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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.

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Access like air says man with cerebral palsy


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.

Planning Your Transition from Pediatric to Adult Health Care - A Workbook to Help You Take Charge of Your Health

transition workbookWe are pleased to provide you this new publication designed for Montanans under age 30 living with special health care needs and/or a disability. It offers information about preparing for the transition from pediatric to adult health care, choosing medical providers, paying for services, taking responsibility for one’s own health, and much more. Ideally, the workbook will be used as a guide for conversations between youth, their parents, and their medical providers.

The workbook is a publication of the Transition and Employment Projects at the University of Montana Rural Institute, and was funded in whole or in part under a contract with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The statements contained in the publication do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Department.

The workbook is also available on the Transition and Employment Projects website ( as both a downloadable print-ready PDF file and as an accessible Word file.

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MGS/GCOA 2015 Annual Conference

Amongst many expert speakers, the MonTECH staff will be presenting two 90-minutes sessions on Assistive Technology to support older adults living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. Nationally-acclaimed keynote speakers will address the meeting including Howard Federoff, MD, Dena Shenk, PhD, and Patricia Coon, MD. To register to attend or be an exhibitor, please go to and follow the conference link.

“Winterize” to Prevent Falls: UM Faculty Highlights Guidelines for the Elderly

Beautiful, cold, dangerous. All of these words describe winter weather in Montana. For older Montanans, falls are a major cause of winter-related injuries and some deaths.

Dr. Mindy Renfro, a UM physical therapist and the Montana Adaptive Equipment Program Coordinator at the UM Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, wants to make this winter is safe, warm and wonderful for all Montanans. Her advice was recently highlighted in the December 2014 issue of Neurology Now. She advises older Montanans to maintain good vision, exercise regularly, and to evaluate homes for safety risks.

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The Science of Health and Wellness for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

University of Montana Rural Institute researchers are helping to set a national agenda on health and disability.  Dr. Kathleen Humphries, a nutrition researcher at the  Rural Institute and the UM School of Public and Community Health Sciences is among national leaders identifying what we know and what we need to know to reduce health disparities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A national team, including Dr. Humphries, met at the 2012 State of the Science Conference on Outcomes and Quality of Life in Community Living and Employment in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Students Awarded Research Scholarships

Lorraine Adams was awarded the Watkins Undergraduate Research Scholarship through the University of Montana Davidson Honors College for the spring semester of 2014. Using qualitative interviews, Lorraine is examining health literacy from a patient’s perspective.

Cathy Berendts was awarded the Watkins Undergraduate Research Scholarship through the University of Montana Davidson Honors College for spring semester of 2014. Cathy is examining data from the Pain Interference Patterns project collected by a UM Rural Institute ( research team and funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, (NIDRR; H133G110077).

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Students Learn about Assistive Technology

When Shy Iverson had to prepare a presentation about blindness for his Exceptionalities and Classroom Management class this past semester, he asked Julie Doerner for help. Julie is the Clinical Coordinator at the UM Rural Institute MonTECH program. Shy learned about Braille keyboards, special scanners, and other equipment that help students who are blind or have low vision. Shy said, "The presentation went over very well. We were able to present a wide variety of Assistive Technology devices to the class that broadened everyone's understanding of how teachers can and should approach blindness in a classroom."

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