Rural residents face an “access penalty,” a significant gap in the accessibility of small towns and rural environments that reduces their opportunities to participate in community life. Information that helps develop consensus on the nature of such a problem and that provides a means to evaluate progress in solving it provides a foundation for rural community development. The goal of this project is to promote the participation of people with disabilities in community life by enhancing accessibility. Our specific aim is to develop and demonstrate procedures for integrating information about a community’s accessibility into the local planning process. We will use the measures created in R5 to develop a Community Accessibility of Rural Events (CARE) Report Card and web site. Advocates in three selected communities will use the CARE Card to build community awareness about the importance of planning accessible events and to set community goals and expectations for enhancing accessibility of community events. We will evaluate the utility of such an approach by comparing the accessibility of events in the three CARE communities to that of three similar communities that do not participate in the CARE process. If effective, access to and inclusion in the CARE web site will be systematically expanded to more communities.
- Project dates: 2013-2018
- Funded by: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Grant No. H133B130028
- Principal staff: Craig Ravesloot, Ph.D., Tom Seekins, Ph.D., Tracy Boehm, M.P.H., Tannis Hargrove, M.S., Lillie Greiman, M.A.
- Related projects: