Tag Archives: APRIL

Healthy Community Living Program Adapts to the World of Online Service Delivery

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused interruptions and barriers to service delivery for people with disabilities around the country.  When Centers for Independent Living (CILs) offices closed, it affected their ability to offer their usual in-person services, including skills-based trainings and classes.

Healthy Community Living logo - orange circles grey people

Staff from RTC:Rural learned first-hand how the pandemic was affecting CILs’ delivery of such classes. Healthy Community Living (HCL), a health promotion and independent living skills program developed by RTC:Rural staff and disability stakeholders, was designed for in-person delivery. With several partnering CILs actively conducting in-person HCL workshops with consumers when the pandemic hit, it triggered a need for discussions, collaboration, and problem solving to adapt the program’s delivery under vastly new conditions.

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Rural Community Living Development CIL Partners Share Thoughts on Ongoing Project and Peer-Mentoring Curriculum

The Rural Community Living Development (RCLD) project is a knowledge translation grant funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). RTC:Rural staff have partnered with the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) to develop and implement a peer-mentoring training with and for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) that will prepare CIL staff to work on community development activities in rural areas. This training will help CIL staff to identify community needs and develop sustainable groups to solve community challenges. The project’s aim is to help CILs across the country connect with community partners to better serve people in rural communities.

Rural Community Living Development

In October 2020, RTC:Rural Project Director Rayna Sage presented on RCLD progress-to-date to attendees of the 2020 APRIL Conference as part of a talk on “Strategies for Rural Outreach and Networking,” where she explained how the project shifted due to the current pandemic.

“We planned on being in a community, actually in a number of communities, to use community development strategies like coalition building and partnering with diverse groups to address issues around community living for people with disabilities – but COVID – so we shifted gears,” Sage said. “So we shifted gears to bring together a team, a development team, from across the U.S. to build this Peer-to-Peer Mentoring curriculum.”

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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.

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RTC:Rural recognized in federal informational bulletin on rural housing and accessibility

first page of the Join HHS, HUD, and USDA Informational Bulletin

On August 19, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a joint Informational Bulletin titled: “Living at Home in Rural America: Improving Accessibility for Older Adults and People with a Disability”.

The bulletin shares information about federally-funded resources that can help people with disabilities and older adults, especially those living in rural areas, to remain in their homes and communities. The bulletin shares these resources with state Medicaid agencies, state and local housing agencies, state and local public health agencies, and other health and housing entities.

ACL- Administration for Community Living

RTC:Rural’s rural independent living and community participation research is mentioned on page 11 in the section about the Administration for Community Living (ACL). For over 30 years, we have been funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).

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Project Snapshot: Rural Community Living Development

Rural Community Living Development

The Rural Community Living Development (RCLD) project is a knowledge translation grant funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). RTC:Rural staff have partnered with the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) to develop and implement a peer to peer mentor training with and for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) that will prepare CIL staff to work on community development activities in rural areas. The project includes helping communities identify, access and use NIDILRR-funded products and resources that can address the most important community issues for increased independence and participation (such as access to accessible housing or transportation) of people with disabilities in their rural communities.

The Rural Community Living Development project team explains the project and gives a quick progress update.

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Upcoming webinar for current HCL providers

Healthy Community Living Skills Training Peer Support Call


Note: this webinar is open to those who are currently using the Healthy Community Living (HCL) program.

If you are not a current HCL provider and are interested learning more about HCL programs, you can find more information and get a license on the HCL website: Healthy Community Living


Healthy Community Living logo - orange circles grey people

Current HCL providers:
Join your peers from across the country on a peer support call on June 24 at 1:00-2:30 Mountain time (3:00-4:30 Eastern) to discuss implementing Healthy Community Living programs!

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Reaching Consumers During COVID-19 with the Healthy Community Living Program

The Healthy Community Living (HCL) Program is a collection of workshops that support opportunities for all people to live well and participate in their communities.

HCL is usually delivered through in-person workshops. Since in-person delivery of services is not recommended or not permitted right now as we all live with the presence of COVID-19, we’re sharing some ways to make HCL available to consumers remotely.

Limited offer: Access HCL for free now through May 1

HCL CLS LWC Logos - link to website

To help provide another way for people to connect to peer support, and also for CIL staff to access professional development trainings they can do on their own time, HCL is offering a free one-year license, now through May 1.

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COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 molecule

This short list of resources and information is not comprehensive, just a sampling of what is available.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.


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Webinar: Learn More about our new Community Living Program

Join the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) and RTC: Rural for a free webinar to learn about the new Healthy Community Living Program!


Healthy Community Living logo - orange circles grey people

Who: Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and other organizations that serve people with disabilities

What: informational webinar (free)

When: March 19, 2020 | 1 pm to 2:30 pm Mountain Time

Register here: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5427963/IL-Skills-Training-in-A-Click

This webinar will be facilitated by Mary Willard, the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at APRIL.

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Rural Institute Researchers awarded 5 year Rural Community Living Development Grant

The University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) is pleased to announce a staff team has been awarded a five-year, $981,803 Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project grant by the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research within the Administration for Community Living.

The newly funded project, Rural Community Living Development (RCLD), is led by Rural Sociologist and Project Director Dr. Rayna Sage, and Dr. Craig Ravesloot, Clinical Psychologist and Research Director for the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC:Rural).

A group of people in a community park enjoying a picnic. Two of the people are using powerchairs.

The purpose of the Rural Community Living Development project is to provide space and facilitate conversations among community members to help them connect to resources and information they might not otherwise have access to.

Using a combination of independent living philosophy, peer mentoring and community development approaches, research staff will work with Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to take collective action that leads to positive change for and with people with disabilities living in rural areas.

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