Summit Independent Living celebrated its 35th-Anniversary in 2016. Since 1981 Summit has grown from a small, grass-roots organization to an active and highly respected community presence. Summit 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 independence, self-confidence, knowledge, skills and access to community resources. Summit serves people with mobility, neurological, hearing, visual, and other disabilities.
Headquartered in Missoula, Montana, Summit has branch offices in Kalispell, Ronan and Hamilton, and a separate location in Missoula that houses our youth program. The center has 26 core staff members, 33 part-time peer advocates, six part-time youth advisors, and over 270 personal assistants who provide personal care to consumers receiving Medicaid self-directed Community First Choice and HCBS waiver services.
Summit provides consumer and advocacy services to residents of Missoula, Ravalli, Mineral, Lake, Sanders, Flathead, and Lincoln Counties as well as works on a systemic level locally, nationally, and across Montana to improve the lives of individuals living with disabilities.
Summit provides the core independent living services, plus self-directed Medicaid Community First Choice and Personal Assistance Services, benefits planning (Social Security work incentives), benefits assistance, and vocational services. The most innovative of Summit’s programs are our peer advocacy program, youth services, and advocacy and systems change efforts.
Summit’s extensive involvement in local and statewide advocacy and systems change efforts are focussed primarily in the areas of transportation, housing, community access, long-term services and supports, youth transition resources, and employment opportunities. Summit’s advocacy coordinator manages an electronic action alert system to track state and national legislation of importance to people with disabilities and facilitates grassroots advocacy efforts across the state. Summit staff are actively involved in the leadership of statewide independent living task forces and a legislative advocacy committee.
We believe that people with disabilities have the right to control their own lives and enjoy the same opportunities as all other citizens.