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Upcoming Events and Training Opportunities

Emergency Management Disability Awareness Training | First Responder Disability Awareness Training | Voting Rights in South Dakota Panels

 Emergency Management Access and Functional Needs Disability Awareness Trainings 

Niagra University Emergency Management Disability Awareness training logo

Niagara University Disability Awareness Training has received funding from the South Dakota Department of Health to educate anyone involved in emergency planning, preparedness, response, and recovery as it pertains to individuals with disabilities and access and functional needs. NU has tailored a presentation that identifies the responsibilities of both emergency management personnel and disability advocates during an emergency. This program will introduce the four modules necessary for proper response that include Disability Awareness Training, the Americans with Disabilities Act specific to Emergency management, emergency plan content, and Inclusive Planning and Active Participation.

Topics to Be Discussed

  • Disability Awareness specific to Emergency Management Access and Functional Needs defined to include Universal Design

  •  Understanding how the whole community concept is imperative to proper response to individuals with disabilities and how to involve them.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act relative to Emergency management and response.

  • Community resources and other materials that assist Emergency Management in proper response

  • Disaster Preparedness and Planning

  • Inclusive Planning and Active Participation

  • NYC Lawsuit and its ramifications nationwide

Not sure which training you should attend?

Option A: Two-Day Training: This program is designed for those who are active in the disability community or are working in some capacity in emergency management. You will be identified in the database as a lead person in your field. There is a requirement to report any emergency management participation following the training via email at frdat@niagara.edu

Option B: Half-Day Training: This program educates individuals who want to learn about the process, be active in a capacity that suits their interest and availability and wants to assist in directing peers and colleagues within their demographic, municipality, or line of work.

This is a free training that includes lunch for the two-day training participants.

Available Trainings

October 5-6, 2022 9:00am-5:00pm CST (Option A: Two-Day Training) Register here


October 6, 2022 1:00pm-5:00pm CST (Option B: Half-Day Training) Register here

Place: Pennington County Emergency Management EOC, 130 Kansas City Street, Suite 130, Rapid City, SD 57701

For Accommodations such as an ASL interpreter, please email carynewman@niagara.edu or call 716-286-8139

Niagra University First Responder Disability Awareness Training

Flyer Screenshot

Online Law Enforcement 8 Hour Course for SD Law Enforcement Personnel

Recognized by the South Dakota Sheriff's Association and the South Dakota Chiefs of Police Association, it provides officers with the knowledge, tools, and resources to properly and appropriately respond to persons with disabilities.

This training provides an online learning platform that is self-paced for users in the nation's only comprehensive Law Enforcement Disability Awareness Training.

PURPOSE: Disability awareness training has tailored a presentation for law enforcement. It brings together education on disabilities while enhancing sensitivity. The presentation includes the disabilities defined specific to law enforcement, people first language/etiquette and interaction skills, the disabled perspective, challenging behaviors and appropriate response, and current trends and topics, all relevant to law enforcement.

TEACHING STRATEGIES & ACTIVITIES: Disability awareness incorporates sensitivity training so the audience can empathize with the injustices individuals with disabilities face. Videos, extensive materials and resources, federal guidelines, and current best practices will highlight the content and allow for attendees to best respond and interact with all citizens in their community. Quizzes after each section for enhanced learning. The program will highlight the Niagara University created Recognize-Identify-Approach-Interaction-Response (RIAIR) model customized for law enforcement. Certificate of completion provided after passing completion of the course.

RELATION AND IMPACT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS: The ability to respond appropriately to situations, whatever the magnitude, is essential in the initial interaction involving individuals. This training addresses every area of response and specific interaction skills in encountering individuals with disabilities, challenges faced and how to overcome them, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and supports provided, victimization/abuse, identifying and working with service providers, and the latest initiatives and programs. This is the only comprehensive disability training for law enforcement in the United States.

This course is free to any SD Law Enforcement Personnel. Click here to request your free training code or email carynewman@niagara.edu.

Check out this flyer for more information.

Panels II, III and IV:
Voting Rights and Voter Access in
South Dakota

The South Dakota Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is hosting Panel Briefings II, III and IV via web conference (Zoom) to collect testimony on Voting Rights and Voter Access in South Dakota:

Panel II: Monday, September 12, 2022; 3:00 — 5:30 p.m. CT

 Panel III: Monday, September 26, 2022; 3:00 — 5:30 p.m. CT

Panel IV: Monday, October 17, 2022; 3:00 — 5:30 p.m. CT

The meeting agenda for Panel II, III and IV are as follows:
• Welcoming Remarks
• Panel Presentations
• Committee Q&A
• Public Comment
• Adjournment

All advisory committee meetings and briefings are open to the public. Members of the public are invited to speak during the open comment period or may provide a written statement to Kayla Fajota at kfajota@usccr.gov by November 16, 2022. Closed captions will be provided. Individuals requiring accommodations should contact the regional program unit at (312) 353-8311 five (5) business days prior to the meeting to make their request.

The Committee will issue findings and recommendations in a report to the Commission after all testimony has been received.

Details on upcoming meetings will be available at www.federalregister.gov. Meeting records will also be posted on the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) database at https://tinyurl.com/y5hkbkhp. 

Check out this flyer or the full press release for more information. 



PIERRE – Applications are currently being accepted from South Dakota high school students interested in serving as pages for the 2023 Legislative Session. 

Pages are appointed to serve in the House of Representatives or the Senate for one of five terms during January, February, and March. The 98th South Dakota Legislative Session runs from January 10, 2023, to March 27, 2023, with a recess from March 10-26.  Pages are assigned to committee meetings in the mornings and Chamber floor sessions in the afternoons, and assist legislators, as needed. Pages receive $55 for each legislative day they serve. 

Representative Spencer Gosch, Speaker of the House, says the program is a good opportunity for students from across the state to experience the legislative process firsthand. 

"The students who serve as legislative pages come from school districts of all sizes, from all parts of South Dakota, and have included home-schooled students, too. During their term, they're actually part of the legislative process on a daily basis. That's an experience you can only get in Pierre, only during Session," said Gosch. 

Senator Lee Schoenbeck, President Pro Tempore, says being a page is a social as well as educational experience for the young people who take part in the program.   

"Students who serve as pages get to know the legislators who serve their district, meet with the Governor, and make lasting friendships with other young people who may share their interests. Some former pages go on to become legislative interns and even legislators. It's the kind of experience that can really shape a young person's future," Schoenbeck said.   

The preferred application deadline is October 7, 2022, with a final deadline of October 21, 2022. Information on the Page program, including an application, can be found on the Legislative Research Council's website.  

Check out the press release for more information.

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