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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.

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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.

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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

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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. 

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