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.
Services for Students
We are available to come to your IEP to provide information on community resources that may help for a successful transition.
In order to run your IEP, it is important to have people there who make you feel comfortable speaking up for yourself and who can be good support if you need help making sure that your needs are being heard. If you don’t know who else to invite, you can call us, and we will help you prepare for your meeting, and be able to be there to help you be successful in communicating your goals.
Summit Independent Living works with all types of disabilities and ages on finding resources in the community to help them live as independently as possible. For a student in the transition process this may include:
- Finding accessible/affordable housing,
- Applying for Social Security, Social Security Disability Insurance, or Medicaid programs,
- Understanding your benefits and how employment may affect them,
- Applying for or setting up personal care assistance in your home,
- Learning how to manage finances or medical records,
- Independent Living Skills training such as Living Well with a Disability- focusing on goal setting, wellness, and living on your own, and
- Information and Referral- if we don’t do it here, we will give you the information of someone who can help.
We understand that the best person to work with a young person with a disability on a barrier or transition issue is another young person with a disability who has been there and done that! YODA is a group of 13-30(ish) young people with disabilities who meet once or twice a month and we use each other as resources.
Come check us out, figure out what we do, and be a part of a community!! Join us in breaking down barriers for people with disabilities while having fun in the process!
YODA also has a Facebook page where you can follow along, interact, and catch up with other YODA members as well as stay informed of the group’s work and meeting schedule. Visit the YODA Facebook page now!
Services for Schools
Did you know that people with disabilities hold the record for the longest take-over of any federal building? They invaded the Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) offices in order to get section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act implemented.
Summit is happy to be able to offer disability history and culture presentations and materials to schools to teach students about disability history and how disability is a civil rights movement. We can gear our presentations towards any audience you want us to present to…whether they have a disability, don’t have a disability, or are a combination of the two. Summit has experience doing presentations for the entire student body, history and government classes, as well as students with disabilities.
Disability Culture is different than other cultures in that you cannot always learn it from your parents because they may not have disabilities. Learning disability history, culture, and your rights and responsibilities can help students with disabilities feel proud as a person. It can help them understand disability does not make you unable to accomplish your dreams, it just means you may have to go for them in a different way than someone else might. We want to help students understand some different ways to accomplish them, and help them to speak up for their rights and take responsibilities for their future by knowing themselves, what kinds of accommodations they need, why they may need them, and how to run their IEP so that they know you and your team are working towards what they, THE STUDENT, wants.
Building Advocacy and Learning Leadership Skills is a class that is taught directly in the school. Demand is high so make sure you get us scheduled.
We would be happy to do the same kinds of inservices for the teachers as we do for the students. Learn about resources, disability history and culture, and how to include your students in the IEP process and ensure they can be successful in transitioning from high-school to adulthood.
We can bring in a panel of people with different types of disabilities to talk a little bit about their lives, and how they are people first, and then a person with a disability. These panels also give students the opportunity to as questions of people with disabilities so that they can better understand the lives of people with disabilities and help them realize that people with disabilities aren’t all that different from them.
Montana Youth Transitions Program (MYTransitions)
Summit’s youth programs also works in close partnership with the Montana Youth Transitions Program (MYTransitions) to ensure that youth, families, teachers, and professionals alike have access to as much information regarding youth transition as possible as well as to encourage dialogue and discussion among all parties and around any issue that may arise throughout the youth transition process. We encourage everyone to check out the MYTransitions website if you are looking for resources to help you in the transition process as well as the MYTransitions Facebook page to engage in conversation with other youth, parents, teachers, and professionals regarding the topic of youth transition from adolescence into adulthood.