500 University Avenue West, Minot, ND


The North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University conducts a wide range of projects serving the disability community. Many of these projects are funded through grants and contracts with outside agencies. NDCPD’s active projects are listed below alphabetical order. In addition, the projects have been categorized by categorical icons.

child care
quality of life
Cultural Diversity

Advancing Student Transition into Educational Programs (ASTEP III)

Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program (ASTEP) is a 2 to 3-year transition and postsecondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities (ID). ASTEP is located on the campus of Minot State University in collaboration with the satellite Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB) campus located at MSU. The program is coordinated by the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities. Eligible students have the opportunity to achieve their goals in an inclusive and supportive college environment. A plan of study is developed through a person-centered planning process including career, academic, social, community and independent living goals.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Ann Beste-Guldborg, ann.beste.guildborg@minotstateu.edu

Community Staff Training Program (CSTP)

For over 30 years, ND has provided staff training through a cooperative effort of the ND Department of Human Services, NDCPD, and community agencies serving persons with developmental disabilities (DD). Service providers employ state-certified regional trainers to deliver training through modules and a series of field-based practica. MSU offers regional workshops, webinars, and conferences specific to interests of community-based staff. Faculty meet quarterly with the agency trainers for training and curriculum development.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Kari Schmidt, kari.schmidt@minotstateu.edu

Find Safe

Each year, people leave safe places and put themselves in harm’s way by wandering. When people have a limited capacity to understand the danger they pose to themselves, they can find themselves in a life-threatening situation. Project Find Safe staff will support health care agencies, law enforcement and public safety agencies and non-profit organizations to develop holistic approaches to prevent and respond to the wandering of individuals with forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease or children with developmental disabilities such as autism. Such approaches include: prevention and response training, development of emergency protocols for school officials and first responders, efforts to ensure the safety of vulnerable individuals; and the implementation and operation of notification systems to assist in the recovery of missing individuals.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Lori Garnes, lori.garnes@minotstateu.edu

First Responder

This project will implement a community-based education program to increase disability awareness within North Dakota first responders.  The project will develop and deliver free online training materials to educate these first responders and law enforcement professionals.   To enable more law enforcements personnel the opportunity to receive disability training we will host face-to-face training.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Christine Brigden, christine.brigden@minotstateu.edu

Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds (GEER)

To enhance virtual home visits offered during the pandemic, MIDP will distribute Home Education Kits (HEKs) to families to create a more realistic home visit experience. Materials included in the HEKs will be tailored for each family and utilized during home visits and enjoyed by families throughout their week. Providing HEKs for families helps ensure that they have access to resources and materials for virtual home visits without leaving the comfort and safety of their homes.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Dianne Bossert, dianne.bossert@minotstateu.edu

Great Plains Interdisciplinary Autism Diagnostic Clinic (GPIC)

Staff on GPIC provide diagnostic services to ND children and youth. The clinic houses an interdisciplinary team who conducts arena-style assessments in collaboration with the child’s local team and family.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Connie Irey, connie.irey@minotstateu.edu

Indians into Disabilities Studies

The Indians into Disability Studies Project will continue their partnership into a three-year implementation phase between the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities (NDCPD) at Minot State University (MSU) and the Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC) located at the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indian (TMBCI) reservation. The goal is to increase the capacity of the TMBCI community to provide inclusive special education services to their students with disabilities by supporting Teacher Education students to complete their Bachelor of Education degrees at TMCC and Special Education Graduate certificates through MSU.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Rebecca Daigneault, rebecca.daigneault@minotstateu.edu

Learn the Signs Act Early Ambassador

“Learn the Signs Act Early” supports improving early identification of developmental delays and disabilities including Autism. The program aims to serve North Dakota in supporting parents in the monitoring of development and access to services for their children.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Hilory Liccini, hilory.liccini@minotstateu.edu

Learn the Signs Act Early Partnership Grant

This project provides support to ND early childhood programs and systems through the Act Early Network to support COVID-19 recovery and strengthen resilience skills, behaviors, and resources for children, families, and communities. It enhances current efforts to promote the four steps of early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, including the first step of parent-engaged developmental monitoring. Additionally, this project will improve each of the four steps of early identification, resulting in a developed plan which will be implemented and evaluated to address barriers and identify opportunities for improvement in targeted systems and programs. It will advance the promotion and distribution of existing, relevant tools, materials, and programs to improve resiliency among families with young children during COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts, led by the ND Learn the Signs Act Early Ambassador.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Hilory Liccini, hilory.liccini@minotstateu.edu

Living in an Adult World

The “Living in an Adult World” Project (LIAW) is funded by the ND State Council on Developmental Disabilities and will provide resources that will assist in equipping young adults with I/DD to become legal decision makers as they reach the age of majority. This will be achieved by adapting the reading level of an existing booklet (originally developed by the State Bar Association of North Dakota – SBAND) and creating supplementary learning materials.  These adapted materials (with easy-to-read and understand content and activities) will be available on the SBAND website for family members, educators, and other disability professionals to use with the young adults with I/DD whom they support.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: JoLynn Webster, jolynn.webster@minotstateu.edu

Minot Infant Development Program (MIDP)

This project identifies infants (birth-3) who are developmentally delayed, high risk, or at risk. In addition, this contract provides for in-home programming and infant stimulation activities for eligible children.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Dianne Bossert, dianne.bossert@minotstateu.edu

Money Follows the Person Housing Program

This project seeks 1) to develop and maintain an effective, consumer-directed, accessible and comprehensive housing resource system for persons wishing to transition to the community from an institutional level of care and for persons at risk of institutionalization; 2) to effectively reduce the stigma of persons with disabilities or the aging population statewide, while working to change community attitudes and misconceptions regarding community housing for persons with disabilities or aging persons; and 3) to assist in the statewide effort to develop and expand the number of safe, affordable, accessible, quality and permanent housing options.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Cheryl Merck, cheryl.merck@minotstateu.edu

ND Create – Customized Integrated Employment Available to Everyone

The Statewide Customized Employment Specialist Training Project will coordinate and provide training and technical assistance to community rehabilitation providers to explore and implement innovative customized employment strategies to provide integrated employment for people that currently are receiving day supports and/or in non-integrated environments. Outcomes include training and technical assistance on discovery, marketing and job development, and systematic instruction. Community rehabilitation providers will have increased skills to deliver customized employment services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that lead to integrated and competitive employment.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Michele Burney, michele.burney@minotstateu.edu

ND CREATE-ACT (Customized Employment Accreditation)

ND CREATE-ACT is an extension of the ND CREATE project that provides training and technical assistance to Community Rehabilitation Providers across the state of North Dakota. The goal of ND CREATE-ACT is to is to align the ND CREATE training curriculum with the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) Competencies with an Emphasis on Customized Employment to raise the service delivery standard in the state of North Dakota while offering participants the nationally recognized ACRE Certificate of Achievement in Employment Services.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Malinda Kragh, malinda.kragh@minotstateu.edu

ND Create Expanded Discovery

ND CREATE Expanded Discovery is an extension of the ND CREATE Project (Customizing IntegRated Employment Available to Everyone). The intent of ND Create Expanded Discovery is to expand Discovery training to include families and, in the process, help them to understand how Discovery and Customized Employment can lead to integrated competitive employment in the area of interest of their youth.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Michele Burney, michele.burney@minotstateu.edu

ND Dual Sensory Project (State & Federal Funds)

The North Dakota Dual Sensory Project will provide training and technical assistance to educators, early interventionists, schools, state education, and related services providers regarding systemic and individualized supportive services for children and youth with deaf-blindness. Outcomes include training and technical assistance on transition, early identification, numeracy and literacy, family engagement, and an accurate census. Children with deaf-blindness will have improved educational programs, increased skills, and increased time in inclusive settings. Families will have increased knowledge and will be active participants in their children’s education. Educators will have increased skills to provide a quality education for children with deaf-blindness.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Brent Askvig, brent.askvig@minotstateu.edu


This project works towards reducing the loss to follow-up after failure to pass newborn hearing screenings in ND. ND is identifying, treating and referring fewer infants with hearing loss than expected based on national incidence levels. Onsite training, technical assistance, public awareness, data analysis and infrastructure support are key features of this project.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Jerusha Olthoff, jerusha.olthoff@minotstateu.edu


ND has an EHDI (Early Hearing Detection Intervention) program which collects unduplicated individual identifiable data on every occurring birth thru the EHDI process. Despite this system, barriers of redundancy continue to exist. This EHDI-IS project will focus on reducing the duplicate data entry burden and reduce rates of loss to recommended follow-up services.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Jerusha Olthoff, jerusha.olthoff@minotstateu.edu

ND Inclusive Model Pathways Training Consortium (IMPCCT)

The ND Inclusive Model Pathways for College and Career Training (IMPCCT) Consortium will provide training and technical assistance to build capacity for expanded college options and high school transition services that sufficiently prepare students with intellectual disabilities for college success. The IMPCCT Consortium will work with institutions of higher education in ND to develop inclusive PSE programs to incorporate inclusive college course work, career development, self-determination, independent living and pre-employment skills training and campus inclusion. IMPCCT’s 3 goals are: 1) Students with ID in ND and the NPR will have expanded college options; 2) Students with ID in ND will have increased access to consistent transition services and supports in high school to prepare them for successful PSE; and 3) ND will have a sustainable and replicable consortium for providing T/TA to support PSE programs for students with ID.

PROJECT DIRECTOR:  Anne Beste-Guldborg, ann.beste.guldborg@minotstateu.edu

ND Power Up Health Conference

NDCPD coordinates a health conference for people with disabilities, their family members, caregivers, and professionals. Conference participants will learn about living and promoting healthy lifestyles, preventing secondary conditions, advocating for health awareness, and accessing healthcare supports more effectively.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Susie Mack, susie.mack@minotstateu.edu

ND Project Scope

This initiative will build upon the effective ECHOTM virtual training model to train interdisciplinary teams in North Dakota on emerging knowledge and evidence-based practices in screening, monitoring and interdisciplinary care for children impacted by neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), trauma, or related exposure.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Lori Garnes, lori.garnes@minotstateu.edu

ND Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)

This project assists ND seniors, including those in rural counties and with disabilities review their Medicare bills to assure that no errors, fraudulent charges or abuses have occurred by using local volunteers, regional volunteer coordinators, and disability adapted curricula to educate beneficiaries.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Linda Madsen, linda.madsen@minotstateu.edu

Project Tracker / Monitors for Find Safe

Project Tracker is related to another NDCPD-funded Project, Find Safe. Find Safe was funded by the US Department of Justice to support law enforcement and public safety agencies develop holistic approaches designed to prevent and respond effectively to the “at-risk” populations such as individuals with DD who are prone to wander. Project Tracker will provide funding to purchase lifesaving bracelet kits for 30 qualifying individuals with DD and autism who are prone to wandering. In addition, the project will build capacity for partners, individuals with DD and their families and local communities to continue this lifesaving program after Find Safe ends.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Vanessa Rovig, vanessa.rovig@minotstateu.edu

Right Track

This project identifies infant and toddlers that may be at risk for DD, provides developmental screenings, refers to other services as appropriate and provides developmental information to families. Click here for more information.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Dianne Bossert, dianne.bossert@minotstateu.edu


Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) is an interdisciplinary training program for professionals in a variety of disability-related disciplines. As a collaborative partnership between UCEDDs in Utah, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, URLEND trainees participate in three activities. These include didactic training sessions, research/leadership projects, and clinical observations.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Hilory Liccini, hilory.liccini@minotstateu.edu

Virtual Remote Job Coaching Pilot

The Virtual Remote Job Coaching Pilot project will provide remote job coaching supports for college students with intellectual and developmental disabilities while they are working in employment settings in and around the community by using a variety of virtual supports.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Luke Charley, luke.charley@minotstateu.edu