilities on their staff as facility attendants. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff went above and beyond during Hurricane Matthew. The Georgetown Disabilities and Special Needs Board’s primary evacuation site is in Florence but that location was devastated by inland flooding and water interruption. County EOC staff were critical in determining where the safest place was to shelter 40 vulnerable people with disabilities and the 20 dedicated staff who remained with them to provide care and supports. The EOC guidance saved lives. The Georgetown Disabilities and Special Needs Board operates HUGS for HORSES Therapeutic Riding Program which serves more than 60 children and adults year-round. County Parks and Recreation staff actively help with the Annual Horse Show drawing hundreds of people and raising funds vital to the program. Members of the Fire Department teach fire safety and 911 training and volunteer to serve food at the annual FUN DAY Event. “The many different ways we work with the Disabilities and Special Needs Board,” said Georgetown Councilman John Thomas, “demonstrate how natural it is to include people with disabilities in all aspects of our community.”

Highlights of Williamsburg County’s accomplishments include employment for ten people with disabilities providing janitorial services in county offices. The County provides more than $12,000 in local funds to support the Williamsburg Disabilities and Special Needs Day Program. In addition, the County is generously donating space in its 911 Emergency Building so disabilities services continue daily without interruption while the Disabilities and Special Needs Board completes much needed expansion of their day program building. The Williamsburg County Council approved funds for a generator, essential for emergency preparedness at community residences, supported the Annual Prom and participate in the Disability Awareness Walk in March every year. “We are proud of what we have accomplished in Williamsburg County,” said Chairman Stanley Pasley. “We are so glad to be able to provide all this assistance and look forward to more successes in the future.”

The SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs is the state agency that provides services to people with severe, lifelong intellectual and related disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury and similar disability. DDSN has presented The Golden Palmetto Award annually since 1975 to the most deserving counties in South Carolina. “This is our way of thanking county governments for making the lives of people with disabilities a priority in their communities,” Lemel said. “Increasing demands, limited resources and balancing competing needs reinforce the importance and necessity of strong partnerships. County government efforts in partnership with their local disabilities and special needs boards are greater and more valuable than ever before. The Disabilities and Special Needs Commission applauds the leadership and dedication of all county governments across South Carolina.”

Golden Palmetto Awards

Photo of Award Winners

Golden Palmetto Awards News Release

Photo of Georgetown County Councilman John Thomas

Photo of Georgetown County Award Winners

Photo of Williamsburg County Councilman Stanley Pasley

Photo of Williamsburg County Award Winners

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs


Competitive Funding for State Fiscal Year 2018 Special Projects:

Statewide Consumer/Family Support Networks

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN) announces anticipated funding in FY 2018 for Special Projects that will strengthen and expand statewide consumer/family support networks relevant to the mission of SCDDSN. Please see links below for additional information related to this process.

FY 18 Request for Project Proposals

FY18 Request for Project Proposal - Application-fillable format

FY18 Request for Project Proposal - Application non-fillable format.pdf

2017 Announcement of DDSN Employees of the Year

01 (Photo) Roger Darrell Vicars (Whitten) (Winner)

02 (Photo) Angela Brockington (Coastal)

03 (Photo) Doris Nash (Midlands)

04 (Photo) Angel T. Profit (Pee Dee)

05 (Photo) Mattie L. Bennett (Saleeby)



The City of Newberry has been selected to receive South Carolina's prestigious 2016 Silver Palmetto Award. The award is presented annually by the SC Commission on Disabilities and Special Needs to the South Carolina city or town that made the most outstanding contribution to people with disabilities the previous year.

Commission Chairman Bill Danielson presented the award to City of Newberry Mayor Foster Senn recently during the Municipal Association of South Carolina meeting in Columbia. The Commission is the governing board of the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN).

"Clearly the City of Newberry has embraced its citizens with disabilities and demonstrates exceptional support for the people we serve. " Commissioner Danielson said at the presentation. "The Commission recognizes the City of Newberry's outstanding leadership. Their example is one to be honored and celebrated."

Danielson noted that the support and participation from the City of Newberry is broad-based, beginning with the personal commitment of Mayor Foster Senn, his office and City Council. The City's Police, Fire/EMS, and Recreation departments are all involved in promoting opportunities. "This support and enthusiasm creates a ripple effect in the community that greatly benefits people with disabilities," said Danielson.

Mayor Senn accepted the Silver Palmetto Award on behalf of the City of Newberry. He said, "At the Municipal Association's meetings over the years, we have heard the many wonderful acts of outreach across our state. We sat there and thought, we could do that in Newberry. We should do that. And later getting back here to our council meetings and discussions, we decided, we will do that."

"Our local Newberry County Disabilities and Special Needs Agency and their relationship to our local community is filled with outreach. Our local professionals do an outstanding job. I'd like to salute our local City of Newberry staff, led by Matt Dewitt, our City Manager. Scott Sawyer, our PRT director, is leading the charge in Newberry to make sure our parks become more accessible. He now has an advisory committee of special need parents and professionals; we are very proud of that."

"Police Lt. Randy Malloy, an outstanding police officer, initiated and leads an annual cookout and festival with our Police Department and our local Special Disability Needs community. Last year 250 people attended, and it was a great success."

"We say Thank You to the South Carolina Commission on Disabilities and Special Needs for presenting this award each year at this meeting. Thank you for inspiring us. We are honored to receive this award today."

The City of Newberry was nominated for the annual award by the Newberry County Disabilities and Special Needs Board. The role cities and towns play is very important to the local disabilities and special needs boards and those they serve. The successful partnerships between cities and towns and disabilities boards positively impact and change peoples' lives.

Cities highlight the many abilities and contributions of individuals with disabilities. They create opportunities for employment and community involvement. The Silver Palmetto Award is DDSN's way of thanking municipal governments for their leadership and actions that support people with disabilities.

DDSN is the state agency that provides supports and services to South Carolinians with severe, lifelong disabilities of intellectual and related disabilities, autism, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.

Senate Finance Committee
Health & Human Services Subcommittee
February 15, 2017

House Ways and Means Healthcare Subcommittee Budget Presentation January 24, 2017
1. PowerPoint Presentation to House Ways and Means Healthcare Subcommittee 012417

2. House Ways and Means Healthcare Subcommittee - DDSN Budget Information 012417

Good afternoon Providers,

Please be aware of a recent action with regards to the DOL new rule which was to go into effect December 1, 2016. ICYMI, a Texas Federal judge issued an initial injunction postponing the changes to the DOL overtime changes in response to suit filed by several states including South Carolina. This injunction is effective nation wide.

The two links below provide brief descriptions of the recent action. Please consult with your labor attorney to determine the best way to proceed.

Senate Finance Committee-Health & Human Services Subcommittee Presentation 10/26/2016

SIG DDSN ANE Report and Response

Governor's Proclamation 2016 Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week

DDSN Sponsored FOIA Training - YouTube video


New Free Service for Individuals Who Use Wheelchairs

Conferences and Workshops

Wireless Independence Now Presentations

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) has released presentations from its Wireless Independence Now! workshop series.

These workshops, conducted with the AT&T Corporate Accessibility Technology Office, are offered to people with disabilities, caregivers, and professionals to demonstrate the accessibility features found on smartphones and tablets. Individual sessions focus on features helpful to people with hearing loss, visual disabilities, dexterity or mobility disabilities, and cognitive disabilities, as well as a broader session on disability and accessibility in mobile technology.

ECAC Advisory Council Streaming Resources

Parents Reaching Out To Parents of South Carolina, Inc. offers Free Workshops. View a calendar of free workshops open to the public at various locations throughout the state. For accommodations when registering or to schedule a workshop in your area, call toll-free 1-800-759-4776.


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