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The Least Restrictive Approaches to Supporting Individuals as Decision Makers

fact sheet thumbnailThe Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities is pleased to share a fact sheet on alternative approaches to guardianship.

The Rural Institute has worked on issues surrounding guardianship for many years. In the late 2000s, Rural Institute staff members Marsha Katz and Ellen Condon, and Theresa Baldry, who was working for PLUK (Parents, Let’s Unite for Kids) at the time, collaborated with various community partners and created tools and resources focused on alternatives to guardianship.

Ms. Baldry, who now works at the Rural Institute as a Project Coordinator for Transition and Employment Projects and the Montana Deaf-Blind project, stated:

Read more about RIIC Fact Sheet

2019 Community Investment Fund Recipient

In 2015, the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) established the Community Investment Fund (CIF). CIF awards support innovative projects or programs that help Montanans with disabilities live, learn, work and play alongside people without disabilities. Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) members use their leadership and advocacy skills to review each application, evaluate the merits of each proposal, and award the funds.

mILpThe 2019 CIF award goes to the Montana Independent Living Project (mILp) for their Feel Great and Recreate – All-Ability Adaptive Ice Skating project. The all-ages program will offer people in the Helena area adaptive, inclusive, cross-disability programming. This is especially important during the winter months, when it can be difficult for people with disabilities to recreate with others in their community.

mILp’s goal is for individuals with and without disabilities to have fun ice skating. According to their CIF application:

“This could include a public skate, a birthday party, a recreational hockey program, or a competitive sled-hockey team. We are also targeting parents and family members of children with disabilities looking for a fun family adventure. We envision a family with a child who is unable to stand and skate to be able to join their family on the ice instead of having to watch from the sideline. The purpose is to give people with a disability an opportunity to get out of their homes and join their neighbors in an inclusive environment as they build confidence, develop new skills, learn to work as a team, exercise and socialize.”

The Rural Institute and CAC thank all 2019 CIF applicants, and send congratulations to the 2019 recipient!

20th Annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference

20th Annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference logo

20th Annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference: Transition from Pediatric to Adult-Based Care

Attend the live broadcast in Billings or Missoula October 24-25, 2019. (There is no charge to participate.)

Broadcast schedule:
Thursday, October 24th
7:00 AM – 11:00 AM MDT
12:15 PM – 3:10 PM MDT

Friday, October 25th
7:15 AM – 10:45 AM MDT
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM MDT

Read more about the conference

Egyptian University Officials Leave Montana with a Plan to Provide Services to Students with Disabilities

Woman presenting with Power Point slideThis September, the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities and University of Montana Disability Services for Students (DSS) hosted a study tour for 17 representatives from five Egyptian universities and the Ministry of Education. The purpose of the study tour was to strengthen the capacity of Egyptian university staff to administer newly established Disability Support Centers and ensure equal access to higher education for university students with disabilities.

The tour was funded by AMIDEAST, an American non-profit organization focused on international education and development activities in the Middle East, and USAID who aims to improve equality for people with disabilities in Egypt. Helm, a social enterprise in Cairo, Egypt which promotes inclusion of people with disabilities, was also an organizing partner.

Read more about Egyptian visit

Webinar: Translating the Information Learned in Discovery into Characteristics of a Well-matched Work Experience

On Tuesday, November 12, Ellen Condon and Theresa Baltry will host the final webinar in a 3 webinar series to talk about how to translate what you have observed and learned during the work experience (or other Discovery activities) into a plan for additional work experiences and/or a blueprint for the student's well-matched job.

More about the November 12th webinar

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