The University of Montana
Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, And Service
Welcome to the Rural Institute website. On our website we strive to provide useful resources and information on a variety of topics related to disabilities that we have explored through a multitude of projects. Please look through our Project Areas and Major Programs drop down menus to find more information about current and past projects and explore the resources available.
Adaptive Equipment for Outdoor Recreation Helps Make the Environment Accessible
Chris Clasby, a former employee of UM’s MonTECH (Montana's Assistive Technology Program), is featured in a recent Montana PBS episode of "Backroads of Montana.” You will see how Chris uses adaptive equipment to continue experiencing the outdoors after his accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.
Chris floats down the Missouri River on a modified raft using an adapted fishing rod that works off compressed air. He operates the casting and reeling with his chin. He moves the controller left and right to cast and presses down to reel in the line. “It's the same feeling I had when I fished before I had a disability. Disability does not define you. I’m still the same person I was. It's the same exact thing.” Read more about Chris Clasby and adaptive equipment for outdoor recreation.
Consumer Advisory Council Presents at Workshop
In November, ten University of Montana Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) members from Big Sandy, Columbia Falls, Helena, Polson, Missoula and Miles City traveled to Billings for the 2013 Montana Youth in Transition conference. Read more about the CAC workshop presentations.
Leadership Training in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Julia Hammond, a University of Montana doctoral student in Clinical Psychology with a neuropsychology and child & family emphasis, received a scholarship to attend the mid-November conference of the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD). Julia is preparing to work with children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as traumatic brain injury and autism. Read more about Julia's work.
Leadership Training with Families and Healthcare Providers
Bethany Rigles is the Montana State Coordinator for the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) consortium. Since 2006 over 20 UM students and parents have participated as trainees in the URLEND consortium, which originates at the University of Utah Medical School in Salt Lake City, UT. Read more about Bethany's leadership and training.