We are partnering with Jim Warne of Warrior Society Development to help provide disability resources for Native Americans and other underserved populations in South Dakota. Our goal is to increase services, training and access to disability-focused efforts for these groups.
The Oyate' Circle is a resource, education, outreach and training effort that serves Native Americans with disabilities in South Dakota. Led by Oglala Lakota tribal member Jim Warne and named after the Lakota word for "the people," the Oyate' Circle conducts education and outreach campaigns about the needs of Native Americans with disabilities. It also offers resources and training for tribal communities and informs them about programs and opportunities available through the center and other agencies.
The Disability Awareness Training (DAT) Project provides four trainings throughout the state of South Dakota, strategically placed to include rural Native communities. The product that will be developed is a “how-to” handbook for Native community members and service providers, including tribal vocational rehabilitation, tribal college counselors and other professionals working with people with disabilities. We hosted a tribal vocational rehabilitation meeting last December in Rapid City at the South Dakota State University College of Nursing Indian Education Center to provide a forum for discussion and planning for the DAT trainings and a foundation for the “how-to” handbook.
We are partnering with Sinte Gleska University, a four-year tribal college on the Rosebud Reservation in central South Dakota, to provide training and develop new curriculum for a new human services degree specialization that addresses disability. These courses will be initiated through Sinte Gleska University with supported coursework at USD.
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.