CULLOWHEE – The Children’s Developmental Services Agency at Western Carolina University will hold an open house Monday, Aug. 2, to celebrate 40 years of service to children and families of Western North Carolina.

The 40th anniversary celebration will be held from 4 until 6 p.m. at the agency’s main office, located in Room 105 of the University Outreach Center.

Formerly known as the Developmental Evaluation Center, the Children’s Developmental Services Agency serves children from birth through age 5 from Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties and on the Qualla Boundary who are at risk for or suspected of having developmental delays.

In addition to its Cullowhee office, the CDSA has offices in Waynesville and Murphy. The center administered at WCU is one of 18 across the state funded by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.Part of the new role of the CDSA is to serve as the local lead agency for the North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Responsibilities include assuring that all 19 service areas identified in the program are available to qualified children from birth through age 3.Through the agency, experienced child development professionals evaluate the health, growth, development and learning of young children, assessing their development in the areas of thinking skills, speech, hearing, vision, nutrition, motor skills, and ability to interact with others.

“Our services are focused primarily on family intervention and on recognizing children’s strengths and challenges,” said Jane Minor, director of Western’s center. “We help families assist their children with delays in development, and we strive to provide enough assistance to ensure the best possible developmental outcomes.”

The center provides service coordination and evaluation services to approximately 950 children every year at no cost. Intervention services and specialized therapies – including speech, physical, occupational and nutrition therapies – are available from N.C. Infant-Toddler Program contract providers on a sliding scale, based on the family’s income and size.

For more information, contact the center at (828) 227-7490.

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Last modified: Friday, July 23, 2004
Copyright 2004 by Western Carolina University