Rural Institute (MT UCEDD) CAC Shines at Transition Conference

December 6, 2013

Ten members of the Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) traveled to Billings, Montana, in November for the 2013 Montana Youth in Transition Conference. Young adult CAC members presented three workshops ("Living on Your Own," "Let's Talk about Money!" and "The Missing Therapy - Mental Health"); co-presented with MonTECH (the Institute's assistive technology program) staff at an AT session; hosted information tables at the Youth and Adult Vendor Fairs; and recruited Emerging Leaders to share their stories of inclusive employment, education, housing, and/or recreation with other Montanans. Ellen Condon, Rural Institute Transition and Employment Project Director, and Kim Brown, Project Coordinator, provided planning and logistical support. Children's Special Health Services at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the Rural Institute funded the CAC's participation.

Council members chose workshop topics, developed informative and interactive presentations, created visual displays for the vendor tables, and actively engaged with other conference attendees throughout the three-day event. According to Condon, "The young adults who serve on our Consumer Advisory Council are role models and mentors to transition-age youth. Through their leadership and participation in events such as this conference, they expand the vision of what the future can look like for people with even the most significant impact of disability." For more information about the Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council, visit http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/ConsumerCouncil.asp.