University of Montana Rural Institute

Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities – RTC: Rural

MainHallwithSquirrelThe 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.

Learn more about RTC: Rural, our staff and history by checking out our About Page .  Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


    Rural Disability and Solution-Focused Research

    Would you like to know more about RTC:Rural's recent research results and solutions? We've produced two research summaries that provide an overview of our community-based research. Our projects integrate disability stakeholder collaboration to develop evidence-based solutions that are relevant, appropriate, and respond to the unique needs of people with disabilities living in rural communities.

    The Executive Summary provides an abbreviated overview of some of RTC:Rural's current research findings, as well as some of the products, tools, and solutions that have been developed in response to those findings and the needs of people with disabilities in rural communities. View an accessible PDF of the two-page RTC:Rural Executive Summary below:

    Two-page Executive Summary: RTC:Rural- Research that Leads to Solutions for Rural Americans with Disabilities (PDF)

    The Research Summary provides a detailed overview of RTC:Rural's current research findings in the following domains:

    • Geography and Rural Disability, including: the geography of disability in rural America and access to Centers for Independent Living
    • Health and Rural Disability, including: the rural disability penalty, transitory and enduring disability, rural healthcare access, and Healthy Community Living
    • Rural Community Living, including: home usability and community participation, accessibility and participation, participation in rural events, self-advocacy, and rural transportation
    • Employment, including: self-employment, premature exit from the VR system, rural contracted services, and increasing employment outcomes through telecommunications and online strategies

    10-page Research Summary: RTC:Rural Research Summary_2017 (PDF)

    Through our research, RTC:Rural uncovers relationships among personal and environmental factors that influence quality of life. We incorporate these relationships into our research agenda and utilize stakeholders to help us understand them. Our projects integrate disability stakeholder collaboration to develop solution-focused results that are both relevant and appropriate for intended rural audiences. Through a shared understanding of rural contexts, we work to engage regional and national disability leaders in sharing understanding of how emerging policies impact rural communities and to help understand and prepare for challenges coming in the future.

    Continue reading about Rural Disability and Solution-Focused Research

    RTC:Rural researchers author blog post for National Disability Institute

    RTC:Rural Research Associates Dr. Rayna Sage and Lillie Greiman recently co-authored a post on the National Disability Institute Blog.

    On the left, Dr. Rayna Sage stands in front of a rodeo enclosure; on the right, Lillie Greiman points at a map on a poster and discusses the map with a woman standing in front of her.

    Dr. Raya Sage (left) at a rodeo in Ronan, Montana; and Lillie Greiman (right) sharing RTC:Rural research at a recent conference.

    In their post, they explore relationships between disability, poverty, the labor market, healthcare costs, and housing influences. The following is an excerpt from the beginning of their post:

    “There is a well-established and stubborn correlation between disability and poverty. The link between these two social phenomena creates challenges for people with disabilities, service providers, researchers, and advocates across the United States.

    At the Research and Training Center on Disabilities in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural), we see this relationship as dynamic, contextual, and rooted in environmental conditions. In fact, looking at a map of poverty and disability across counties in the United States, it is clear that where you live matters for how you may experience both disability and poverty.”

    Follow the link below to read the full post on the National Disability Institute blog:

    Poverty and Disability: At the Intersection of Place and Policy

    A wheelchair in the snow.

    Continue reading about RTC:Rural researchers author blog post for National Disability Institute

 

What does RTC: Rural do?

RTC: Rural is a leader in research on disability in rural communities. Visit our About page to learn more.