UM Showcases Assistive Technology to International Fellows

Americas, December 3 2016

MISSOULA: Nine fellows from Laos, as part of SportsUnited, learned about assistive technology during their visit to the University of Montana in November.

MonTECH, housed in UM’s Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, hosted the visit in partnership with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM.

As part of their on-campus experience, the fellows toured MonTECH’s demonstration lab and learned about the assistive technology resources available to Montanans. The fellows became acquainted with the assistive technology in MonTECH’s lab, while learning about efforts to make many aspects of life as accessible as possible for people with disabilities.

The fellows learned about vision, computer access and communication technology, and screen-reading technology for smart phones and computers. They saw the use of the technology to share stories through pictures. That idea hit home deeply for many of them, especially since most do not speak English well and were experiencing what it felt like to not be understood for the first time in their lives while traveling here.

“It was amazing for them to see how far technological assistance has come and to see all of the possibilities out there helped to break a lot of internal barriers they had about their ability to assist those with disabilities in their home communities,” said Mansfield Career Administrator Shanti Johnson. “MonTECH staff was excited to support the Mansfield Center fellows and to be stewards of the idea that making things accessible isn’t just important, it can also be fun and intellectually stimulating.”

For more information on the international fellows visit, call Goldman at 406-534-5769 or email

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