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Workshops, Classes, and Groups

Ability Montana’s goal is to provide opportunities for disabled Montanans to grow in their disability through community activities and group events, guided through peer support and person-driven advocacy.

Our organization—along with other nonprofits and agencies—regularly provides workshops, classes, and peer groups where we can all grow together in disability. This varies from life skills training to seated yoga classes to our Peer Advocacy groups. These courses, workshops, and groups all have different topics, but their aim remains the same: to help Americans with Disabilities access their communities and live independently.

Living Well in the Community (LWC) is a ten-week workshop within the HCL Program for people who want to set goals to support their overall quality of life and wellbeing.

Workshop participants can (either in person or online):

  • Identify what is meaningful to them and then set quality of life goals around the ways they want to make their lives better.
  • Make progress toward the goals they set by applying problem-solving skills and managing emotions like frustration and discouragement, feelings that can get in the way of reaching goals.
  • Discover tools and skills that can make goal achievement easier, like communicating effectively and finding important resources.
  • Explore ways to improve their overall health by changing daily habits.
  • Practice self-advocacy and systems-advocacy to help them make changes that can support them and others in living well.

Community Living Skills (CLS) is a ten-week workshop within the HCL program for people who want to build their independent living skills.

Workshop participants can (in person or online):

  • ​Build a support network with peers in the disability community.
  • Explore options and possibilities for setting personal goals.
  • Get information on skills and resources for living and participating in the community.
  • Build confidence and comfort in decision-making and problem-solving.

This group meets bi-weekly and focuses on advocacy at all levels, including advocacy for self, individuals, and systems to bring about needed social and systemic change. The Peer Advocacy Group is a forum to share ideas and develop plans for advocacy efforts. Group members are encouraged to participate as they choose, and are given the option to facilitate as they are comfortable. With a focus on growing as advocates, group members explore various topics and relevant material that encourages rich group discussion as well as opportunities for self-reflection and personal growth.

Examples of previous topics that have been explored include Disability Rights, Personal Rights, SAMHSA’s Eight Dimensions of Wellness, SMART Goal Setting, ABLE Accounts, Assertive Communication, Assessment of Personal Interests, the Beauty of Vulnerability, and Healthy Relationships Through Conversation.

This group is a social support group for women living with disabilities. We meet weekly and focus on supporting one another and connecting by sharing our own lived experiences, life moments, successes, and challenges. In this forum, group members often share personal stories, skills, and strategies we have effectively used in managing our day-to-day lives.

Our Men’s Group seeks to create an environment where men can feel comfortable talking about a variety of topics and experiences in their lives. This peer-driven group fosters friendships and hopes to reduce the stigma associated with men talking about their thoughts, feelings, and challenges.

Ability Montana works with youth as they transition to adulthood. The Youth Group meets in person or virtually to work on skills that will assist youth in being successful in life areas when they age out of the high school setting. Through these groups, we work on the following:

  • Advocacy Skills: These skills help strengthen a young person’s voice to be able to speak up for themselves, ask important questions, and get their needs met. This is vital when it comes to employment, personal care, healthcare, and other services used throughout a lifetime.
  • Soft Skills Training: These classes equip youth with knowledge of how to prepare for a job, for life in general, and for interacting effectively with others as they navigate life. These skills include:

Integrity, Dependability, Effective Communication, Open-mindedness, Teamwork, Creativity, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Adaptability, Organization, Willingness to Learn, and Empathy.

  • Recreation: We work with youth on exploring their interests—such as recreation—that can be accessed throughout their life span. This area includes social, mental, and physical wellness.
  • IL Skills Training: We work with youth on learning new skills that they will be able to use throughout their lifespan. This can include—but is not limited to—budgeting, cooking, travel training, and goal setting.
  • Peer Advocacy: We match up youth with individuals with similar disabilities in a peer relationship to learn and grow from one another as they navigate new or familiar life happenings.

The experiences of veterans in our communities present a unique opportunity for growth and healing. The transition from war-footing and military operations to civilian life is difficult to navigate. We hope to provide a forum where veterans can learn necessary life skills and develop the required supports to thrive in Montana. We also aim to support veterans as they move through their lives by providing peer-driven opportunities.

Ability Montana offers workshops that provide individuals exposure to new, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes. These workshops happen in person. The workshop may include prep for crockpot cooking or may take place in a kitchen where a consumer’s prep and cooking will take place. Nutrition needs can be taken into consideration when choosing a recipe if given adequate communication ahead of time.

Ability Montana will work one-on-one or in a group setting to go over the elements of personal finances. These classes can cover individual budgets, credit ratings and their impact, fixed and flexible expenses, income, and more.

Not sure where to start?

Contact us to find out which programs will best meet your goals.

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