Working Together to Improve Rural Community Living
The Research & Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC:Rural) is part of the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana. We are funded by National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).
As leaders in rural disability research, we collaborate with disability community members to shape research projects and ensure the relevance of our work. Together, we work to improve the ability of people with disabilities to engage in rural community living.
COVID-19 and Rural People with Disabilities
RTC:Rural has been working to share relevant research and information about how the COVID-19 pandemic is, and will continue, to impact people with disabilities. Find a curated list of our COVID-19 posts here:
Visit our Resources page to find links to toolkits, programs, maps, and other resources we’ve created to support people with disabilities, their families, service providers, policy makers, and advocates.
RTC:Rural researchers Andrew Myers, Bryce Ward, and Craig Ravesloot, along with former RTC:Rural researcher Jennifer Wong, were awarded the 2020 NARRTC Best Paper Award for their Social Science & Medicine article “Health status changes with transitory disability over time.”
“It is a real honor to be recognized by such an esteemed group of researchers,” said Andrew Myers, RTC:Rural Project Director and lead author on the paper.
NARRTC presents the award annually to showcase the work of National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) grantees. Winners are announced during the awards ceremony at the annual NARRTC conference, which was held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The winning paper builds upon previous RTC:Rural research by examining how changes in self-reported disability status are related to changes in self-reported health status. (See “RTC:Rural researchers publish paper on health status and transitory disability” for a summary of the paper). It was published in the January 2020 issue of Social Science & Medicine, and was available online in October 2019.Continue reading about RTC:Rural paper on health status and disability receives NARRTC Best Paper Award
Temporary employment may be becoming permanent
People with disabilities are often the first to experience economic disruptions, and among the last to recover. Unemployment among people with disabilities spiked to 18.9% in April 2020 and declined to 12.5% in September. Both the initial increase and recent decrease in unemployment was primarily driven by changes in temporary unemployment (unemployed workers who expect to go back to their same job within six months). While temporary unemployment has gone down, permanent unemployment has risen since the recession began, and may indicate that for some, temporary unemployment is becoming permanent.
As the recession wears on and unemployment benefits begin to expire, long-term recovery to pre-pandemic levels may become elusive, yet again leaving people with disabilities behind.Continue reading about New fact sheet: Unemployment among people with disabilities during COVID-19