Tag Archives: Healthy Community Living

CILs learn from each other and adapt to COVID

We recently spoke to Luke Koppisch, the Deputy Director from the Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) of New Jersey, about his experiences networking with other Centers for Independent Living (CILs) through one of our programs – Healthy Community Living (HCL) – and transitioning workshops and other services online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthy Community Living logo - orange circles grey people

Workshop facilitators from selected CILs met weekly for several years discussing resources, ideas, and successes facilitating the HCL workshops – Community Living Skills and Living Well in the Community. Luke shared that these weekly meetings were a key part of his center running successful groups.

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Working Well with a Disability workshop added to Healthy Community Living

We are pleased to announce that Working Well with a Disability has been added to the Healthy Community Living (HCL) program! Both the consumer workshop and the facilitator training are now part of HCL.

What is Working Well with a Disability?

Working Well with a Disability logo

Working Well with a Disability is a seven-week workshop within the HCL program for people who want to develop a healthy lifestyle to help get and keep a job that meets their needs.
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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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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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Building Networks to Expand Living Well Delivery: Project Update

Living Well in the Community logo

We were excited to bring our peer-led self-management program Living Well in the Community to new audiences by facilitating partnerships between Centers for Independent Living and rural hospitals, and begun by teaming up with CILs and rural hospitals in Wyoming and Oregon for the first phase of the project.

And then COVID-19 struck, and like so many things across the country, we needed to adapt, as many hospitals and healthcare settings found themselves dealing with this virus and related difficulties. At the same time, it became dangerous for people to meet in person, especially when the disability community is most at-risk for exposure in this pandemic.

icon representing remote team. Person connected by dotted lines to another person on a screen, and to a globe.
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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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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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Research Snapshot: Building Networks to Expand Living Well Delivery

Living Well in the Community logo

Living Well in the Community (part of the Healthy Community Living program) is a ten-week workshop for people with disabilities who want to set goals to support their overall quality of life and wellbeing. Often, these workshops are hosted by local Centers for Independent Living (CILs).

However, not all people with disabilities who may benefit from Living Well are connected to their local CILs. To help expand the reach of the program, the Building Networks to Expand Living Well Delivery project partners with rural community hospitals and CILs. These partnerships will also help improve the capacity of rural hospitals to support rural independent community living. 

The Building Networks to Expand Living Well Delivery project team explains the project and its goals, and gives a quick progress update.


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RTC:Rural travels to Grand Rapids for 25th annual APRIL conference

25th Annual APRIL National Conference on Rural Independent Living. 1995-2019. The Power of Rural.

RTC:Rural heads to Grand Rapids, Michigan this week for the 25th annual Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) conference. The conference will be October 25 – 28, and the theme is “The Power of Rural.” 

Harnessing the theme of this year’s conference, Project Directors Dr. Rayna Sage and Lillie Greiman, Director of Knowledge Translation Tracy Boehm Barrett, and Research Advisor Dr. Craig Ravesloot will give a presentation titled, “Using Rural IL Power to Address the Needs of People with Disabilities Living in Poverty.” In their presentation, they will discuss how poverty affects Independent Living (IL), rural resources that Centers for Independent Living (CILs) can leverage to help address poverty, and how community development strategies can address poverty among people with disabilities living in their community. Dr. Sage will also briefly describe a number of new opportunities for CILs to get involved in RTC:Rural’s research and rural community development projects to address local issues that affect IL services.

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Healthy Community Living featured in KTDRR Casebook

Screenshot of the Cocreating with stakeholders through Participatory curriculum development KT Casebook

Click on the image to visit the casebook entry on KTDRR’s website.

Research done in isolation can often miss critical connections and applications, especially in the adoption phase, when much can be ‘lost in translation’ between the researchers and the end users. Knowledge translation (KT), or the process of facilitating that transfer of information, helps make sure that the research being done and the resulting solutions and products are easily understood, relevant, and useful.

One way to make sure that a project is relevant is to follow the integrated knowledge translation approach, which is to include stakeholders throughout the entire project, from planning to sharing the final results. A specific method within this approach is participatory curriculum development (PCD). The Healthy Community Living project is a successful example of PCD in action. Continue reading