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If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution to this program or have questions about how you can make a positive difference at the Rural Institute, please contact Martin Blair, the Rural Institute Executive Director. He can be reached at 406-243-4779 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Donations by Cash or Check

For donations by cash or check, please send to:
The UM Foundation
The Rural Institute
PO Box 7159
Missoula, MT 59807-7159

Checks should be made to: UM Foundation/Rural Institute

Please include in the Memo line: Donation to the Rural Institute

Tax deduction information will be sent to you by the UM Foundation.

Online Donation Form

Parking on campus instructions

A campus parking pass is required if you do not have a University parking decal. Please call 406-243-5467 to have a pass sent to you ahead of time.

You can also park in one of the reserved Rural Institute visitor parking spots and then come in and get a parking pass in Corbin Hall room 045.

For the ADA Accessible Parking spaces, the Office of Public Safety requires a state authorized disability parking permit as well as a standard University parking permit.


Publication: Access to, Use of and Attitudes Toward Telecommunication

Access to, Use of, and Attitudes Toward Telecommunication Among Rural VR Clients

Catherine Ipsen, PhD
Bethany Rigles, MA
Nancy Arnold, PhD
Tom Seekins, PhD


Telecommunication offers rural vocational rehabilitation (VR) clients a method of communicating with their VR counselor between face-to-face visits. Unfortunately, certain telecommunication methods may not be available to many rural VR clients or may pose barriers in the rehabilitation process. This article describes findings from an exploratory survey of 225 rural VR clients recruited from seven VR agencies across the United States. The mail-based survey explored client access to telecommunication, current telecommunication use during the VR process, and client attitudes about using telecommunication to receive VR services. Although 61% of respondents said they had personal access to a computer with Internet and 63% reported that email would be a “very” acceptable or “somewhat” acceptable method of communicating with their counselors, only 39% reported communicating via email with their counselors. Although a variety of factors play into the effectiveness of telecommunication as a VR service delivery mode, email communication might increase the frequency and productivity of VR client and counselor interactions.

Full Text available at

Ipsen, C.; Rigles, B.; Arnold, N.; Seekins, T. 2013. “Access to, Use of and Attitudes Toward Telecommunication Among Rural VR Clients.” Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin. Volume 56, Issue 3: pp. 172-181.

Publication: An Emerging Role for the Rehabilitation Psychologist

Ravesloot, C.; Seekins, T. 2012. “Chapter 8: An Emerging Role for the Rehabilitation Psychologist in Community Rehabilitation Service Delivery.” The Oxford Handbook of Rehabilitation Psychology, First Edition. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 143-159.

Publication: Participatory Action Research Designs…

Dr. Tom Seekins has a new publication in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Volume 94, Issue 1, Supplement, January 2013, Pages S20–S29:

Participatory Action Research Designs in Applied Disability and Rehabilitation Science: Protecting Against Threats to Social Validity.


Researchers and disability advocates have been debating consumer involvement in disability and rehabilitation science since at least 1972. Despite the length of this debate, much confusion remains. Consumer involvement may represent a spirit of democracy or even empowerment, but as a tool of science, it is necessary to understand how to judge its application. To realize consumer involvement as a design element in science, researchers need a framework for understanding how it can contribute to the scientific process. The thesis of this article is that a primary scientific function of consumer involvement is to reduce threats to the social validity of research, the extent to which those expected to use or benefit from research products judge them as useful and actually use them. Social validity has traditionally not been treated with the same rigor as concerns for internal and external validity. This article presents a framework that describes 7 threats to social validity and explains how 15 forms of consumer involvement protect against those threats. We also suggest procedures for reporting and reviewing consumer involvement in proposals and manuscripts. This framework offers tools familiar to all scientists for identifying threats to the quality of research, and for judging the effectiveness of strategies for protecting against those threats. It may also enhance the standing of consumer involvement strategies as tools for protecting research quality by organizing them in a way that allows for systematic criticism of their effectiveness and subsequent improvement.

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