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AUCD Executive Director Andrew Imparato visits RIIC

Andrew J Imparato and Marty Blair in a meeting with RTC:Rural

AUCD Executive Director Andrew J. Imparato, JD and Marty Blair in a meeting with RTC:Rural.

"Imparato's work has been recognized by the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Transportation, the US Junior Chamber of Commerce, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Association of the Deaf, and the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. He has testified nine times before Committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives and has been interviewed on a wide range of disability issues by national television, radio and print media."

The Rural Institute is part of the AUCD national network of over 100 university-based programs that conduct research, training and advocacy to improve the quality of life of children and adults with disabilities. We are excited and honored to have a visit from Mr. Imparato.

The Portal Periodical

The most recent issue of the Medical Home Portal's newsletter, The Portal Periodical, is nowonline.  The Periodical is published quarterly to provide updates on changes and additions to Portal, alert users to relevant news & information, and solicit feedback to improve the Portal.

In this issue (Click Here): 

  • The Portal Wants to Know Your Location
  • Utah Medical Home Portal Visitors Can Get More Help
  • How To Use the Portal Videos
  • Service Provider Lists
  • New & Updated Portal Content

Montana Autism Center Highlighted in AMCHP Overview

AMCHP (Association of Maternal & Child Health Program)Overview
2016-18 Learn the Signs. Act Early. State Systems Grants

Goals: Maintain/expand the state ASD/DD team partnerships and activities, with a focus on serving rural and remote communities and working in reservation-serving areas and through tribal health services

Activity Areas: Engage current partners in rural/ frontier communities, build their training capacity, then mentor them in the training process; Partner with the Montana Parent Training Information Center and Montana’s Children with Special Health Services Bureau to target the dissemination of print and electronic family-engaged developmental monitoring tools and resource information statewide; Focus screening (e.g., M-CHAT) training and resource dissemination activities on extreme rural/ frontier communities; Continue information dissemination through the virtual Montana Autism Center.

Project Leads: Martin Blair, Director, Montana UCEDD, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and Ann Garfinkle, LTSAE Ambassador, UM Dept. of Teaching and Learning
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Puzzle Pieces: Putting Together the Picture of Adult Life

Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM MDT

Have you ever done a jigsaw puzzle? You start with a pile of pieces and, one at a time, fit the pieces together so you can see the picture. Figuring out how your adult life will look is a bit like putting together a puzzle. Join presenters from the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities Consumer Advisory Council to explore pieces of adulthood such as mental health, transportation, college, recreation and more...and watch the puzzle take shape!

Intended audience: Youth and young adults with disabilities, parents and other family members, individuals who support young people in their transition to adult life

Presenters: Members of the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities Consumer Advisory Council

Register Today!
Reserve your webinar seat now at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2011406264028309763

Shelley's Three Loves of Life

shelley emerging leader

By Lauren Beyer, Rural Institute Project Assistant

Shelley is a 21-year-old young woman who lives in Missoula. She pursues an active life, filled with meaningful relationships, recreation, and a path towards employment.

Shelley was featured as an Emerging Leader a number of years ago when she was a junior in high school. Much has changed since then. She has matured beyond prom queen and water girl for the high school basketball team. She has started her own business. The road to this point has not always been easy, though.

Continue reading Shelley's story on the Transition and Employment Projects newsletter: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs152/1102150261897/archive/1124463084199.html

Success Stories from the Montana Disability and Health Program III

Living Well with a Disability Improves Health and Saves Money

darren larsen and michael o neilDarren Larson (right) and Michael O’Neil

“Living Well with a Disability has been a great experience. The 10-week program allows individuals with disabilities to create a healthy lifestyle plan, unique to their desires and strengths, to overcome every day and ongoing challenges, and to reach meaningful life goals. It is awesome!”
~Darren Larson, LWD Facilitator

Public Health Issue

People with disabilities compose about 20% of the U.S. population but account for nearly half of all medical expenditures. A combination of medical, rehabilitation, and community advancements have increased the life expectancy of people with disabilities. A challenge for public health is to ensure these added years are quality life years. The Living Well with a Disability (LWD) evidence-based CDC-sponsored health promotion program meets this challenge by reducing the effects of health problems and associated medical expenses for people with physical disabilities or mobility impairments.1

Program Overview    

A national study funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's  (CDC) Disability and Health Program indicated that a state would save approximately $81,000 to $240,000 above the cost of the LWD program when implemented with 240 participants each year. The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC:Rural), in partnership with MTDH, provides the organizational and facilitator training and technical assistance to Centers for Independent Living and other community agencies that implement LWD workshops. LWD teaches skills to manage health, solve problems, communicate with service providers, avoid frustration and depression, increase physical activity and nutrition, and maintain healthy lifestyle practices.

Making a Difference

From February 1995 to April, 2016, RTC:Rural staff trained 1,159 LWD facilitators in 46 states, who served more than 9,272 adults with disabilities. The vast majority of trained facilitators were located in 16 of the 18 states with *CDC Disability and Health programs (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/index.html).  Since 2002, 735 LWD facilitators in current and previous CDC Disability and Health funded states reached over 5,880 workshop participants, whose symptom-free days are estimated at having increased by 69,972 days. The estimated net benefit to healthcare payers is between $5.5 and $9.4 million

Shaping Tomrrow

Contact your state Department of Public Health and Human Services to discuss LWD as a possible Medicaid reimbursable service through the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver programs.

1Ravesloot C, Seekins T, Traci M, et al. Living Well with a Disability, a Self-Management Program. MMWR Suppl 2016; 65place_Holder_For_Early_Release:61–67. DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.su6501a10

Contact Information: Montana Disability and Health Program; Tracy Boehm, MPH; 52 Corbin Hall, Missoula, MT 59812; (406) 243-5741; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;  www.livingandworkingwell.org.

MTDH is a State Disability & Health Grantee of the Disability and Health Branch, Division of Human Development & Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MTDH is a partnership of the Montana DPHHS and the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive communities. More information is available at: http://mtdh.ruralinstitute.umt.edu    

© 2016 RTC: Rural. Opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the funding agency.

Montana Nutrition Physical Activity Program

Montana Disability Health Program

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Success Stories from the Montana Disability and Health Program II

Improving Individuals’ Nutritional Health with Menu-AIDDS

man in grocery store
At Eastern Montana Industries, group home manager Steve Amick used the MENU-AIDDs program to improve dietary offerings, but he did not stop there. He increased resident involvement in the menu planning by researching traditional native vegetables with several American Indian residents. They put several varieties of squash on the menu and learned new recipes together. This is a culturally competent increase in vegetable consumption—a winning solution.

Public Health Issue

Adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) are at increased risk for nutrition related chronic diseases and secondary conditions such as overweight, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies. Staffing issues and planning for multiple individual cultural and special dietary needs present challenges to maintaining food systems within to this population’s living situations that align with the American Dietary Guidelines.

Program Overview    

MENU-AIDDs was developed using community-based participatory research methods to ensure its acceptability and usability by group homes and individuals with disabilities. The program uses an ecological approach to health promotion, which means that it takes into consideration the many influences on nutritional choices and behavior. MENU-AIDDs’ dietary recommendations follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPlate food guidance system. It is not a therapeutic diet and does not need a doctor’s order to implement. MENU-AIDDs has been evaluated in an 8- and 16-week pilot trial and a 6-month public health dissemination (effectiveness trial) in Montana.

Making a Difference

To date, more than 160 community-based group homes for adults with IDD in Montana, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon have been trained to implement MENU-AIDDs. Training evaluations indicate that 99% of managers trained agreed that they were well prepared and confident to implement the program; 96% agreed the day of training was worth their time and effort, and 96% agreed that they were prepared to teach the concepts and procedures to their staff.

Because managers, staff, and residents now make the weekly home menus, the food systems have become more responsive to cultural food habits and resident preferences, grocery store sales and seasonal foods, residents’ special dietary needs, and their staff capacity. Significant improvements were found in homes that used MENU-AIDDs: healthfulness of planned menus dietary intake of individuals who lived there body weight of people who were overweight or obese and of people who were underweight gastrointestinal function.

Shaping Tomorrow

MTDH plans to partner with I/DD services providers, who are already using MENU-AIDDs successfully, to use the program as a base for introducing the Diabetes Prevention Program to adults with IDD. Such a linkage would likely allow evidence-based diabetes prevention programming to this population who are at increased risk for the chronic, expensive condition.
For more nutrition materials and information, visit the MTDH website at http://mtdh.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/Contact

Information: Montana Disability and Health Program; Meg Traci, PhD; 52 Corbin Hall, Missoula, MT 59812; (406) 243-4956; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MTDH is a State Disability & Health Grantee of the Disability and Health Branch, Division of Human Development & Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MTDH is a partnership of the Montana DPHHS and the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive communities. More information is available at: http://mtdh.ruralinstitute.umt.edu    

© 2016 RTC: Rural. Opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the funding agency.

Montana Nutrition Physical Activity Program

Montana Disability Health Program

Rural Institute brand mark For Inclusive Communities ftr

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A busy week in the Nation’s Capital!

Marty Blair and Jason B at US Capitol

Marty Blair and Jason Billehus were part of a Montana disability delegation to the 2016 Disability Policy Seminar earlier this week. They participated in a number of meetings and seminars focused on improving policies and programs for people with disabilities.Montana Coffee 2016 Marty Blair with Senators Tester, Daines and Representative Zinke They met with the Montana Congressional delegation and their staff: Senators Tester, Daines and Representative Zinke.

Success Stories from the Montana Disability and Health Program

kathie bach
“In older American towns, like Glendive, it’s important to realize that accessibility is needed and can continually be improved for a whole and healthy community.”
~ Kathie Bach, Glendive resident & MTDH Disability Advisor since 2003.

Public Health Issue

People with disabilities compose about 20% of the U.S. population but often are left out of community planning efforts. As communities organize to ‘…build active community initiatives’, persons with disabilities have significant roles in realizing a healthy community for all its members regardless of ability.

Program Overview    

The Montana Disability and Health (MTDH) Program recruits, trains and supports Disability Advisors who provide technical assistance and infuse disability inclusion and wellness goals in public health planning at state and local levels. The Montana Nutrition and Physical Activity (NAPA) Program’s Building Active Communities Initiative (BACI) is a project of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services in cooperation with Montana State University’s Office of Rural Health. With in-depth, interactive training, mentoring and ongoing technical assistance, NAPA’s Building Active Communities Initiative supports community-led approaches to develop active and healthy communities. MTDH Disability Advisors are involved in BACI planning and implementation in communities across Montana and are supported with data and resources (e.g., Montana BACI Disabilities Resources & Information, available at: http://www.umt.edu/sell/cps/baci/Disabilities%20Resources%20.php ).

Making a Difference

Active community policy resolutions have been adopted in eleven Montana towns to date. Examples of inclusive planning language in those policies include “accessible streets”, “safe and accessible routes”, “meet the needs of all users and abilities”, and “universal access to transit systems”. Community BACI Teams reported that a Disability Advisor testimony directed them to be more thoughtful about the inclusion of community members with disabilities in active communities work.

Dawson County is a rural county with a population nearly doubling the state rate in the past few years due to the oil boom in eastern Montana and North Dakota. In 2013, Dawson County sent a multi-sector leadership team representing the county and the city of Glendive to the first Montana BACI Action Institute. Soon after attending the Action Institute the Building Active Glendive (BAG) coalition was formed and currently has close to a dozen community leaders including the Mayor of Glendive, a county commissioner, the health department, Rotarians, planners and engineers as well as active community volunteers. Dawson County adopted a Complete Streets Policy in October 2014 that received national recognition, a third ranking among all complete streets policies passed nationwide in 2014. The City unanimously passed the “Safe and Accessible Streets” Policy for the City of Glendive in April 2015.

Contact Information: Meg Traci, PhD; 52 Corbin Hall, Missoula, MT 59812; (406) 243-4356; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MTDH is a State Disability & Health Grantee of the Disability and Health Branch, Division of Human Development & Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MTDH is a partnership of the Montana DPHHS and the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive communities. More information is available at: http://mtdh.ruralinstitute.umt.edu    

© 2016 RTC: Rural. Opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the funding agency.

Montana Nutrition Physical Activity Program

Montana Disability Health Program

Rural Institute brand mark For Inclusive Communities ftr

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AMCHP meeting in DC

The AMCHP meeting in DC last week was outstanding. Marty Blair, Director of the Rural Institute, attended the meeting and met some wonderful new people and connected with several Montana colleagues. Tarra Thomas, chair of the Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities was there and he had an opportunity to visit with AUCD staff, Ben and Shannon. He also had lunch with several Montana Title 5 staff. There was certainly no shortage of good ideas and talked about future collaborations.

 

RTC: Rural at the Association of American Geographers Conference

Lillie Andrew Association of American Geographers ConferenceAndrew Myers and Lillie Greiman were at a conference the last week of March and presented a couple posters on some of the research we have been working on (funded through the RTC: Rural and the RTC on Community Living in Kansas). The conference was the Association of American Geographers Conference in San Francisco and our posters were titled: The Geography of Home for People with Disabilities & Person-Environment Fit in Rural Communities: Toward and Ecology of Disability

You can learn about the Geography of Home Research at https://www.facebook.com/RTCILKansas/

Marty Blair presents at the State Policy Summit

Marty Blair presents at ASERTThe 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).

April 12th Webinar: Technology for All

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. 

Presenters:

  • 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.

Montana Programs make Impact

impact wellness coverThe 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

Emerging Leader Interview with Malia

malia emerging leaderInterview 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.

Emerging Leader Interview with Kirsten

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.

kristen"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.

 

Living Well Featured on CDC

Living Well with a Disability,a health promotion program for people with disabilities, was featured by the CDC in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) as an intervention to reduce health disparities experienced by people with disabilities.  It was developed nearly 25 years ago by researchers at the University of Montana, Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC:Rural) and Kansas University Research and Training Center on Independent Living with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).  The program focuses on the specific health self-management needs of people with disabilities by addressing and building skills to prevent and reduce secondary conditions.

Continue reading article on the RTC:Rural website

 

My Voice, My Choice, My Future - Webinar

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.

Presenters:
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

Registration

Nina G - Going beyond Inspirational

Nina G Going Beyond InspirationalMISSOULA – 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

 

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Advice for the Governor

Disability, Health and the Governor

Dr. Meg Traci was recently appointed by Montana Governor Steve Bullock to the Montana Community First Choice (CFC) Development and Implementation Council. The Council advises the Department of Public Health and Human Services on the development of an integrated home and community-based service system for Montana. The Community First Choice Option will enable more Montanans with disability to stay at home rather than entering nursing homes. The Council seeks input from consumers, family members, advocates, providers, and other stakeholders. Dr. Traci looks “forward to working on related projects with UM students and faculty colleagues," and acknowledges that "it is an honor to serve on the Council, and provide input on the development of CFC Option in Montana.” Dr. Traci’s expertise will contribute to the CFC person-centered planning process.

Continue reading Advice for the Governor

UM Improving Independence of People with Disabilities in South Korea

The independent living movement in South Korea is young, vibrant and ready to make South Korea accessible for all people with disabilities. In August, Dr. Craig Ravesloot, Director of Rural Health Research for the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities, supported that vision by conducting Living Well with a Disability facilitator training in Seoul. More than 85 staff and directors from Centers for Independent Living (CIL) attended the training.

Continue reading about South Korea

National Disability Employment Expert

Catherine Ipsen at deskNational expert on disability and employment? We’ve got it.

Dr. Catherine Ipsen was among a select few recently invited to present her research findings at the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The presentation and subsequent meeting with national leaders in disability and employment was focused on the translation of research findings to practice. According to Ipsen it was “an incredible experience to spend a day with leading researchers in the field -- the people I reference in my own work and look to for guidance in an evolving field.”

Continue reading about disability and employment

Access to outdoor recreation is the goal of the UM MonTECH Recreation program

 MonTECH Outdoor Recreation Lee Bastion and Kathy LaurinFor the past several years, MonTECH director Kathy Laurin and her staff have been compiling accessibility information for Montana public recreation lands. During the summer of 2013, Lee Bastian, who recently retired as a Regional Park Manager for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, evaluated recreation sites in western Montana to see how accessible they are… or aren’t, for people with disabilities.

Continue reading about outdoor recreation