The Collaboration Award winner is the South Dakota Department of Education, Special Education Programs, represented by its director, Linda Turner, M.S. The award is given to a person or program that through a partnership has helped further the Center for Disabilities mission.

“As director of the Special Education Programs, I am honored to work collaboratively with the Center for Disabilities,” said Turner. “Our partnership provides professional development and direct supports to districts and families in Autism, computer-based interventions, traumatic brain injury and other areas that call for specialized knowledge and skills. We look forward to building on this partnership in the future to further promote and make accessible this vital resource to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities.”

The Distinguished Service Award winner is Kari Oyen, Ed.S., NCSP. This award is presented to an individual in the state of South Dakota who has made a significant contribution to the field of developmental disabilities. Both Turner and Oyen will be presented with their awards at the symposium lunch program on April 15.

“I am honored to receive the Distinguished Service award from the Center for Disabilities,” said Oyen. “As a vocal advocate for positive behavioral supports and safe learning environments for students with disabilities, I am thrilled to receive this award as recognition of the progress we’ve made together in the great state of South Dakota.”

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