Diversity Action Team Project

Our community engagement director, Jim Warne, belongs to an action team appointed and supported by the Administration for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and Association of University Centers on Disabilities to create a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and a Diversity and Inclusion Training Action Plan. The action team is working to reduce and eliminate disparities and inequities in the access to and use of services by individuals with developmental disabilities and their families who are members of historically under-served racial, ethnic and linguistically diverse groups.

The Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan seeks to orchestrate organizational and system change in an environment for people with disabilities in a variety of socio-cultural contexts across the country. The Diversity and Inclusion Training Action Plan will give recommendations for cultural competency, such as resources, tools, training and other relevant materials, including an interactive website.

National Training Initiative Project

The National Training Initiative (NTI) Diversity Fellowships implement and expand collaboration, learning and cultural competency through partnerships with tribal elders and educators from:

  • Sinte Gleska University, a tribal higher education institution of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in Mission, South Dakota
  • Sitting Bull College, a tribal college on the Standing Rock Reservation in North and South Dakota
  • Oglala Lakota College, with one urban and nine rural sites on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

We have participated in the NTI Diversity Fellowship program since it began in 2015. The program objectives include:

  • Recruiting fellows via tribal elders
  • Developing strategic networks between tribal communities and the South Dakota Developmental Disabilities Network (SDDDN)
  • Immersing fellows within programs and clinics supported by the SDDDN while also immersing our faculty and trainees within tribal communities and educational institutions.

Our goal is to support new methods of communication and programming to increase use of services by persons with developmental disabilities within tribal communities.