BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — North Dakota Health and Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) has recognized a local school for supporting an inclusive workforce by hiring, training, and inspiring people with disabilities to excel in the workforce.

According to North Dakota Health and Human Services, the agency and the State Rehabilitation Council recognized Standing Rock Community School in Fort Yates with the You Make a Difference Award. 

The statewide award honors one business annually for consistently recognizing individuals’ unique abilities, providing work experience opportunities for students with disabilities, and actively supporting, developing, and inspiring students to achieve goals in a competitive and integrated employment setting. 

The Standing Rock Community School was recognized for providing Native American students with disabilities with work experiences in the school as well as at local businesses, tribal organizations, and other community nonprofits. 

One notable work opportunity involves several students who work at KLND, a community radio station for the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Nations. They produce a biweekly radio show called the Warrior Radio Show and record segments that are used by the station throughout the week.  

Colette Fleck, transition coordinator at the Standing Rock Community School is grateful for the community’s support. 

North Dakota Health and Human Services’ VR team helps people with disabilities find and retain meaningful work or advance their careers. They also work with employers to help connect them with qualified applicants, retain trained workers whose abilities may have changed, and find solutions to disability-related issues.

Rehabilitation counseling and consultation are available at no cost to qualifying individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. 

To receive VR services, North Dakotans must have a disability that is an obstacle to employment, and they must want to work and be available to work.  

Information about VR services is available online at hhs.nd.gov/vr or by calling 701-328-8950, toll-free 800-755-2745, 711 (TTY), or emailing dhsvr@nd.gov.