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20th Annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference

20th Annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference logo

20th Annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference: Transition from Pediatric to Adult-Based Care

Attend the live broadcast in Billings or Missoula October 24-25, 2019. (There is no charge to participate.)

Broadcast schedule:
Thursday, October 24th
7:00 AM – 11:00 AM MDT
12:15 PM – 3:10 PM MDT

Friday, October 25th
7:15 AM – 10:45 AM MDT
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM MDT

Read more about the conference

Egyptian University Officials Leave Montana with a Plan to Provide Services to Students with Disabilities

Woman presenting with Power Point slideThis September, the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities and University of Montana Disability Services for Students (DSS) hosted a study tour for 17 representatives from five Egyptian universities and the Ministry of Education. The purpose of the study tour was to strengthen the capacity of Egyptian university staff to administer newly established Disability Support Centers and ensure equal access to higher education for university students with disabilities.

The tour was funded by AMIDEAST, an American non-profit organization focused on international education and development activities in the Middle East, and USAID who aims to improve equality for people with disabilities in Egypt. Helm, a social enterprise in Cairo, Egypt which promotes inclusion of people with disabilities, was also an organizing partner.

Read more about Egyptian visit

Webinar: Translating the Information Learned in Discovery into Characteristics of a Well-matched Work Experience

On Tuesday, November 12, Ellen Condon and Theresa Baltry will host the final webinar in a 3 webinar series to talk about how to translate what you have observed and learned during the work experience (or other Discovery activities) into a plan for additional work experiences and/or a blueprint for the student's well-matched job.

More about the November 12th webinar

New Fact Sheet: Least Restrictive Approaches to Supporting Individuals as Decision Makers

by Theresa Baldry, Kim Brown and Lauren Smith

Fact Sheet thumbnailThe Rural Institute is pleased to share a fact sheet on alternative approaches to guardianship.

Least Restrictive Approaches to Supporting Individuals as Decision Makers

Too often full guardianship is the default option for individuals who need assistance with decision-making, which is very restrictive. There are alternative approaches to guardianship that are flexible and can adapt to an individual’s changing needs. This fact sheet defines guardianship, shares some alternative approaches to guardianship, addresses myths about decision-making supports, and provides links to guardianship and decision-making resources for further information.

“People Aren’t One Size Fits All;” Erica Woodahl Pioneers Precision Medicine in Montana

All of Us logo

In order for medical research to benefit us, we need to be included in the data that research is based on. This simple idea inspired the All of UsResearch Program, the research initiative from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). By gathering health data about one million or more people living in the United States, especially from those historically underrepresented in biomedical research, All of Us will usher in a new era of precision medicine. The goal is to help doctors choose the most effective treatments based on an individual’s background, genetics, and lifestyle. But what does precision medicine look like in real life? What does it look like for Montanans?

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Count Us In: Why All of Us Makes Sense for Montanans with Disabilities

All Of Us logo

There are many things we treasure about living in the Last Best Place. Wide open spaces, pristine wilderness, a slower pace of life, and knowing our neighbors. These are benefits we enjoy here, all of which contribute to our quality of life. But there are downsides to living off the beaten path. People in rural states are often overlooked by experts when major health and wellness studies take place. And when data about us is missing, it can't drive the policies and protocols that affect our lives.

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All of Us webinar and Twitter chat

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Mark your calendars: All of Uswebinar and Twitter chat

It might almost be Halloween, but no tricks here! Mark your calendars for these two upcoming All of Us events co-hosted by the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities. After a morning Twitter chat, join the 1.5 hour webinar, which will feature presentations from local Montana disability advocate speakers Bob Liston and Marsha Katz of ADAPT Montana, as well as a presentation from Dr. Erica Woodhal, a professor in the University of Montana’s Department of Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences.

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Rural Institute shares knowledge on disability as part of UM public health graduate seminar

Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) staff, students, and community partners will be participating in a series of presentations at the University of Montana as part of the School of Public & Community Health Sciences seminar program for students, staff and faculty. The 16 week graduate seminar is part of UM’s Public Health doctoral program aimed to educate and equip students with the skills and expertise to improve public health at the community level and around the world.

October 4, 2018—Health Care Transitions for Youth/Young Adults with Disabilities
October 18, 2018—Walkable communities for all: Using inclusive, interdisciplinary walk audit workshops to achieve health equity
November 8, 2018—Geographic Methods for Application in Public Health

Learn more at: https://rtc.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/um-public-health-grad-seminar/

 

 

 

 

Kenyan Tale from Mato Onyango-Sabuor

UM KE Report and Summary 1

Marty Blair, Executive Director of the Rural Institute, recently traveled to Kenya through the Americans with Disabilities Act International Fellowship Program to help implement early intervention to young children with multisensory impairments.  Please feel free to review a this presentation (PDF) on his time in Kenya or click on the ADA Fellowship link for more information.

Webinar: Including People with Disabilities

Public Health Workforce Competencies

Webinar recording available now!

Dr. Adriane Griffen from the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) talks about how public health can improve the health, employment and participation of Montanans with disabilities.

This webinar covered the Including People with Disabilities - Public Health Workforce Competencies, designed to increase the capacity of public health providers to include people with disabilities in their public health plans and efforts. The competencies provide foundational knowledge around the relationship between disability and public health programs and outcomes. Visit http://www.aucd.org/template/page.cfm?id=830 for more Information on the AUCD Public Health Workforce Competencies for Including People with Disabilities.

Movin' On in Montana

Movin On Logo web

Movin' On in Montana is a transition seminar for high school students with disabilities who are considering college. It is hosted at the University of Montana by the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities. Forty-eight Montana high school students have participated since 2015.

PLUK presents an "Un-Typical Workshop"

PLUKUn ConferenceNovember 14, 2016 (Monday morning) 9:00am - noon (FREE brunch)!
St. Francis Catholic Church Reception Center, 411 S 5th St, Hamilton, MT 59840
Help parents/caregivers of children with special needs and friends connect & ask questions related to any family, school, medical, or life issues
RSVP required by Monday, November 7 at http://RSVP.PLUK.ORG, or to receive follow-up information if you are not able to join in person.
Contact Jennifer Gaston-Smith, Western MT PLUK Family Support Partner at (406)255-0540 x707 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Hope without Hype

hope without hype

The Latest in Alzheimer's Research An Alzheimer’s Association presentation
Offered for clinicians, researchers, students, aging-services providers, and caregivers.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 9:00 - 10:00am
Skaggs Building Foyer Coffee and conversation with Dr. Hartley10:00 - 11:00am Skaggs, room 114

No cost to attend. Registration is apprecieated. Visit alz.org/montana or call 800=272-3900

What is AUCD?

"AUCD is a network of people, with and without disabilities, who are passionate about growing the next generation of leaders and driving positive change for people with disabilities and their families. In this video, learn about the nationwide network of AUCD centers and programs, and the many ways they work to improve our communities. Join us as we work together to advance the well-being of all people with disabilities and their families."

Montana Children’s Special Health Services Survey

Revised Frequently Asked Questions about the 2016 Montana Children’s Special Health Services Survey

This survey is a statewide project, organized in partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), CSHS section and the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana. The purpose of the survey is to better understand and meet the needs of Montanan children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and their families. To do this, we are asking randomly selected CYSHCN caregivers to answer questions about the current care their child or youth with a special healthcare need receives in the healthcare setting.

October is Disability Employment Month

2016 Disability Employment MonthMontana Disability & Health Update: Montanans living with disability experience poorer health compared to those living without disability. Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) “...provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans.”

Living Well and Working Well with a Disability: Two programs provided by Montana Centers for Independent Living to help people realize meaningful life goals. like employment, through peer support and improved health. Working Well builds on the concepts introduced in the Living Well program but focuses on improving health in preparation for, or maintaining, employment.

Two programs highlighted at the Best Beginnings Advisory Council

Planning Your Transition from Pediatric to Adult Health Care

transition workbookThis publication is 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.

Medical Home Portal

The Medical Home Portal is a unique source of reliable information about children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), offering a “one-stop shop” for their families, physicians and medical home teams, and other professionals and caregivers

RTC:Rural - APRIL Conference-Virginia is for Advocates!

On October 16-19, Virginia Beach was host to the APRIL conference.  Held annually for the last 21 years, the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) gathers its membership from across the country to network, offer training and technical assistance, and to provide  much needed opportunities for socialization and collaboration for staff of Centers for Independent Living who serve rural communities.

Lillie Greiman, Tannis Hargrove, Andrew Myers and Tom Seekins presented updates on research projects to APRIL membership.

Read more about the APRIL Conference on the RTC:Rural website: http://rtc.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/april-conference-virginia-is-for-advocates/

RTC: Rural - National Disability Employment Month

business man in wheelchair pushing button to open door 300x200Since the passage of the ADA, more Americans with disabilities have entered the workforce but there is still much work to be done.  RTC: Rural conducts research projects that help support the health and wellness of people with disabilities hoping to find or maintain employment.

Working Well with a Disability is a six-week peer-facilitated workshop that builds on the content of Living Well and considers health in the context of employment.  Participants in the workshop learn the skills to maintain life balance, manage stress, and improve their health in support of looking for or maintaining employment.

You can read more of this article on the RTC: Rural website.

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RTC: Rural Awarded Development Grant

RTC logoThe Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities has received a five year, $2.5 million health promotion development grant.  This grant, awarded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) will fund the development of a state-of-the-art health promotion program.  This program will advance the ability of people with disabilities to live independently in the community by increasing access to our current evidence-based health promotion curriculum, Living Well with a Disability, using online multimedia that will support increased motivation and confidence for health improvement.

Read more about the grant on the RTC:Rural website: http://rtc.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/rtc-rural-awarded-development-grant/

RTC: Rural - Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living-Annual Conference

2015 April ConferenceThe Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) is holding its annual conference in Virginia Beach October 16th-19th.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Virginia is for Advocates: Starting a New Revolution at the Beach,” and the focus is on independent living, advocacy and transition services.  Attendees come to the conference from Centers for Independent Living (CIL) across the country and include executive directors, advocates, direct services staff, peers and youth.  During the Friday pre-conference, youth will have a day devoted to learning about the ADA, disability history and creating real change in their communities.  At the general conference sessions, participants will have the opportunity to attend trainings designed to support their centers in service delivery and advocacy.

Read more about the conference on the RTC:Rural website: http://rtc.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/association-of-programs-for-rural-independent-living-annual-conference/

RTC:Rural - State of the Science

On September 22nd, the RTC: Rural hosted its third State of the Science (SOS) Rural Colloquium on Environment and Participation for people with disabilities. The International Classification of Function, Disability and Health focuses on participation as a dynamic interaction between an individual and the environment. Environments that foster participation through accessibility features are less disabling to the individual with mobility or other impairments and facilitate health. In this SOS event, presenters focused on both the interior and exterior environments and the independent measures used to evaluate them.

Read more about the State of the Science conference.

"Visit Montana Colleagues" trip report by Marty Blair

trip-odometer-with-miles
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.

Continue reading about Marty's trip

UM Students Helping Montanans with Developmental Disabilities

“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

UM Student and Research Professor Teach Each Other Valuable Lessons

Hyeok Yun, an undergraduate student from South Korea, is gaining a wider perspective on how art therapy and counseling are impacted by disability research. Under the direction of Dr. Craig Ravesloot, a research professor at UM’s Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, Hyeok’s work is exposing her to other issues too. “I didn't pay attention to or think about rural communities very much. I've grown up and lived in big cities. This job made me think as if I were in their shoes,” she says adding, “I’m very happy being a part of this project.”

Continue reading about Hyeok Yun and Dr. Craig Ravesloot

UM Research Faculty Invited to the White House Summit and Research Forum on Improved Health and Fitness for Americans with Disabilities

Dr. Meg Ann Traci was one of a select group of advocates and experts recently invited to the White House to discuss ways to get people with disabilities more physically active. Dr. Traci, Director of Montana’s Disability and Health program administered through UM’s Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, attended the White House meeting on October 6-7, 2014. She commented, “The discussion made me more aware of Montana’s unique capacity to increase access to healthy lifestyle activities for Americans with disabilities, especially those living in rural areas.” “Representing Montana disability and public health partners, I strengthened our connections with national advocates, large research organization collaborators and federal agency administrators—all of whom work together for inclusion and health equity for people with disabilities,” she continued.

Continue reading about Dr. Meg Ann Traci's trip to the White House Summit

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