Columbia, SC

DDSN Forms Committee to Advise on Services and Policies


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Columbia, South Carolina – The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) has formed the Interdisciplinary Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) to advise DDSN regarding the best and most appropriate services for people who are experiencing some of the most significant challenges and to advise regarding DDSN policies, procedures, and practices which relate to the services available to those supported. The ITAC is comprised of a physician, a psychiatrist, a behavior analyst, and a policy and case management expert. Along with their professional expertise, the ITAC members bring to the table many years of experience in the disabilities field.

“A multi-disciplinary approach to solve complicated challenges is one of the ways DDSN can ensure that the best and most-appropriate supports are available for those we serve,” Associate State Director of Operations Janet Priest explained. “Having a better understanding of the supports needed for someone to be successful means we can ensure those supports are in place. When appropriately supported, people are able to live safe, purposeful, and meaningful lives.

The ITAC will meet weekly and recently held its first meeting on August 11, 2022. The committee reviews and discusses information about people who are eligible for the agency’s services whose unique needs present challenges with the identification of the best and most appropriate supports. Utilizing this multi-disciplinary approach, these experts then advise the agency regarding the supports needed for each person to be successful.

“The ITAC is one of many initiatives DDSN is undertaking to ensure people are appropriately supported to live their best lives” Priest said. “We are grateful for Drs. Robin Welch, Cedric Rivers, Eric Drasgow, and Kathi Lacy for the dedication of their expertise to benefit South Carolinians with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, and head and spinal cord injuries.”
Interdisciplinary Technical Advisory Committee (l to r): Cedric Rivers, M.D., Robin Welsh, M.D., Kathi Lacy, Ph.D. and Erik Drasgow, Ph.D.PJ Perea, DDSN

The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs is the state agency that plans, develops, coordinates and funds services for South Carolinians with the severe, lifelong disabilities of intellectual disability and related disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and similar disability. For more information about DDSN and their services, visit

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I am a journalist with 30+ years of experience working in the fields of natural resources, non-profit, education, research and disabilities and special needs. I will be reporting about the events that affect the disabled and special needs community.

Columbia, SC

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