DisABILITY Resources & Support

A Guided Post-Combat Journal

Rich Nason is one of AARP Montana's volunteers (& friend), and he had this idea - he wants to save lives. He wrote  “Bring Respect and Pride to Yourself for having Served Your Country” – it’s bound, about 50 pages, and includes Richard’s journal along with extra pages to start yours.

If you’re interested in receiving a copy, please contact Rich Nason, ranason3@gmail.com

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ~ Montana


July 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the This landmark legislation was brought about through the efforts of persons with disabilities and Congress to address barriers in our society and economy.  Barriers that excluded persons with disabilities from fully participating in the workforce and community life.  The Act created standards for physical access to structures and a means to address other barriers and discrimination in the workforce and our communities. 

Questions: (800) 727-5257

Big Sky TBI Program


The DeWit RiteCare Speech, Language, & Hearing Clinic, support sessions for those who may have experienced a mild traumatic brain injury. Adults (18+) who have persistent cognitive symptoms after a concussion / TBI.

Braille and Talking Book Program (FREE) ~ Library of Congress

APPLY: https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-library-service-for-the-blind-and-print-disabled/about-this-service/

Or, call the National Library Service at 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323)

Camp Bullwheel ~ Ennis, MT


Added in Honor of Chris Clasby, Peer Advocacy Coordinator at Summit IL, and the VSN's DisABILITIES Advocate up until his passing 4/5/2021 (RIP). Chris was a stalwart board member, an inspiration behind the camp (quadriplegic), and instrumental in the design https://www.facebook.com/campbullwheel

Questions: (970) 581-0463, campbullwheel@gmail.com

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)


  • DAV Charitable Service Trust: Grant program for not-for-profit organizations that fulfill a need or array of needs for sick, wounded, and homeless or at-risk veterans throughout the nation: https://cst.dav.org/learn-more/our-program/ Grant Questions:  (859) 441-7300, ext. 3313, cst@dav.org

  • Missoula DAV: 2687 Palmer St.; Benefits Assistance (877) 426-2838

  • Volunteer Transportation Network: Bitterroot DAV and Missoula DAV provides free rides to Veterans to their VA Approved Medical Appointments. Contact: Bitterroot to Missoula 363-8396; Bitterroot to Fort Harrison 363-8396; Missoula DAV 207-1468 (Missoula DAV has drivers on Tuesdays & Thursdays); For more information about DAV or if you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Driver please call (406) 363-8396; Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Van Drivers (406) 447-7760; Veterans Transportation Services (406) 447-6270; Travel Pay (406) 447-7402.

  • DAV & Humana ~ Agreement Will Help Veterans Overcome Barriers to Achieving Their Best Health:  Humana’s relationship with DAV aligns with its rich history of supporting the men and women who served and expands its growing commitments to organizations that provide critical programs and services for veterans and their families. As part of this agreement, Humana becomes DAV’s national Medicare Advantage, PDP and Medicare Supplement sponsor. “Humana is fully invested in providing the unique health care services and experiences our nation’s veterans deserve,” said Alan Wheatley, Humana’s Retail Segment President. “DAV is honored and delighted to partner with such a prominent health care leader such as Humana as our new Medicare sponsor” said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess.  Specifically, Humana works with those who know veterans best— such as DAV— to assure veterans are receiving the care they need. As part of the agreement, Humana will work directly with DAV to coordinate national and local programs or events which will provide opportunities for DAV members to achieve their best health. Questions: Jennifer “Jen” Roberts, MarketPoint Sales Representative, - Humana (406) 249-4235, JRoberts23@humana.com

Dementia Friendly America - Missoula

Dementia Friendly Airports Working Group: https://www.dementiafriendlyairports.com/

1/21/21 UPDATE - Marje, “I met with the board at the end of December.  They had had time to review the proposal that we had put together with your input and to see the wonderful letters of support that you included (VSN Leadership provided Letters of Support for their proposal).  Rather than repeat all that information I highlighted the basic points that we would like to see addressed: Signage; Pre-flight walk throughs to become familiar and at ease within the airport; Accessible family toilets; Quiet spaces; Adopting the Sunflower Lanyard program.

We had time for questions from the board members about the proposed ideas and I was able to explain how the quiet spaces work and why they are needed.  We talked about the Sunflower Lanyard program, the costs for the program, and how people can obtain the lanyards if the airport decides to adopt this program.  They also suggested filming at "virtual" walk through, door-to-gate, for those that might find it difficult to come to the airport for an actual walk-through. We discussed all of the above and Project Manager Tim Damrow then explained some of the design details of the new building that met ADA standards.  Other changes that have already occurred since we began looking at this question include an upgrade in TSA training that allows for care partners to stay together during screening.  All airport staff go through a standard ADA training as a part of their new hire training.  I was quite pleased with how receptive that they all were, including the airport management who were a part of the meeting.  Director Cris Jensen stated that staff would love to have those interested to come out to the airport to discuss their recommendations in detail and tour the new facility.  They have tours available on Fridays if any of you are interested. 

The new airport construction will be completed and ready for service January 2022.  Dementia Friendly Missoula is looking forward to doing a tour sometime in the near future.  We hope to have more discussion with airport management about the Sunflower Lanyard program and to see how our proposals inform the nature of the new facility. I was very impressed by how open they all were to our ideas and public input and encourage any that have an interest to contact them for a tour.”
Questions: Marjorie Doyle, Dementia Friendly Missoula, (406) 542-1214, macrd1953@gmail.com

​disABLEDperson, Inc.


Premier National Job Board for People with Disabilities.

How to Talk About Your Disability During a Job Interview: https://www.disabledperson.com/blog/posts/how-to-talk-about-your-disability-during-a-job-interview

Contact: Mike Corso, President, disABLEDperson, Inc., Mike@disabledperson.com

Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF)


DVNF provides critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom.

Capacity Building Grant Program - INFO / APPLY: https://www.dvnf.org/capacity-building-grants/

Questions: grants@dvnf.org

Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF): (202) 737-0522, info@dvnf.org

Discrimination ~ Florin / Roebig Trial Attorneys


Disabled Veteran Rights; Discrimination in the workplace, healthcare system, social setting, and legal settings; The laws protecting Veteran rights; What to do if you have experienced discrimination; Government resources

Questions: Megan Johnson, Outreach Specialist, Megan@florinroebig.com

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ~ Veterans

Employment rights under the ADA


Questions: (800) 669-4000

12/1/20, "EEOC ISSUES REVISED PUBLICATIONS ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF VETERANS WITH DISABILITIES" Three revised documents that address the employment of veterans with disabilities. The documents discuss how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) apply to veteran employees and those who employ them:

“Veterans with disabilities face many challenges when they return to civilian life, especially as they return to work,” said EEOC Chair Janet Dhillon. “And the EEOC stands ready to help ensure that their rights to equal employment opportunity are upheld.” More information is available at www.eeoc.gov 

Questions: John Pavao, State Diversity Program Coordinator, MT Department of Administration, State Human Resources Division, (406) 444-3984, jpavao@mt.gov

Internal Revenue Service ~ Tax Credit


The IRS has established the Disabled Tax Credit. A company may utilize it to offset the costs associated with providing access to persons with disabilities. There is also the Barrier Removal Tax Deduction that can be taken for qualified expenses to remove barriers to access. 

Questions: MT DPHHS VRBS, Business Services Specialist, (406) 655-7626, TTY/TDD (888) 279-7528

​JAN - Job Accommodation Network


A to Z of Disabilities and Accommodations. Leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.

Questions: (800) 526-7234, jan@askjan.org

Or, (800)ADA-WORK [(800)232-9675]

  • (304)216-8189 via Text

  • janconsultants via Skype

  • JAN on Demand for JAN questions that are related to accommodation, ADA, and workplace issues.

  • JAN on Demand for JAN questions that are related to self-employment and starting your own small business.

J.O.B.S. – Job Opportunity Based Services in Missoula


Provides employment assistance and socialization support for those individuals with a disability.

715 Kensington 25A, Missoula

Questions: (406) 541-6966

Or, Michelle PicKell, President, Cell (406) 546-9112, mpickell@JOBSinfoMT.com

Living Well with a Disability

UM Rural Institute on Disabilities


MAR – Montana Association for Rehabilitation


Montana Vocational Rehabilitation – DPHHS, 2675 Palmer, Ste A, Msla


Questions: (406) 329-5400

Missoula Housing Authority (MHA) ~ Adopts New Waiting List Preferences for Special Disabled Vouchers

Missoula Housing Authority (MHA) has adopted two limited local preferences for the Housing Choice Voucher program. This post is to inform you of the preferences and how you can update your application if you are eligible for a preference. MHA has 40 new “Mainstream” vouchers that can serve families that have a disabled family member over 18 and under 62. MHA also has the following preferences for those vouchers: Up to 5 vouchers for families who have a household member who is disabled and between the ages of 18 and 61 who are currently in the Interim Assistance Program; Up to 25 vouchers for families who have a household member who is disabled and is residing in a property funded with federal, state or local government programs, such as the HOME investment Partnership Program or the Montana Housing Tax Credit program.

ACCESS: https://www.missoula.house/ (update application - MHA must verify preferences)

Questions: Shanda Walker (406) 549-4113 ext 113, swalker@missoulahousing.org

Or, Rebecca Stancil, MHA Family Self Sufficiency Director (406) 549-4113 ex 106, Rstancil@missoulahousing.org

​MonTECH – Assistive Technology Tools & Services - The Rural Institute


MonTECH can help you find the right communication device.  Borrow devices and communication apps for up to 30 days at a time to assess which system works best for the communicator AND for the caregiver who may be assisting in customization of vocabulary.

9/10/20 Update, "MonTECH just received a grant that will infuse our financial loan program (MATL) with $657,686! This program (the Montana Assistive Technology Loan program) allows Montanans to apply for loans for assistive technology, mobility equipment, adaptive recreation equipment, home and vehicle modification, accessible vehicles, hearing aids... Approved applicants can borrow up to $1500 at 0% interest, or $1501 - $50,000 at 3.5% interest. http://matl.ruraldynamics.org/ 

*** Veteran in Need 4/2021, "We have a wide range of adaptive keyboards that can be borrowed for up to 60 days at a time at no cost. This vet could make an appointment and come into our Missoula location to try a variety of keyboards and see which is most helpful. We may have a couple that could be “long-term loans,” meaning he could borrow one of those for as long as he wants to. Michelle is our assistive tech specialist here in Missoula. You can call or write her for an in-person or video-call appointment at 243-5486, michelle.allen@mso.umt.edu

7/2/21 Update, "Charles "Chuck" Webber is no stranger to tough situations. Over 23 years in the U.S. Air Force, he served as navigator on 60 missions during World War II. One harrowing mission required his crew to bomb a railway center near the Vatican. “If you miss the yards and hit the Vatican, you might as well not come home,” Chuck commented recently. “We hit our target and we missed the Vatican. If we hadn’t, you can imagine what kind of fuss that would have made.” Well, I’m not sure that I can.  What I am sure of is this: Chuck Webber is a man of courage and conviction who had a fascinating career. He is also a straight talker, and when he discusses the hardship of his vision loss, I know he speaks from the heart. Read More

Questions: (406) 243-5751, montech@mso.umt.edu

Or, Shawna Hanson, MonTECH Media Outreach Coordinator, Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, UM (406) 243-4531, Shawna.Hanson@mso.umt.edu

Montana Family to Family Health Information Center: (406) 243-4570, Montanaf2f@uMontana.edu

Montana Voices Amplified: Stacey.Bliss@mso.umt.edu

Montana DPHHS ~ Vocational Rehabilitation & Blind Services (VRBS)


2675 Palmer St. Ste. A, Missoula

Promoting careers for people with disabilities (Mental health, physical disabilities, employers / job accommodations, etc.) and workforce solutions for Montana business. Our Business Services Team can help employers with questions about the ADA and how accessibility challenges can be reduced and removed.  We draw upon a vast knowledge of disability and the barriers someone with a disability may face in entering, working and participating in our communities.

  • Locate qualified candidates

  • Help with employee retention

  • Pay on the job training and internship costs

  • Identify tax credits for your business

  • Provide disability awareness training…and much more!

“Workers w/disabilities have been found in a study conducted by DuPont Nemours and Company, to be rated average or better than those without disabilities in on the job performance, safety and attendance”

Questions: (888) 279-7528

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors:

Jeanne M. Stone-Shedden, MS CRC (406) 329-5400, JStone2@mt.gov

Opportunity Resources, Inc.


Out of Step: Disability Resources


Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)


Quinn’s Hot Springs


Soak in our mineral pools ~ they have a new ADA Pool Lift (for help getting in and out of wheelchair). Stay in our lodge or cabins (they have ramps to rooms), and dine in our historic Harwood House Restaurant!

Questions: (406) 826-3150, info@quinnshotsprings.com

Rocky Mountain ADA Center


We can provide both information and guidance concerning disability laws free of charge if you complete the online Technical Assistance Request form or call directly (800) 949-4232

Social Security Administration – Disability


Veterans - Wounded Warriors: https://www.ssa.gov/people/veterans/

Questions: 800-772-1213

Local - Missoula: 3701 AMERICAN WAY, (866) 931-9029, TTY: (800) 325-0778

Summit Independent Living ~ The VSN's "Disabilities Advocate & Resource Center"


700 SW Higgins, Ste 101, Missoula

Summit Independent Living, Inc. is a private, non-residential non-profit organization that offers a wide range of services designed to give people with disabilities the tools and resources that are needed to improve independent, self-confidence, knowledge, skills and access to community resources. Summit serves people with mobility, neurological, hearing, visual, and other disabilities.
Questions: (406) 728-1630

Or, Gavin Workman - Outreach & Employment Services Coordinator, gworkman@summitilc.org

​BASE Missoula ~ All Abilities Community Center


725 W. Alder, Suite 4, Missoula

Providing FREE programing such as Improv, Adaptive Yoga, Gaming, Art and Dance! BASE is collaboration between Summit IL, other non-profits and various artists in our community. This space is meant to be a safe place to explore and display the arts as well as learn advocacy. BASE is open to everyone in our community of all ages, interests and abilities. This is your space.

BASE Missoula, (406) 215-1080, basemissoula@gmail.com

Ticket to Work

Disabilities ~ My Employment Options


The Work Site: https://ssa.gov/work/

​​Tips for Filing VA disability

Tim is willing to take questions statewide: Tim Ingraham, Veteran Service Officer (VSO), Fort Harrison, (406) 495-2081, timothy.ingraham@va.gov

Or, make an appointment w/the Missoula MVAD (Montana Veterans Affairs Division): (406) 542-2501

US DOL Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)


To develop and influence disability employment-related policies and practices, ODEP sponsors the following three policy development and technical assistance resources

Questions: 1-866-487-2365

Montana - Questions: John Pavao, State Diversity Program Coordinator, Department of Administration, State Human Resources Division, (406) 444-3984, jpavao@mt.gov

US Disability Programs and Services


VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

Eligibility requirements for VRE (https://www.va.gov/careers-employment/vocational-rehabilitation/eligibility/),

o   Apply online: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/about/feature?feature=vocational-rehabilitation-and-employment

o   Or, submit a paper application: Download and complete a VA Form 28-1900, "Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation" and mail it to your our local regional office (3633 Veterans Dr., Ft. Harrison, MT 59636). They try to ensure Veteran is seen within 30 days. There are two VRE Counselors in Missoula: 2681 Palmer St., Suite N, (406) 258-1084.

Questions: David Wirtz, VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Officer (VREO), (406) 495-2012, david.wirtz@va.gov

Veterans Mobility Projects


Providing a way for Veterans to regain some of the freedom they have lost; whether that be setting a Veteran up with a power-wheelchair or assisting them with other tools to enhance their lives, giving the freedom of mobility. All therapeutic tools will be given to Veterans at no cost (501c3 nonprofit organization).

Questions: anne@veteransmobilitypjct.org

WorkforceGPS ~ Disability & Employment Community


Technical assistance and resources for providing employment services for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

Wounded Warrior Project

Annual Warrior Survey from WWP https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/mission/annual-warrior-survey

Zippia ~ Disability Resource Guide


Laws that protect you, how to interview, to finding accommodating companies, here is a guide to make things a little easier.

Questions: (254) 294-7742, support@zippia.com