What do budget cuts look like in the developmental disabilities world? One example comes in the form of a letter to Rural Institute Staff regarding the 20-year standing MonTech program, MAEP:
Rural Institute Staff,
After more than two decades, we are sad to announce the end of the Montana Adaptive Equipment Program (MAEP). MAEP provides long-term loans of adaptive equipment to Montanans with developmental disabilities.
MonTECH staff was informed on August 31st that the MAEP program will no longer receive funding after September 30th. This is due to severe budget cuts by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).
We thank those who have used MAEP or recommended our program to friends, families, students, and clients. We assure you that, although this program will end, we will do our best to help Montanans with disabilities get the adaptive equipment they need.
We are still unclear about how this change will impact our other programs, but we remain committed to provide tools and equipment that will improve the quality of life for those with disabilities. We are concerned about the impact this loss may have on Montanans, particularly those who will experience still more cuts in their services.
We will put answers to questions that people may have on our website at http://montech.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/montana-adaptive-equipment-program-maep/
if you need to refer people with questions about the program ending.
Thank you for the support of this program over the years. We apologize for any inconvenience or hardship the loss of MAEP may cause for people with developmental disabilities across the state. We will continue to do the best we can to assist with Montana’s assistive technology needs.
Anna-Margaret Goldman, Ph.D.
MonTECH Program Director
The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities
University of Montana
52 Corbin Hall
Missoula, MT 59812