In conjunction with National Autism Awareness Month this April, several University of Montana departments and organizations will join forces to call attention to Autism Spectrum Disorder, which affects about one in every 68 children in the U.S. and is the fastest-growing disability category in Montana’s public education system.
Students and faculty members from UM’s psychology, communicative sciences and disorders, and teaching and learning departments will highlight the University’s efforts to address ASD, as well as provide information and resources, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, on the UM Oval.
Volunteers with the UM student groups Operation Smile and Students in Communication and Hearing Working in Action (SCHWA) also will participate, and UM mascot Monte will be on hand from 1 to 2 p.m.
This fun event supports a fund for educational materials for kids on the autism spectrum at the Child Development Center. Celebrate Acceptance, April 7 from 5 - 8pm at MSO Hub/Bicycle Hangar, 140 N. Higgins, Missoula, MT
Thursday, April 13, 2017
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM MDT
Presenters will share ideas of activities promoting work and college readiness for students with disabilities that can be facilitated by Montana Vocational Rehabilitation staff in the classroom. In addition to suggested activities, developed curricula and free resources will be shared.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM MDT
Join Independent Living Specialist Cassie Weightman to learn:
- What "independent living" means and what life domains it includes
- How to plan and prepare for it from the time kids are young, and
- How Centers for Independent Living fit in and what resources they can offer transition-age youth
Registration and more information
Presented by Early Childhood Intervention
Hanen's More Than Words workshop has just been updated to provide you with even more effective tools for zeroing in on the very specific needs of young children with autism and addressing those needs with evidence-based, family-centered techniques.
When you make the commitment to attend More Than Words, you take the first step towards fundamentally changing the way you provide intervention. What you learn will make a more tangible difference for families and young children than you ever could have imagined.
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Words cannot describe how grateful we are for the amazing program Wheels Across Montana made possible through a Dana & Christopher Reeve foundation High Impact grant! Because of this program, Jace was able to actually ride a bike—all by himself—for the very first time. The pure joy he felt was seen through his huge smile while pedaling this super cool bike.
Continue reading about Jace
The director of the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, Marty Blair, presented on the March 22 panel with Cecilia Feely at the inaugural State Policy Summit: Innovations in Adult Programming, sponsored by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, & Training Collaborative (ASERT) in Philadelphia, PA.
The primary goal of the summit is to gather experts from across the United States to share successes in establishing, maintaining and evolving programs, policies, service philosophies and models within systems for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disabilities (ID), other developmental disabilities (DD), and mental health diagnoses (MH).
During this webinar, the presenters will describe assistive technology (AT), both high- and low-tech, to help young adults with disabilities succeed at school and at work. Ideas for funding will also be shared.
- Theresa Baldry, Project Coordinator, Montana Pre-Employment Transition Services Technical Assistance Center Team
- Isaac Baldry, Consumer Advisory Council Member, Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities
- Julie Doerner, Clinical Coordinator, Montana Assistive Technology Program, Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM MDT
Register on the Transition & Employment Projects newsletter.
The newest Impact issue from the Institute on Community Integration & Research and Training Center on Community Living highlights the work people in Montana are doing to support wellness for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Connie Lewis, Rural Institute employee, and community partner Andrea Dahl, from Summit Independent Living Center in Missoula, are featured for their leadership and participation in 14 Weeks to a Healthier You, a fitness and nutrition program developed by the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD). Supported by the Montana Disability and Health Program at the Rural Institute, the 14 Weeks program addresses the need for health promotion and wellness opportunities for people with disabilities in Montana.
The Institute for Community Inclusion’s announcement of the new issue states:
“Wellness is a rapidly growing area of focus for Americans. But for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, access to wellness activities and programs can be limited. How can we open up participation? Find out in the just-released free publication, Impact: Feature Issue on Supporting Wellness for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Continue reading about the newest Impact issue
Interview by Maclaen Burningham, Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council Member; Story by Lauren Beyer, Rural Institute Project Assistant
I spoke with Malia nine days before her life was scheduled to change. In a short period of time, she will turn 18, graduate early from high school in Great Falls, move to Butte, and start her education at Job Corps in Anaconda. During her year of training, Malia hopes to become skilled as a brick layer. Her second and third choices are heavy equipment operator or carpenter.
Malia is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. When I asked if she was nervous about completing Job Corps as a teen with a disability, she assured me she was not.
Read more about Malia on the Transition & Employment Projectrs newsletter.
One of the goals of the Rural Institute Transition and Employment Projects is to expand the vision of what is possible for youth and young adults with developmental disabilities to learn, live, work and play in their communities. In the recent Emerging Leader interview by Maclaen Burningham, you'll meet Kirsten an energetic and savvy young lady with great plans for her future.
"Don't Doubt Yourself"-Interview by Maclaen Burningham, Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council member; story by Lauren Beyer, Rural Institute Project Assistant
Kirsten is a lively high school senior. She is quick to laugh and seems content in her skin. During her time at Big Sky High School, Kirsten has grown comfortable with her learning disability. She is not ashamed to talk about it and is willing to ask teachers for help if needed. Although she is light-hearted, she is also serious about reaching her goals.
Continue reading about Kristen on the Transition's newsletter.
This webinar will offer information that schools, service providers and families don't typically receive about guardianship. In addition, it will explore alternatives that can allow families to remain respectfully involved in their children's lives as they transition into adulthood. Supported decision-making, self-determination, and the importance of civic participation through activities such as voting will also be addressed.
Theresa Baldry, PLUK (Parents, Let's Unite for Kids)
Isaac Baldry, Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council Member
Beth Brenneman, Disability Rights Montana Staff Attorney
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM MDT
MISSOULA – Nina G, who bills herself as “The West Coast’s Only Female Stuttering Comedian,” will bring her one-woman show to the University of Montana this month.
The comedian, social activist and author, who also has a learning disability, will present “Going Beyond Inspirational” at 7 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the University Center Theater. The performance, sponsored by the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at UM, is free and open to the public.
“Going Beyond Inspirational” is based on Nina G’s real-life experiences. In a world where people with disabilities are often portrayed solely as being “inspirational,” or are otherwise presented through the filter of perceptions of people without disabilities, Nina G’s show is carefully crafted to validate the disability experience for people with and without disabilities. May address adult themes.
“There is an ongoing struggle of tending to be preachy but wanting to be funny at the same time,” she said. “I think that’s a balance that I really need to have. For the topic of disability, it’s especially important to use humor as a tool to open up dialogue, because people's defenses are so high.”
Nina G will present for 30 minutes, and then she will be joined by Mike Beers of Summit Independent Living Center in Missoula for a 30-minute panel discussion. The event will close with a 30-minute audience Q-and-A session.
View PDF of flyer
Ecology of Rural Disability
Principal staff: Craig Ravesloot, Ph.D., Tom Seekins, Ph.D., Tracy Boehm, M.P.H., Tannis Hargrove, M.S., Lillie Greiman, M.A.
People feel like they fit in rural communities based on the values they share with their neighbors and continue to live there despite the challenges associated with having limited resources such as access to public transportation. These challenges can be particularly difficult when a person has a disability. This project will look at the experience of disability in rural communities and its long term impact on individuals. Read more about Ecology of Rural Disability.
Members of the Montana Transition Training, Information and Resource Center (MT-TIRC) Advisory Board, themselves young adults with developmental disabilities, created this brochure to raise awareness of the mental health needs of youth with developmental disabilities and to suggest skills they think are important for mental health professionals to have when working with this population.
Inside you'll find:
- What Young Adults Want YOU to Know
- What Skills Should a Mental Health Therapist Have?
- Tips to Help You Feel Better While Experiencing Depression
- Track Your Healthy Lifestyle Choices
- Youth Mental Health Bill of Rights
MINDY RENFRO for the Missoulian
"As aggravating as it is to have to search for our keys, the real problem is our fear that we are heading down the "slippery slope" of one of the many types of dementia. Thankfully, this is not commonly the case. However, it is occurring at an alarming rate to our parents, family members, friends and neighbors – and it will include a significant number of those of us reading this article."
Andrew Myers uses circular graphs or “Circos graphs” as a visual tool to highlight relationships derived from large amounts of data from the American Time Use Survey. Circos graphs were initially used in the natural sciences to represent genome sequences, however, their utility for visualizing large data is particularly helpful for representing relationships between time use and transportation use among Americans with mobility impairments.
Andrew, a graduate student in Geography, assists Dr. Craig Ravesloot with this research project. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of having a mobility impairment on the way people use time and transportation. They found that people with mobility impairments spent less time working and more time watching TV. Furthermore, about half of everyone with severe mobility impairments didn’t go anywhere during the day, an issue that makes it difficult for people with mobility impairments to become involved in their communities.
Continue reading about Andrew and circular graphs