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University of Montana Rural Institute

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.

UM Students Helping Montanans with Developmental Disabilities

Megan Murphy University of Montana Pharmacy Student

“I locate, pack, and ship adaptive equipment all over Montana.” Megan Murphy, a UM pharmacy student, is talking about her work-study job with the Montana Adaptive Equipment Program (MAEP). For more than two decades, the program has provided adaptive equipment to Montanans with developmental disabilities. Megan is one of several UM students who are the hands that make sure people from Superior to Sydney get the equipment they need to be more independent. Megan says that this experience has “really opened my eyes to other opportunities.” She adds, “When I'm a pharmacist, I'll be asked a lot of questions regarding medical equipment and now I feel like I know what I'm talking about.”

Continue reading about Megan and MAEP

UM Accessibility Policy

The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities applauds the University of Montana for developing a fairly comprehensive Accessibility Implementation Plan to enact its new Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy. While no policy is perfect, this initiative represents a huge step forward for the University. The policy is designed to provide full access to students, staff and visitors to the UM community. It addresses web access, accessibility of instructional materials and documents, audio and video access and procurement of hardware and software that is accessible to people of all abilities. On behalf of our staff, students and the thousands of Montanans that we serve, we thank UM for taking this bold step, for doing the "right" thing and for working hard to fully implement this policy across the several UM campuses.

Martin E. Blair, PhD
Executive Director
The Rural Institute, University of Montana

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