The University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities is one of the most prestigious institutions for the study of intellectual disabilities in the United States. Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Center conducts outstanding research, professional training and provision of community services for people with an array of disabilities. Many federal and state policymakers have high esteem for the Center’s faculty, who possess extensive expertise across the spectrum of disability.

The PFP-IDE Fellow who was matched with the Center for Disabilities had the opportunity to observe numerous innovative programs that advance inclusion and will meet with key public and private sector stakeholders who collaborate with the Center to broaden employment opportunities for people with disabilities across the state of South Dakota. These include the state Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and partners engaged in TransitionInAction, an initiative that provides a strong, replicable model for helping students with diverse disabilities prepare for employment and independent living while maintaining access to education and healthcare.

Wendy Parent-Johnson is the executive director of the University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities served as the supervisor to Bernadette Muyomi. Dr. Parent-Johnson has direct experience hosting a Professional Fellow from East Africa, having mentored an inclusive education advocate from Tanzania in 2017 and traveled to his home country to support implementation of his Fellowship project.