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.
Research projects at RTC: Rural focus on community participation and independent living, health & wellness, and employment and vocational rehabilitation. Research products include: Living and Working Well with a Disability, health promotion programs for people with disabilities; Telecom Toolbox, a resource for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors; and the Transportation Voucher program available from the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL).
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.
Pain is commonly experienced by people with disabilities. The relationship between pain and participation was explored by researchers at RTC: Rural to see if pain acted as a barrier to people's ability to participate fully in community life. The concept of participation and understanding the barriers that hinder it is important. Just as inaccessible buildings and transportation can interfere with employment, errands and engaging in social activities, pain can also keep people at home. Understanding the multiple barriers that interfere with participation for people with disabilities is crucial to developing meaningful policies and community change.Continue reading about Pain and Participation
The transportation voucher model works to address transportation barriers in rural communities, a significant problems for people with disabilities. Many rural communities lack the resources to provide accessible and safe transportation so that people with disabilities can fully participate in community life. Researchers at RTC: Rural studied this problem and developed one potential solution that helps individual consumers meet their transportation needs through the use of transportation vouchers.Continue reading about Transportation Voucher Model