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Skagit Valley College Human Services program wins 2023 RADD award

Aug 16, 2023

Skagit Valley College’s Human Services Program was awarded the 2023 Disability Inclusion Network’s “Respect, Acceptance, and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities” award, also known as the RADD Award, in the “Team” category.

The RADD Award recognizes exceptional leadership and innovation in Disability Inclusion within Washington. The awards ceremony, hosted by the Disability Inclusion Network, took place on July 26.

Prior to receiving this award, the SVC Human Services club organized “Disability Awareness and Advocacy Night”, welcoming students, faculty, and the community to campus on April 20. Keynote speaker David Wilder and SVC human services students organized the event.

“The Skagit Valley College Human Services program is honored to receive this accolade,” said Claudia Avendaño-Ibarra, SVC Human Services Department Chair. “We are a better program because of the invaluable contributions from our diverse students including our students with disabilities.”

The program conscientiously employed the event accessibility checklist by the Education Ombuds and Carrie Basas, OEO to create an inclusive venue. This included accessible parking, seating, and an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, among other accommodations.

Moreover, the program catered to the Spanish-speaking community with disabilities by offering a Spanish interpreter, fostering advocacy within the community. A panel of providers shared valuable resources and advocacy ideas during the conference.

During the event, Wilder shared his inspiring narrative of leadership, courage, and advocacy. He was honored with two awards that evening—one from the college, recognizing his 30 years of volunteerism at the institution and in the community, and the other from the Human Services department, in appreciation of his contributions while he was a student at SVC.

“The SVC Human Services Program is committed to ongoing assessment and improvements towards inclusion,” said Avendaño-Ibarra. “We value and respect community and student feedback and look forward to continued partnerships so that our institution, programs, and classrooms can be places where students heal and reach their educational goals.”

To learn more about this award, contact Avendaño-Ibarra at [email protected].

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