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Social Security Expanding Field Office Hours Nationwide

Starting March 16, 2015, Social Security Administration field offices around the country will stay open for an extra hour every weekday except Wednesday. However, many Social Security matters don't even require a visit to a field office. You can apply for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits online or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to talk with a representative. Find your local field office.


Students Gain a ‘Jump Start’ on College Success

PIERRE, S.D. – With the help of a prestigious $3.6 million federal grant, South Dakota State University, in partnership with six other South Dakota higher education institutions, has developed the South Dakota Jump Start program. This program intends to serve 900 Native American and low-income students, helping them succeed in college by providing an affordable academic “jump start.”

 South Dakota Jump Start students are currently being identified for the next academic year. Eligible individuals include Native American and low-income students who have graduated from a South Dakota high school and want to attend college for the first time.

To learn more go to:  http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17217




 Deadlines Near for Giant Vision Business Plan, Applications


The deadline for potential applicants to enter the 2015 Governor's Giant Business Competition is Friday, February 13th. The deadline for Student Competition entries is Friday, February 20th. The Governor's Giant Vision event will be hosted by the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The first place winner of the Business Competition will receive $20,000. The first place winner in the Student Competition will receive $5,000. Entries will submit a business plan through www.southdakotagiantvision.com. The competition is open to any South Dakotan with a new idea they think would benefit from review and the analysis process of the competition. In addition to cash, the competition brings people with new business ideas together with judges and other guests who have business development experience and those who have the capacity to make venture investments. The final competition and awards event will take place, Wednesday, April 15, in conjunction with the Governor's Office of Economic Development annual conference which will be held at the Sanford Research Facility in Sioux Falls. (Story by Michael Sterling-KOLY)



Temporary Positions Statewide with USD Center for Disabilities

See Flyer -   click on this link:  USD Center for Disabilities Flyer.pdf 


Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Internships

Brookings, Sioux Falls, Watertown 

The SD Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services currently has job openings in the Brookings, Sioux Falls and Watertown offices for Internships as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.     These internships are targeted for individuals pursuing their graduate degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling or other similar counseling degree.  For more information and to apply, please go to http://bhr.sd.gov/workforus, and reference Job ID #4370, 4372 and 4375 under the internships listings. These positions close on February 6, 2015. Feel free to share this announcement with others who may be interested in applying for this job.  



 Organization:  South Dakota Parent Connection


                  Full-time position. Job share or part-time positions may be explored.

 Letters of interest with resumes accepted through February 13, 2015.

Job Objective: Provide information, resources, technical assistance and training to families and professionals regarding special education, health care delivery and community resources, family professional partnerships, and advocacy for families of children, youth and young adults with disabilities or special health care needs.

Interested candidates should electronically submit letter of interest and resume with full contact information for three references to: 

Lisa Sanderson at lsanderson@sdparent.org


Hand delivered or mailed application materials will not be accepted.

 For more information, contact Lisa Sanderson, Associate Director

SD Parent Connection

604-361-3171, 800-640-4553 




Rural Housing - Vacancy


South Dakota has posted a vacancy announcement on USAJobs for Area Technician in Aberdeen.

Please share the link!



Job Title:Area Technician

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Agriculture, Rural Housing Service

Job Announcement Number:DEU-SD-2015-0377


Vocational Rehabilitation Services - Vacancy!

The SD Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services currently has a job opening in the Pierre Office for a Secretary.     For more information and to apply, please go to        http://bhr.sd.gov/workforus, and reference Job ID #4352.  Feel free to share this announcement with others who may be interested in applying for this job.  


ASPIRE Project

We invite you to take a look at the ASPIRE project’s website at www.aspirewest.org


You can sign up for the monthly newsletter by going to the subscribe link. The first e-newsletter will be sent out in January. The website is updated regularly and will show the current enrollments by state and total for project. Please pass this information along to others.  


You can learn more about SD Resources and Partners - for example:  Community Living, Transportation, Understanding Your Benefits, Healthcare, Employment, Education or Assistive Technology. 


Click on the link to the website www.aspirewest.org to learn more! 




Program to Provide Post-Secondary Education for Young Adults with Disabilities

PIERRE, S.D. – The state Department of Human Services (DHS) has established a program offering post-secondary education to young adults with disabilities in South Dakota.

DHS issued a request for proposals from institutions with the ability to implement a three-year pilot program at a college, university or technical institute that would grant access to a menu of courses and provide work opportunities. Augustana College was awarded the contract.

Read More at:  http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17032 


Focus on Disability Inclusion

Top-level executives from leading companies like Cisco, IBM and Merck discussed innovative strategies for driving disability inclusion at the recent Diverse Abilities Leadership Summit in New York City. Hosted by global professional services firm Ernst & Young, the event drew about 50 executives, many of whose companies are federal contractors covered by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Notably, the Dec. 3 event coincided with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. They exchanged best practices in recruiting and retaining qualified people with disabilities. As the keynote speaker, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez emphasized the clear connection between inclusion and corporate goals. "When it comes to disability employment, we are at a historic crossroads," she said. "What started as a policy-driven issue has now become a market-driven issue, or really a market-driven imperative."

Learn About Diversity and Inclusion




Assistive Technology Training Available

for South Dakotans who are Blind or Visually Impaired


The Division of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired is offering training to access mobile devices and personal computers for South Dakota citizens with vision loss.  The instruction will address built in accessibility options for those with low vision or who are blind.  The training is free to adults and high school students with vision loss.  No devices, applications or software will be purchased through the program and training is individualized with up to five hours of instruction per program participant.  For more information contact any Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired office http://dhs.sd.gov/sbvi/address.aspx or contact the SD Rehabilitation Center for the Blind at 605.367.5260 or call toll free: 1-800-658-5441.




If you are a person with a disability who receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or both? Do you wonder how employment might impact these and other benefits you currently receive?

There are benefit specialists located in Rapid City, Pierre, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen. Benefits planning and counseling services are available for Vocational Rehabilitation consumers and former WIPA clients. Limited information and referral services are available to all other beneficiaries who want to return to work.

To access these services, call 1-800-224-5336, ext. 221.


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Benefit Questions?
Do you have questions about how employment might impact your benefits? If so, send them to wipahelp@tie.net.