VR3: Making a Difference
VR3  Ready...Reliable...Results June 2014

DDS PRIDE is statewide

More than 100 Disability Determination Services (DDS) staff from around the state converged on Lexington for the annual PRIDE banquet on May 1.

“We are very fortunate to have such qualified and dedicated individuals as these nominees,” says Shirley Jarrett, DDS Director.

“This celebration is one of my favorite events,” says Barbara Hollis, SCVRD Commissioner, “because we have the opportunity to showcase some outstanding staff accomplishments and to publicly recognize and thank our staff for their dedication and great work.”

DDS staff were recognized for their exemplary achievements over the past year in a variety of areas, including reductions in processing time and consultative exam costs, community outreach, leadership, mentoring, timeliness and accuracy in the disability decision process, developing and implementing new projects, customer service, and “going the extra mile” to provide service to claimants.

“I am proud of all of the nominees,” says Jarrett. “They are excellent representatives of our DDS staff and an example of what our staff does every day to assist the citizens of South Carolina who have disabilities.”

“It's heartwarming to hear the stories about special acts of kindness that staff exhibit above and beyond their job expectations,” adds Hollis. “We have some impressive people! Well done! And a special thanks to the PRIDE committee for their time and hard work.”

Congratulations to the following individuals and group winners of the SC DDS 2013 PRIDE awards!

   Support Person of the Year
   Kim Mangrum, Charleston

   Examiner of the Year
   Eden Spencer, Greenville

   Medical Consultant of the Year
   Debbie Price, Ph.D., Greenville

   Staff Person of the Year
   Summer Ham, Greenville

   Thomas M. Leahy Creative Achievement Award
   Kevin Robinson, Columbia

   Case Processing Supervisor of the Year
   Glenda McMichael-Hawkins, Columbia

   Staff Supervisor of the Year
   Connie Thompson, Columbia

   Office of State Claims Excellence Award
   Keith Robinson, Columbia

   Mary Simmons Special Acts of Service Award
   Megan Ward and Rose Doyle, Charleston

   Carl C. Fullbright Exemplary Service Award
   Nicole Starkey, Administrative Office

PRIDE (People Responsibly Influencing Decisional Excellence), which began in the Atlanta Regional Office in 1985, recognizes the positive contributions made by DDS employees through an annual, regional award and recognition program.

Around the state

DDS employees recognized for outstanding service

Vickie Stewart, Case Processing Supervisor in the Charleston Disability Determination Services (DDS) office, and Betty Gum, Case Processing Supervisor in the Columbia DDS, were recently awarded Social Security Administration Regional Commissioner’s Honor Awards.

Betty Gum (pictured left) received an Exceptional Customer Service Award for her unending positive manner, patience and compassion that sets her apart as a supervisor. She is universally appreciated by colleagues and claimants.

Vickie Stewart was awarded a Regional Commissioner’s Citation for her exceptional initiative, creativity and professionalism in the development of a process designed to enhance the quality of service provided to DDS claimants.

Congressman Wilson tours Lexington office

Congressman Joe Wilson recently visited the Lexington Area Office and Work Training Center. He also spoke to staff and clients at the Muscular Development Center (MDC), Information Technology Training Center (ITTC) and Rehabilitation Engineering, thanking them for their service and hard work.

Left: A VR client in the Lexington Work Training Center demonstrates some of the skills she is learning.




Right: Matt Daugherty, Information Technology Training Center (ITTC) Program Coordinator, shows how ITTC students created a working prosthetic hand using computer-aided design (CAD) software and a 3D printer.

Florence Job Fair

The Florence Area office opened its doors to Vocational Rehabilitation clients and students from local high schools for their annual Job Fair on May 14. Dillon, Kingstree and Marlboro offices also participated in this highly successful event.

More than 200 individuals attended the event, networking, applying for jobs and gathering information to help them enter, or reenter, competitive employment. High school students also gained valuable information on post-secondary education opportunities, as well as information on SCVRD’s rehabilitation technology and treatment center services.

Participants included the City of Florence, Lowe’s, Monster.com, McDonald’s, Home Depot and Florence-Darlington Technical College. Florence VR staff partnered with SC Works, DSS Jump Program, and transition teams within local high schools to bring graduating seniors to the Job Fair.

Susan Courtney, business development specialist, facilitated a luncheon meeting for all vendors, which resulted in new memberships for SCVRD’s Business Partnership Network (BPN).

Richland Open House

Richland’s open house on May 15 brought together 50 business and agency partners, including Bose, Carolina Kwik Dry, Shaw Flooring, Innovative Solutions LLC, SC Department of Motor Vehicles, SC Department of Revenue and others.

Pictured back row (l to r): LaToya Abney, ACE/Job Preparedness Instructor; Stephen Marshall, Business Development Specialist; Stacy Lever, Area Supervisor; Salonda Gallishaw, Office Coordinator; Niki Ostrander, Area Client Services Manager; Kim Peake, Counselor. Front: Avian Jones, Area Administrative Assistant.

Did you know...

that from 1937 to 1942 Social Security payments were paid in the form of a single, lump-sum refund payment?

The first lump-sum refund was paid to Ernest Ackerman, who retired one day after the Social Security program began. During his one day of participation a nickel was withheld from Mr. Ackerman’s pay, and, upon retiring, he received a lump-sum payment of 17 cents.


June 24 - Greenwood and Newberry High School/High Tech (HS/HT) groups will tour the “hidden jobs” at the Greenville Drive minor league baseball team as part of their Summer Institute. Afterward, they will tour the Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Laurens.
  For more information, call 864-984-6563 or 866-443-0103
The Bryant Center
  The Bryant Center is accepting referrals for its two-week Summer Program for Transition Students. Students attending one of the scheduled sessions will participate in physical therapy or exercise; take part in simulated work experiences and learn independent living skills through occupational therapy; enhance leadership, teamwork and communication skills; explore careers and post-secondary interests; and engage in mock interviews and other job preparedness activities.
June 2-13 - Session 1: Summer Transition Program.
July 7-18 - Session 2: Summer Transition Program.
July 28-August 8 - Session 3: Summer Transition Program.
  All sessions meet 9 am-12 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  To refer a student, please fax a SCVR 219, SCVR 318, SCVR 318a (signed by the student and parent) and a Comprehensive Center referral form to Jennie Thomas at 864-949-6775.
  For more information,call 864-249-8030 or 888-322-9391
Comprehensive Evaluation Center (CEC)
  The CEC Summer Transition Evaluation Program for Students (STEPS) is offering three two-week sessions this summer. Referrals are being accepted. Students will participate in physical therapy/exercise, occupational therapy, nutrition counseling, career exploration, and work readiness activities.
June 9-20 - Session 1: STEPS.
June 23-July 3 - Session 2: STEPS.
July 7-18 - Session 3: STEPS.
  For more information, contact Stephen Heape 803-896-6040
  The Richland Area Transition team is offering two two-week General Sessions and two four-week Job Readiness Training (JRT) sessions this summer for high school students. Students will also be able to participate in various job tryouts and internships throughout the summer.
June 16-27 - General Session 1. Students will tour businesses; participate in service learning and JPI classes; and visit Clemson Life and Job Corps.
July 14-25 - General Session 2. Students will tour colleges and businesses and participate in service learning and JPI Classes.
August 9 - Wrap up for students who partcipate in the General Sessions.
June 9-July 3. JRT Session 1.
July 7-August 1. JRT Session 2.
  For more information, call 803-782-4239 or 866-206-5280

Enabling eligible South Carolinians with disabilities to prepare for, achieve and maintain competitive employment

VR3 is published by the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD), 1410 Boston Avenue, West Columbia, SC 29171.
The Public Information Office provides all news and information. News material may be reproduced with credit to VR3. In accordance with federal and state laws, SCVRD does not discriminate against any race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability in employment or in provision of services.