SESDAC provides numerous support services to people with developmental disabilities. Support services include, but are not limited to: job placement, assistance with daily activities, and transporting people they support to social events around the community.
The award is designed to make the campus and community more aware of local service opportunities by highlighting an organization's mission, services provided, and volunteer opportunities available.
According to AmeriCorps VISTA Matt Ernst, who works in the SAO, SESDAC was chosen for this award for its important contributions to the community and its strong connection to the campus.
"SESDAC has numerous student employees who work as paid staff, but they still have a need for volunteers.�Volunteering at SESDAC provides a great service-learning experience for students from a variety of disciplines," Ernst said.
Cathy Colwell, SESDAC's director of staff development, said there are numerous things that students learn from working at SESDAC.
"Students learn a lot about people with differing abilities and they also learn new communication skills. We support some people who can't communicate verbally so the students learn to be creative in finding ways to communicate with them. At the same time students learn about non-profit organizations and more about the town of Vermillion."
Colwell also described the positive impact that students have on SESDAC and the people they support.
"Students provide support and opportunities to people who may not otherwise get the support and opportunities. They improve the quality of life for the people we support by providing individual attention and meeting individual needs. They also help increase the visibility of people with disabilities by taking people to social events around the area. This helps increase the acceptance of people with disabilities by community members and fits in nicely with USD's mission of increasing diversity on campus," Colwell said.