Man with service animal
SD Legislative Committee Meeting Room
Man building wooden product
Man in office with laptop and headset
View of State Capitol and Visitor Center
Young man using wheelchair in mountain setting
Woman arranging flowers in bouquet
Business meeting of team members
Businessman using wheelchair on ramp in view of American flag and park
Man with arms outstretched standing on rock along ocean
Older and younger man standing side by side in front of building
Back of Sailor's head with flag in distance
Businessman using wheelchair with laptop sitting in field of wildflowers
Construction worker with hardhat and safety glasses

The South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (COALITION) is a grass-roots, statewide, disability advocacy organization that was started in the 1980s by a group of committed people who envisioned the difference that could be made by working together on behalf of all people with disabilities. 

  • From the 1980s until late 1993, the COALITION's activities were carried out by a committed and passionate group of volunteers from throughout the state. 
  • "Access SD Project" was one of the first projects completed by the COALITION. This project increased the awareness of local businesses to basic accessibility elements, and it was funded by the SD Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities.
  • Another early activity was the completion of a survey of persons with developmental disabilities. It, too, was funded by the SD Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities. 
  • The "Together We Can" Conference was hosted annually, involving people with disabilities and family members from across the state.
  • In 1990, the COALITION incorporated under the State of South Dakota Nonprofit Corporation Act, and later that same year it received it's non-profit status from the IRS.
  • In late 1993, an office was opened in Pierre. The first staff was brought on board through an agreement with the SD Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services.
  • Since then the COALITION has partnered with U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Rocky Mountain Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center and the South Dakota Department of Transportation on efforts to strengthen services, supports and increase opportunities for South Dakotans with disabilities. 
  • The COALITION continues working closely with the SD Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services, and the SD Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities on a variety of efforts.
  • Since the beginning, legislative and advocacy activity has been a key part of our work. Examples of areas worked on, and which we continue to work on, are:
    • State building code
    • Appropriate and equal education for children who are deaf and hard of hearing
    • Continuation of Birth to Three Program
    • Further development of services for individuals on the autism spectrum
    • Increased access to community based public transit services statewide
    • Increased access to accessible, affordable housing statewide
    • Telecommunications Assistive Devices program
    • Consumer directed personal attendant services
    • Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act
    • Prescription Drug Coverage under Medicare
    • Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act
    • Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
    • Reauthorization of the Assistive Technology Act
    • Appropriations for services for persons with disabilities at the National and State levels
    • Accessible parking
    • Family Opportunity Act
    • Mental Health Parity
    • Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services Coverage under Medicare
    • Workforce Improvement and Opportunity Act
    • Reauthorization of the Transportation Act
    • Expansion of Medicaid
    • Healthcare coverage for the uninsured
    • Services for people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury
    • Equipment distribution program for people with all types of disabilities
    • Money Follows the Person Project
    • Aging and Disability Resources Center Development and Implementation
    • Reuse of adaptive devices purchased by Medicaid
    • ...
  • The COALITION has been awarded the Governor's Award for Distinguished Service.
  • The COALITION has facilitated the formation and continuation of the Disability Advocacy Network.
  • The COALITION joins with other disability related organizations to build coalitions to identify community needs and develop effective and responsive programs to serve these needs.
  • The COALITION works to develop leadership within the disability community statewide.
  • The COALITION has collaborated with other organizations for over 21 years to host an annual Disability Awareness Day at the State Capitol during each legislative session.
  • The COALITION produces and disseminates a daily legislative update during each legislative session.
  • The COALITION has provided training at the request of the Secretary of State, the SD Bureau of Human Resources and other state level organizations, public and private.
  • COALITION staff have participated on various task forces, boards, councils and workgroups at the state, regional and national levels over the last 20+ years.
  • And our work continues...
Upcoming Events
July 10
July 11
Thank-You To Our Donors

for your belief in and support of our work!

(10/01/16 - 09/30/17)
Updated June 20, 2017

Lorie Jirschele

Lisa Sanderson

Bjo Schreier

Betsy Valnes Barkley

Lori Douville

Elaine Roberts

Larry Puthoff

Jane Williams

Dawn Backer

Patty Kuglitsch

Carleen Krebs

Lorri Bohm

Ben Soukup

Colette Wagoner

Ardell Fiedler

Tim & Sandy Neyhart

Paul Lepisto & Donna Leslie

Shelly Pfaff

Gaye Mattke

Robert Kean

NAMI Sioux Falls

Doug Peutz

Greg Boris

South Dakota Website Design and Development