University of Montana Rural Institute

MonTECH – Assistive Technology Tools and Services

    New Program Director for MonTECH

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    My name is Anna-Margaret Goldman and I’m the new Program Director for MonTECH. I am excited to be here at MonTECH and I am looking forward to learning about our program’s strengths and how we can improve. Please take a few minutes to tell us about your experience with MonTECH. Your feedback is important to Montanans’ access to assistive technology. The survey takes less than 10 minutes.

    Thank you in advance for your time. I look forward to meeting and partnering with many of you in the future.

    Do you recommend MonTECH to clients or work with MonTECH as a partner? Please take the Service Provider and Partner Survey.

    Or copy and paste in browser as https://umt.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_afR9R0LULTHW6nb

    Have you used or could you use MonTECH to receive an Assistive Technology demonstration, loan, or reutilization?  Please take our Consumer Survey.

    Or copy and paste in browser as https://umt.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_aaAnm8cbbsQ2UYt

    Anna-Margaret Goldman, Ph.D.
    MonTECH Program Director
    The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities
    University of Montana
    (406) 243-5769
    anna-margaret.goldman@mso.umt.edu

     

     

     

     

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    Discovering Eye Gaze

    By Scott Thomas

    Nearly 50 years have passed since Stephen Hawking and others pioneered communication technology for people with disabilities. Hawking’s first creation was a small keypad attached to the arm of his wheelchair.  He had to cumbersomely type in each letter, one by one. Then once he had finished his thought, he would push enter and let the voice synthesizer take over. Surely a grueling effort.

    Living with a disability now-a-days is certainly not an easy task, but I often think of how fortunate I am to have been born in a time of great technological advances.  Technological advances have created communication options to fit the needs of individuals with various disabilities. Maybe most impressive are advancements made in eye tracking technology. I am a beneficiary of this incredible technology, receiving my first eye operated computer this past fall.

    Living with ALS, my speech is ineffective and I have little control over my limbs. There was a difficult two-year period from when progression of ALS forced me to quit my work in insurance to when I received my computer last fall.

    Since I received my computer I have realized endless possibilities. There are two categories where I have benefited from the computer. First, eye gaze technology has allowed me to effectively communicate my wants and needs, making my day to day living much easier. Second, and even more important, eye gaze technology has allowed me to regain a sense of purpose and meaning that had been absent for two years. This spring, with the use of my computer I earned my business finance degree from Montana State University.

    With school complete I have turned my focus to what I want to accomplish in my career. In thinking of how I want to take advantage of this new chance I decided to pursue work that I am passionate about. This led me to try my hand in writing. I have been privileged to recently write some sports articles, and in turn those articles have assisted me in earning the opportunity to write for MonTECH.

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Programs and Support:

Montana Adaptive Equipment Program

MAEP provides positioning, seating, mobility, recreation and some ADL equipment to Montanans with qualifying developmental disabilities. This grant-funded program may be able to loan adaptive equipment (AE) to children, teens and adults who have a qualifying developmental disability (see eligibility form) and are unable to acquire the AE by other means or need to trial equipment prior to purchase. Our clinical coordinator is available to assist families, therapists, and family support specialists in selecting the best equipment to meet each person’s specific needs.

Montana Assistive Technology Program

MATP provides AT information and services in education, employment, community living, and telecommunications. The mission is to enhance the independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of individuals with disabilities through consumer responsiveness as defined in the AT act.

Other Programs and Projects 

MonTECH oversees various assistive technology (AT) programs and is continually seeking to expand the AT services and supports available to Montanans. Click here to view other projects and programs offered through MonTECH.