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SC LEADS Program

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"The attitude and self-advocacy skills of students with disabilities may be two of the most important factors in determining their success or failure in postsecondary education."

-- US Department of Education

The South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association is so excited to provide the South Carolina Leadership Education and Advocacy Development for Students (SCLEADS) program, thanks to support from South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation.  SCLEADS began in 2019 in middle schools in the Midlands and surrounding counties, and it has continued to expand throughout South Carolina since.

The goal of SCLEADS is to help eighth graders with disabilities develop self-advocacy skills in assists them in a more successful transition to high school and beyond. 

The teacher for SCLEADS, Kelly Smith, works within middle schools to teach weekly, 45-minute class sessions, centered on:

disability awareness

self-awareness & determination

listening & communication skills

leadership skills, and so much more.

If you are interested in your child participating, or know a school you'd like to see our program serve, please contact
Kelly Smith, Transition Coordinator, by emailing kelly [at] or calling 803-252-2198





SCLEADS has provided self-advocacy instruction in 27 schools, across 13 school districts, and within 9 counties!!!

Dutchfork Middle School

Chapin Middle School

Longleaf Middle School

Busbee Creative Arts Academy

Batesburg-Leesville Middle School

Scotts Branch Middle High School

Camden Middle School

White Knoll Middle School

Pine Ridge Middle School

Fulmer Middle School

Northside Middle School

St Andrews Middle School

Sanders Middle School

Gibbes Middle School

Hopkins Middle School

Southeast Middle School

Hand Middle School

Crayton Middle School

W.A. Perry Middle School

Sandy Run

Dubose Middle School

Branchville High School

Hartsville Middle School

Darlington Middle School

Pleasant Knoll Middle School

Springfield Middle School

Clover Middle School

Lunch Series : Support Your Student in Transition

The South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association hosted a weekly virtual "lunch hour" series for students with a disability and anyone working with students with a disability to help continue our mission of educating and training on self-advocacy for students with disabilities.

These one-hour training sessions featured topics such as self-determination, IEPs, and transition services to keep you informed on how to help your student or child take an active role in their education.

Below are the sessiona recorded through Zoom.

What will we cover?

The following organizations will each be doing one-hour weekly sessions:

July 6 - Understanding the IEP with Family Connection of SC

Zoom Meeting Recording

July 13 - Planning for Transition: Beginning with the End in Mind with Richland County School District 1

Zoom Meeting Recording

July 20 - Transition 101 – Strategies and Resources for a Successful Transition with the Transition Alliance of South Carolina

Zoom Meeting Recording

July 27 - Planning for Transition with SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department

Zoom Meeting Recording


2020 Summer Series

"Fostering and Promoting Self-Advocacy and Independence" with ABLE SC - May 20

"Self-Determination: Independence and choice for people with disabilities" with Transition Alliance of SC - May 27, 2020

"Accessing Transition Services" with DDSN - June 3, 2020

"Understanding the IEP" with Family Connection of SC - June 10, 2020

"Accessing Transition Services" with SC Vocational Rehabilitation - June 17, 2020




Lesson 1 - Disability Education and Awareness 

Lesson 2 - The IEP

Lesson 3 - Self-Advocacy

Lesson 4 - Effective Communication