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We are working on several initiatives to develop self-determination and leadership skills in people with disabilities. We are committed to creating learning opportunities for self-advocates, parents and professionals so that South Dakota’s communities and agencies can continue to demonstrate growth in education, independent living, employment, supported decision making and wellness at every stage in life.

Advocacy and Leadership Training for Middle School Students

This project helps middle school students with IEPs to gain self-advocacy, self-determination and leadership skills. It is supported through a partnership with the South Dakota Council on Developmental Disabilities and South Dakota Parent Connection. Our goal is for students to have:

  • Greater access to the general education curriculum
  • Improved self-management and self-regulation
  • Increased problem-solving, choice-making and goal-setting
  • Greater participation in IEPs and transition planning

The initiative also helps special educators recruit other professionals within the school and community to support self-determination. By immersing middle school students in multiple environments that all foster increased levels of independence and self-direction, we help to increase their self-determination.

Self-Advocacy Action Team

The Self-Advocacy Action Team promotes and improves the self-advocacy skills of people with disabilities by sharing new ideas and creating new tools. The committee informs our activities, making us more inclusive of people with disabilities and to guide the development of products that are meaningful and usable by anyone. They will also identify new information and activities that we can do to better meet the needs of people with disabilities.