State council awards grants to local organizations
BISMARCK - The N.D. State Council on Developmental Disabilities has awarded nine grants totaling over $319,000 to five North Dakota organizations, including two from Minot, that serve individuals with developmental disabilities and family members. Grant funds are intended to support employment, education, early intervention and community supports for persons with developmental disabilities.
The N.D. Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University was awarded grant funding to support three projects that improve employment outcomes for people with significant disabilities, educate North Dakotans about disability-related topics through a statewide outreach campaign, and strengthen and direct support workforce by offering professional training and certification to those who support people with disabilities.
Pathfinder Parent Center of Minot also received grant funding from the council for the creation of a user-friendly website for parents of special education students and for its 2013 Parent Involvement Conference.
Other organizations receiving grants were The Arc of Bismarck, Family Voices of North Dakota in Edgeley and The March of Dimes in Fargo received support for its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Family Support Project.
"The financial assistance these grants provide to organizations support services and programs that make a world of difference in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families," said Cheryl Hess, the council's executive director.
The council advocates for policy changes that promote choice, independence, productivity, and inclusion for North Dakotans with developmental disabilities. It also supports projects and activities that maximize opportunities in these areas for consumers and families. For information about the council, go online to (www.ndcpd.org/SCDD) or contact Hess at 328-4847 or email@example.com.
- Jill Hambek
NDDHS encourages celebration of Red Ribbon Week
BISMARCK - The N.D. Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services encourages communities and schools to come together and participate in Red Ribbon Week, which is an alcohol and drug prevention awareness campaign taking place Oct. 21-28.
"Red Ribbon Week is an excellent time for schools and community organizations to showcase their substance abuse prevention efforts," said Pamela Sagness, prevention administrator with the department. "We can assist the youth in our communities to make healthy choices."
The department's Prevention Resource and Media Center is featuring two new activity books geared toward kindergarten through eighth-grade students that focus on alcohol and drug prevention. There is also a Red Ribbon Week Toolkit available to assist schools, community groups, businesses and faith-based organizations in hosting substance abuse prevention activities. The toolkit provides a list of free resources, ideas, youth activities, planning tools and media templates to kickoff Red Ribbon Week. The toolkit was sent to all North Dakota schools and youth residential centers last year and is available online at (www.nd.gov).
The prevention website listed above also has additional activities that can be used to weave alcohol and other drug prevention efforts into classrooms and other settings.
For more information or to request a copy of the Red Ribbon Week toolkit, contact the Prevention Resource and Media Center at 328-8919, toll free at 800-642-6744, ND Relay TTY at 800-366-6888, or go online to the website listed above.
- Jill Hambek
Businesses honored for supporting opportunities
BISMARCK - The N.D. Department of Human Services' Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has recognized seven North Dakota businesses for their continued work to support and inspire individuals with disabilities in the workplace and for their ongoing working partnership with the division.
The 2012 Employer of the Year award winners include Walmart, Minot; Medora Convenience Store, Medora; Lindsey Implement Inc., Williston; KXND Fox 26, Bismarck; Hugo's Family Marketplace, Grand Forks; Triumph, Inc., Jamestown; and North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) Campus Connection, Wahpeton.
"These organizations are business champions," said Russ Cusack, director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. "Their support and progressive attitudes are the reason why North Dakota is the leader in employment of individuals with disabilities."
Award recipients were selected based on a nomination process that included a review of each organization's innovative approach to offering employment opportunities to people with disabilities, as well as an organization's commitment to community service and other charitable contributions.
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation works to assist individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment opportunities and helps North Dakota business owners and employers find solutions to disability-related issues.
For information on services available to help employers and employees address disability-related issues, contact the N.D. Department of Human Services' Division of Vocational Rehabilitation at 701-328-8950, toll free at 800-755-2745, TTY 701-328-8968, ND Relay TTY 800-366-6888 or go online to (www.nd.gov/dhs/dvr).
- Jill Hambek