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Family Voices in Edgeley Earns Grant
BISMARCK, N.D. - The N.D. State Council on Developmental Disabilities has awarded seven grants totaling over $298,000 to five North Dakota organizations that serve individuals with developmental disabilities and their family members. Grant funds are intended to support independent community living, self-advocacy and leadership skills, education, and other supports for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Arc of Bismarck was awarded grant funding for the third year to support an educational video project titled “Capability Chronicles.” The 10-episode series highlights various disability-related topics that showcase the abilities and contributions people with disabilities can make to a community. Past episodes are online at www.dakotamediaaccess.org/capability-chronicles/. The Arc of Bismarck also received funding for its “Partners in Policymaking,” a leadership training program for adults with disabilities and for parents of children with disabilities.

Family Voices of North Dakota in Edgeley received funding for its Parent to Parent Project, a network of parents supporting families of children with developmental delays, disabilities, and special health needs. The project provides emotional and informational support through face-to-face meetings, phone conversations, e-mail correspondence, and online support groups as well as training for parents and providers, along with other support. Information on the project is online at www.fvnd.org/nd_parent_to_parent.

KAT Communications in Bismarck also received grant funding to establish the N.D. American Indian and Developmental Disabilities initiative. The initiative is intended to educate our state’s American Indian population with developmental disabilities and others about the services and supports available so they can continue to live in their communities. Culturally-reflective materials will be created including three video presentations on developmental disability-related issues, and printed materials for tribal schools, health facilities, providers, and other entities. A one-day summit will also take place to raise awareness about individuals with developmental disabilities on reservations.

The N.D. Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University was awarded grant funding to support three projects for individuals with disabilities. The Peer Advocates Voices Empower (PAVE) project will equip participants with anti-bullying strategies for students with disabilities in middle schools in Bottineau, Fargo, and Minot. The other projects receiving grant funding include assisting individuals with disabilities in securing inclusive, affordable, and accessible housing, and educating North Dakotans about disability-related topics through a statewide outreach campaign called Perceptions 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.

Each year, the council distributes grant funds to support projects and innovative programs that enhance opportunities for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

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 701-328-4847, ND Relay TTY 800-366-6888, or chess@nd.gov.

-LuWanna Lawrence, ND Dept. of Human Services