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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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View PDF of Annual Report FY 2019

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Webinar: Customized Employment

Cheri Reed-Anderson

In this webinar, Cheri Reed-Anderson and Ellen Condon will introduce audience members to Customized Employment, illustrate how this strategy can support access to community employment for students with significant disabilities, and share information about how to access Customized Employment through Vocational Rehabilitation in Montana.

Date: January 14, 2021
Time: 1:00-2:30 Mountain Time

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

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