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  • For Inclusive Communities

    The Rural Institute improves the skills, abilities and quality of life of people with disabilities, and those who serve and support them, in rural communities throughout Montana and United States.

    Independence...Inclusion...Integration

  • Independence

    We teach how assistive technology helps people live more independently at home, school, work, and in the community.

    We conduct research to improve employment outcomes, economic status, and independence for people with disabilities in rural areas.

  • Inclusion

    We develop and evaluate innovative health promotion activities in rural areas in Montana and throughout the United States. Our goal is to help people with physical or mental limitations learn to “live well and safely” in their own homes and communities.

  • Integration

    Our Early Childhood programs offer on-going education and training to childcare providers, families, and to teachers of young children with disabilities.

    We provide Education and Interdisciplinary Training across the human service and education systems in Montana.

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Promoting the quality of life for people with disabilities in rural communities in Montana and the United States

UM 72 2Since 1978, the University of Montana Rural Institute has worked to improve the skills, abilities, and quality of life of people with disabilities in rural communities, including their families and those who serve and support them.

For Inclusive Communities

Rural Institute initiatives focus on promoting independence, productivity, integration and community inclusion in rural and frontier communities.
 
Major activities include:

  1. providing training of personnel who serve and educate individuals with disabilities and their families;
  2. research and evaluation to assist people with disabilities to lead healthy, productive lives in their communities;
  3. community supports and services including training and technical assistance;
  4. dissemination of information to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families living in rural areas;
  5. and, leveraging current funding sources by developing and submitting grant and contract applications, and recovering costs associated with the delivery of services.

In all we do, we involve stakeholders as advisors so activities are consumer-responsive, family-focused, and sensitive to the cultural heritage and values of people with disabilities and their families.


University of Montana Rural Institute - A Year in Review July 2014 to June 2015

Rural Institute Annual Report July 2014 to June 2015Growth and diversity define 2015. We expanded our training, employment, healthy living and aging-related activities, and grew our program serving Montana American Indians. Activities, revenues and staff grew more than 5% from 2014. A significant outcome of this growth has been expanded relationships with state, national and international colleagues with similar interests.

Strong collaborative relationships help us accomplish our consumer-driven mission: “improving the skills, abilities, and quality of life of people with disabilities in rural communities, including their families and those who serve and support them.” The numbers we share are just part of the story. The real story is how our nationally recognized faculty, staff and students are making a positive difference in individual lives across Montana and beyond.

Marty E. Blair, PhD, Executive Director

View Rural Institute A Year in Review PDF

View Rural Institute A Year in Review HTML

 

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

Statewide Collaboration to Improve ASD Initiatives in Montana Poster

Rural Institute MTAutism poster for AUCD presentation

The Montana Autism Center provides practical assistance, demonstrates proven techniques, and trains direct service staff.

  • Family Outreach (Helena) uses “Milestone” booklets as a discussion guide for each home visit.
  • The Part C agency renamed itself “Montana Milestones Part C Intervention” to capitalize on the LTSAE milestones concept
  • UCEDD and Ambassador meet bimonthly to plan and implement training and develop resources.

Continue reading poster information for Statewide Collaboration to Improve ASD

Access like air says man with cerebral palsy

by ISAAC BALDRY

Recently, I was contacted by Apostrophe magazine, to see if I was interested in putting something together about “access”. My first thoughts were access is a huge topic. I thought I should follow up with a few questions. Turns out, they wanted me to follow up on my statement, “To me access is like air, I need every day and all the time.”

Interestingly enough, the ADA and I are about the same age, we both turn 25 this year. I am part of that first generation to have always expected access to be a part of our lives. I grew up believing that I could and should be able to do everything anyone else did. If something didn’t work one way for me, I just needed to spend a little time thinking about, another way to accomplish the same thing. It wasn’t important how I did whatever, it was important that I was able to participate and be a part of whatever.

PLEASE NOTE: The Apostrophe Magazine website will let you view the article once, but once you leave the page, you can't go back without having to subscribe.

Isaac Baldry has served on the Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council since 2008.

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Community Investment Fund

The Community Investment Fund is made available annually for innovative projects that help people with disabilities live, learn, work and play in their communities alongside people without disabilities. This year, Summit Independent Living Center (ILC) was the recipient of the Community Investment Fund.

Summit ILC, in collaboration with BASE (a project offering a safe place to learn and display the arts and advocacy), Missoula’s Homegrown Comedy (a group of local comics), A Paper Crane (an education-through-arts organization) and the Crystal Theatre, will use the small cash award for “Missoula LIVE!!”, a ten-week communication-through-improvisation program that will culminate in a live comedy/variety show.

Happenings at Rural Institute

Major Programs within the Rural Institute

 

  • montech
  • rtc
  • mt autism center logo
  • Montana Disability Health
  • transistion-employment
  • mt id deaf blind
  • childcareplus
  • TTEAM
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  • WorkingWell 72dpi rgb
  • Telecom Toolbox
  • HPE - Health Plans for Employment