The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) conducts research on disability as part of the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana.
RTC: Rural is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to improve the ability of people with disabilities to engage in rural community living.
Read our 2-page Executive Summary: RTC:Rural- Research that Leads to Solutions for Rural Americans with Disabilities (PDF)
Read our 10-page Research Summary: RTC:Rural Research Summary_2017 (PDF)
As a NIDILRR-funded program, the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities strives to ensure people with disabilities participate in all stages of the development and implementation of research projects. Our goal is to make sure research results and products are useful and relevant to people with disabilities, their families and service providers.
On April 23, Dr. Meredith Repke, RTC:Rural Research
Associate, will present findings from the Rural
Access to Health Insurance and Health Care study, a partnership
between RTC:Rural and the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living
(CHRIL), at the 2019 NARRTC conference.
This year’s conference theme is “Inclusive Disability Research and Practice:
Building on our History.” The study is being led by RTC:Rural Director Dr.
Repke is presenting as part of a panel of researchers on the
project who are sharing different findings from the 2018 National Survey on
Health Reform and Disability (NSHRD). CHRIL conducted the survey to understand
how changes in health care reimbursement strategies affect working-age people
with disabilities in terms of access to health insurance, as well as associated
health care and quality of life outcomes. RTC:Rural researchers helped recruit
people with disabilities from rural areas, and will use their data to answer
some rural-specific questions.
Rights & Resources, a Center for Independent Living in
Birmingham, Alabama, is using RTC:Rural’s Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit to
introduce and teach advocacy skills to youth with disabilities by conducting
workshops across Alabama. With assistance from a grant from the Alabama Council on
Developmental Disabilities, Disability Rights & Resources was
able to hire a Community Empowerment Specialist to organize the advocacy
“We learned about the toolkit from APRIL [the Association of
Programs for Rural Independent Living],” said Elizabeth Patton,
Program Coordinator at Disability Rights & Resources. “Using
improvisational skills seems like a fun and engaging way to build advocacy,
especially in youth,” she said. “Looking over this toolkit, it was really nice
to have everything we needed already summed up into one Facilitator Guide with
accompanying Power Point presentations.”