Happy Friday! Megan here.

Weather check: Rainy today, less rainy over the weekend

Cool thing: Happy wedding day to the lovely Olivia! She's the reason we have any social media presence whatsoever, and I'm so grateful for her help! Send well wishes to her at olivia@sfsimplified.com!

This weekend, it's not that there's not much happening – it's almost the opposite. Global news is complicated and sad. National news is overwhelming. Heck, even state and local news can feel like too much. So, let's take today's newsletter as a little pause from all of that. Meet a cool person doing cool things. Find cool local events. Then go take a nap because you've earned it.

And now, (some) news:

GET SMART

Get smart about helping people with disabilities in the workplace with Vicki Stewart

Vicki Stewart is the executive director of Employment Disability Resources. She's spent her entire career helping folks with disabilities, and she sat down with Sioux Falls Simplified to chat about National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Answers are edited for length and clarity.

Let's start with a little bit about you. What in your background prepared you for your current role with Employment Disability Resources?

I was born with a disability – diagnosed at three weeks old, so I've pretty much used a wheelchair my whole life.

I knew that I wanted a career helping people in some way, but I did not know what that would look like. In college, I changed my major maybe four or five times, and I ended up with a religion major and a psychology minor.

  • I've basically worked in the disability field for 30-plus years. I've worked for the state, different nonprofits and I really feel like this current role has been my dream job.

I'm really passionate about promoting employment for people with disabilities because I think it's a game-changer. It gives them a sense of purpose. It gives them a chance to use their skills, and of course we all just love being out and about.

It's National Disability Employment Awareness month, and we're all about simplicity here. Can you describe what this month means to you in one sentence?

It's really about celebrating workers with disabilities, their talents and the skills they bring to the workplace.

Tell me more about Employment Disability Resources and the work you do.

It was established back in 2010 as the Business Resource Network, and we recently rebranded.

  • The board of directors has about 14 people, and they're people with disabilities. They're business owners, representatives of different industries, and they take a very active role.

Our mission is to provide businesses with with education, awareness and resources to promote the successful employment and inclusion of people with disabilities.

  • As far as education goes, we provide disability etiquette training. We do our "Windmills" training, which really focuses on some of the attitudinal barriers that exist in the workplace.
  • All of those trainings are at no cost to any size business.

We also recognize businesses that already hire people with disabilities, provide guidance on reasonable accommodations and provide resources on different job accommodations that are available, tax incentives, etc.

See the full interview


TL;DR

Super Simplified Stories

  • Get a closer look at the future vision for Elmwood. The city this week released new renderings of the future $4.5 million Elmwood Golf Course clubhouse. You can see those here. And you can find a longer list of upcoming parks improvements here.
  • See your school's report card. The state has released its annual report cards to show how schools (and the kids in them) are doing in math, reading, attendance, graduation rates, etc. Find your school here.

EVENTS

Stuff to do: Oct. 13-19

  • Watch the 'Ring of Fire' eclipse. The Washington Pavilion is hosting a live viewing of the first annular “ring of fire” eclipse in 11 years at the Sweetman Planetarium on Saturday. During an annular solar eclipse, the moon moves between the sun and Earth but doesn't fully cover the sun, resulting in a "ring of fire" effect in the sky. Get tickets here.
  • Do yoga in a greenhouse. BeeFit SD Yoga and Wellness is teaming up with Landscape Garden Centers for a yoga class in the greenhouse starting at 2 p.m. Saturday. Details and tickets here.
  • Celebrate Halloweenie. Looking for a new four-legged friend? Dakota Dachshund Rescue is hosting a "Halloweenie" meet & greet and trick or treat from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Roxie and Co. Grab some treats, adopt some dogs, and find the details here.
  • Cheer on the Jacks. It's Hobo Day on Saturday, the annual homecoming event for South Dakota State University. Cheer on the Jackrabbits as they face the University of Northern Iowa. Find a full list of events here.
  • Recognize farmers. It's National Farmer's Day on Saturday, and Stockyards Ag Experience is celebrating with a family friendly event including a pumpkin patch, treats and ways to learn about how agriculture affects us all. Details here.

ICYMI

More simplified news

How Rapid City is working to solve its childcare crisis
A Rapid City foundation is laying the groundwork for a program where parents only pay one third of the cost of childcare.
There’s a lot of big feelings about plans to build a new prison near Harrisburg
The state announced last week that a new state penitentiary will be built south of Harrisburg. Here’s what we know (and what folks have to say about it).
How the zoo and butterfly house are celebrating spooky season
It’s spooky season at the Great Plains Zoo and the Butterfly House and Aquarium. Here’s a look at how you can find Halloween fun two weekends in a row this month.

THIS AND THAT

What I'm falling for this weekend


LIKE SIMPLER NEWS?

How to help Sioux Falls Simplified

Has Sioux Falls Simplified made you feel smarter about where you live?

Here are a few ways to ensure this smarter, easier local news outlet is here to stay:

  • Become a member. Consider buying into a smarter Sioux Falls by becoming a member and offering financial support to the no B.S. journalism you've been reading here.
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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or rain boots to megan@sfsimplified.com.


Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Sioux Empire United Way, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance and Voyage Federal Credit Union. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.