About Us

About Us

This multi-media website was developed by the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities  (RTC:Rural)  in collaboration with the Self-Employment Task Force at the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR). It was developed as a strategy to improve counselor understanding and support of self-employment options.

Please do not contact RTC:Rural for business development assistance, as we do not provide these types of services. If you are interested in pursuing self-employment, we recommend that you connect with a vocational rehabilitation counselor or your local Small Business Development Center.


This website reflects a collaboration among RTC:Rural staff and many other talented people who have significantly contributed to its creation including: 

University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, RTC:Rural

  • Catherine Ipsen – Project Director & Curriculum Development
  • Nancy Arnold - Curriculum Development
  • Lauren Smith - Curriculum Development
  • Stacey Bliss - Curriculum Development

University of Montana School of Extended and Lifelong Learning

  • Robert Squires – Project Coordinator

University of Montana Media Arts

  • Jo Costello – Artistic Design
  • Mark Shogren – Video Production
  • Jon Paul De Roulhac – Video Production
  • Tyler Schanck – Audio Production

Utah Office of Rehabilitation Services

  • Margot Dana – Curriculum Review

Missoula Small Business Development Center

  • Jennifer Stephens – Curriculum Review

Featured Business Owners

  • Alex Babat, AB Tech Solutions
  • Kolter Beneitone, MT Sno
  • Elizabeth Daughton, Believe in Me Photography
  • Josh and Trevor Hughes, Add-A-Tudez Entertainment Company, Team Kaizen Games and Ingenium
  • Melissa Lafontaine, Earth Within Flowers
  • Ed Worrell and Travis Stevenson, OverHere Consulting

For more information on these business owners and their companies, click on the Featured Business Owners section at the top of this website. Their insights about business ownership were invaluable.

About the RTC

For nearly 30 years, RTC: Rural has conducted research on disability in rural communities. Our work has led to the development of health promotion and employment programs, disability policy, and support and education for providers who serve people with disabilities. Through our research, we hope to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in rural communities across the nation.

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The RTC:Rural is part of the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) at the University of Montana. The RIIC is one of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDDs) located across the United States.


This website was developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (#90RT5025). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.


© RTC:Rural, 2017