Community resource maps are a great tool for consumers who want to learn how their environment can support their health. RTC: Rural recently completed a research project that focused on Personal Community Resource Mapping, a process that helps consumers develop a road map to better health. Using this system, consumers analyze their own communities, the places they go and the people they see, and use a map to create a picture, set goals and solve problems.
For people with disabilities, community resource maps are one way to encourage people to think about disability and health from an ecological perspective. In other words, mapping the community emphasizes the environment rather than the diagnosis of disability. Community resource maps allow an individual to think about the things they need to do and the things they want to do and to problem solve when barriers are anticipated.
This process of problem identification and and problem solving supports the Independent Living Philosophy because it encourages consumers to advocate for themselves and to ask for help when needed. Not only are community resource maps a good tool for people with disabilities but for anyone who wants to learn how their environment supports their health and goals.