Knowledge translation refers to the practice of getting research off the shelves and into the hands of those who can benefit from it. Originating in the health sciences, knowledge translation activities focus not only on the implementation of research but translating research results into useable, understandable formats to benefit both service providers and consumers. In order to make sure disability research conducted at RTC: Rural will be useful and relevant once the project is complete and to enhance the success of knowledge translation activities, we involve consumers in project development right from the start.
Consumer involvement in RTC: Rural activities takes many forms from providing advisory input on research topics, to working directly with research teams as research participants. One program that was developed in collaboration with Centers for Independent Living and consumers is Living Well with a Disability. This project began as a study on secondary conditions experienced by people with disabilities. With the input and participation of consumers, this study developed into RTC: Rural’s hallmark health promotion program which has been shown to reduce limitation due to secondary conditions. Living Well continues to evolve based on consumer feedback and demonstrates how effective knowledge translation practices can lead to products that improve health.