As part of the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs), we share a vision that all Americans with disabilities, participate fully in their communities.Read more about the Rural Institute
Inclusive Communities for People with Disabilities
- providing training of personnel who serve and educate individuals with disabilities and their families;
- research and evaluation to assist people with disabilities to lead healthy, productive lives in their communities;
- community supports and services including training and technical assistance;
- dissemination of information to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families living in rural areas;
- and, leveraging current funding sources by developing and submitting grant and contract applications, and recovering costs associated with the delivery of services.
Faculty and staff of UM’s Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities presented information on community accessibility at “DiverseU,” the University of Montana’s annual diversity symposium. Presentations offered insight into the ways in which community design either includes or excludes people with disabilities and began with an historic overview.
The history of disability has been one of exclusion in which people with disabilities were not able to be part of daily life and were often institutionalized in inhumane conditions. But in the 1960’s, advocates and activists worked for sweeping social change that eventually led to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Although the ADA is coming up on its 25th anniversary, many community spaces remain inaccessible.
1250.1. That is the number of miles I traveled last week on my "Visit Montana Colleagues" trip.
I started in Helena with the new Developmental Disabilities Program (DDP) director, the MT Part C Coordinator, and the director of Disability and Employment Transitions (MT's VR agency). I spent almost two hours with our federal partner, the MT Developmental Disabilities Council.
In Billings I met with the medical and administration staff at The Children's Clinic, I also met with the director of PLUK, Inc and the director of Early Childhood Intervention (ECI).
On to Glendive where I spent several hours with the Prairie View Special Services Coop coordinator (provides special education and related services in 13 eastern counties) and the new president of Dawson Community College.