In general, the independent living, employment, higher education, and community participation rates of Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) , who were served in special education settings is significantly below their non-disabled peers. The SRPMIC unemployment rate stands at over 50%, or more than six times the state and national averages of 8%. The summer program featured components of the established LDI curriculum scaled down to be delivered in a four week session, with Veronica as Program Lead.

By addressing the need for appropriate and accessible services, the award recognized the effective collaborative partnerships between the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) and LDI through an emphasis on a community priority to develop and improve local capacity by outreach and collaboration with local entities as well as increasing the SRPMIC