Supporting persons with Disabilities in Enhancing their Quality of LIfe

Congratulations Nikki Koontz for being Montana's Direct Support Professional of the year for 2017!

September 10-16, 2017 is National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week.

Please join us in recognizing all Direct Support Professionals for the hard work, dedication and compassion they provide each and every day. 

We would love to share your story about a DSP in your life. Email your story to

to help recognize a DSP today!

Direct Support Professional Week

UPDATE: Because of federal budget cuts, ORI could lose 400,000 dollars from our annual budget. 

These words from the person who nominated Nikki to be the DSP of the Year in Montana tell you a great deal about this DSP of 10 years: "Nikki takes the time to do the little special things for them (the people she supports) just as you and I would for our loved ones," writes Sheila Thompson, Director of Residential Services, in her letter of nomination.
Many times, DSPs need to be creative, and Nikki is. She was supporting a man who had recently retired who started gaining weight - a lot of weight. She found out what kind of foods he liked to eat and introduced him to "Crock Pot Meals" (see video below). Nikki and staff make a meal every morning using the foods that he likes. Because of this, he has lost over 40 pounds and is very excited about his new way of cooking!
Person-centered supports are a forte of Nikki's. Sheila Thompson says, "Nikki makes sure she knows the dreams and desires of every person she supports. She is currently supporting seven people who live in their homes. Nikki comes up with ways to help them realize their dreams. Nikki appreciates each person as an individual and celebrates who they are and what they want to do in their life."  

Thank you to the generous businesses who are helping us recognize the work our DSPs do each day. We appreciate your support of our mission and our staff!

Staggering Ox | Rockin Rudy's  | Peak Health & Wellness | Fuel Fitness | Southside Auto | Diamond Bar Meats

​Access Fitness | Wheat Montana | University Golf Course 

Direct Support Professionals are Vital to the ORI Mission

​If these funds are lost, many of our clients will face losing critical services and programming that support their quality of life.This will impact not only the lives of our DSPs, but the lives of many people with disabilities in our community and throughout Western Montana. Click below to see how you can help us continue to support persons with disabilities in enhancing their quality of life.​

Home - DSP Week

When it comes to professional support of persons with disabilities in Montana, none are superior to those who work with the nearly 700 individuals served by ORI. In fact, for three years running, ORI employees have won the “Montana Direct Support Professional of the Year” award. They represent the amazing dedication, service, and contribution typical of the more than 350+ ORI DSPs.

What does it mean to be an outstanding Direct Support Professional?
•Assisting others in achieving their dreams, goals and desires.
•Exhibiting higher human values such as compassion, patience, wisdom and commitment.
•Creativity and competency in respectfully handling challenging behaviors.
•Being paid far less than one contributes.
•Toiling daily, performing a critical service not really understood by the community.

It means work. It means challenge. Ultimately, it means joy.

Our DSPs are part of a remarkable movement, ushering in the day when all people are viewed through the softening lens of their humanity, not the harsh microscope of disability. Join us in honoring them, not only in September, but every day of every week.