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Improving life for rural Americans with disabilities

University of Montana Rural Institute

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

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

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A Parent’s Perspective: Learn the Signs. Act Early.

faces of 4 babies with tagline Act Early

The Rural Institute (RI) is working with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to support early identification of development delays in children, ages 0-5, using the Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE) health education program. We are featuring guest blog posts written by Montana State University Nursing students that promote the Learn the Signs. Act Early program. The post below is the first in a series.

My name is Katherine Jones. I am an MSU Nursing student working alongside local LTSAE ambassadors, stakeholders and fellow nursing students Nate Goodwin and Logan Robinson. We have teamed up with the Rural Institute with the goal raising awareness of LTSAE in our community as well as throughout Montana.

Continue reading about this parent's perspective

Webinar: Promoting Work Experiences for Students

Andrew Lowney, Lillian McGinn, and Sheri Devlin

Join presenters Andrew Lowney, Sheri Devlin, and Lillian McGinn to Learn about Promoting Work Experiences for Students: Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) in Montana. This webinar will introduce families and professionals to the concept and help them understand how to access Pre-ETS. Participants will learn how Vocational Rehabilitation, high schools, Community Rehabilitation Programs, Independent Living Centers, universities and other programs are working together to help students with disabilities prepare for life after high school. Presenters will share examples of how students with the most significant impact of disability are receiving Pre-ETS. There will be a special focus on Pre-ETS for students with hearing and/or vision loss. 

OPI renewal unit credit is available.

Date: December 3rd, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:30 Mountain Time

Webinar: Developing Talents, Strengths and Interests to Discover a Dream for Tomorrow

Kim and Alana Norris-Scrano in Library

After an alarming "SLAM, SLAM, SLAM," Kim often comments to complete strangers how her daughter, Alana's, perfect job would be testing the durability of new products for Anderson Windows and Doors. This one-liner joke is quite successful in bringing smiles to previously startled faces, but there's quite a bit of truth to it. Alana was born with complex multiple disabilities, so Kim has known for years that her daughter's path to employment would be unique.  In this webinar, you will learn how to open the floodgates of possibility for individuals like Alana by seeing the potential in their preferred tasks. OPI renewal unit credit is available.

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Major Programs within the Rural Institute