REACH Program Executive Director Edie Cusack was honored today by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster for her work with students with intellectual disabilities.

Edie Cusack, creator and director of the College's REACH Program.

Edie Cusack, creator and director of the College’s REACH Program.

Cusack was recognized as the Governor proclaimed April 25, 2018 as “Advocacy Day for Access and Independence.”

In a letter to Cusack, Governor McMaster writes “Drawing on your knowledge and strong belief in ability over disability, you have developed a course of study that provides the knowledge, skills, tools, and training that can lead to a future of inclusion, social opportunity, independent living, employment, and self-sufficiency.” He also notes South Carolina is fortunate to have such a dedicated educator whose contributions will have a lasting impact.

In 2010, Cusack came to the College to create and develop the REACH Program to offer students with intellectual or developmental disabilities an inclusive college education. Through the years, she has been instrumental in the development, implementation, and maintenance of all aspects of this unique program. “I am humbled and honored to receive this letter and proclamation from Governor McMaster. As an educator, my goal has always been to promote equal treatment of  people with disabilities and recognize their value and worth within our society.”

Through the “Advocacy Day for Access and Independence,” the Governor is encouraging South Carolinians to “work together to destroy the barriers that hinder individuals with disabilities from becoming fully independent participants in our communities.”

The Governor’s Proclamation rounds out a notable year for Cusack and the REACH Program. Cusack was previously recognized by the City of Charleston’s mayor with a proclamation for World Autism Awareness Day and a proclamation naming December 3, 2017 Edie Cusack Day in acknowledgement of her dedication to advocating for the advancement and independence of people with disabilities.

Last October, Cusack was selected to give a TED talk at TEDxCharleston’s Shake It Up event.