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MonTECH Assistive Technology Open House

MONTECH Assistive Technology Open HouseFriday, Feb. 27, 9AM-4PM
Curry Health Services Building, Room 042

What is Assistive Technology? Do you, or someone you know, have a disability and would like help in completing certain tasks?

We have staff on hand to show you some exciting new devices available to residents of Montana through the MonTECH program.

  • Assistive Technology: Try before you buy!
  • Meet the VGo Robots!
  • Eye Gaze Technology
  • Modified Gaming Equipment
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication Devices
  • Free equipment demonstrations and loans through MonTECH

ADA 25th Anniversary Film Series

ada 25th anniversary film festivalIn honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the UM Rural Institute for inclusive communities will be featuring a film series to promote reflection across the UM campus on a law that has advanced the quality of life of people with disabilities and in our country.

Free and open to the public.

Please RSVP in order to help us prepare for the events.

All film showings will be:
3:00 pm - 4:30 P.M. in the UC Theatre
Dates: 2/26, 3/25, and 4/15/15
Audience discussions with expert panelists will follow each film.

View film schedule.

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University of Montana Rural Institute

Promoting Inclusive Communities

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.

February 2015 Featured Emerging Leader

Randy - A Man with Many Talents

By Tracy Fillbach, Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council Member and Susanne Meikle, Director of Montana Work Solutions, LLC

Randy lives in his own home, a two-bedroom house with a bathroom, living room, kitchen and backyard. According to Randy, "I bought my house in 2007. I pay a mortgage each month. I clean and maintain my home. I cook for myself. I am a very good cook. I love to barbecue in my backyard. This year I started a garden and grew tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers, onions, basil, parsley, and radishes. I watered and weeded...I did not like weeding. My onions did not come, but everything else did and I cooked with everything I grew. Because I had so many green beans and tomatoes, I froze them to use later." 

You can read more about Randy on this month's Featured Emerging Leader.

To read more stories visit the Transition and Employment Projects Emerging Leaders Stories page.

Mindy Renfro presented at the annual Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association

mindy renfro and panel membersMindy Renfro, PT, PhD, GCS of RI's MonTECH programs presented last week at the annual Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association in Indianapolis, IN. The panel looked at Fall Prevention in Special Populations and Renfro focused on Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities. The session was attended by over 350 PTs from across the country and research and collaboration was planned with researchers from the U.S. and New Zealand.

Panel included (left to right) Sue Ostertag, PT, DPT, NCS, Mariana Wingood, PT, CEEAA, Jen Nash, PT, NCS and Mindy Renfro, PT, PhD, GCS.

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Happenings at Rural Institute

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
  • Living Well with a Disability
  • Working Well with a Disability
  • Telecom Toolbox
  • HPE - Health Plans for Employment