DakotAbilities was founded in 1965 as United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Services to persons with disabilities have been provided for nearly 50 years as a non-profit organization. In June 1975, the first five individuals began receiving services through our day program. One year later, the first group home was opened and DakotAbilities began providing residential services. In 1990, the UCP name was changed to Community Disabilities Services (CDS). In July 1996, CDS changed its name to DakotAbilities to reflect the true positive nature of the services we provide. We continue our mission under this name today.
DakotAbilities provides a number of varied services for approximately 135 people with varying levels of abilities and disabilities. We currently serve peole from 41 counties from across South Dakota. We provide 21 residential settings and a variety of work and non-work daytime settings.
DakotAbilities provides a wide variety of services and supports in the residential setting. Residential Supports are offered in 21 separate locations around the City of Sioux Falls. The types of supports offered range from Independent living arrangements at homes and apartments to 24 hour nursing facilities.
The majority of people we serve have a diagnosis of mental retardation and physical or developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida. Many of the individuals currently served have multiple diagnoses.
Education services are provided and coordinated through the Sioux Falls School District. The local community also provides numerous opportunities of higher education for those individuals wanting to continue their education.
The agency has a fleet of vehicles to assist in meeting the residential transportation needs. DakotAbilities also works very closely with Sioux Area Metro to arrange transportation both on Paratransit and the fixed route bus system.
Within the residential settings, DakotAbilities also provides training on independent living skills, meal preparation, and activity planning (both in the home and in the community). Staff also provides training designed to enhance individual choice, independence, and involvement in an inclusive community.
DakotAbilities supports several apartment and individual home settings across Sioux Falls. Residents of the Sycamore Apartments have roommates and a paging system to access staff if they are needed beyond regularly scheduled hours. Staff is available 24 hours per day. Other locations in Sioux Falls offer apartments or homes for just one person living independently. Residents at those locations work out a schedule when staff can be present. Quick access is provided via a staff paging system in case a need arises.
Several smaller homes are scattered throughout the residential neighborhoods. These homes range in size to accommodate from 3 to 7 people. Staff is present and provides direct care as needed by each resident.
Meaningful Daytime Activities
Day Program, Vocational support and other alternatives are offered in a variety of settings. DakotAbilities supports two large Centers where people come to engage in a variety of tasks and activities. DakotAbilities contracts with several businesses in the Sioux Falls Area to complete packaging, sorting, counting and other work tasks. Individuals look forward to getting their paychecks and they enjoy spending the money they earn. In the work setting people are trained to develop independence, self-esteem, and satisfaction from learning different tasks, completing the work and getting that paycheck.
DakotAbilities also supports several community work sites. The lunch counters at City Hall and the Minnehaha County Courthouse provide limited food services. Citibank offers a unique worksite for several individuals supported by DakotAbilities. We have been working with Citibank since they first opened in South Dakota. We enjoy a strong business and personal partnership with them.
In addition to the supported worksites, several people we serve are independently employed around the community. Those individuals have truly developed natural friendships and have become independent members of the Sioux Falls Community work force.
Additional Services and Programs
You can access more information about residential and day services as well as a number of additional services by selecting the Services tab to the left side of this page.
We are certified as a Community Support Provider by the South Dakota Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities.
In 2014, DakotAbilities received a four-year national re-accreditation by the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL).
We are also an approved education service provider through the South Dakota Department of Education. We are certified as a Community Support Provider by the South Dakota Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities.