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Nominations Open for Governor's Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2015 Governor's Awards recognizing South Dakotans  for their contributions to the rehabilitation and employment of people with  disabilities.  Awards are presented in five categories:
  1.     Distinguished Service
  2.     Outstanding Citizen with a Disability
  3.     Outstanding Employee  with a Disability
  4.     Outstanding Employer of the Year (3 categories)
        - Small Private Employer (non-governmental)
        - Large Private Employer (non-governmental)
        - Public Employer of any size (local, county, state or federal
          government entity, school district, university)

  5.     Outstanding Transition  Services Award
Deadline to submit nominations is April 24, 2015.  Nomination forms are available from the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) by calling  945-2207 or 800-210-0143, or by visiting the

Nominations Open for National Parent Leadership Awards Related to Birth to Three Program

The Infant Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA) is requesting nominations for the National Parent Leadership Awards.  
Awards are given annually to acknowledge outstanding state and national parent leadership on behalf of the Part C (Birth to Three Connections in South Dakota) program for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities and their families.
Parents may be nominated on the basis of significant contributions, in either a volunteer or paid capacity, during a specific period of time, or for exceptional efforts over a period of several years. These efforts may range from family support efforts, recruiting and/or training families, participating in the state ICC, serving on committees, working on legislative initiatives, etc.  Parent nominees can be biological/adoptive parents, foster parents or grandparents of children with special needs who have participated in a Part C program.  

Nominations will be accepted through May 22.  For more information click here.

Share Your Advocacy Stories
Share your story to demonstrate the importance of advocacy from an individual, family member, or caregiver in a new advocacy toolkit.

Genetic Alliance is partnering with Parent to Parent USA (P2P) and Family Voices (FV) to collect resources that will support individuals who wish to act as advocates on behalf of themselves, their families, or others living with the same condition. To date, we have collected over 240 resources that will help users build leadership, communications, outreach, and advocacy skills. The tools will be part of an accessible online toolkit, with advocacy resources grouped by topic area.

We would like to include a personal story that demonstrates the importance of advocacy from an individual, family member, or caregiver in each of the toolkit topic areas. For this project, 'advocacy' can include any example of a time when you or your family communicated a need, shared your story, or took steps to get something you wanted or needed.

Do you have a story to share about advocating in one of the following areas?
  • Youth Leadership
  • Transition to Adulthood
  • Insurance and Financial Assistance
  • Communicating about Your Health
  • Access to Health Care
  • Accessible Communities
To have your story included in the advocacy toolkit for individuals and families, please send a 1-3 paragraph summary to Sharon Romelczyk, Program Manager at Please only include information you wish to be shared, including any and all names or other identifying information. If we include your story on the toolkit, we will contact you to let you know your story has been selected.

Direct any questions about the stories, how they will be used for the toolkit, or the toolkit in general to

Other Ways to Get Involved:

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