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Helen Russette on the value of visitable homes

How visitable homes benefit you and your community

Helen Russette for the Missoulian, May 5, 2016

"A home is foundational to our well-being. For most, our home provides us with a sense of security, safety, and a place where we most often spend time with our loved ones. To me, this means having a roof over my head, safe running water, protection from weather extremities, and creating memories with my family and friends. We all define and describe what home means to us in different ways, but we share the common understanding that home is at the core of our daily lives. Purchasing or renting a home tends to be the single greatest expenditure Americans make. Our home can also play a role in shaping our health and well-being.

However, as we and our loved ones continue to live longer than our parents and grandparents before us, we can also expect to experience disability, such as mobility limitations that require assistive equipment like a wheelchair, walker, or cane. When homes include steps to the main entrance, have no bathroom on the first floor, and the door widths are too narrow to accommodate a wheelchair, our home, our very core, is disrupted and negative consequences can occur."

Continue reading visitable homes on the Missoulian.

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.

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:

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:

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