The University of Montana Rural Institute has been a leader in the area of transition planning for youth with disabilities since 1995. Activities have included:
Provision of education and training to schools, families, students and agencies;
Development of innovative strategies and transition models;
Demonstration, outreach and technical assistance, both on-site and long distance;
Promotion of systems changes to support effective transition for youth from school to adult life; and
Since 2000, we’ve focused several of our projects on customized community employment for youth with significant disabilities. We have developed and implemented unique models of transition planning that continue to evolve as we learn more from the youth and families with whom we work.
Our transition activities are unique in that they promote:
Customized Employment strategies for youth with disabilities;
The use of Social Security work incentives for students;
Transition planning for middle school students;
Collaborative funding across agencies to create individually-driven employment supports;
Self-employment as vocational experience or as a post-school outcome; and
Self-determination for youth as we empower them to identify strengths, skills, and needs for transition planning.
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Health Care Transition Guide
Planning Your Transition from Pediatric to Adult Health Care: A Workbook to Help You Take Charge of Your Health is 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. More about the Workbook.
Looking for Nominations for Emerging Leaders
Help expand the vision of what is possible for youth and young adults with developmental disabilities! We are looking for examples of Montanans who have a developmental disability and who learn, live, work and/or play in inclusive ways in their communities. ("Inclusive" means alongside people without disabilities.)
Community Investment Fund
Do you have an interesting idea or project to promote inclusion for people with disabilities? Would a small amount of start-up funds help you get your project off the ground? Consider applying for the Rural Institute Community Investment Fund.
Mission: In October 2012, the Rural Institute Transition and Employment Projects started work under a one-year contract with Children's Special Health Services (CSHS) at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS). Through the contract, project staff are increasing the capacity of CSHS to support children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) to transition successfully into adulthood. Activities include recruiting foster care and CYSHCN representatives for the Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council; developing and providing four webinar trainings on topics related to the transition needs of CYSHCN; expanding the Montana Transition E-Mail List to include CYSHCN partners (hospitals, specialty and regional clinics); disseminating health care transition-related information via the Montana Transition E-Mail List, the Transition and Employment Projects website, and other websites; and developing and disseminating a health care coverage guide for families and youth.
A new resource is now available for transition services in the state of Montana. Through a contract with Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services, the Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) Technical Assistance Center will provide technical assistance to schools, Tribes, and VRBS staff regarding Pre-ETS for high school students.
Students with disabilities are eligible for Pre-ETS if they receive special education services from the high school, have a Section 504 Plan from the high school, or have any disability recognized and not served through the high school. The student may receive Pre-ETS services beginning the academic year in which the student turns sixteen years of age and ending when the student is no longer enrolled in high school for reasons such as graduation, dropping out, or exiting high school for any reason.
Transition and Employment Consultation and Technical Assistance
We are available to provide consultation, training and/or technical assistance for your target audience (parents, youth, school staff, provider agency staff) at your site or through long distance technology, either short-term or ongoing.
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If you need information from this website in a different format, please contact
Ellen Condon at 406-243-4134