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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

City sizes affect disabled care

The Department of Human Services is attempting to establish resources in all communities regardless of size to serve disabled people in South Dakota. Department secretary Laurie Gill says the department has 19 community support providers located across the state. She says South Dakota’s larger cities like Rapid City and Sioux Falls have a pretty strong base of services to cater to the disabled, but reaching those smaller communities is more difficult.

“They each have their challenges. It’s challenging to find direct support providers in every community, but as you get into smaller communities the issues of physicians and specialty physicians and health care, access to transportation, being able to recruit and hire people that can work. All those issues can become amplified as you get into those more rural areas. From the department’s point of view, we’re trying to look big picture and put a system in place that can assist all of the providers to be able to provide services to people with disabilities,” Gill says.

Gill says the department is working to build infrastructure in communities to allow disabled people to live a good quality life.