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    Pomoting Inclusive Communities

    Improving the skills, abilities, and quality of life of people with disabilities in rural communities, including their families and those who serve and support them.

    Read more about the Rural Institute
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    INDEPENDENCE

    We teach how assistive technology helps people live more independently at home, school, work, and in the community.

    We conduct research to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities in rural areas. Our research and training activities help improve the economic status and independence of people with disabilities.

  • Man with spinal cord injury in wheelchair enjoying picnic with his wife

    INCLUSION

    We develop and evaluate innovative health promotion activities in rural areas. Our goal is to help people with physical or mental limitations learn to “live well and safely” in their own homes and communities.

  • Woman signing the word Leaf in American Sign Language while communicating with child

    INTEGRATION

    Our Early Childhood programs offer on-going education and training to childcare providers, families, and to teachers of young children with disabilities. We help children and their families achieve greater independence at home and in the community.

    We provide Education and Interdisciplinary Training across the human service and education systems in Montana.

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The Brain in the Palm of Your Hand

The Brain in the Palm of Your Hand PowerPointPDF thumbCheryl Belitsky, PT and Leslie Mullette, OTR/L, ATP from MonTECH presented "The Brain in the Palm of Your Hand" in Helena, MT on May 13, 2015.

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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.

Pain and Participation

Woman with multiple sclerosis giving keys to a service dog in the snow 117195499 300x200Pain is commonly experienced by people with disabilities.  The relationship between pain and participation was explored by researchers at RTC: Rural to see if pain acted as a barrier to people’s ability to participate fully in community life.  The concept of participation and understanding the barriers that hinder it is important.  Just as inaccessible buildings and transportation can interfere with employment, errands and engaging in social activities, pain can also keep people at home. Understanding the multiple barriers that interfere with participation for people with disabilities is crucial to developing meaningful policies and community change.

Visit rtc.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/pain-and-participation to read more about this research.

 

Transportation Voucher Model

man in wheelchair using car lift The transportation voucher model works to address transportation barriers in rural communities, a significant problems for people with disabilities.  Many rural communities lack the resources to provide accessible and safe transportation so that people with disabilities can fully participate in community life.  Researchers at RTC: Rural studied this problem and developed one potential solution that helps individual consumers meet their transportation needs through the use of transportation vouchers.

You can read more about the transportation voucher model by visiting the RTC: Rural website.

RTC: Rural - Early Exit from VR Services

business man in wheelchair pushing button to open doorPeople with disabilities have an unemployment rate more than twice that of people without disabilities.  The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) system helps people with disabilities find and maintain employment but over half of VR consumers leave services early. In 2013, researchers at the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) conducted a research project on early exit from VR services.  Reasons for early exit from VR services vary but include issues such as inaccurate contact information, disconnected phone or relocation.  However, some VR consumers cite dissatisfaction with services as their primary reason for discontinuing.  The researchers who developed this study wanted to learn more about why consumers were not satisfied with VR services and offer insight on these findings to VR counselors with the goal of reducing early exit from the system.

Continue reading "Early Exit from VR Services."

 

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Planning Your Transition from Pediatric to Adult Health Care Workbook

transition workbookThis new publication designed for Montanans under age 30 living with special health care needs and/or a disability. It offers information about preparing for the transition from pediatric to adult health care, choosing medical providers, paying for services, taking responsibility for one’s own health, and much more.

The workbook is also available on the Transition and Employment Projects website (http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/transition/articles.asp) as both a downloadable print-ready PDF file and as an accessible Word file.

Happenings at Rural Institute

Major Programs within the Rural Institute

 

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