2011 DMH Employee of the Year
Roger C. Williams
Division of Administrative Services/Central Administration
Mr. Roger C. Williams, Program Manager I, has dedicated over twenty-two years of service to the SCDMH. Mr. Williams is the Director of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a certified sign language interpreter, a licensed social worker and an advocate for the deaf. He serves on the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors special work group on deafness, and is one of the only two representatives from the United States for the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership Task Force on Deafness. Mr. Williams has helped to create one of the best mental health-deaf services programs in the country. He regularly demonstrates a determined commitment to his work for the clients and staff of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. He consistently provides invaluable support to other programs within the Division of Community Mental Health Services. His work also encompasses training staff statewide on deaf issues. I cannot forget to mention that he is a valuable member of the Multi-Cultural Council, often acting in the role of technical support for those with “limited technical ability.”
It is said that Mr. Williams has a great, sometimes wicked, sense of humor and has the wonderful ability to use it when tackling everyday issues or trying to solve big problems, creating a sense of fun and calmness. He is always willing to share his knowledge with staff through his presentations on deaf culture, which are wonderful and very informative. They make you think about things in a new and exciting way.
Mr. Williams is both a leader and a team player. He is supportive, whether he is leading the group or participating on a team to complete a task. His personal style is easy going and humorous. He has the unique ability to make everyone feel that their voice and opinion matter.
In addition to Mr. Williams’ work at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, he has a private practice specializing in consulting and training as it relates to the needs of deaf adults in the mental health system. He also interprets in a wide array of settings, including national conferences, forensic and court settings, and emergency rooms. Mr. Williams is a South Carolina licensed master social worker, a licensed residential care administrator and holds a RID Certificate of Transliteration and a SCAD/NAD IAP level 5 Interpreting Certificate. He is currently working on his PhD. in social work at USC.
Mr. Williams and his wife, Mrs. Sherry Williams, are the parents of six children, four of whom are adopted and deaf. Mr. Williams is quoted in the USC paper to have said, “The opportunity to start up a program like the Deaf Services Program was a dream job. Around the world, the needs of the deaf community have been so neglected by the system. My overriding goal is to make sure that in every state, deaf people have access to all the services they need.”
SCDMH is very privileged to have an asset like Mr. Williams. It’s no wonder why he was named the 2011 DMH Outstanding Employee of the Year.