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University of Montana Rural Institute

Inclusive Communities for People with Disabilities

Since 1978, the University of Montana Rural Institute has worked to improve the skills, abilities, and quality of life of people with disabilities in rural communities, including their families and those who serve and support them.
 
Rural Institute initiatives focus on promoting independence, productivity, integration and community inclusion in rural and frontier communities.
 
Major activities include:
  1. providing training of personnel who serve and educate individuals with disabilities and their families;
  2. research and evaluation to assist people with disabilities to lead healthy, productive lives in their communities;
  3. community supports and services including training and technical assistance;
  4. dissemination of information to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families living in rural areas;
  5. and, leveraging current funding sources by developing and submitting grant and contract applications, and recovering costs associated with the delivery of services.
 In all we do, we involve stakeholders as advisors so activities are consumer-responsive, family-focused, and sensitive to the cultural heritage and values of people with disabilities and their families.

Winterize to Prevent Falls

Below are five simple steps that YOU can take today to make a big impact on falls for older adults and adults with disabilities in your community:

  1. Raise awareness by posting and disseminating this simple and colorful infographic -- 6 Steps to Prevent a Fall -- from the National Council on Aging.
  2. Check shoes, boots, and assistive devices and be sure that they are “winterized.”  
    1. Ingrid – Ice Gripper Cane Tip is available at Fashionable Canes and Cozy Winters  
    2. Yaktrax Spikeless Ice & Snow Shoe Gripper Sole Covers are at Fashionable Canes
    3. Keen shoes can be found at OnlineShoes
    4. Try this inexpensive way to make wheelchair snow tires
  3. Encourage older adults to carry a Ziploc bag filled with a lightweight kitty litter in their pocket and cast it out ahead of themselves on very slick surfaces. More information about using kitty litter for traction can be found here.
  4. ‘Tis the season for gift giving! Encourage adult children to give fall-proofing holiday gifts to their parents:
    1. Fall alarm systems that are motion triggered without hitting a button
    2. Higher toilets in the home
    3. Replace multifocal glasses with single vision eyeglass lenses
    4. Grab bars in bathroom and next to outside steps or inside thresholds

Continue reading fall prevention

"Get up and seize the day."

By Maclaen Burningham, Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council Member

Emerging Leader Nate, from PolsonIn August 2014, I interviewed Nate of Polson, Montana, as an Emerging Leader. I have included the questions I asked Nate and his responses below. Because Nate doesn't speak, I sent him the questions ahead of time and his family communicated with him to develop his answers. His dad spoke for him in the interview, with occasional nods of the head in agreement by Nate to what his dad said.  

Maclaen:  Thank you for agreeing to this interview.  I am going to ask you some questions.  Please answer them as thoroughly as you can.  You don't have to answer any questions you don't want to answer.  We want to help other young adults and their families understand how you are able to live, work, play and learn in your community.  Where do you live?  

Nate:  I live in an apartment that used to be part of a duplex. My parents live upstairs. This gives me the potential in the future to gain more independence by learning to take care of myself.

Maclaen: Where do you work or volunteer?

Nate:  Although currently I do not have paid employment, I volunteer at the local food bank with my dad. We re-package potatoes, recycle cardboard and pick up donations from a local grocery store. I enjoy the work as well as time with the staff.

Continue reading the interview with Nate...

 

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Make a Difference - Donate

Hands stacked depicting teamwork

If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution to this program or have questions about how you can make a positive difference at the Rural Institute, please contact Martin Blair, the Rural Institute Executive Director. 

Major Programs within the Rural Institute

 

  • montech
  • rtc
  • childcareplus
  • Montana Disability Health
  • transistion-employment
  • DBLogoNEW2
  • TTEAM
  • Living Well with a Disability
  • Working Well with a Disability
  • Telecom Toolbox
  • HPE - Health Plans for Employment