MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26% of North Dakota adults have a disability.
But there are some working hard to help those in our community with a disability.
The North Dakota Association for the Disabled was founded in 1975 to assist people with disabilities in the state. They have offices in Minot, Williston, Fargo, Bismarck, and Grand Forks and they provide several services for their clients.
“Well, we have an equipment loan program that if somebody has an injury or surgery or just needs to try out some equipment they can get that for free for 90 days. We also help them with prescription assistance travel costs for medical,” said Lisa Cramer, the office assistant for NDAD.
They have two handicap-accessible vans, and last quarter they had 24 different families use them.
Another way they are helping the community is by reaching out and fundraising.
Marsha Dupre, the client services representative, says she goes to senior centers in our rural communities showing them help is available.
“We have been doing a lot of outreach to the rural areas because we also cover all of North Dakota. I was in Bottineau on Monday and I am headed to Westhope next month and we really want to get the word out that we cover the entire state,” said Dupre.
The group says all of their services help their clients in so many ways changing their lives for the better.
“They started the autism program where they help out with autistic people in getting the different things they might need to make their life a little easier,” said Cramer.
This new program is called the Autism Spectrum Assistance Program otherwise known as ASAP and they help with expenses that insurance may not cover, as well as out-of-town travel to physical and occupational therapy.
Dupre is intent on reaching out to people and informing them that these services exist.
“I just want to reach out to the rural communities and let them know we are trying to extend out our services to them. Medical travel, prescription assistance. There is so much we can do for the entire state,” said Dupre.
Dupre says on program services in 2022 they spent over $2.5 million and it was worth every penny.
Local fundraisers and gaming sites are how they pay for the equipment they loan out to the community.