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ADA Anniversary Celebration July 26

ADA Anniversary Celebration July 26

LIFTT ADA Celebration, Friday July 26, 2024 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Billings LIFTT Office (1241 Crawford Drive)

 

Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT) invites the community to the Billings LIFTT office (1241 Crawford Drive) on Friday, July 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate the 34th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Aging & Disability Inclusion through Transportation

The theme of this year’s ADA anniversary celebration will be “Aging & Disability Inclusion through Transportation,” featuring a display from Billings MET Transit. People can check out both a standard city bus and the smaller vehicle used for paratransit services, as well as view a video highlighting the accessibility of the MET system that features LIFTT team members riding the MET Bus.

Information and Vaccination

Along with the display from Billings MET Transit, there will be information tables from LIFTT and many other organizations that provide important programs and services to help people with disabilities be independent in their communities including Montana Vocational Rehabilitation,  Veterans Navigation Network, Big Sky Senior Services, Mountain Made K9, Forward Montana, Greater Good Health, Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County, Healthy by Design Coalition, University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities/MonTech, The Statewide Independent Living Council, AWARE, City of Billings Planning & Community Services/Yellowstone Metropolitan Planning Organization, Vitalant, The United Way of Yellowstone County and Tumbleweed.

RiverStone Health’s mobile vaccination unit will be on-site offering COVID-19, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and HPV vaccines (Human papillomavirus) to those 18 years and older. If available, those wishing to receive shots are asked to have their insurance information with them.

Fun & Food

There will be activities for kids, and the little ones can stay cool by taking a trip down a giant waterslide that will be set up near the resource fair.

The Tastes So Good, Little Red Wagon, and Digz Filipino Kitchen food trucks will be on-site, and lunch will be available for purchase. Altana Federal Credit Union will have its “Ice Cream Bus” handing out free Wilcoxon’s frozen treats, and LIFTT will provide ADA birthday cake, bottled water, and other festive treats!

Finally, at 2 p.m. in LIFTT’s auditorium, LIFTT team members and other community and political leaders will offer brief remarks on the meaning of the ADA and the critical role transportation plays in creating a truly diverse and inclusive society.

For more information about the LIFTT’s 34th  ADA anniversary celebration, contact Carlos Ramalho, LIFTT Executive Director, at (406) 294-5190, carlosr@liftt.org, or Jed Barton, LIFTT’s Public Relations Specialist at (406) 294-5186, jedb@liftt.org.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and south-central Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app for your Apple or Android Device.

You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.

Consumer Laundry Program Update

The LIFTT Consumer Laundry Program is expected to be up and running by August 1

LIFTT appreciates the community’s interest in our new consumer laundry program at our Billings location. Please note that these services are restricted to LIFTT’s IL consumers only. Currently, the washer and dryer are still being installed. We expect the services to be available by August 1st, 2024. Once installation is complete, we will announce that the services are ready for use. Please read the FAQ below for further details or call (406) 259-5181 during regular business hours.

Q: Who is eligible to use LIFTT’s consumer laundry program?

A: Only LIFTT Independent Living (IL) consumers are eligible to use LIFTT’s consumer laundry program at this time.

Q: What is a LIFTT IL Consumer?

  • A:  A LIFTT IL Consumer is someone:
  • Who has self-identified as having a disability;
  • Who has gone through our eligibility and intake process and been assigned an Independent Living Specialst (ILS)
  • Who receives independent living services from their ILS, such as skills training, peer support, advocacy, and information and referral services.

What if I am a PCA Consumer of LIFTT?

A: Consumers who are on LIFTT’s Self Direct Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program but not IL consumers will need to be IL program consumers to access the LIFTT laundry program. PCA consumers wishing to become IL consumers can inform their Program Facilitator, and they will refer them to an ILS to begin the process.

Q: Ok, I am a LIFTT IL consumer and need to do some laundry (once the machines are up and running). What else do I need to know?

  • Please be prepared to pay the service fee of $1.00 in cash. The fee will not be waived.
  • Please bring your own laundry soap, as LIFTT will not provide it.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the delay and appreciate your understanding and support of LIFTT and our consumer laundry program. We will update you on the progress and let you know as soon as everything is up and running.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and south-central Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app for your Apple or Android Device.

You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.

 

 

 

LIFTT committed to be welcoming safe space for LGBTQA2S+

LIFTT committed to be welcoming safe space for LGBTQA2S+

LIFTT Team Members Al Black Crow and Jordan Ferrero at Billings PRIDE

LIFTT IL Specialst Al Black Crow and volunteer Jordan Ferrero at our booth at Billings PRIDE on June 22, 2024. LIFTT is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for the LGBTQA2S+ community.

Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT) is committed to being a safe and welcoming space for the LGBTQA2S+ community.

We are proud to have a comprehensive Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Accessibility (DIEA) statement that reflects our unwavering dedication to ensuring all individuals feel respected, valued, and supported. At LIFTT, we celebrate diversity and prohibit discrimination of any kind. None of our team members will ever discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic. We stand firm in our mission to empower individuals with disabilities, embracing the uniqueness of every person we serve. Join us in fostering an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.

If you are part of the LGBTQA2S+ community and need independent living services, please do not hesitate to contact LIFTT. You can reach us at our Billings office at 1241 Crawford Drive, (406) 259-5181, our Glendive office at 120 South Kendrick Ave, (406) 948-8500, or online at liftt.org/contact.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and south-central Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app for your Apple or Android Device.

You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.

 

 

PCA program reaches full EVV compliance

PCA program reaches full EVV compliance

Mock up of cell phone with message from LIFTT announcing that the agency is fully EVV compliant

 

 

We are thrilled to announce that Living Independently for Today and Tomorrow (LIFTT) ‘s Self-Directed Personal Care Assistant Program (PCA) is now in full compliance with Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) requirements. This significant achievement underscores our commitment to providing the highest quality services to our community while adhering to state and federal regulations.

What is EVV?

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is a technology-based system used to verify the delivery of home health services. It ensures that caregivers arrive and depart at the scheduled times and perform the required tasks. EVV systems record the date, time, and location of service delivery, providing real-time tracking and verification to ensure accountability and transparency in-home care services.

Challenges and Barriers Overcome

Implementing EVV came with its share of challenges and barriers. Transitioning to a technology-based system required extensive training for our staff and caregivers to ensure they were comfortable and proficient with the new processes. We also had to address data privacy and security issues, ensuring that our consumers’ information is always protected. Additionally, integrating EVV with our existing systems required significant time and resources for seamless operation.

However, our dedicated team rose to the occasion, overcoming these hurdles with determination and expertise. Their efforts ensured a smooth transition, allowing us to maintain the highest standards of care and service delivery.

Acknowledging Our Outstanding Team

This milestone would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of our outstanding team members. We want to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Alyssa Everett, Lanette Brown, Annedria Vincent, Melanie Leuthold, Tana Stone, and Ashley Wolf Black. These remarkable individuals ensured that LIFTT met and exceeded the EVV standards.

Alyssa Everett, LIFTT’s Payroll and Accounts Receivable Manager, has shown exceptional leadership and organizational skills, which have been instrumental in guiding our team through the complex EVV implementation process. Her attention to detail and unwavering dedication have been invaluable.

Lanette Brown, LIFTT’s Personal Care Program Facilitator Supervisor, has been a cornerstone in this initiative. Her deep understanding of the program’s intricacies and ability to navigate challenges gracefully and efficiently has been vital to our success.

Annedria Vincent, Melanie Leuthold, Tana Stone, and Ashley Wolf Black, our dedicated PCA Program Facilitators, have demonstrated extraordinary commitment and hard work. Their collaborative spirit and proactive approach ensured a seamless transition to the EVV system, enabling us to continue providing uninterrupted care to our consumers.

EVV is a critical component of home care services, providing real-time tracking and verification of caregiver visits to ensure accountability and transparency. This system enhances the quality of care and safeguards the well-being of our consumers by ensuring that all services are delivered as scheduled.

At LIFTT, we remain steadfast in our mission to empower individuals with disabilities to live independently through education, support, and opportunities. Our compliance with EVV reflects our ongoing dedication to improving service delivery and maintaining the highest standards of care.

We are immensely proud of the work done by our PCA program team. Their contributions have been pivotal in achieving this milestone, and their commitment to excellence inspires us all.

For more information about how PCA services or LIFTT’s other programs can help you on the road to independence, please call (406) 259-5181 (Billings) or (406) 948-8500 (Glendive) or visit us at liftt.org. Together, we are building a stronger, more inclusive community.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and south-central Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app for your Apple or Android Device.

You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.

 

Nourishing Community with Breakfast & Lunch @LIFTT

Nourishing Community with Breakfast & Lunch @LIFTT

 
LIFTT team member Jocelyn Vincent cooking breakfast

Under the leadership of Jocelyn Vincent, the LIFTT Breakfast and Lunch Program serves about 50 meals each weekday to consumers and LIFTT team members.

We’re excited to announce that LIFTT has launched a Breakfast and Lunch Program at our Billings office to provide nutritious meals to our consumers and dedicated team members. Every weekday, under the leadership of the talented Jocelyn Vincent and our kitchen crew, we serve about 50 meals between breakfast and lunch.

A big thank you to the folks at Franz Bakery’s Billings location for their continuing contributions of bread and other items to this program since its start in  April 2024. Their support has been instrumental in making this initiative a reality.
 

Want to help out?

While any donation  to the Breakfast and Lunch Program will be welcomed, our kitchen crew has a list of items they are on the lookout for:

LIFTT Kitchen Crew Wish List

  • Dutch ovens
  • Fry pans of varying depths and sizes
  • Pots of varying depths and sizes (we already have 32 quarts)
  • Three (3) more 9×13 casserole dishes
  • Two (2) big cookie sheets
 
 
If you can donate any of these items to our breakfast and lunch program, please get in touch with us at (406) 259-5181 or liftt.org/contact. Thank you for helping us nourish our community!

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and south-central Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app for your Apple or Android Device.

You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.

LIFTT’s Peers: Celebrating Abilities

LIFTT’s Peers: Celebrating Abilities

Success Stories

Editor’s Note: LIFTT’s overall success is measured in large part by the success of consumers and peers in achieving their individual goals. When a consumer or  one of our peers successfully completes a goal, their IL specialist, PCA facilitator, or Peer Program Coordinator writes up a “success story.” It is our privilege and pleasure to share some of them with you from time to time

At LIFTT, we believe that disabilities can be transformed into unique abilities, depending on how we respond to them. Every challenge can become an opportunity, every obstacle a chance for innovation. We aim to support individuals in discovering their strengths, embracing their uniqueness, and finding ways to live independently, enjoy life, and succeed. Here, we share the inspiring stories of our eight peers, whose journeys remind us that true strength lies in how we view and use our abilities.

 Sue W.

Sue W., a 77-year-old woman with bipolar disorder and a back injury, faces unique challenges. Bipolar disorder affects her mood, energy, and ability to function, leading to periods of extreme highs and lows. Her back injury limits her mobility, making it difficult to perform tasks that require physical exertion. Sue may experience anxiety when learning new tasks, but with detailed guidance, she excels. Her mobility is limited, necessitating that she use a walker, take breaks, and perform seated tasks.

Initially a consumer, Sue successfully obtained adaptive equipment for her home and recently mastered using public transportation. As a peer mentor, Sue has been instrumental in preparing COVID tests for distribution, organizing brochures for outreach events, and assisting her supervisor with peer data. She also excelled at making callbacks to consumers offering COVID-19 tests. Sue has been a peer for two years and is a great asset, always eager to help where needed. The LIFTT staff greatly appreciates her people skills and willingness to assist. Sue’s journey is a testament to others with similar disabilities who believe they can achieve independence and contribute significantly to their communities with perseverance and the right support. Sue is an inspiration and a great example for us to follow. We hope to be 77 years old and live as independently as she does.

 Jocelyn V.

Jocelyn V., a 20-year-old woman with ADHD and anxiety/bipolar disorder, faces difficulties staying on task and focusing. ADHD affects her attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, while anxiety and bipolar disorder can lead to overwhelming emotions and mood swings. Living with her family and helping maintain their ranch, Jocelyn’s love for arts and crafts shines through her participation in social groups. Her eagerness to serve positively is evident in many ways.

As a personal care assistant to a family member, Jocelyn’s help is invaluable. At LIFTT, she is always excited to assist, whether preparing outreach materials, helping with payroll tasks, or cooking food for the team and consumers. Her positive and engaging personality makes her a joy to work with. Jocelyn has also expressed interest in facilitating classes and workshops, showing great potential as a future art teacher. Jocelyn’s story inspires others with similar disabilities, demonstrating they can overcome challenges and lead meaningful, independent lives. Jocelyn brought so much joy to LIFTT. She “lifted” LIFTT as an organization and added music to it because she sings about everything. We need to learn to dance to the sound of her voice.

Vern A.

Vern A., a 56-year-old man with cerebral palsy and a learning disability, faces daily challenges as a wheelchair user with limited mobility. Cerebral palsy affects his motor skills, balance, and coordination, making physical activities challenging. His learning disability adds to his struggles with reading, writing, and memory retention. Despite these challenges, Vern writes his name with focused effort and sometimes needs reminders due to memory issues.

As LIFTT’s first established consumer of the Self Direct Personal Assistance  Services program, Vern chooses and employs his personal care assistants, allowing him to live independently in his apartment. He also has access to a vehicle and public transportation. Vern’s desire to participate is his greatest asset. He enjoys talking to people and volunteers for task forces and outreach events. Vern has appeared in several LIFTT video productions, sharing his life experience to benefit consumers, peers, and community members. Vern is a valuable asset to the LIFTT team, embodying what it means to share his experience for the greater good. His example is crucial for others with similar disabilities, showing that independence and meaningful community involvement are possible. Vern is LIFTT’s movie star, and we will not let him go to Hollywood. We acknowledge that he deserves many Oscar nominations for his roles in LIFTT’s video clips.

 Rebecca A.

Rebecca” A., a 49-year-old woman with a developmental disability and cerebral palsy, faces challenges with decision-making, impulse control, and memory retention. Her developmental disability affects her cognitive functions, and cerebral palsy impacts her motor skills, although she is ambulatory with good mobility. Living with family, she strongly desires to move to a supported living setting and is exploring the Bridges of Montana Program for more independence.

Initially seeking advocacy assistance for her Medicaid benefits, Rebecca was referred to the Peer Program after achieving her goal. Rebecca participates in a day program to stay socially connected and active. Although recent medical issues and a busy schedule have limited her time at LIFTT, Rebecca’s qualities are highly valued. Her strong desire to help, active lifestyle, and persistent good attitude make her a wonderful addition to the LIFTT team. Rebecca’s determination and positivity inspire others with similar disabilities, proving they can achieve their goals and live independently. Rebecca is an inspiration. Her positive attitude encourages us to move forward and overcome whatever attempts to limit us.

Michelle Jones

 Michelle Jones, a 55-year-old woman with cerebral palsy and numerous additional disabilities, faces daily challenges. Cerebral palsy affects her muscle coordination and movement, while her neurological and learning disabilities, speech impairment, and developmental disabilities further complicate her ability to perform daily tasks. Michelle also deals with depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and various physical health issues, making her day-to-day life complex.

Initially seeking housing, Michelle was recognized as a good candidate for the Peer Program. Currently living with her family, she is eager for more independence. Despite memory problems and difficulties following instructions, Michelle is enthusiastic and diligent. She has helped prepare outreach materials and paperwork inserts for CSR folders. Michelle aims to attend Living Well in the Community and Community Living Skills workshops. Her willingness to help and be utilized despite her disabilities is greatly appreciated. Michelle’s perseverance and dedication serve as a powerful example for others with similar disabilities, showing that they, too, can strive for and achieve independence.

Austin Davidson

 Austin Davidson, a 28-year-old man with multiple disabilities, including orthopedic issues, obesity, depression, autism, and ADHD, faces significant challenges. Autism affects his social interactions and communication, while his orthopedic issues and obesity limit his physical mobility. Depression and anxiety add to his emotional struggles, making everyday tasks difficult.

Initially applying for housing, Austin was referred to the Peer Program. He assisted with outreach materials and other small tasks but has become busy with parenting and job coaching. Although he has stepped away from the Peer Program, Austin has expressed interest in participating in workshops such as “Living Well in Community” and “Community Life Skills.” His vibrant personality and focus, when given direct instructions, make him a great addition to the team if he chooses to return. Austin’s story shows others with similar disabilities that it is possible to manage their challenges, find support, and live a fulfilling life.

Peggy Royer

 Peggy Royer, a 68-year-old woman with mental and emotional illnesses, faces the daily challenge of managing her depression. Her mental health condition affects her mood, energy levels, and ability to function, often leading to isolation and difficulty performing daily tasks.

Referred to the Peer Program by her family, Peggy’s clerical experience allowed her to assist LIFTT’s Finance Department and reception desk. The LIFTT staff greatly appreciated her ability to work with minimal instruction and her eagerness to help. Although Peggy has left the Peer Program due to life changes, she is always welcome back. Her quiet but likable nature made her a valuable asset during her time with LIFTT. Peggy’s journey is a testament to others with similar disabilities, showing that they can find purpose and contribute meaningfully to their community despite their challenges.

Adrienne Thurman

Adrienne Thurman, a 20-year-old woman with low vision/blindness, faces significant daily challenges. Her visual impairment limits her ability to perform tasks that require sight, and she relies on assistive technology and adaptive equipment like CCTV and magnification software to function. Adrienne cannot drive and depends on pre-arranged transportation for her mobility.

Initially seeking assistance with registration for the Montana Association for the Blind’s Summer Orientation Program and acquiring basic independent living skills, Adrienne was referred to the Peer Program by her IL Specialist. Adrienne loves horses and dreams of owning and operating stables. At LIFTT, Adrienne completed the Living Well in the Community Workshop and assisted with preparing outreach materials and ILS clerical tasks. Her good attitude, youthful enthusiasm, and willingness to learn new skills make her a wonderful asset to the LIFTT team.

Our next peer could be you!

A peer mentor is more than just a guide; they are a beacon of hope, a living testament to the power of perseverance and the strength of community. Peers at LIFTT are individuals who, despite their disabilities, have embraced their unique abilities and are committed to helping others do the same. By sharing their experiences and offering support, they help others navigate their challenges and achieve greater independence.

If you have a disability and want to transform it into an ability, consider joining LIFTT’s Peer Mentor Program. We serve the following counties: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. We are waiting for you to become our peer. Like those shared here, your journey can inspire others and help create a more inclusive and supportive community. Join us at LIFTT and discover the power within you to live independently, enjoy life, and succeed. For more information about joining the LIFTT peer program or any of our programs and services, contact your nearest LIFTT office at (406) 259-5181 (Billings), (406) 948-8500 (Glendive), or send us a note on the web at liftt.org/contact.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and south-central Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app for your Apple or Android Device.

You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.

 

 

 

Director’s Corner: Inclusion Through Transportation

Director’s Corner: Inclusion Through Transportation

 

 

 

LIFTT Director Carlos Ramalho steps off a Billings MET Transit Bus.

LIFTT Director Carlos Ramalho steps off a Billings MET Transit Bus. Inclusion through Transportation is the theme of this year’s LIFTT ADA Anniversary Celebration, which will be held from 11 to 3 on Friday, July 26.

 

Equal access to public and private transportation systems for older adults and people with disabilities is vital for enabling these groups to participate fully in society, accessing employment, education, healthcare, and social activities. It is in recognition of this vitality that LIFTT has chosen “Aging and Disability Inclusion through Transportation” as the theme for our celebration of the 34th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26.

What does an accessible transportation system look like? As the center for independent living (CIL) for Southeast and South-Central Montana, how does LIFTT contribute to making inclusive transportation a reality? What are the advantages of including people with disabilities and older adults in the transportation system? I hope you will read on as this article explores these questions and perhaps feel compelled to share your own thoughts and ideas with us here at LIFTT. I also hope to see all of you at the ADA celebration on Friday July 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at our Billings office (1241 Crawford Drive).

 What does an accessible transportation system look like?

 Physical Accessibility

  • Transportation Facilities Locations such as bus stops, train stations and airports, must be designed to accommodate older adults and people with disabilities. This includes features like ramps, elevators, wide doorways, and tactile paving.
  • Planes, Trains & Automobiles Whatever the mode of transportation, vehicles should be equipped with low floors, ramps, wheelchair spaces, and appropriate seating to ensure ease of use for everyone.

Information Accessibility

  • Real-Time Information Providing accessible information about schedules, routes, and delays through multiple formats is crucial. Audio announcements, visual displays, and digital applications help ensure that everyone can access the information they need.

  • Wayfinding Clear and accessible signage, braille, and audio guidance systems help individuals navigate transportation systems more effectively. This is particularly important for those with visual or cognitive impairments.

 Accessibility of Services and Policies

  • Training for Staff Transportation staff should be educated in how to assist older adults and individuals with disabilities effectively and respectfully. Training programs can help staff understand the specific needs of these groups and how best to support them.
  • Policies Implementing policies that prioritize and protect the rights of older adults and individuals with disabilities ensure they are not discriminated against and receive the necessary support. This includes ensuring compliance with regulations and promoting inclusive practices.
  • Stakeholder Engagement in Policymaking Involving older adults and people with disabilities in the planning and decision-making processes for transportation projects ensures their needs are considered. This collaborative approach leads to more effective and inclusive solutions.
  • Accessible Technology and Innovation Incorporating technologies such as mobile apps for ride-sharing services that are accessible to older adults and people with various disabilities can greatly enhance mobility options. Additionally, research and development into autonomous vehicles and the use of wheelchairs aboard airliners can provide new opportunities for independent travel.

 How does LIFTT contributes to making the inclusion of the aging and disabled in Transportation a reality?

  • Advocacy and Awareness LIFTT can advocate for the rights of older adults and people with disabilities by engaging with policymakers and transportation authorities to ensure inclusive practices are implemented. Raising awareness about the importance of accessible transportation is a key part of this advocacy. LIFTT can also support people with disabilities and older adults as they engage in self-advocacy for their transportation needs.
  • Community Engagement By involving older adults and individuals with disabilities in discussions and feedback sessions regarding transportation needs and improvements, LIFTT ensures their voices are heard and their needs are met.
  • Education and Training LIFTT can provide training programs for transportation staff to ensure they understand and can effectively support the needs of aging individuals and those with disabilities. This training can improve the overall quality of service.
  • Support Services LIFTT can assist with navigating transportation options, including providing resources and guidance on accessible routes and services. This support can make a significant difference in the daily lives of those who rely on transportation services.
  • Technology Integration By collaborating with tech developers, LIFTT can help create and promote the use of accessible transportation technologies, ensuring they meet the needs of the community. This integration can lead to more innovative and effective solutions.
  • Partnerships Partnering with transportation providers, LIFTT can help design and implement accessible transportation solutions tailored to the needs of older adults and people with disabilities. These partnerships can enhance the overall accessibility of transportation systems.

What are the benefits of Aging and Disability Inclusion in Transportation?

  • Enhanced Mobility Inclusion efforts lead to greater independence and ease of movement for older adults and individuals with disabilities, allowing them to navigate their communities more freely.
  • Social Integration Increased opportunities for social interaction and community participation result from accessible transportation options. This integration helps reduce isolation and promotes a sense of belonging.
  • Economic Participation Better access to employment opportunities and economic activities is a key benefit of inclusive transportation. It enables individuals to contribute to and benefit from the economy.
  • Improved Quality of Life Overall, the quality of life is enhanced by reducing isolation and increasing access to essential services. Inclusive transportation ensures that everyone has the opportunity to participate fully in society.

Aging and disability inclusion through transportation is a multifaceted approach that requires collaboration between government agencies, transportation providers, community organizations, and the individuals directly affected. LIFTT’s is committed to being involved in these process so that we can join in significantly enhance the effectiveness of these efforts and ensure that transportation systems are truly inclusive and accessible for everyone. If you have a transportation accessibility issue or would like to join others in advocating for inclusive transportation options, please give us a call at (406) 259-5181 or visit our website at liftt.org

See you at the ADA celebration on July 26!

Carlos Ramalho, Executive Director

July 2024

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and south-central Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app for your Apple or Android Device.

 

A Heartfelt Thank You to Our Heroes

Thank you for helping to keep LIFTT afloat during our recent flood and move!

All of us at Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT) extend our deepest gratitude to the incredible volunteers and businesses who came to our aid during the critical months of March, April, and May. Faced with the devastation of flooding at our old office, we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that enabled us to recover and transition to our new home at 1241 Crawford Drive, Billings, MT 59102.

Your unwavering dedication and generosity exemplify the spirit of community and compassion. Each act of kindness, whether large or small, played a pivotal role in our recovery. Volunteers worked tirelessly, often going above and beyond, to ensure our operations continued smoothly. Local businesses offered resources, expertise, and financial support, demonstrating a remarkable commitment to our mission.

LIFTT would not have weathered the storm without your collective efforts. You have helped us rebuild our physical space and reinforced our faith in the power of community. Your contributions have ensured we can continue empowering individuals with disabilities to live independently and thrive.

Thank you for standing by us during this challenging time. Your support has made all the difference, and we are forever grateful for the hand you extended to lift us up. We have proven that when a community comes together, there is no obstacle too great to overcome. 

Among those, we wish to give special thanks:

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and south-central Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app for your Apple or Android Device.

You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.

LIFTT Billings Starts Laundromat

LIFTT Billings Starts Laundromat

LIFTT has started a laundromat at its Billings Location
 
LIFTT is thrilled to announce that we are starting a laundromat service at our Billings Office (1241 Crawford Drive). The LIFTT laundromat is designed to support our consumers without a washer and dryer at home.
For just $1.00 a load, you can now wash and dry your clothes at LIFTT!
 
 
Wearing fresh, clean clothes isn’t just about looking good—it’s also about staying healthy! Proper hygiene can boost your confidence and well-being. Now, there’s no reason not to wear fresh clothes!
 
The laundromat will be open during normal office hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call our Billings office at (406) 259-5181 or message us through our contact page.
 
Come by and take advantage of this convenient and affordable laundromat service. Let’s keep our community looking and feeling their best!
 
About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and south-central Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app for your Apple or Android Device.
 
 
 
 
Extraordinary Board Meetings July 10 & 12

Extraordinary Board Meetings July 10 & 12

An Extraordinary Meeting of the LIFTT board of directors will be held on July 10.

The LIFTT board of directors will hold extraordinary meetings at 4 p.m. on Wedensday, July 10, and Friday, July 12, at the Billings LIFTT office. (1241 Crawford Drive). The public is invited to attend and offer comments during the public comment period.

Click here to view or download the agenda for the July 10, 2024, Extraordinary LIFTT Board of Directors meeting. (Adobe PDF)

Click here to view or download the agenda for the July 12, 2024, Extraordinary LIFTT Board of Directors meeting. (Adobe PDF)

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and south-central Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app for your Apple or Android Device.

You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.