Brain Injury Awareness Month Open House

The North Dakota Brain Injury Network and Dakota Center for Independent Living are hosting an open house on March 17, 2016 from 2-5pm for Brain Injury Awareness Day. Brain injuries don’t just happen to professional football teams. People are dealing with the oftentimes debilitating aftermath of brain injuries here in North Dakota.

Brain injuries can present a complicated set of health issues that last long after the initial cause of injury. Changes to thinking, behavior, and emotions are often not readily apparent or don’t present themselves until later. As a result, individuals who have suffered a brain injury find themselves attempting to navigate a labyrinth of health and human services ranging from support groups to rehabilitation.

The open house will have several resource booths available with information regarding brain injuries. There will be activities that let people experience what it could be like to have a brain injury. There will also be food and refreshments available.

North Dakota Brain Injury Network is also partnering with Dakota Center for Independent Living in Dickinson to host a Brain Injury Awareness open house on March 8, 2016 from 2-3:30pm.


October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Workplaces welcoming of the talents of all people, including people with disabilities, are a critical part of our efforts to build an inclusive community and a strong economy. This is why the National Disability Employment Awareness Month is led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. However, the true spirit of NDEAM lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to participate in NDEAM.

Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages by visiting

Dakota Center for Independent Living Hosts Visitability: Making Homes Beautiful and Accessible

Dakota Center for Independent Living is hosting an event on visitability on August 26, 2015 at the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library. There will be two sessions: 3:30-5:00 pm and 6:30-8:00 pm. Visitability is an international movement to change home construction practices so that all new homes, whether or not designated for residents who currently have mobility impairments, offer three specific accessibility features. These features include one zero step entrance, a bathroom that is usable by a wheelchair user, and wider interior doors.

Visitability features make homes easier for people with mobility issues to visit friends and families. These features also provide basic access that allows someone who does not have a disability, but develops one, to remain in their home. Currently, eighty percent of Americans over the age of fifty want to remain in their current home. Building a home with visitable features allows them to achieve that.

When asked about the costs of building a visitable home, Royce Schultze, the executive director at Dakota Center for Independent Living, said, “I think people would be surprised at the low cost of building a visitable home.” She went on to say, “Visitability makes a home easier for everyone. For example, a zero step entrance is much easier for a mother with a young child. It is much easier to just be able to roll a stroller into the house instead of struggling to get it up the stairs.” This event is free and open to the public. There will be time after each session for questions.

Project Service Connect to Take Place on August 20th

Project Service Connect is a one day event that provides individuals and their families who are currently experiencing homelessness, and those who are at risk of homelessness access to vital services in our community. It is a one-stop shop of service providers and community members offering resources regarding housing, employment, transportation, medical/dental care, haircuts and more. This year the event is scheduled for August 20th at the Bismarck Library. The hours are from 3:00-7pm. A light meal will also be served. We have 38 vendors registered for the event. Some of those agencies are; Great Plains Food Bank, Dakota Center for Independent Living,  Youth works, Supportive Services for Vet Families, Social Security Administration, Labor Ready, Command Center, Custer Health, Bismarck Burleigh Public Health and more.

Dakota Center for Independent Living Hosted Open House for 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

11742831_1022017597839068_612007671991386853_nOn July 23, 2015, Dakota Center for Independent Living (DCIL) held an open house to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). DCIL had a wonderful turnout for the event with a total of 50 people in attendance.

The celebration included lots of door prizes and activities that simulated what someone might encounter should they acquire a traumatic brain injury.  These activities included sensory and visual. Other activities included barriers that individuals with physical disabilities face in their everyday lives. People were invited to partake in the wheelchair obstacle course. Those who tried these activities said it really opened their eyes and allowed them to see just how difficult it can be to live with a disability.

Everyone enjoyed the open house and it gave DCIL a chance to talk more about the ADA and what it means to them. The ADA was signed on July 26, 1990. This bill really pushed for the inclusion of people with disabilities and made it illegal to discriminate against them. Although DCIL celebrates the ADA, the staff still sees there is work to be done. The ADA was the first step and while we celebrate all it has to offer, we look to the future and see what else can be done so this world is accessible to everyone.








25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act to be Celebrated Next Week

ADA 25th Anniversary Flyer

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. The ADA is considered to be one of the most significant civil rights laws passed since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, from which it draws heavily.

The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA also assures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.

Dakota Center for Independent Living invites the community to come learn more about the ADA at their open house being held on July 23, 2015. The open house includes several activities to help the community understand the ADA, the impact it has had on the community and much more. The open house will be taking place at Dakota Center for Independent Living’s office at 3111 E Broadway Ave in Bismarck from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Sanford Driver Rehabilitation Program

Sanford Health has a driver rehabilitation program. This driver evaluation and training process was created to help people resume their independent lifestyle after a disabling illness or injury. The therapists are certified driver rehabilitation specialists who will assess a person’s ability to drive safely and can also teach you how to use adaptive equipment and assist with vehicle modification and selections for specific needs.

A professional driving assessment may be necessary if a person has physical limitations that may require adaptive equipment, cognitive impairments that may cause problems in identifying driving hazards, visual impairments, delayed reaction time, and apprehension about an individual’s driving ability.

During the evaluation, the certified driver rehabilitation specialist gives a clinical evaluation of physical, cognitive, and visual skills. They will also evaluate a person’s behind the wheel performance, evaluate any adaptive equipment needs, help with vehicle selection and modifications, provide driving training which may include adaptive equipment, and refer the person to any other needed driver training program that might be needed.

In order to have a driving evaluation, a person needs to complete the application forms, submit medical records that relate to an illness or disability effecting driving, have a physician referral, have a valid driver’s license or special permit, meet North Dakota seizure law and visual requirements, and have prior authorization from funding sources, if applicable.

To find out more about the driver rehabilitation services, please contact:

Sanford Driver Rehabilitation Program

300 N 7th St

Bismarck, ND 58501

Phone: 701-323-6153