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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

 

Living Well with a Disability highlighted in CDC Weekly Updates

LivingWell with a Disability

RTC: Rural Living Well with a Disability program was featured in the recent CDC Disability and Health Weekly Updates.

“CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, in collaboration with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) has published a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) supplement looking at health interventions that are evidence-based and/or show promise in reducing health differences affecting certain population groups, including people with disabilities at the local and national levels. One of the highlighted interventions is Living Well with a Disability, a program developed by University of Montana in partnership with the national network of Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and with support from CDC’s Disability and Health Branch. This program helps people with disabilities learn skills to manage their health by teaching goal-setting and problem solving skills that help them remove barriers to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

Visit CDC Disability and Health Weekly Updates to read more of the article.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities

UM's Rural Institute Reaches Out to Families in Southwest Montana

Milestone Moments booklet cover“500 ‘Milestones’ booklets and 500 ‘Track Your Child’s Developmental Milestones’ brochures,” was the request from staff of Family Outreach Region IV, Inc., a private non-profit agency providing home-based education and support services to individuals throughout southwest Montana who have disabilities or developmental delays.

Family Outreach, Inc. staff teach families and friends how to teach skills to children and adults with special needs. Staff recognized immediately the benefit of the Learn the Signs. Act Early resources, Milestones Moments and Track Your Child’s Developmental Milestones. “We put a copy of the booklet and brochure in every family orientation packet,” says Jackie Mohler, a program manager. “When our staff make home visits, they use the booklets as a starting place for discussion with parents and families. The milestones are a way for us to talk about their child’s development in a non-threatening way,” she adds.

Continue reading RIIC reaching out to families

Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) Technical Assistance Center

Pre ETS TACA new resource is now available for transition services in the state of Montana. Through a contract with Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services, the Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) Technical Assistance Center will provide technical assistance to schools, Tribes, and VRBS staff regarding Pre-ETS for high school students.
 
Students with disabilities are eligible for Pre-ETS if they receive special education services from the high school, have a Section 504 Plan from the high school, or have any disability recognized and not served through the high school. The student may receive Pre-ETS services beginning the academic year in which the student turns sixteen years of age and ending when the student is no longer enrolled in high school for reasons such as graduation, dropping out, or exiting high school for any reason.

Continue reading about Pre-ETS

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Planning Your Transition from Pediatric to Adult Health Care: A Workbook to Help You Take Charge of Your Health

In December 2013, we created this workbook for Montanans under age 30 living with special health care needs and/or a disability. It offers information about preparing for the transition from pediatric to adult health care, choosing medical providers, paying for services, taking responsibility for one’s own health, and much more. The workbook is intended to be used as a guide for conversations between youth, their parents, and their medical providers.

Printed copies of the workbook were distributed in the spring and summer of 2014. It is also available on the Transition and Employment Projects website (http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/transition/articles.asp).

We are preparing to update and revise the workbook and seek your input on what needs to be changed, added, removed, kept exactly “as is,” etc. We estimate the survey will take 10-20 minutes to complete. You may print out and write your answers on the hard copy survey, or complete the survey online at: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2587418/Health-Care-Transition-Guide-Customer-Satisfaction-Survey

Continue reading Customer Satisfaction Survey

RIIC longest-serving staff member retires after 32 years of service

The longest-serving staff member of the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities recently retired after 32 years of service. We wanted to take advantage of Joyce’s institutional knowledge. In her own words, we asked her to record her memories of the early days.

I started at the Montana University Affiliated Program Satellite in October 1978 in Helena (Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education) and was the second staff to be hired, after the Director. 

After touring the 3 state’s universities, Missoula was selected to be home for the Rural Institute.  In June 1979, the four-member staff moved to Missoula and shared a rental house near the university. 

Coninue reading Joyce's memories

University of Montana Rural Institute For Inclusive Communities

Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, and Service

The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) is committed to creating better lives for rural people with disabilities and their families. With innovative services, training and research, RIIC strives to improve independence and participation of people with disabilities in everyday activities and all aspects of the community.

The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities is one of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” - Hellen Keller


Featured Program/Product: RTC Rural

Research projects at RTC: Rural focus on community participation and independent living, health & wellness, and employment and vocational rehabilitation.  Research products include: Living and Working Well with a Disability, health promotion programs for people with disabilities; Telecom Toolbox, a resource for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors; and the Transportation Voucher program available from the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL).

LivingWorkingWell 72dpi rgb

  • Living Well helps participants to set and reach quality-of-life goals by developing a healthy lifestyle.
  • Working Well builds on the concepts introduced in the Living Well program but focuses on improving health in preparation for, or maintaining, employment.

toolbox logo

Telecom Toolbox supports career development professionals and job seekers in using online tools. 

  • Communication
  • Online Career Development
  • Ethics

Transportation Voucher

  • Our research suggested that a major cause of the lack of transportation in rural communities is the lack of resources for transportation.
  • Our partner, APRIL, conducted a national evaluation of the voucher model and provides a toolkit for implementing the program on its website.