March 6, 2017

Opportunity to Influence the Future Plan of Disability Research and Development

Four people in a group talk at the 2016 APRIL conference. In late 2016, rural disability stakeholders had the opportunity to provide comment and personal testimony to influence the focus of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research’s (NIDILRR) 2017-2023 Long Range Plan. RTC:Rural engaged with stakeholders at the 2016 Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) conference in October to help them share their comments with NIDILRR about what is important to them from the rural disability perspective. We encourage our fellow stakeholders to, again, take the opportunity to review NIDILRR’s 2017-2023 Long Range Plan to provide more input on the focus on NIDILRR’s research for the next five years.


NIDILRR’s Mission, as stated in the draft plan, is to generate new knowledge and promote its effective use to:

  1. Improve the abilities of people with disabilities to participate in community activities of their choice; and
  2. To expand society’s capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for these individuals.National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research logo.

NIDILRR is both cross-age and cross-disability in scope, serving individuals across the age continuum and including all disability subpopulations: developmental, cognitive, sensory, and mobility-related.

NIDILRR’s Draft Plan

The 2017-2023 LRP continues to focus on NIDILRR’s three main areas of emphasis: health and function, employment, and community living and participation. The LRP also continues to emphasize Knowledge Translation activities to build capacity in the field of disability and rehabilitation research so it can be applied in real-world settings, leading to positive impact in the lives of people with disabilities.

The plan discusses various topics within its Research and Development Agenda, including, but not limited to: The State of People with Disabilities in the U.S. and Access to Maintenance of Needed Supports; Employment as a Critical Source of Financial Independence and Community Participation; Safe, Accessible, Affordable, and Useable Housing Environments; Home and Community Based Services Contributions to Community Living Outcomes; and Transportation Gateways to Employment and Participation.

RTC:Rural values stakeholder engagement to ensure research-based solutions to problems fit the uniqueness of the rural context.  We encourage our partners and stakeholders to provide comments on NIDILRR’s 2017-2023 Long Range Plan, providing insight and recommendations from a rural disability perspective.

How to Provide Comment:

Comments to NIDILRR can be submitted via email to Deadline for submitting comments is March 20, 2017.  

Read the 2017-2023 Long-Range Plan here.