About RTC: Rural

University of Montana Main Hall with rainbow

For nearly 30 years, RTC: Rural has conducted disability research as part of the Rural Institute 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.

To achieve this, we:

  • Perform research to solve rural problems.
  • Offer training and technical assistance to service providers.
  • Work to reduce barriers to community participation.
  • Present rural issues to disability groups.

By conducting research across the focus areas of health, employment, and community participation and independent living, RTC: Rural uncovers the relationships among personal and environmental factors that show how people experience the rural environment to maintain quality of life. This work  has led to the development of health promotion programs, disability and employment policy, and support and education for providers who serve people with disabilities.

As leaders in rural disability research, our projects incorporate the collaboration of stakeholders and consumers from the disability community. We seek input and advice in shaping research projects both during their development and throughout the research process.  This partnership ensures the relevance of our research as we work to improve overall quality of life of people with disabilities.