April 5, 2018

RTC:Rural starts new Living & Working Well Facilitator Peer-to-Peer Series

Image of Peer-to-Peer Series email invitation. Text description in caption.

RTC:Rural Presents: Living & Working Well Facilitator Peer-to-Peer Series. First call topic: Managing Group Dynamics. A one-hour national conference call to bring together facilitators so we can share knowledge, experiences, and ideas! April 26, 2018. 11 a.m. MT.

Beginning on April 26, RTC:Rural is hosting a new Peer-to-Peer Series for Living and Working Well with a Disability facilitators. These one-hour conference calls are open to all facilitators who are involved in these programs, and there is no cost to participate.

“I started the series because there is so much rich knowledge and experience in this community of facilitators, but there are not very many ways for people in this community to connect and share that knowledge,” said Maggie Lawrence, RTC:Rural Training Associate, who trains Living & Working Well facilitators and provides technical assistance for the Living & Working Well programs. “I see this call series as a platform for facilitators to share experiences, stories, skills, questions, successes, and challenges; everyone is an expert, and everyone is a learner.”

The Peer-to-Peer Series will consist of one-hour conference calls, held four times this year. Each call will focus on a topic related to facilitation. Continued calls and meetings will be held based on facilitator input. The first call will be on April 26 at 11 a.m. MT. Registration is required, but there is no cost to participate. For more information and to register, see “You’re invited: Join the Living & Working Well Facilitator Peer-to-Peer Series!”

The topic for the first call will be managing group dynamics. “I chose for the first call to focus on managing group dynamics because it really gets to the heart of what it means to be a facilitator for a workshop that is deeply personal,” said Lawrence. “How do you set up your space and set the tone? How do you establish relationships and build comfort and trust? How do you encourage participation from those who are shy? How do you manage ‘over-sharing’? How do you bring a very diverse group of people toward a sense of togetherness? Basically, what’s your personal style?”

Maggie Lawrence headshot

RTC:Rural Training Associate Maggie Lawrence.

“Learning facilitation skills, to me, is about both learning from others and about finding your personal style, which is always evolving. The more people you can learn from, the better!” said Lawrence.

The Living Well and Working Well with a Disability programs are evidence-based, peer-led health promotion workshops provided by organizations that serve people with disabilities. RTC:Rural provides training and certification for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and other organizations to conduct the workshops. Both programs are based on the Independent Living philosophy, which recognizes that individual choice and self-determination are essential components of living independently in the community.

Since Living Well began in 1995 and Working Well in 2003, over 1,300 facilitators have been trained in 47 states, in turn serving over 10,000 adults with disabilities. To learn more about the development of Living and Working Well, visit the RTC:Rural website project pages here:

Interested in becoming a Living or Working Well with a Disability facilitator or provider? Visit the Living & Working Well with a Disability website or email livingwell@ruralinstitute.umt.edu for more information, resources, or to be added to the Living and Working Well listserv.Living & Working Well with a Disability