October 29, 2020

Another successful APRIL conference in the books!

2020 APRIL Conference logo- a computer with text above and below. "2020 APRIL Conference. 2020 and beyond: Building the Next Generation of IL. Virtual conference... real world change.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone at the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) for another wonderful conference. Even though we couldn’t be together in person this year, everyone here at RTC:Rural appreciated that we were still able to connect and come together as a community. Thank you to everyone who participated in the conference!

For those with conference logins, recordings of the presentations can be found on the 2020 APRIL Conference website, on the Agenda page.

From RTC:Rural Project Director Tannis Hargrove:

“I have come to really look forward to the APRIL conference, and this year was no exception. Although, I wasn’t sure how things would translate on Zoom, I was really delighted with the online platform and felt just as connected to everyone and to the Independent Living movement as ever!

screenshot of Tannis' presentation. Three screens are shown: a slide with presentation content, an ASL interpreter, and Tannis Hargrove.
Tannis Hargrove (bottom right) presenting at APRIL 2020

I was also truly delighted to be able to co-present with so many of our national partners, who I learn from each week! Our partners and collaborations are what make our work possible, and I would like to give a special thanks to everyone who presented with me at the everyone conference. Dori Tempio, Edgar Morales, Casey Schmidt and Joell Austin, you are all amazing and I’m honored to get to learn from each of you and our other collaborators each week.

For those, who attended our presentations, I’d also like to thank you, for attending, engaging and supporting the work we do here at RTC:RURAL, and for Healthy Community Living! We truly could not do it without you!”

Presentation recordings:

From RTC:Rural Project Director Rayna Sage:

screenshot from presentation. Four screens are shown: slideshow, ASL interpreter, Rayna Sage, and Christina Holtzclaw
Rayna Sage (middle) and Christina Holtzclaw presenting at APRIL 2020

“I am so thankful for the work of the APRIL team to ensure that we were all still able to connect and share in the movement for social justice for rural people with disabilities! Every year I attend APRIL, I leave feeling inspired! Being a very social person, I was worried that I would not feel as connected this year as in person. However, Mary, Sierra, and Elissa did a fantastic job setting a tone of engagement and I very much enjoyed the chats, presentations, and social events (think Sing Along with Billy!).

Lillie and I learned so much from the folks who attended our presentation and shared their rural outreach and networking strategies and ideas. As we build out the peer-to-peer mentoring program for rural community living, we will continue to reflect on the feedback and information shared. I was humbled to present along side our CIL partners, Ashlei Shaw and Christina Holtzclaw.

I look forward to partnering with others passionate about rural independent living this spring!”

From RTC:Rural Project Director Lillie Greiman:

Screenshot from presentation. Four screens are shown: slideshow from the presentation, an ASL interpreter, Lillie Greiman, and Ashlie Shaw.
Lillie Greiman (middle) and Ashlei Shaw (bottom) during their APRIL 2020 presentation.

“Participating in APRIL is always a highlight of the year and this year was no different. It was so exciting to showcase the awesome work that our CIL partners are doing to bring disability awareness and services to the rural communities they serve. Through Community Resource Mapping we are able to connect up individuals and organizations and really make a difference for rural people with disabilities.”

Presentation recording:


Want to get involved?

Partners for Healthy Community Living

Partners for HCL

RTC:Rural is recruiting rural Centers for Independent Living to participate in the Partners for Healthy Community Living Project, which is focused on online delivery of the Living Well in the Community program via Zoom. CILs who participate in this project will received an HCL license for free, in exchange for providing 2 staff member to participate in weekly Living Well in the Community facilitator peer group, and deliver two Living Well in the Community workshops over the course of the a year, with the goal of working with 20 total consumers on zoom.

For more information or more details please contact Tannis Hargrove at tannis.hargrove@mso.umt.edu

Rural Community Resource Mapping

Resource mapping is a strategy that organizations can use to identify the resources available in their community. Working with other rural service organizations this process can help you build local partnerships as well as plan and promote community development activities.

For more information about how to get involved visit Mapping Rural Community Living Resources or contact Lillie Greiman at Lillie.greiman@umontana.edu

Rural Community Living Development

Rural Community Living Development

RTC:Rural and APRIL will be launching a new peer-to-peer mentoring program for CIL staff interested in learning more about supporting rural community independent living for consumers through community development! Look for more information this coming spring!

For more information or more details please contact Rayna Sage at rayna.sage@umontana.edu

Personal Assistance Services Worker Project

Do you provide personal assistance services to rural people with disabilities?

Rural PAS worker project team flyer. Text description in post.

Join the Rural Personal Assistance Worker Project Team!

  • Attend a brief project training
  • Take 10 photos of your daily work experiences
  • Meet with the team (remotely) to discuss your photos and document your perspectives
  • Review and provide feedback on project results
  • Receive $50 for your time (4 hours total, spread over 4 weeks)

Participants will be able to review and approve the information they share before it is shared as part of the final project. Learn more in this blog post: Rural personal assistance services providers: We want to ‘see’ your story!


Sign up here: Rural Home Care Worker Study

For more information, contact Ari Lissau: