Our Five Core Services
Promoting Choices in Self-Direction
Summit offers a wide range of services designed to give people with disabilities the tools and resources they need to improve independence, self-confidence, knowledge, skills and access to community resources. Summit emphasizes self-help and self-advocacy skills, peer support, and the development of needed resources so that people with disabilities can direct their own lives to the greatest extent possible.
We also work at the community level to reduce attitudinal, architectural and communication barriers, combat discrimination, and promote the development of needed resources, programs, and policies. Our ultimate goal is increased independence, economic opportunity, and enhanced quality of life for all persons with disabilities.Wake up
For more information on the service Summit has to offer, please scroll down.
Individuals of all ages, with all types of disabilities, are eligible for Summit services.
Information and referral services are available to anyone, regardless of location or disability status, including friends and family, the business community, governmental agencies, and the general public.
Summit is headquartered in Missoula with branch offices in Hamilton, Ronan and Kalispell.
Services are available to residents of Missoula, Ravalli, Mineral, Lake, Sanders, Flathead and Lincoln Counties in western Montana.
Summit’s Consumer Services
Helping Promote Choices in Self-Direction
Summit offers a variety of consumer services aimed at giving individuals with disabilities to lead successful and more independent lives. Under each of our five core services are a number of services aimed at improving independence, self-confidence, knowledge, skills, and access to needed resources.
Some of these services include assistance with applying for benefits such as Social Security, Medicaid, and others; assistance with understanding what happens to your benefits if you return or go to work and start earning earned income; peer mentoring/advocacy opportunities; classes and workshops on a variety of different topics; youth transition services to assist youth in successfully transitioning from high school into adult life; and more…
To learn more about our consumer services, please click through the tabs on the right.
Summit provides information and referral for local community resources in Western Montana. We can also assist with locating state and national disability -related resources. If you have a question or would like help locating services in the community, contact the summit office in your area.
We offer information and referral services on several different topics, such as:
- Affordable housing
- Energy Assistance
- Social Security benefits
- Food stamps
- Assistive devices/equipment
- Employment opportunities
- Payee/bill paying programs
- Senior/peer companions
- Transportation services
- and more…
Summit offers self-advocacy assistance in areas such as dealing with the bureaucratic “red tape” of government programs; securing civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act and other disability laws; filing appeals when Medicaid, insurance companies, and other service providers deny services; and a wide range of other situations requiring support and problem solving assistance. For more information, you may contact your local Summit office.
Summit provides peer advocacy & support through opportunities for one-on-one and group interaction with others who experience disability.
Summit peer advocates can offer emotional support, a positive role model, practical tips on living with disabilities, and information on community resources. Peer advocates also work on a variety of community and educational activities like school panel presentations, advisory panels/boards, community planning groups, etc.
For information about the Peer Advocacy program, to request the services of a peer advocate group of peer advocate’s or to find out how to become a peer advocate, please contact the Summit office near you.
Summit offers individualized and group training on a variety of topics. If you are interested in participating in one of our trainings or are interested in learning more about the different trainings we can provide, please contact your local Summit office.
Here are a few examples of the trainings we currently offer:
- Enhance Life Skills to Promote Independence
- Living Well with a Disability
- Working Well with a Disability
- Self-Awareness/Disability Awareness
- IL Philosophy, Pride, and Culture
- Building Advocacy and Learning Leadership Skills
- Communication & Relationships
- and more…
Youth Transition Services: Working with youth, 14-30 years of age, and various transition stages of life. To learn more about Summit’s youth services, please visit our youth services page. Also, swing by our BASE webpage to check out more opportunities for youth.
Nursing Home Transition Services: Working with individuals who currently reside in a nursing home or other institutional setting and who wish to move out into the community
Nursing Home Diversion Services: Working with people in danger of moving into an institutional setting to ensure that they can remain living as independently as possible in the community
Summit offers assistance in identifying and applying for Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, Food Stamps, energy assistance, and many other benefits you may qualify for. We can also assist you in understanding your benefits so that you understand how they may be affected if your income changes or you return to work.
For more information, you may contact your local Summit office.
This program is designed for people with disabilities who have long-term care needs, have full coverage under Montana Medicaid and want to direct their in-home Community First Choice or Personal Assistance Services. To participate in this program, you must require assistance with personal care tasks or health maintenance activities and be able to manage paperwork and duties required by these Medicaid programs. Eligible persons may also have a family member or other personal representative direct services on their behalf.
For more information, please visit our Self-Directed Community First Choice and Personal Assistance Services page.
Summit’s Missoula office offers Senior Companion one on one matches with other seniors in the Missoula city area.
Senior Companions are retired people who want to give back to their community and espicially wish to work with our elders who wish to continue to live independently in their homes. The matches meet once per week for up to 4 hours and companions provide a listening ear so that they can give information about community resources and services. Companions encourage seniors to review their choices so that they can make decisions about how to best maintain their independence.
The following are some things senior companions can offer:
- Support through conversation
- Advocate as requested
- Household management
- Assisting with forms
- Writing letters
- Assistive devices/equipment
- Playing games or cards
- Go grocery shopping
- A company to a medical appointment
- Encourage walking or other exercise
- A company to a social event
If you are interested in Senior Companion Services, please contact our Missoula office by using the form on our contact page or call 406-728-1630.
In addition to all of our other services geared towards providing Montanans with disabilities the tools and resources necessary to lead active, independent lives, Summit is proud to be able to offer a wide range of youth oriented programs. These very youth specific programs are designed to assist youth with disabilities in understanding not only their own situations, but to also help them make sense of the world around them so that they can successfully reach for their dreams and navigate the complexities of transitioning from youth into adulthood. Afterall, these are our leaders of tomorrow.
Summit’s Community Services
Social Change, Education, Access, and Advocacy
Summit regularly participates in social change, public education, and improved accessibility efforts throughout our local communities in order to ensure that people with disabilities are afforded an equal opportunity to be meaningful and active participants in their own communities. One of our core community services principles is Nothing About Us, Without Us.
Summit’s System Advocacy Program includes conducting community advocacy and public education activities aimed at:
- Improving service systems,
- Developing community resources,
- Increasing public understanding of disability issues, and
- Advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities.
An important part of our social change efforts include public education. Some it can offer trainings and other informational materials on a variety of disability related topic, including
- Disability awareness training
- School presentations
- Fair booth and other event displays
- Acceptance, inclusion, opportunity, diversity
- IL philosophy, culture and pride workshops
- Disability and independent living advocacy
- Community awareness regarding disability issues
- and more…
If you would like to have Summit visit your class, school, group, department, local organization or business for an inservice training, please contact a Summit office near you.
Another aspect of Summit’s social change efforts include conducting accessibility reviews and working with local business’, governments, and other entities to ensure they understand and are in compliance with accessibility design standards as well as to work as a partner with project planners to ensure access is an integral part of any design from the start rather than an after thought.
If you or someone you know has or knows of a business that is inaccessible, are looking for someone to help you plan for integrating accessibility in your project, or would like an accessibility review of your existing facilities, please contact a Summit office near you.
Good Access is Good Business
An accessible building is good for business. A mother pushing a stroller, a deliveryman, or a person who uses a wheelchair – enjoys the convenience and safety of ramps and other accessible design features and so, just as important as ensuring local business’, governments, and other entities work to increase their levels of accessibility and are in compliance with accessible design standards, it is also important to recognize those who have gone the extra mile to ensure their services are fully accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. Summit recognizes those who take the extra step provide good access with the Good Access is Good Business award as a way of saying thank you and strengthen community ties.
Summit works to ensure that the interests of people with disabilities stay in the forefront of policy making decisions and works closely with consumers and other advocacy groups to make sure that people with disabilities are involved in every step of the advocacy process including:
- Participating in committees and task forces,
- Lobbying and advocating before the Montana Legislature,
- Testifying at hearings and public meetings,
- Participating in letter writing and other advocacy campaigns,
- Organizing grassroots efforts, and
- Participating in public awareness activities such as rallies and demonstrations when necessary
Some of the areas in which Summit focuses our systems advocacy efforts include:
- Legislation at the local, state and national levels
- ADA: civil rights, employment protections, public accommodations, transportation options, telecommunication services, and governmental operations
- Improving services and service delivery systems for services that Montanans with disabilities rely on
Montana Centers for Independent Living Action Alert System
The Montana Centers for Independent Living Action Alert system is an email listserv and online portal designed to inform you about current local, state, and national issues that affect the lives of people with disabilities.
The Action Alert system is administered by Montana’s four centers for independent living who serve as a strong, collective voice on a wide range of national, state and local issues and work to assure physical, attitudinal, and programmatic access to housing, employment, transportation, communities, recreation, and health and social services.
Our action alert system works much like a listserv. Just sign up to become an advocate by clicking the button on the right and we will email you about important opportunities to advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities locally, statewide, and nationally.
You may also visit the MTCIL Action Alert system portal to learn more about our advocacy efforts as well as to take action on various issues right now.
Now more than ever we all need to join forces and work together to improve and preserve the services that keep people healthy, active, productive and involved in their communities. Remember, democracy is a “participatory sport.” We all have tremendous power to bring about positive change, but only if we get involved, speak out and demand that our elected officials do the right thing.
Our Action Alert system offers many opportunities for you to get involved, follow our advocacy efforts, as well as to look up and contact your elected officials.