Community participation begins at home. Having a usable home is essential in order to live independently and participate in the community. Previous research by the Rural Institute on the Ecology of Participation has shown that people with disabilities whose homes are set up for easier use are more likely to participate in their communities. For example, even small home improvements like grab bars in the bathroom can decrease the amount of time and energy spent in daily self-care, which leaves more time and energy for other activities.
In collaboration with the University of Kansas Research and Training Center on Independent Living, the RTC: Rural has been awarded a five-year contract to start the new Research and Training Center on Promoting Interventions for Community Living (RRTC/PICL).
The new RTC will focus on two interventions, called “The Home Usability Program” and “Out and About.” RTC: Rural will work primarily on the Home Usability intervention. “Out and About,” the second intervention, will focus on setting community participation goals and problem solving community barrier issues.
The Home Usability Program will work with clients to improve the usability of their homes. Even small home improvements, like installing grab bars in the bathroom, can give a person more time and energy for community participation. This could mean joining a social group or going to the movies, but also grocery shopping and attending appointments.
RTC:Rural will partner with two Centers for Independent Living (CILs): Summit Independent Living Center, Inc., in Missoula, and The Whole Person, in Kansas City, Missouri, to build a community-wide Home Usability Network to support consumers to make home improvements. Consumers who participate in the intervention will work with CIL staff to identify usability issues within their home as well as local and personal resources to help address those issues.
- Project dates: 2016-2021
- Funded by: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research grant No. 90RT5043-01-00.
- Principle staff: Craig Ravesloot, Ph.D, Lillie Greiman, M.A., Bryce Ward Ph.D
- Project partners: The Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas
- Related projects: