Geography studies the relationship between people and resources in place. As a discipline, it offers methods for understanding the diverse and complex nature of rural America. This programmatic line of research will address major questions of resource allocation and provide recommendations on policy and program practices.
The American Community Survey has released new data on disability in rural areas for the first time in 13 years. These data allow us to address the urgent need to update analyses of the geographic distribution of people with disabilities living in rural America. We will use these data, in conjunction with a Geographic Information System (GIS), to depict the distribution and status of people with disabilities living in rural areas. This analysis serves as the basis for understanding the geographic relationship among people with disabilities living in rural areas and their service providers, specifically Centers for Independent Living, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, and hospitals. Outcomes of this analysis will provide opportunity to strategically coordinate the locations of service facilities and improve service delivery in isolated rural communities.
Similarly, many policy makers believe that people who acquire disability simply move to urban areas for services. Without evidence to the contrary, these urban myths lead to distortions in policy and program. Migration is known to be selective of individual characteristics, especially of age and education, but knowledge about the mobility behavior of people with disabilities is limited. We will develop methods for studying the migration behavior of people to provide accurate information that can be used in agenda setting and policy development. Beyond providing an understanding of migration behavior, it will shed light on causes of rural- urban differences in disability levels and the role being played by disability in place or disability migration.
- Project dates: 2013-2018
- Funded by: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Grant No. H133B130028
- Principal staff: Tom Seekins, Ph.D., Christiane von Reichert, Ph.D., Lillie Greiman, M.A.
- Related Projects:
What the Research Says…
Links to Publications:
Map Facts: Disability in Rural America ScholarWorks, 2014
Maps of Disability in the United States link to Geography and Rural Disability Maps