Skip to Main Content
  • Home
  • 40th Year Driving Change Changing Lives

40th Year: Driving Change. Changing Lives.

Did you know ...

AIDTACThe American Indian Disability Technical Assistance Center (AIDTAC) opened its doors in 2000. It provided information, training and technical assistance to VR and employment support staff for 8 years. Funding for the Technical Assistance on Native American Culture project (TANAC) project was discontinued in 2008.


Marty in meeting in KenyaDid you know ...

Over the past 10 years, Rural Institute staff has had an international presence in Peru, South Korea, New Zealand, and Kenya.



MATOR - Raft on beach, man in wheelchair fishing and man using hunting scopeDid you know ...

In 2009, equipment to help Montanans participate in wildlife viewing, fishing and hunting was secured through a Montana Access To Outdoor Recreation (MATOR) project. This program, started by Kathy Laurin, was eventually absorbed by MonTECH. Assistive technology for recreation continues to be available via MonTECH, the Missoula Parks & Recreation MORE program and Wheels Across Montana.

Parks and Rec:
Wheels Across Montana:


Did you know ...

Infant with bowl of pudding.During its first decade, the Rural Institute's focus was research and training in the areas of developmental disabilities and early childhood. Montana's early childhood and early intervention systems were a national model after which Part H (now Part C) of the federal special education law were organized.


RTC:Rural and Tom SeekinsDid you know ...

In the late 80s, Rick Offner, the second Rural Institute director, proposed a new center to the Montana Board of Regents that drew together the Research and Training Center (RTC) and the Rural Institute. Rick hired Tom Seekins as the first RTC research director.  Tom's office was in the same building he lived in as a college freshman.

RTC: Rural:


1978 2018 - Research Service Education

Did you know ...

The official name of the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities is the "Montana University Affiliated Rural Institute on Disabilities" or MUARID. In 2013, we unofficially updated the name to Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) to more accurately describe our work.


RIIC FY2017Did you know ...

The Rural Institute has been awarded $168,611,362 over the last 40 years. The 2004 and 2005 budget years were the highest with total awards of $9.6M and $9.3M, respectively. The average annual budget over the Institute's lifetime is just over $4.2 million. FY 2017 PDF


2012-MonTECH-TEP-MTRoadmap-Young man working at computer

Did you know ...

2012 was a pivotal grant year.

  • The Rural Institute became the first PCORI grant recipient in the intermountain west
  • The Emerging Leaders program started publishing stories to expand the vision of what's possible for youth with developmental disabilities
  • MonTECH was awarded $1 million to start the Montana Assistive Technology Loan program with Rural Dynamics, Inc. in Great Falls.


Meg TraciDid you know ...

The Montana Disability and Health Program began in 2002. It was built on a foundation of some of the first health and wellness interventions for populations with disabilities. Rural Institute researchers designed these interventions with many disability and public health partners in Montana and other states the 1990s. Today, MTDH is one of 19 CDC state funded programs in the country. Meg Traci has directed the MTDH program from the beginning. In 2014, Meg was invited to participate in the White House Summit and Research Forum on Improved Health and Fitness for Americans with Disabilities. In 2015, Dr. Traci was invited to serve on the CDC National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental and the Division of Human Development and Disability, Disability and Health Branch Expert Panel.