The newest Impact issue from the Institute on Community Integration & Research and Training Center on Community Living highlights the work people in Montana are doing to support wellness for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Connie Lewis, Rural Institute employee, and community partner Andrea Dahl, from Summit Independent Living Center in Missoula, are featured for their leadership and participation in 14 Weeks to a Healthier You, a fitness and nutrition program developed by the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD). Supported by the Montana Disability and Health Program at the Rural Institute, the 14 Weeks program addresses the need for health promotion and wellness opportunities for people with disabilities in Montana.
The Institute for Community Inclusion’s announcement of the new issue states:
“Wellness is a rapidly growing area of focus for Americans. But for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, access to wellness activities and programs can be limited. How can we open up participation? Find out in the just-released free publication, Impact: Feature Issue on Supporting Wellness for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Continue reading about the newest Impact issue
Interview by Maclaen Burningham, Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council Member; Story by Lauren Beyer, Rural Institute Project Assistant
I spoke with Malia nine days before her life was scheduled to change. In a short period of time, she will turn 18, graduate early from high school in Great Falls, move to Butte, and start her education at Job Corps in Anaconda. During her year of training, Malia hopes to become skilled as a brick layer. Her second and third choices are heavy equipment operator or carpenter.
Malia is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. When I asked if she was nervous about completing Job Corps as a teen with a disability, she assured me she was not.
Read more about Malia on the Transition & Employment Projectrs newsletter.
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.
"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.
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.
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
MISSOULA – 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