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Adaptive Equipment for Outdoor Recreation Helps Make the Environment Accessible

Chris Clasby, a former employee of UM’s MonTECH (Montana's Assistive Technology Program), is featured in a recent Montana PBS episode of "Backroads of Montana.” You will see how Chris uses adaptive equipment to continue experiencing the outdoors after his accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.

Chris floats down the Missouri River on a modified raft using an adapted fishing rod that works off compressed air. He operates the casting and reeling with his chin. He moves the controller left and right to cast and presses down to reel in the line. “It's the same feeling I had when I fished before I had a disability. Disability does not define you. I’m still the same person I was. It's the same exact thing.”

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Leadership Training in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Julia Hammond

Julia Hammond, a University of Montana doctoral student in Clinical Psychology with a neuropsychology and child & family emphasis, received a scholarship to attend the mid-November conference of the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD). Julia is preparing to work with children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as traumatic brain injury and autism.

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Leadership Training with Families and Healthcare Providers

Bethany Rigles

Bethany Rigles is the Montana State Coordinator for the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) consortium. Since 2006 over 20 UM students and parents have participated as trainees in the URLEND consortium, which originates at the University of Utah Medical School in Salt Lake City, UT. URLEND aims to develop future leaders in the fields of disability and health, and to improve health and educational outcomes for children and youth with disabilities and their families.

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University of Montana Rural Institute For Inclusive Communities

University of Montana campus in spring

The RIIC provides services, training, and research that supports the independence, inclusion, and participation of people with disabilities.

  • Our community services include assistive technology demonstration and equipment loan to enable independence at home, school, work, and in the community. 
  • Training includes Living Well with a Disability, a health promotion program that helps participants reach quality of life goals through healthy lifestyles.
  • Research areas include rural transportation and employment options to support economic independence.  The 40+ RIIC projects focus on employment, independent and healthy living, education, accessible housing, and transportation to enable rural Americans to be fully included in their communities.

The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities 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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