Independent Living

Community Means Everyone


To make independent living a reality for Montanans with disabilities by promoting and practicing a philosophy of consumer control, development of peer relationships and peer role models, self-determination, self-help, equal access, and advocacy to maximize independence, integration, and full inclusion of people with disabilities into mainstream Montana.

The Montana Statewide Independent Living Council (MTSILC) Centers for Independent Living (CIL) and Disability Employment and Transitions (DET) work together to accomplish this mission.  These organizations address a variety of issues impacting Montanans with all types of disabilities.


Julia Arnold, IL Program Manager
201 1st St South, STE 2
Great Falls, MT 59405
1-877-296-1197 (Toll-free consumer line)
406-202-8064 (text, voice)

To receive Independent Living funds under Title VII, Chapter 1 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, each state must develop a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL). In Montana, the plan is developed jointly every three years by the SILC, CIL and DET.

2020-2023 SPIL Overview

View the full 2021-2023 SPIL here

Goal 1: IL Systems operate effectively and efficiently. 
The SILC and CILs will seek methods and programs to provide appropriate core services in the most efficient and effective manner.

Objective 1: Ensure that the SILC is compliant with Standards and Indicators (Standards and Indicators Document) by end of year 1 of this SPIL.
Objective 2: Explore options for increased autonomy of the SILC, including possible 501c3 status or other avenues.
Objective 3: In partnership with the MT network of CILs, the SILC will explore and seek funding opportunities to meet increasing demand, federal requirements, and enhance IL services.
Objective 4: In partnership with the MT network of CILs, the SILC will provide training opportunities that align with IL Philosophy.

Goal 2: Policies, procedures and systems are transformed through advocacy, education, training. 
Partnering with public and private entities, the SILC and CILs will promote IL through various media, programs, individuals, corporations, etc.

Objective 1: Effect social change through disability education and awareness to the public.
Objective 2: People with disabilities are provided opportunities to be involved in promoting disability rights at the local, state, and national levels.
Objective 3: The SILC will partner with and support MT network of CILs efforts to promote systemic change (i.e. housing, transportation, employment, accessibility, etc.)

Goal 3: Montanans with disabilities have access to and receive quality and appropriate services.
The CILs, supported by the SILC and other agencies, will provide services to persons with disabilities, especially those who are unserved or underserved including Youth with disabilities age 14-24, Native Americans with disabilities, Veterans with disabilities, and persons with disabilities living in rural and remote areas of the state seeking to live independently

Objective 1: The SILC will assist the MT network of CILs to target unserved and underserved populations through the current outreach model.
Objective 2: The SILC provides training and technical assistance in the provision of the five core and other IL services for the MT network of CILs.
Objective 3: Maintain and expand current practices to serve youth who are not identified in the fifth core service.
Objective 4: Through the provision of nursing home transition/diversion services, the SILC will work with the MT network of CILs to ensure people with disabilities have the opportunity to live in the community of their choice.

2017-2019 SPIL
2014-2016 SPIL
2011-2013 SPIL
2008-2010 SPIL

Legislative Advocacy Task Force

A joint effort between Montana’s four Centers for Independent Living and the Statewide Independent Living Council. Its purpose is to guide the statewide legislative efforts of Montana’s Independent Living network and to coordinate activities between the various task forces.

Meets every other Wed. at 10:30am.

Contact Tom Osborn (Chair) for more info or to join:

Community Living Task Force (CLTF)

Mission Statement: The mission of the Community Living Task Force (CLTF) is to enhance the ability of and opportunity for all Montanans with disabilities to achieve full inclusion in their communities and advocate for adequate access to affordable and accessible community living options. The CLTF includes all disabilities, mental and physical.

The Community Living Task Force (CLTF) is comprised of representatives from each of Montana’s four Centers for Independent living and other community advocates. As part of the Montana Independent Living Network the Community Living Task Force, primarily focuses on legislative and systemic change initiatives in the following areas: 

  • Expanding and improving accessible and affordable housing programs that support independent living options for people with disabilities.
  • Eliminating barriers that limit community living opportunities for people with disabilities such as architectural and attitudinal barriers.
  • Increasing the accessibility of business and local, state and national government facilities/programs, by working to advocate and promote ADA compliance.
  • Public education of community and housing accessibility options, barriers, and the philosophy of independent living in terms of individuals’ rights to live, work, and recreate independently in the community.

Meets the third Thursday of the month.

Contact Alan Fugleberg (Chair) for more info or to join:

Self Determination Task Force

Meets every other Wed. at 1:30.

Contact Travis Hoffman (Chair) for info or to join:

Native American Task Force

The statewide Native American Task Force (NATF), coordinated by Montana’s Centers for Independent Living (MTCIL), seeks to establish and maintain relationships with Montana Centers for Independent Living (CIL’s) and American Indian/Alaska Native communities. The NATF strives to work effectively with all Communities to promote collaboration that benefits American Indians/Alaska Natives across Montana.

Meets monthly on Friday mornings at 10am

Contact Sophia Tanguma for more info or to join:

Youth Employment and Transitions Task Force (YETF)

Mission: to empower youth with disabilities to prepare for the workforce and build more inclusive communities within Montana by reducing barriers, providing meaningful choices, promoting self-advocacy skills, and encouraging competitive integrated employment.

Meets second Tuesday of every month.

Contact Rachel Mosley for more info or to join:

Transportation Task Force

Mission: Advocacy for accessible transportation in all forms and throughout Montana. Promote funding and coordination for transportation systems, accessible sidewalks, pathways, and disaster preparedness for Montanans with disabilities.

Meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month @ 1:00pm or as needed

Contact Shyla Patera for more info or to join:


Montana Youth Leadership Forum

Montana Youth Leadership Forum

MYLF Mission

Identify students with disabilities who have exhibited leadership skills and equip them with additional training so that they may become leaders by example.

MYLF Students will expand their knowledge of the culture of disability, learn about all types of disabilities, and meet adults who are living successfully with disabilities.

“It’s not possible for people with disabilities to truly integrate until we are recognized as having pride in who we are as disabled people.”
– Steve Brown, Founder of Institute on Disability Culture

MYLF Goals

For each individual to develop

  • Community Leadership Plans
  • Academic and Career Goals
  • Work Ethic
  • Resource Development Plan: attain independence through the following:
    • Technology
    • Community Support
    • Peer Mentoring
    • Civil Rights

Montana Youth Transitions Conference


Transition to What?

  • Employment
  • Education
  • Social and Recreation
  • Independent Living

Annual Conference Information

Pre-Employment and Transition Services (Pre-ETS)

Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) are activities that provide an early start at job exploration for students with disabilities ages 14-21 to assist with transitioning from school to postsecondary education or employment. Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) works with schools and other organizations across the state to deliver Pre-ETS services. Pre-ETS services focus on

  • Job Exploration Counseling
  • Work-Based Learning Experiences
  • Counseling on Post-Secondary Programs
  • Workplace Readiness Training
  • Instruction in Self-Advocacy

Find out more Montana Pre-ETS

"Regardless of our individual experiences and superficial appearances we all share one integral human similarity, the need to feel valued, productive and connected."
- Catherine Kelly Baird, Lifelong Disability Advocate

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