Skip to Main Content

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.


In-Person Professional Development Opportunities

Pre ETS TAC 72dpi
Register now for these free upcoming workshops in a community near you!

Systematic Instruction Training
June 15, 16, and 17, 2016 (8:30 AM-4:30 PM)
Holiday Inn Downtown, 200 S. Pattee St., Missoula, MT
June 20, 21, and 22, 2016 (8:30 AM-4:30 PM)
Bitterroot River Inn, 139 Bitterroot Plaza Dr., Hamilton, MT
July 13, 14, and 15, 2016 (8:30 AM-4:30 PM)
25 West Silver St., Butte MT
Continue reading post for more information and registration.

New article by Mindy Renfro in the Rural Connections Spring 2016 publication

Happy senior coupleHope for the Best and Plan for the Worst
Can You Age-in-Place in YOUR Home?

The Western Rural states are aging. It is expected that by 2025,  Montana’s population will be the fourth oldest state in the union. It’s also estimated that by 2030, Montana will be one of ten states in the country to have more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 18, and it will be one of only six states to have 25 percent of its population aged 65 and older.

Policy makers are reshaping Medicare; politicians are trying to protect Social Security... but what are each of us doing to be sure that we can age-in-place in our own homes? Each day, 10,000 Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are celebrating their 65th birthday and joining the ranks of “older adults.”

RuralConnections - A publication of the Western Rural Development Center, Spring 2016

MonTECH Welcomes a New Director

anna margaret goldman2Dr. Anna-Margaret Goldman recently completed her PhD in Higher Education Administration at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. However, she is no stranger to Montana. She has lived in Missoula part time since 2009. Her most recent position was Prevention Specialist at C.S. Porter Middle School. Prior to that she was responsible for growing a university mentoring program at the University of Alabama. She brings excellent skills in developing campus/community relationships.

We are delighted to have her as a member of the Rural Institute’s Leadership Team and as a community-focused colleague. Please join us in welcoming Anna-Margaret to the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities.

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.

The Portal Periodical

The most recent issue of the Medical Home Portal's newsletter, The Portal Periodical, is now online.  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
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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:

More Articles ...