Helping them be who they were meant to be

Lifescape helps adapt the world for those with differing abilities.

There is a little girl who can move her eyes, but that is the extent of her mobility. In years past, only those who knew her best could read her emotions, and that was the only communication they shared. Today thanks to technology, she can “talk” to anyone she wants by using her eye movements to spell on a computer that then speaks what she spells. The technology proves she is a regular girl whose body just doesn’t do what she wants it to do, but now her intelligence, humor, and spirit shine.

A young woman has a rare condition that affects her motor skills, and leaves her unable to speak. Though her condition makes it difficult to handle small, delicate objects, she loves art and uses unconventional items to create beautiful paintings that have made her a well-known artist in her home community of Madison, South Dakota. Her mom says when she paints, her face just lights up,

Both these true stories show how South Dakota-based organization, LifeScape, helps children and adults with differing abilities live their best lives by simply adapting the world a little, allowing them to be who they were meant to be.

But, the technology and services that help make these miracles possible are not free. That’s where East River Electric Power Cooperative and its commitment to community comes in. For nearly 60 years, East River, a Basin Electric Class A member headquartered in Madison, South Dakota, has hosted an annual “mountain oyster” feed to benefit LifeScape. The event has raised nearly $850,000 over the years to help with therapies, equipment, and anything else that helps fill a need for the individuals LifeScape serves. Basin Electric supports LifeScape, as well, matching a portion of East River Electric’s donations through its Charitable Giving Program.

“This event is a great opportunity for East River and the entire community to rally together for a great cause,” says Jennifer Gross, education and outreach coordinator at East River Electric. “It’s important to the East River family to support these children and adults because we want them to live their best lives, too.”

Read more about the partnership between East River and LifeScape in the fall 2021 issue of Basin Today magazine: Living their best lives: East River Electric supports individuals with differing abilities and watch the video below to learn more from Jessica Wells, president of the LifeScape Foundation.

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