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American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation (Section 121) Programs

Section 121 Programs provide culturally appropriate vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians with disabilities who reside on or near Federal or State Reservations and who are a member of a State or Federal Tribe. Services provided may include vocational rehabilitation counseling, physical and mental restoration, vocational training, financial support for some expenses, transportation, interpreter services, job search assistance, job coaching, assistive technology, self-employment services and transition services for youth with disabilities.

Oglala Sioux Tribe

Pine Ridge Vocational Rehabilitation Project
Serving Shannon, Jackson, and Bennett counties

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Oun’iyekiyapi Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Serving Dewey and Ziebach counties


Standing Rock

Sioux Tribe Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Serving Corson county

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Oto Kahe Teca Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Serving Lyman County

Project Search-Project Skills


Project SEARCH is a unique business-led transition program for students with disabilities. Students who want to work have the chance to explore careers and develop transferable job skills. The goal of the Project SEARCH program is competitive employment for each intern. Designed as an internship program, Project SEARCH affords students the opportunity to put employability skills into practice. For five days a week, students report to the host business and learn employability skills in the classroom and job skills while participating in targeted internships. They receive support with accommodations, adaptations, and on-the-job coaching. Students who have completed all academic requirements for graduation from high school may apply for enrollment in Project SEARCH. Participants must be 18 to 21 years old.

Project Search
Business-led transition program for students ages 18-21 with disabilities. Students report to a host business and learn employability skills in classroom settings and job skills while participating in internships. Students receive support with accommodations, adaptations, and on-the-job coaching. Students who have completed all academic requirements for graduation from high school may apply for enrollment in Project SEARCH. Apply with local programs.


Project Skills is a paid work experience program for high school students with disabilities in South Dakota. The program is a cooperative arrangement between the state vocational rehabilitation agencies and the local school districts.

Project Skills provides students the opportunity to learn different skills in a variety of job placements, with the assistance of a job coach.

Project Skills will help to build the student’s work history, and references and help them move into different and better jobs as they mature and are ready to take on new challenges.



Establishment Program assists with legal fees up to $500.

Additional Programs

National Business and Disability Council
For job seekers with disabilities. Post a resume, apply for internships or jobs, and view webcasts and online presentations.

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability
NCWD specifically focuses on what youth with disabilities need to know to prepare themselves for careers or meaningful jobs, and what parents need to know to ensure that their children are getting all of the things that they need to succeed.

Project Skills, Transition Services Liaison Project
Pierre 605-224-5336
A paid work experience program for high school students with disabilities.

South Dakota Benefits Specialist Network

Pierre 605-224-6287
Staff assists SSI and SSDI beneficiaries in understanding how part-time, full-time, or seasonal work affects disability benefits and other federal, state, and local benefits. Staff can also answer questions about how employment would affect health care benefits, SSA work incentives, and employment-related work incentives offered by other programs.

Ticket to Work
If you have a disability and want to work, the Ticket to Work program will connect you with the right people to help you explore your options. If you are ages 18 through 64 and receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you already qualify.

Virtual Employment Services, SD Department of Labor and Regulation
Online job search toolkit featuring career exploration, resume and job search tools, job finder, skills training, student services and more.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Pierre 605-773-3195

VR provides individualized vocational rehabilitation and supportive services to assist eligible individuals with disabilities to get and keep jobs compatible with their skills and abilities. Apply at the local office.


Phone 605-626-2398
TTY 800-439-3417


Phone 605-688-4280
TTY 800-382-2176


Phone 605-734-4555
TTY 800-265-9677


Phone 605-353-7130
TTY 800-439-3417


Phone 605-995-8072
TTY 800-265-9677


Phone 605-773-3318
TTY 877-873-8500

Rapid City

Phone 605-394-2261
TTY 800-439-8661

Sioux Falls

Phone 605-367-5330
TTY 800-265-9679


Phone 605-642-6817
TTY 800-439-8861


Phone 605-626-2398
TTY 800-439-3417


Phone 605-668-3050
TTY 800-265-9677

Work Incentive Programs, Social Security Administration
800-325-0778 (TTY)
Special rules make it possible for people with disabilities receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to work and still receive monthly payments and Medicare or Medicaid. Social Security calls these rules “work incentives.”

Featured Resource

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Check out our most recent publication, “Understanding School Testing and Test Scores” created to help parents better understand the data included in their child’s evaluation so they can best advocate for their needs.

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