DisABILITY Resources & Support

AbilityLinks: https://abilitylinks.org/user/register

Online community of job seekers, inclusive employers and supportive service providers helping disabled Veterans gain meaningful employment. VA blog: https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/104802/employment-veterans-with-disabilities/

Questions: (620) 733-8822, info@abilitylinks.org

Accommodation in the Workplace

Recording from 9/23/21 (a look at several common disabilities that are seen in the workplace due to aging or injury; what is reasonable and how to have that conversation; examples and resources that can be used by both employees and employers): https://mt-gov.zoom.us/rec/share/k8QQQChOEBML91__ScRnJ30a9egahfkayCah6h4X_SQM5NLMmbFFCFPrLeBo7ZSh.FXRBsKtQehHA5uPT

Questions: Jeanne M. Stone-Shedden, MS CRC - Montana Vocational Rehabilitation & Blind Services (VRBS) Counselor. (406) 329-5400, Direct 531-0665, JStone2@mt.gov

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: https://www.blr.com/HR-Employment/Discrimination/Disabilities-ADA-in-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, service@blr.com

Big Sky TBI Program: https://health.umt.edu/slhos/dewit-ritecare-clinic/default.php

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: campbullwheel.org

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

Dementia Friendly America - Missoula

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

9/2021 update - Marje, “Tm Damrow (Manager of Projects) has been working with Dementia Friendly Missoula as well as the national Dementia Friendly Airport Working Group. As more airports in the US become dementia and invisible disability friendly, Missoula Montana Airport has responded very positively to the concepts that are being incorporated to make air travel safer and more inviting for those with those disabilities. The TSA personnel have received several updates on best practices for handling those that need some extra time and consideration due to cognitive impairments during the screening process. 

  • Airport personnel at Missoula Airport in general receive training on a regular basis that includes serving those with disabilities including those disabilities that are not apparent.

  • The airport management is considering the inclusion of the Sunflower Lanyard program that will allow those with invisible disabilities to self-identify and receive appropriate consideration during their time in the airport.

I have been very encouraged by their attitude and openness to new ideas and suggestions geared toward making travel better for all of our community.  I think this will positively impact not only the veterans in our community with invisible disabilities, as well as their families and others facing similar challenges in their daily lives. Greetings to all at the Veterans Service Network team.”

Questions: Marjorie Doyle, Dementia Friendly Missoula, (406) 542-1214, macrd1953@gmail.com  

Disabled American Veterans (DAV): dav.org

  • 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

disABLEDperson, Inc: https://www.disabledperson.com/

Premier National Job Board for People with Disabilities.

Contact: Mike Corso - President, Mike@disabledperson.com

Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF): https://dvnf.org/

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

Disabled Veteran Solutions: https://www.disabledveteransolutions.com/our-history

Work From Home opportunities for Veterans!

Questions: (814) 651-0720, info@disabledveteransolutions.com

Discrimination ~ Florin / Roebig Trial Attorneys: https://florinroebig.com/veteran-rights-discrimination/

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

Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Loan Program ~ Kalispell: https://veteransfoodpantry.org/

NW MT Veterans Food Pantry will accept ALL donations of medical equipment, wheelchairs, etc. for the DME loan program, and they offer the equipment to all low income / at-risk Veterans free of charge.

Questions: DME (406) 756-7304 or Cinnamon (406) 250-2394, cdhall03@gmail.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: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/tax-benefits-for-businesses-who-have-employees-with-disabilities

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: http://askjan.org/

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: http://jobsinfomt.com/

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 Under the Big Sky ~ Montana Disability & Health Program


Resources for Employment: http://mtdh.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/?page_id=737

Rural Institute on Disabilities: http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/

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

MAR – Montana Association for Rehabilitation: http://mtmar.org/

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

Montana DPHHS ~ Vocational Rehabilitation & Blind Services (VRBS): https://dphhs.mt.gov/detd/vocrehab

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!

Senior & Long Term Care, Veterans’ Home Services: http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/sltc/services/vethome/index.shtml

Questions (406) 444-4077 OR (888) 279-7528

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors:

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

MonTECH – The Rural Institute: www.ruralinstitute.org

MonTECH can help you find the right communication device (Assistive Technology Tools & Services).  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.

*** 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

Opportunity Resources, Inc.: http://orimt.org/

​Out of Step: Disability Resources: http://www.outofstep.com/

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA): https://pva.org/

PVA has helped millions of Veterans, their family members, and caregivers live with dignity and respect!

Questions: Benefits Helpline 1-866-734-0857

Caregiver Support: 1-855-260-3274

(866) 734-0857 OR Charles, mccaffreyconsulting@gmail.com

Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT): http://www.peatworks.org/

Quinn’s Hot Springs: http://www.quinnshotsprings.com/

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: https://www.rockymountainada.org/

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

Self Employment ~ Vocational Rehab Self-Employment Guide: http://vrselfemploymentguide.org/

Questions – VSN Member: Jeanne M. Stone-Shedden, MS CRC (406) 329-5400, Direct 531-0665, JStone2@mt.gov

Social Security Administration – Disability: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityssi/apply.html

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": http://www.summitilc.org/

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 ~ My Employment Options: http://myemploymentoptions.com/

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): https://www.dol.gov/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: https://www.disability.gov/

VA Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E)

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: https://veteransmobilitypjct.org/

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: https://disability.workforcegps.org/home

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: https://www.zippia.com/advice/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