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Project SEARCH is a New Face in the Crowd in Western South Dakota

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Employers in the Black Hills now have more options than ever when looking for the right fit for their hiring needs. A program called Project SEARCH of the Black Hills is in its fifth year of helping employers by training young professionals with disabilities to be great candidates in today’s workforce.

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Online Learning During a Pandemic

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As schools and businesses move to an online training and learning model to keep everyone learning during COVID-19, having the correct training is essential. Ensure people with disabilities can use a training or learning module in a way that is effective. This is an even more essential step. As an instructional designer we are always looking for tools and techniques that add value for a learner. In this role it is important to acknowledge how different people learn and adapt your training to be accessible to everyone. Our main goal here is to ensure that learning is for everyone. For every eLearning course developed there are a series of unique training requirements and certain expectations. Provisions within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) often state that good access is good business. Making it easier for users to perceive, understand, navigate, interact, and contribute to the information presented in an online course can benefit everyone.

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The Story of a Trailblazing Teacher

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It is hard to believe people with disabilities had limited rights until 1990. In fact, it was not until November of 1975 that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was passed. This act ensured all children would receive an education and be provided special education and related services. The history of rights for people with disabilities in the big picture is fairly new. Because of the life expectancy of people with disabilities, many of the pioneers have passed on. The teachers that broke these barriers are no longer with us. The following is a biography of the first teacher to teach children in a public school in West Milwaukee in 1962.

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Tips for a Virtual Meeting

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Zoom Link

  •  Mute your microphone – Alt A – unmute hold down the space key
    To help keep background noise to a minimum, make sure you mute your microphone when you are not speaking.
  • To chat select Alt H
  • To stop or start video Alt V
  • Be mindful of background noise:
    When your microphone is not muted, avoid activities that could create additional noise, such as shuffling papers.
  • Position your camera properly:
    If you choose to use a web camera, be sure it is in a stable position and focused at eye level, if possible. Doing so helps create a more direct sense of engagement with other participants.
  • Limit distractions:
    You can make it easier to focus on the meeting by turning off notifications, closing or minimizing running apps, and muting your smartphone. 
  • Avoid multi-tasking:
    You'll retain the discussion better if you refrain from replying to emails or text messages during the meeting and wait to work on that PowerPoint presentation until after the meeting ends.
  • Prepare materials in advance:
  • If you will be sharing content during the meeting, make sure you have the files and/or links ready to go before the meeting begins.


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Ready, Willing, and Disabled - HR Magazine - Oct 2015 - by Mike Ramsey

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This HR Magazine article is a great example of why hiring disabled workers still makes good business sense 25 years after the Americans with Diabilities Act (ADA). Author Mike Ramsey discusses the story of aeronautical engineer John MacGuire, who broke his back more than 20 years ago, and how Lockheed Martin welcomed MacGuire back to work by accommodating his needs.

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State making strides in hiring disabled workers

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On September 1st, 2015 the Rapid City Journal reported a story about how South Dakota is making advances in workplace diversity.

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The Workforce Diversity Network of the Black Hills has been chosen to be the Brand Ambassador for the Rocky Mountain ADA.

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