University of Montana Rural Institute

MonTECH – Assistive Technology Tools and Services

    Open Lab

    Have questions about Assistive Technology? Want to learn about new pieces of equipment? Join our regional collaboration with Wyoming Open Lab. We will be piloting our first Open Lab on Wednesday, September 28th. Open Lab is a  weekly chance to ask questions and learn about Assistive Technology by coming to our demonstration lab in person or virtually.

    When: Scheduled Wednesdays from 2 to 4 p.m.

    Where: MonTECH demonstration room in 52 Corbin Hall

    Assistive Technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software, or product system used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. By visiting Open Lab, you can learn about and have hands-on experiences with the AT. We welcome AT users, students, instructors, community members, or anyone who wants to learn more about AT and MonTECH resources!

    Open Lab is online!

    Cannot attend in person? Join any scheduled Open Lab via Zoom distance technology from your PC, Mac, iOS or Android using this Zoom link: Code 547 279 238.

    Continue reading about Open Lab

    Building an Accessible Smart Home: “Smart” Design

    By Scott Thomas

    I wrote about my experience designing an accessible home in part one, now we will cover the more exciting “smart home” dynamic. When designing an accessible and smart home it’s important to think of what electrical needs you will have.

    Outlet placement is a crucial component of design to ensure a home is ready to be made smart. I made sure I had adequate outlets for my equipment. I also placed outlets above windows where I planned on placing electric blinds, and installed an outlet above a door for an automatic door opener.
    There are two routes you can take when making your home smart. You can hire someone to set everything up for you, or do it yourself. We initially intended to hire a private contractor to take care of everything for us, but after a couple bids nearing $20,000 we made the decision to do it ourselves. We found that the most difficult part creating our own “smart home” is the research. Although I do have a strong understanding of technology, the setup for products was fairly simple. So far, we have made great progress and have spent under $1000 (not including blinds) to make our home “smart.”

    Continue reading about Building an Accessible Smart Home: “Smart” Design

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.