Category Archives: News

Researchers and project partners share perspectives on disability and the environment

Kelly, Troutman, Greiman, and Myers sit in the front of a room presenting. There is a slide projected above their heads with a map of disability rates across the U.S. Greiman speaks into a microphone.

From left to right, Bonnie Kelly, Bronwyn Troutman, Lillie Greiman, and Andrew Myers presenting as part of DiverseU 2018.

Rural Institute researchers and RTC:Rural project directors Lillie Greiman and Andrew Myers, along with community partners Bronwyn Troutman, Community Living Specialist, and Bonnie Kelly, Peer Advocate, from Summit Independent Living Center in Missoula co-presented a panel at the University of Montana as part of the DiverseU symposium. Their presentation was titled “Disability and the Socio-Political Environment.”

DiverseU is the University of Montana’s annual campus-wide diversity symposium. It is open to university students, staff, and community members, and features presentations, art exhibits, and guided discussions over the course of two days. DiverseU seeks to, “…explore the complexities of human experience, promote understanding, and create community through the practice of civil discourse,” according to the DiverseU website page. Continue reading

Restricted Federal Data holds value for Rural Research

Headshot of Dr. Benjamin Cerf.

Photo from Dr. Cerf’s profile on www.census.gov.

On October 17, Dr. Benjamin Cerf, a Census Bureau research economist and the administrator of the Northwest Federal Statistical Research Data Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, presented information on accessing restricted federal data to University of Montana researchers. Thirty-six UM researchers and staff attended the two sessions, which were part of the University of Montana Faculty Professional Development Series hosted by the Faculty Development Office.

Following an invitation from Dr. Christiane von Reichert, a professor of Geography at UM, Dr. Cerf gave presentations on restricted business, demographic, and health data that can only be viewed at Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (RDCs) located in 29 locations throughout the country. Dr. von Reichert is an RTC:Rural research partner who is working with Dr. Cerf on a proposal to access restricted census data so she can further her research on disability at the household level. Continue reading

RTC:Rural helps celebrate 40 years of NIDILRR

Lillie Greiman in front of research poster at the NIDILRR 40th anniversary celebration.

RTC:Rural Project Director Lillie Greiman in front of her poster titled “The Geography of Home for People with Disabilities” at the NIDILRR 40th anniversary celebration.

RTC:Rural Project Director Lillie Greiman traveled to Washington D.C. to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). First funded by NIDILRR in 1987, RTC:Rural is proud to have been awarded seven Rehabilitation Research and Training Program grants to conduct rural disability research and be part of the NIDILRR network over the past 30 years.

“It was inspiring to see all the cross discipline and cross disability work that NIDILRR is currently funding and to learn about all the work that was funded in the past,” said Greiman. “NIDILRR has had a profound impact on disability research over the years and will continue to do so into the future.” Continue reading

RTC:Rural Supports Disability Employment Month

A man operates an ice cream truck at an outdoor farmers market. He is an amputee.

Picture from Healthy Community Living (www.healthycommunityliving.com).

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and RTC:Rural is celebrating efforts to support people with disabilities in rural communities as they work towards achieving their employment goals.

In addition to the economic benefits of employment, it is an important predictor of community participation and well-being. However, for people with disabilities, and especially in rural areas, employment is not always accessible. Not only are there physical barriers, such as inaccessible buildings and transportation, but there are also societal and attitudinal barriers. These barriers keep people with disabilities disconnected from important activities such as work, school, and community life, and contribute to increased social and economic inequality. Employment is one factor that helps to increase community participation. People who are employed report higher levels of community participation and feeling more socially connected than those who are not employed.

Continue reading

Another great APRIL conference in the books!

APRIL 2018 conference logo: Roots of Change Grow a Mile High. Denver, Colorado, October 5-8, 2018.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. Continue reading

Rural Institute shares knowledge on disability as part of UM public health graduate seminar

University of Montana School of public & Community health sciences logo

Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) staff, students, and community partners will be participating in a series of presentations at the University of Montana as part of the School of Public & Community Health Sciences seminar program for students, staff and faculty. The 16 week graduate seminar is part of UM’s Public Health doctoral program aimed to educate and equip students with the skills and expertise to improve public health at the community level and around the world. Continue reading

RTC:Rural travels to Denver for annual APRIL conference

APRIL 2018 conference logo: Roots of Change Grow a Mile High. Denver, Colorado, October 5-8, 2018. RTC:Rural heads to Denver, Colorado this October for the annual Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) conference. The conference will be October 5 – 8, and the theme is “Roots of Change Grow a Mile High.”

As well as sharing information and resources at vendor tables, RTC:Rural staff will meet with national partners, share research updates, and gather input that will help shape future research projects. We have a long-standing partnership with APRIL, and are looking forward to coming together to continue to support people with disabilities so they can participate in their rural communities. Continue reading

Living and Working Well with a Disability Facilitators: Register today for Peer-to-Peer Call #3!

Peer-to-Peer Series Call #3 invitation. See text for full description.

Register today for the next Living & Working Well with a Disability Facilitator Peer-to-Peer Series Call! Registration link is below.

Mark your calendars— the third Peer-to-Peer Series conference call for Living and Working Well with a Disability Facilitators is scheduled for October 25, 2018, at 11 a.m. MT. The call topic is Challenges and Successes for Rural Participants. These calls are free and open to any Living and Working Well facilitators, though registration is preferred. Continue reading

Disability rates in the path of Hurricane Florence

Understanding the needs of a community is imperative in order to effectively plan for natural disaster emergency response. As Hurricane Florence continues to impact the Southeast coast, national, state and local community emergency planners are working to evacuate and shelter thousands of people who are fleeing their homes.

People with disabilities are one of many vulnerable groups especially at risk during natural disasters. In times of emergency, people will evacuate with their households, and will need to shelter with their households. It is not acceptable to separate families and households in times of crisis. Many family members are caregivers, so shelters need to be accessible so that people with disabilities and their families and caregivers can stay together. Continue reading

RTC:Rural sponsors workshops on restricted-access federal data

RTC:Rural, along with the University of Montana (UM) Department of Geography and the UM Faculty Development Office, is pleased to sponsor a workshop series for the UM research community on accessing restricted federal statistical research data. Funding has been provided by the Office of the Vice-President for Research and Creative Scholarship. Dr. Ben Cerf, a Census Bureau research economist and the administrator of the Northwest Federal Statistical Research Data Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, will present the workshops. The workshops will be held on October 17, 2018, at the University of Montana.

headshot of Dr. von Reichert. She is an older woman with short, gray/brown hair, wearing a pink striped shirt. She is standing outside, and there is a view overlooking a city and ocean behind her.

Dr. Christiane von Reichert.

Dr. Christiane von Reichert, professor of Geography at UM and an RTC:Rural research partner, was instrumental in bringing Dr. Cerf to campus. von Reichert has been in communication with Dr. Cerf about seeking access to restricted data to examine whether or not urban-rural migration is a factor contributing to higher rural than urban disability rates.   Continue reading