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2020 Community Investment Fund

ABLE photo

Applications for the 2020 Community Investment Fund are now being accepted! 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. Any Montana organization, agency, non-profit group, or individual with a creative idea developed by/with people with disabilities to promote community inclusion is eligible to apply. Please note: due to University contracting requirements, successful applicants will be required to have liability insurance and either Workers' Compensation coverage or a Workers' Compensation exemption certificate.

More Information and Applications

Project Spotlight: Montana Family Home Visiting Program Needs Assessment

children looking out a window

The Rural Institute was recently awarded a one-year state contract to assess the Montana Healthy Families (MHF) Home Visiting Program which supports voluntary home visiting services for at-risk pregnant women and parents with young children.

The MHF Home Visiting Program builds on decades of research showing that home visits by a nurse, social worker, early childhood educator, or other trained professional during pregnancy and in the first years of a child's life improve the lives of children and families by:

Read more about MHF

Project Spotlight: Loneliness and Its Relation to Health in People with Spinal Cord Injury

person in wheelchair on trail in mountains

The Rural Institute announces the funding of a new research project that explores how loneliness interacts with other factors to impact the mental and physical health of people with spinal cord injuries (SCI).

"Loneliness and Its Relation to Health in People with Spinal Cord Injury" is a three-year, national study funded by the Department of Defense.

Learn more about this research

Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the ABLE Act: Legislation that Gives People with Disabilities the Ability to Save Money

Jar full of coins

On December 19th, Montanans will join the 5th anniversary celebrations of the U.S. ABLE Act. The Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act recognizes the late Mr. Beck, who paved the way for a better life for his daughter, Natalie, and for individuals like Natalie, by empowering millions of eligible Americans to save money for their future. The ABLE Act established a tax-advantaged program for qualified individuals and their families to save money for disability-related expenses.

After the passage of the ABLE Act, Montana established its ABLE program during the next state legislative session. Senators Fred Thomas, Mary Caferro, and Cynthia Wolken co-sponsored SB 399; it passed the Montana Senate 49-1, the House 100-0, and was signed by Governor Bullock on May 5, 2015. Today, nearly 300 people living with disabilities have Montana ABLE accounts.

Read more about ABLE

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

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