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Webinar Series

6-26-2017 Webinar Save the Date

Please join us for this 1.5 hour webinar from the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) at the American Association on Health Disability. Topics to include: ACA Marketplace client resources and questions, disability etiquette, and accessibility considerations throughout the enrollment process.
June 26, 2017 - 1:00PM MT/3:00PM ET

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Community Investment Fund Applications

For current information on the Community Investment Fund, please visit http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/community-investment-fund

Applications for the 2017 Community Investment Fund are now being accepted! The Community Investment Fund is made available annually for innovative projects that help people with disabilities live, learn, work and play in their communities alongside people without disabilities. Any Montana organization, agency, non-profit group, or individual with a creative idea to promote community inclusion is eligible to apply.

Meet Aaron, a new Emerging Leader

Aaron - Featured Emerging Leader

By Lauren Beyer, Rural Institute Project Assistant

"Unlike most teenagers, Aaron looks forward to school every day. His favorite class is history, especially learning about the English colonies.  He does not shy away from the social aspects of school, either. He has many friends."

Read more about Aaron.

Montana Alzheimer’s State Plan

Montana Alzheimer's & Dementia state planMontana to build dementia-capable programs for the growing number of people with Alzheimer's and related dementias.

On Monday, June 20, 2016, the Montana Alzheimer’s/Dementia Work Group is joining with Governor Bullock to introduce the Montana’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia State Plan: Addressing the Current and Future Needs of Individuals and Families with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. This is a thorough examination and set of recommendations to confront the sweeping economic and social impact of Alzheimer’s disease for Montanans. A companion website housing the Montana’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia State Plan with links to available resources and added information is at www.MTAlzPlan.org.

Visit MTAlzPlan.org to learn more.

Movin’ On in MT Summer Camp- 4 spots just opened up!

Movin On Logo

Movin’ On in Montana, a transition seminar for high school students with disabilities will be taking place on the University of Montana campus. This year, we are doing 2 sessions, serving 40 students total.  We just had a few more spots open up, and we are hopeful you may know someone to refer.

First session: June 27-30, accepting 3 additional students.

Second session: July 11- 14, accepting 1 additional student.

Cost: Free!

Eligibility: Montana high school students, sophomore-senior year, with a disability.

Continue reading about Movin' On

Transition and Employment Featured Emerging Leader

chris hayes

Perfection Is Impossible, So Go with It
By Chris Hayes

I'm Chris and I'm writing my own story, so I'm choosing to go off script in terms of the interview questions. My life was affected by a traumatic brain injury. An injury that left me unable to see, speak or move. Over time and with therapy I was able to recover these abilities to a degree, bur still nowhere close to the Chris I once was. My vision has mostly returned, but I track things more slowly. My voice is a constant struggle as my mouth is unable to say the things my brain wants to say. This makes communication very difficult for me, but eventually I can get my point across, just not in the way I want.

Continue reading Chris's story

Aging Out: Autism in Montana

aging out autism in Montana

You can watch this PBS program "Aging Out: Autism in Montana" if you missed it on TV.

"Each year, more children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, but the framework of care drastically changes for them after adolescence. The tidal wave of children transitioning into adulthood leaves many families on a search for help and structure. Follow Montana families as they recognize their fears and explore their options for the future."

Wheels Across Montana

Wheels Across Montana is a grant-funded health promotion project, made possible by the Reeve Foundation, to promote physical activity, physical and mental health and quality of life for Montanans living with a variety of disabilities. Through the selection, purchase and distribution of adaptive bikes and trikes in 4 key areas of Montana, and working with select community partners to assure creative outreach and all-inclusive recreational programs, we will increase physical activity and social interaction.

Program sites will include Fort Peck Tribes, Billings, Dillon and Missoula. In each region, one medical center/provider is partnered with a recreation program provider to assure that people with disabilities are aware of the program and able to access the recreational equipment that is best suited for their needs. A statewide advisory group of adults living with disabilities is assisting in selection of equipment and program delivery.

 

Bob Liston, RTC: Rural Researcher and Advocate, Retires

Bob Liston 2014 DiverseUBob Liston, a long time disability rights activist, and a research associate for RTC: Rural, is retiring.  Bob began his work at the RTC in 2008 with a focus on nursing home emancipation for people with disabilities, and over the last seven years has participated in research on violence and abuse against men with disabilities and helped develop a peer training program for Centers for Independent Living.  His most recent project was conducting outreach to disability stakeholders to get their input on RTC research projects and product development.

Continue reading more about Bob at: http://rtc.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/bob-liston-rtc-rural-researcher-and-advocate-retires/

Involving Consumers in Disability Research

man in wheel chair using computer 200x300Involving consumers in disability research helps ensure the products of research are relevant and useful.  Research and Training Centers across the country work hard to incorporate consumers into the research process and are mandated to do so by their primary funding agency, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, (NIDILRR).  This mandate for consumer involvement is crucial, not only to make sure research actually benefits people with disabilities but also to support and affirm nothing about us without us, the Independent Living Movement’scall to action for consumer involvement at all levels of research and service.

Continue reading more on the RTC:Rural website.

Standing is Critical for Bone Health, Digestion, Mental Health

Oftentimes, people who primarily depend upon wheelchairs for their mobility spend their day sitting in the wheelchair and their nights lying in bed. Our long bones require two forces in order to be healthy: weight bearing against gravity and muscle pull.

Without these forces, our bones weaken and can eventually fracture easily during simple daily activities. Standing improves breathing, digestion, and spinal alignment. Standing helps to prevent circulation issues, obesity, skin breakdown, and idiopathic bone fractures. Standing allows people to be on eye-level during social interactions.

Everybody – adult or child -  needs to stand on their feet part of every day. There are simply no exceptions to this rule. With some people, this requires assistance, special equipment and/or additional motivators. Sometimes, when people with IDD move from school to their adult life, this part of their daily routine is lost. We must all work together to restore safe and healthy standing and physical activity to everyone’s daily routines. Before beginning a new activity, always check with the primary care provider on the team.

Continue reading message from Mindy

RTC:Rural - Accessibility Promotes Participation

Girl standing with her grandmother sitting in a wheelchair 87388731 200x300Accessibility features of public and private spaces ensure that people with disabilities can fully participate in life activities.  Researchers at RTC: Rural have been studying accessibility in the context of events and other community settings to see how people with disabilities are included in all the activities a community has to offer.

While the need for hospitals, grocery stores and schools to be accessible is widely recognized, we don’t always consider the accessibility of the places in which people recreate.  Participation isn’t just limited to the basic necessities of daily life such as medical visits and shopping.  Opportunities for socialization and outdoor recreation are just as important.

Read the recent news post on the RTC: Rural website.

The Older Americans Act: Aging Well Since 1965

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act (OAA) into law in July 1965. Over the past 50 years, the Act has provided a national network of aging services and funding that helps older adults to live and thrive in communities of their choice for as long as possible. These services include home-delivered and congregate meals, caregiver support, preventive health services, transportation, job training, elder abuse prevention, and so much more. This milestone anniversary is a time to celebrate the ways the OAA has impacted the lives of older adults and their families across the nation. But it also provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of OAA-funded programs, inclusive community living, and healthy aging.

OAA50 WebBadgeMediumSquareThe theme for the 50th anniversary of the OAA is Get into the Act. Visit their website for outreach materials to educate and inspire others in your community.

Knowledge Translation-What Is It?

Knowledge translation refers to the practice of getting research off the shelves and into the hands of those who can benefit from it.  Originating in the health sciences, knowledge translation activities focus not only on the implementation of research but translating research results into useable, understandable formats to benefit both service providers and consumers. In order to make sure disability research conducted at RTC: Rural will be useful and relevant once the project is complete and to enhance the success of knowledge translation activities, we involve consumers in project development right from the start.

Read more about RTC:Rural knowledge translation.

Fishing Derby

Montana’s outdoors are some of the most beautiful natural landscapes on earth. Unfortunately many Montanans have a difficult time enjoying all the outdoors has to offer due to physical limitations. MonTECH is an organization that uses state funding and grants to loan assistive technology to Montanans in need.

Recently MonTECH joined up with the Missoula Parks and Recreation department to put on a series of youth fishing derbies. During 2 sessions between 70 and 90 families participated in the derby fishing in the Clark Fork river in Missoula. During the event Parks and Rec. taught sustainable fishing practices to the youth and their families. They even awarded prizes for biggest and smallest fish, as well as prettiest and ugliest fish.

Continue reading about MonTECH Recreation

Rick Heitz - building up the advocacy network in Montana

The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities is looking forward to working with Rick Heitz. Rick is the Montana State Coordinator for Pacific Alliance for Disability Self-Advocacy (PADSA), visit: http://autisticadvocacy.org/chapters/padsa/

Here are Rick’s own words about himself: “I became involved in the disability community when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s in April 2008. I have many of the symptoms of MS (Multiple Sclerosis) which is a slow degenerating disease.

Continue reading about Rick