RTC:Rural Rural Institute University of Montana

logo for Montana Disability & Health Program: Living well under the Big Sky

Accessibility Ambassadors

The environment plays an important part in attaining health goals. The Montana Disability and Health Accessibility Ambassadors program evolved from our Year 2 work. We contracted with Montana Centers for Independent Living to demonstrate methods for assessing program and facility accessibilityof community health and fitness programs. Our adaptation of a framework developed by Nary and White (2000) at the University of Kansas produced self-assessment models for fitness programs and also created the infrastructure for consumer-based organizations to conduct fitness program assessments.

In Year 3, we contracted with Centers for Independent Living to assess health department program accessibility. Again, this framework was also designed to produce self-assessment models for health departments. The assessments  identify several positive models for promoting accessibility that other departments could adopt.

Montana’s Centers for Independent Living Partner with MTDH as Accessibility Ambassadors:

LIFTT — Billings

North Central Independent Living Services — Black Eagle (access their information on the DPHHS website)

Ability Montana — Helena

Summit Independent Living Center — Missoula

Success Stories

Access Improvements in Rural Health Clinics and Community Health Centers  PDF

Fitness Professionals Promote Inclusive Exercise and Physical Activity Statewide PDF

Webinar: Inclusive Interdisciplinary Walking Audit – Presented by: Mark Fenton, National Public Health, Planning and Transportation Consultant

This is a 1.5 hour webinar. This event has been recording and is Live Captioned.  In order to view the captions, make sure to click subtiitles/closed caption (CC) once the link opens.  Topics include: building a healthier community with inclusive walk audits, land use, network of facilities, site design, as well as safety and access.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) –

Beginning on March 15, 2012 all state and local governments and private businesses open to the public are required to comply with the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) revised regulations for implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The revised rules, which include the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards), were adopted by the DOJ on September 15, 2010 and went into effect on March 15, 2011.

The 2010 Standards comprehensively reorganize and rewrite the 1991 ADA Accessibility Guidelines (1991 Standards) and set new minimum requirements – both scoping and technical – for new construction and alterations to the facilities of more than 80,000 state and local governments and more than seven million businesses.  To read more about this topic click the next two links.

2010 Standards for Accessible Design:

In 2015, the United States celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law, the civil rights act for people with disabilities, expanded rights to participate in programs, activities and services offered by state and local governmental entities (Title II) and nonprofit/for-profit entities (Title III). The country has come a long way, but to better understand the significance of the ADA, it is necessary to take a quick look back through history at the laws implemented as its precursors.

National Recreation and Parks Association Article

Rocky Mountain ADA Center Educates Businesses on Building an Accessible Future with the New ADA Standards

The ADA is not the only disability rights law, though it is the most comprehensive. Click HERE to learn more about Federal laws relevant to the rights of individuals with disabilities.

Additional Informational Resources

We have included additional resources for your information: (Click on the titles or links below to view)