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Gov. Daugaard Proclaims October Disability Employment Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2016

Contact: Dan Hoblick, Department of Human Services, 605-773-6463


Gov. Daugaard Proclaims October Disability Employment Awareness Month


PIERRE, S.D. - To raise awareness about disability employment issues and to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities, Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed October Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) in South Dakota.


A host of South Dakota agencies and organizations will engage in activities in October to promote awareness of disability employment issues and to help foster a disability-friendly culture in the workplace:


Oct. 4, Mitchell – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Location: County Fair Banquet Hall, 1500 N. Duff.  An employee/employer panel will present on “Overcoming Employment Barriers” (12 – 1 p.m.).  Vendors will be available at 11 a.m. and will provide information on what resources are available in the surrounding area (e.g., Department of Labor and Regulation, Independent Living, Helping Hand Pantry, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, DakotaLink). For more information, contact Jessica Sehnert at 605-995-8072.


Oct. 5, Brookings – 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: “Moments of Impact.” Location: Swiftel Center, 824 32nd Ave. Speaker Catherine Greseth will share the events in her life that blindsided and took her eyesight. Greseth will give insight on how she took those dark moments and catapulted to something greater, by taking her corporate experience and her disability to educate employers on all the abilities of individuals with disabilities. Registration is free and must be done by Sept. 29. For more information, please contact Sylvia Buboltz at 605-688-4282 or Matt Simet at 605-695-8471.


Oct. 5, Sioux Falls – 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.: The Employment Journey:  Hiring Job Seekers with Disabilities from Start to Finish.” Location: Avera Prairie Center, Sr. Colman Room, 1000 E. 23rd St.  Employers will learn best practices in hiring job seekers with disabilities.  Meet business owners and managers along with employees with disabilities and learn how to follow the path to a successful outcome. For more information, please contact Vicki Nelson at 605-367-5330.


Oct. 6, Pierre – 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: Location: Capital University Center, 925 E. Sioux Ave. The event topic will be working with individuals with disabilities to obtain or maintain employment in state government as well as in public employment. Local employers will be recognized for providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.  For more information, please contact Cindy Ryan at 605-773-3315.


Oct. 6, Sisseton – 6 p.m.: Location: Sisseton City Hall Community Room, 406 2nd Ave. West. The featured speaker is Catherine Greseth, executive director of the Workforce Diversity Network of the Black Hills. Greseth will share information and resources to benefit employers and employees.  In addition, she and her daughter, Mary, will share their experiences of overcoming acquired visual impairments in the presentation entitled "Moments of Impact."  For more information contact Rachael Johnson at 605-698-7445.


Oct. 7, Madison – 9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.: “The Experiences of Mary Greseth.”  Location: Madison Central School District Gym, 800 9th St. NE. Free to the public.  Attendees will learn about the life of Mary Greseth who acquired a disability during her time in school and learned how to adjust and experience success in the working world. During the presentation, you will learn their stories and how connecting with resources can help individuals reach their true potential. For more information, please contact Shaun Erschens at 605-688-4280.


Oct. 11, Aberdeen - 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m:  “The Employment Journey: Meeting Your Workforce Need by Hiring a Diverse Workforce”  presented by Steve Hanamura of Steve Hanamura Consulting, Inc.”  Location: Bethlehem Lutheran Church Recreation Center. Attendees will learn about the connection between disability, diversity and inclusion and the bottom line. Additionally, local organizations and services to help meet workforce needs will be present for sharing of information and networking opportunities. For more information, please contact Laura Stoltenburg at 605-626-2398.


Oct. 13, Rapid City – 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.: “Disability in the Workplace and Accommodations:  What is a disability under the ADA and what accommodations need to be made once a disability is revealed.”  Location: Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn, 505 N. 5th St. Cost is free.  Helene Duhamel of KOTA will be the keynote speaker.  She will provide an insight as an employer that has made accommodations for employees, along with her journey of having a disability and continuing to work. For more information, please contact Catherine Greseth, 605-787-2590.


Oct. 13, Yankton – 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: “Understanding and Managing the Dynamics of Disability, Diversity and Inclusion” presented by Steve Hanamura of Steve Hanamura Consulting, Inc. Early registration fee is $30; registered by Oct. 1.  Late registration fee is $40. Attendees will learn about the connection between disability, diversity and inclusion and the bottom line.  For more information, please contact Jennifer Trenhaile at 605-668-3050.


Oct. 14, Vermillion – 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: “#Inclusion Works: People with Disabilities in the Workforce” presented by Vicki Kerkvliet. Location: University of South Dakota Muenster University Center, 414 E. Clark St. To reserve a seat at this event please R.S.V.P to Michelle at SESDAC at 605-624-4419 ext. 100 or email: jennifer.odens@sesdac.org.


Nov. 2, Watertown – 11:30 a.m.: Location: Lake Area Technical Institute 4th Floor, 1201 Arrow Ave. A luncheon will be provided at no cost along with a presentation by Dr. Alan Davis from South Dakota State University. Dr. Davis will speak on the benefits for employers who hire individuals with disabilities. The 2016 Watertown Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities NDEAM award ceremony will also take place. For more information, please contact Jessica Fischer at 605-882-5150.


Nov. 15, Mobridge – 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.: “After Hours” presented by the Mobridge Chamber of Commerce. Location: Grand River Casino, 100 2nd St. W. Kim Hoberg, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Business Specialist, will present on assistance and support available to businesses as they hire, maintain, and retain employees with disabilities. For more information, please contact Corinna Alander at 605-626-2398.          


For more information on DEAM events, please visit http://dhs.sd.gov/drs/.  


This statewide observation coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a national awareness campaign that takes place each October. The 2016 theme is “#InclusionWorks.”


About DHS


The South Dakota Department of Human Services’ mission is to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities, in partnership with its stakeholders, through the programs and services offered by its divisions. Learn more by visiting the department’s website, dhs.sd.gov.