September 29, 2020

RTC gears up for the 26th APRIL conference

2020 APRIL Conference logo- a computer with text above and below. "2020 APRIL Conference. 2020 and beyond: Building the Next Generation of IL. Virtual conference... real world change.

This year the 26th annual Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) conference “2020 and Beyond: Building the Next Generation of IL” is online, and will be held October 12-16. We are proud to be part of this year’s conference to continue our work alongside APRIL and the Centers for Independent Living it represents.

Registration, a draft agenda, and other information can be found on the APRIL website.


RTC:Rural will have three presentations at this year’s conference:

Facilitating groups & online workshop delivery

Healthy Community Living logo - orange circles grey people
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Pacific/1:30-2:30 p.m. Eastern

RTC:Rural Project Director Tannis Hargrove will lead this workshop as part of the Healthy Community Living program. Attendees will learn about Healthy Community Living’s newest program, Facilitating Group Training, as well as tips and resources for making the most of their facilitation skills both in-person and online. Online facilitation involves new barriers, different recruitment strategies, and can be new for facilitators. In this presentation, attendees will also hear from some expert online workshop facilitators as they discuss their in-the-field experiences.

Strategies for rural outreach and networking

  • Thursday, Oct. 15, Rayna’s presentation 12-1 p.m. Pacific/3-4 p.m. Eastern

RTC:Rural Project directors Rayna Sage and Lillie Greiman, along with Ashlie Shaw and a member of the Rural Community Living Development team, will be giving this presentation as part of the Rural Community Living Development project. This project consists of two components:

Rural Community Living Development
  • The first project assists CIL staff in organizing rural community resource mapping in their rural service areas to assess existing resources, identify service overlaps, and provide strategies for filling service gaps for rural community members with disabilities.
  • The second project is developing a peer mentoring curriculum to assist CIL staff in using effective strategies in rural outreach and networking to enact solutions to solve rural community living challenges.

Attendees of this workshop will learn about effective rural outreach and networking strategies, and also about two ongoing projects RTC: Rural and national CIL partners are creating. Come to hear from CIL team members on both projects and to learn how to help create tools, sign-up to be a peer mentor or mentee, and get trained to better serve people in your communities.

Expanding Your Consumer Base Using Technology and Online Tools

Partners for HCL
  • Friday, Oct. 16, 9-10 a.m. Pacific/12-1 p.m. Eastern

Project Director Tannis Hargrove and partners from the Partners for Healthy Community Living project will share some tips and tricks on how to use technology and online tools. With the onset of COVID-19, many of us were pushed out of our comfort zones and into the world of online delivery platforms such as Zoom. Attendees will learn how to use online tools such as Zoom to serve their current consumers and expand their consumer base.


Also, make sure to check out our virtual vendor exhibit, which will be available through a link on the APRIL conference website.

There will also be a special APRIL 2020 page on the RTC:Rural website with links to our presentations, a video message from RTC:Rural Director Catherine Ipsen, and links to fact sheets, maps, toolkits, and other useful information that we want to share with our APRIL partners and conference-goers.

Though we’ll miss our in-person get-togethers, we appreciate that APRIL has transitioned to online and that we can still be a part of this great event. We look forward to connecting with our APRIL partners and the disability community!