August 2023 Newsletter

Logo for Employment Disability Resources featuring two abstract icons of persons in wheelchairs.

Augie Access

Most students who are enrolled in Augie Access live on campus, where there is a wide variety of living options. Students in the program work toward independent living. They often participate in campus activities based on their own interests and preferences as well.

The program offers research-based self-determination/self-advocacy strategies to develop and achieve personal learning goals. Students study inclusive courses from the Augustana University course catalog and specially designed courses with a transitional focus, such as Employment Seminar I and II, Skills for Social Skills, Consumer Math, or Leadership. Upon completion of the program, students will demonstrate skills to obtain and maintain paid, competitive employment. With a certificate in career studies, Augustana gives students in this program support for finding employment that matches their interests and abilities.

Photo collage featuring students from Augie Access participating in study groups, sporting events, and posing at various locations around the Augustana campus.

Jeff Griffin, President & CEO of the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, has a son, Alex, who attends Augie Access. At the time he enrolled in the program, Alex was lonely and isolated from kids his age. Now, Alex is in his third year. He lived in the dorm the first two years, and will be living in a campus apartment this year. Alex also participated in an internship at Sanford Health doing market research and data entry. 

Jeff shares, “Alex has built-in social activities through Augie Access so he is able to have a college experience while learning life lessons. Some of his classes focus on life and social skills, others he audits for no grade or credit, and others he has taken for a grade with credit.” 

When asked what benefits he sees in Augie Access as a parent, Jeff states, “Augie Access provides an environment where Alex can learn, have fun, and excel to his next level.”

If you know someone who is interested in applying for the program, the application can be found here:  Applications for the Fall 2024 cohort are due December 8, 2023. Students who apply will be asked to come for an interview. More information can be found here:

What Businesses Need to Know About Service Animal Access

As a business owner, it can be confusing understanding the regulations around service animals and what access they have to public spaces. It’s important to know what the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) says about service animals and be sure your staff and volunteers are trained to follow these regulations.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2023

Observed each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities past and present and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices that benefit employers and employees. ODEP has chosen “Advancing Access and Equity” as its theme for NDEAM 2023. NDEAM en español.

The poster below features local students and employees with disabilities. To celebrate NDEAM and raise awareness in your workplace, contact Vicki Stewart, [email protected], Employment Disability Resources, for a free poster.

A flyer for National Disability Employment Awareness Month featuring employees with different types of disabilities at the their workplaces.

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