We recently came back from the annual Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) conference. This year’s conference was Oct. 5-8 in Denver, where RTC:Rural staff had an in-person meeting with Healthy Community Living (HCL) partners, presented research, and shared information at our vendor table.
All staff shared that they came home with new connections, valuable feedback, and boosted motivation.
“Attending APRIL is largely about getting connected,” said Dr. Craig Ravesloot, RTC:Rural Director and Research Advisor. “We connect with our CIL research partners of the past, present and future. We connect with IL leaders to learn about current trends in IL. For the staff who attend, we connect with each other. These connections help us sustain our energy, interest and drive to continue doing the highest quality work in rural disability.”
Before the full meeting, the HCL team had an in-person meeting with Center for Independent Living (CIL) partners. “The Healthy Community Living Evaluation Team meeting was a huge success! The face-to-face meeting was a wonderful opportunity to connect with our teams in-person, and discuss our goals and hopes for the program moving forward,” said Project Director Tannis Hargrove. “I was delighted to be able to connect with our facilitators and I’m excited to be kicking off our evaluation on such a positive note! A huge thank you to everyone who traveled to Denver to meet with us!”
Dr. Rayna Sage, who presented with Dr. Ravesloot and Lillie Greiman on their IL research, left Denver feeling energized. “This was only my second APRIL conference, so I am still star struck by all the amazing people doing great work on rural independent living issues and by the strong investment made in fostering the development of the next generation of the disability rights movement!” said Sage. “It is so important to continue to ensure the rural voice is heard. I leave feeling recharged by our call to improve rural contexts for people with disabilities with high quality community-based participatory research!”
APRIL members—did you miss the chance to take the RTC survey at the APRIL conference? Is your brain full of ideas and thoughts about what work is most important for rural IL and research? We want to make sure our research leads to relevant and useful solutions for rural people with disabilities. Help us by taking our short survey.
The survey will ask brief questions about:
- What you think is important for partnering with community agencies
- What you know or want to know about 211 agencies
- CIL connections to hospitals and healthcare providers
- Transportation options in your rural communities
- What advocacy topics are most important to you
- What Personal Assistance Services are like in your area
You can skip questions or quit the survey at any time. For most people, the survey will only take about 10 minutes.
Once you complete the survey, you can sign up for our newsletter or learn more about how you can advise our projects.
Thanks for another great conference APRIL! We’re looking forward to working with our APRIL colleagues as we move forward with our research projects!