LIFTT Board to hold September 8 Meeting via Zoom
The board of directors of Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow will hold a meeting on Tuesday September 8, 2020 beginning at 4 p.m. MDT.
Due to the continuing need for social distancing the board meeting will be conducted virtually using the Zoom platform.
The public is invited to attend and offer comment during the public comment period.
Important Phone Number Change Starting September 2!
Effective September 2, 2020 Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT) has chosen to discontinue the use of the phone number (800) 669-6319.
LIFTT has chosen to eliminate our toll free 800 number at this time because we feel that with the prevalence of cell phone with unrestricted long distance calling features maintaining the toll free number is no longer a justifiable use of limited resources.
Phone Service at LIFTT Disrupted
Good Morning! We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties with our office phone system so if you are trying to call us and can’t get through we apologize. The problem is being worked on and we hope to have phone service restored soon.
We will post updates on situation as more information becomes available.
For now if you need to get a hold of LIFTT please utilize the contact us form on our website at: http://www.liftt.org/contact
Thank You very much for your understanding
Draft DOC Consolidated Annual Performance Report Now Available for Public Comment
In its role as a designated document repository for the Montana Department of Commerce (DOC), LIFTT announces that the Draft 2019-2020 Consolidated Annual Performance & Evaluation Report (CAPER) for the DOC’s housing programs is now available for public viewing on our website.
Those wishing to submit public comments on the plan can do so via
Phone: (406) 841-2770
US Mail: Community Development Division MT Department of Commerce 301 South Park Avenue Helena, MT 59601
August 2020 Newsletter: Steve Woodard retires after over a decade with LIFTT
Congratulations to Steve Woodard on his July 31 retirement. Steve has been a dedicated and appreciated member of LIFTT’s staff for more than ten years. As an IL Specialist, Steve’s devotion and faithful service to LIFTT’s consumers will be missed.
He is an all-around great guy and we wish him the best of luck on his new adventure.
August 2020 Newsletter: Responding to COVID-19
Weathering the pandemic is difficult for all humans, but for disabled people, it can often be devastating.
Carlos Ramalho, executive director of Living Independently for Today and Tomorrow (LIFTT) said, “in many cases, people with disabilities face a greater negative impact during challenging world-wide events.” Normally, LIFTT hosts classes, counseling sessions, and peer groups, on site, but as a safety precaution, the office remains closed. LIFTT is committed to serving disabled individuals and their families in all ways possible during this crisis.
Through the CARES Act, the federal government awarded LIFTT a major grant which specifically targets individuals and families who are experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19. A portion of LIFTT’s grant was used to assemble kits carrying cleaning disinfectants, hygiene products and face masks. Funds also are available for a variety of expenses, including financial assistance to clients to cover household expenses such as rent, utilities, and access to technology.
To access these funds, applicants must go through LIFTT’s information and referral process. Recipients can only receive COVID-19 funds once. The funds must be distributed by September 30, 2021, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Please contact LIFTT at (406) 259-5181 or via our website at liftt.org/contact to discuss the application process and whether you and/or your family are eligible.
August 2020 Newsletter: Take our Virtual Programming Survey
As a center for independent living LIFTT is committed to provide people with disabilities accessible, affirming educational and social programming. However, we need your help! Please take a few moments to fill out the survey found in the link below and check the topics that you would be interested in seeing LIFTT cover in upcoming virtual programming.
Completed surveys can be returned to Jed Barton, LIFTT Outreach & Government Affairs Coordinator, 1201 Grand Avenue Billings Montana 59102 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 2020 Newsletter: Alexa, where can I get an Echo Dot for free?”
LIFTT uses grant from Billings Community Foundation to provide consumers with the Amazon smart speaker
Echo Dots are free to LIFTT consumers and peers thanks to a generous grant from the Billings Community Foundation.
The Echo Dot (3rd gen) is Amazon’s most popular smart speaker and allows you to make calls,control smart home devices, and listen to music, news, jokes, weather forecasts and much more.
Supply is limited and will be distributed on first-come-first-served basis. For more information about how to obtain an Echo Dot from LIFTT contact us at (406) 259-5181 or through our website at liftt.org/contact.
August 2020 Newsletter: Meet the Staff: Jed Barton
Meet Jed Barton, history buff, trivia expert, and fervid advocate of cultural change.
Jed brings to his job a passion for enhancing the lives of the Independent Living community. He splits his time between communicating with advocates, legislative committees, working on public policy initiatives and assisting disabled people navigate the confusing maze of government regulations, applications, and independent living skills.
Jed has cerebral palsy and autism. He grew up in Billings and felt he was fortunate to have completed “nine-tenths” of his education in mainstream classrooms where he received the help he needed to succeed. His efforts resulted in a B.A. in History with a minor in Political Science from Montana State University Billings. While attending MSUB, Jed participated in the university’s College Bowl team, which won the Northwest Regional three consecutive years, earning three trips to Nationals. Jed believes every disabled person deserves these types of academic opportunities.
Before joining LIFTT ten years ago, Jed worked as a journalist and for Montana political campaigns. He finds it rewarding to apply his knowledge to help LIFTT consumers achieve their personal goals. He also finds fulfillment in his work throughout the country to foster cultural and political change.
With a head for trivia and a heart for change, Jed strives to provide full access for the disabled, and to reach more people who will benefit from LIFTT resources.
August 2020 Newsletter: Now That’s Entertainment
Free online options for arts and culture abound during pandemic
Stave off boredom and immerse yourself in great entertainment with the click of a mouse! Thanks to the generosity of local, national and international arts and literature organizations, you have access to a multitude of free options that will lift your spirits and pique your interests.
Tippet Rise Art Center located near Fishtail, offers recordings of classical music concerts from internationally known musicians.
More great local performances can be found at the Billings Symphony Orchestra’s online Symphony Favorites series.
Elsewhere on the world wide web two premier British institutions, the National Theatre and Glyndebourne Opera offer fabulous free productions. The National Theatre streams a new production every Thursday while the Glydebourne Opera does the same each Sunday.
If you are a bookworm or a film buff, you can check out a variety of audiobooks, music, and videos at the Billings Public Library. What’s more, the library offers over 500 online courses ranging from how to bake cookies to studying civil and criminal law.
So, kick back and enhance your life with music, films, literature, and virtual classes. Enjoy!