Residents in rural areas can face many challenges and barriers to accessing services and programs, such as those offered by Centers for Independent Living (CILs). For many Centers that are located in or that serve rural communities, these barriers can mean low participation, which in turn can make it difficult to continue offering certain programs beyond core services. On the most recent Living and Working Well Facilitator Peer-to-Peer call, program facilitators discussed barriers to participation in their workshops such as fewer (or no) transportation options, competition for time, insufficient infrastructure, lack of supporting resources, and fewer outreach and recruitment opportunities. Continue reading
Register today for the next Living & Working Well with a Disability Facilitator Peer-to-Peer Series Call! Registration link is below.
Mark your calendars— the third Peer-to-Peer Series conference call for Living and Working Well with a Disability Facilitators is scheduled for October 25, 2018, at 11 a.m. MT. The call topic is Challenges and Successes for Rural Participants. These calls are free and open to any Living and Working Well facilitators, though registration is preferred. Continue reading
The University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a five-year, $4.3 million grant to support its Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC:Rural). The grant was awarded by the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, and will be led by Dr. Catherine Ipsen, the project’s principal investigator. The award continues 30 years of RTC:Rural research and training to improve the lives of rural people with disabilities.
“The opportunity to build on our past work and continue to conduct applied research with our stakeholders from the disability community is a great honor,” said Ipsen.
RTC:Rural research will address barriers identified by rural people with disabilities in the areas of health, community living, and employment. These barriers are often related to the limited resources available in rural environments. “Our team of researchers and knowledge translation staff have put together a portfolio of projects and activities that are responsive to, and inclusive of, people with disabilities and those who serve them,” said Tracy Boehm Barrett, RTC:Rural Director of Knowledge Translation. Continue reading
RTC:Rural’s second Peer-to-Peer Series call for Living Well and Working Well with a Disability Facilitators was held on June 28th, 2018. Twenty-two participants joined the conference call and shared their experiences, challenges, and successes as facilitators. The topic of the second call was program implementation, recruitment, and sustainability.
Facilitation skill-building is not the only thing to consider when planning a Living or Working Well workshop in your community. The programs require attention to the needs and capacity of your organization, as well as the needs and interests of participants. Continue reading
Mark your calendars— the second Peer-to-Peer Series conference call for Living and Working Well with a Disability Facilitators is scheduled for June 28, 2018, at 11 a.m. MT. The call topic is implementation, recruitment, and sustainability. These calls are free and open to any Living and Working Well facilitators, though registration is preferred. Continue reading
RTC:Rural’s new Peer-to-Peer Series call for Living Well and Working Well with a Disability Facilitators was held on April 26, 2018. Twenty-six participants joined the conference call and shared their experiences, challenges, and successes as facilitators. The topic of the first call was managing group dynamics.
“A key difference between facilitating and teaching is that as a facilitator, you are not placing yourself in the position of expert or leader,” said RTC:Rural Training Associate Maggie Lawrence, who organized the call. “Facilitators help to guide the session and keep on track, but the control of the curriculum is given to the group. This means that the workshop sessions are heavy on discussion and peer support, and therefore each group can have a different feel and different dynamics.” Continue reading
Beginning on April 26, RTC:Rural is hosting a new Peer-to-Peer Series for Living and Working Well with a Disability facilitators. These one-hour conference calls are open to all facilitators who are involved in these programs, and there is no cost to participate.
“I started the series because there is so much rich knowledge and experience in this community of facilitators, but there are not very many ways for people in this community to connect and share that knowledge,” said Maggie Lawrence, RTC:Rural Training Associate, who trains Living & Working Well facilitators and provides technical assistance for the Living & Working Well programs. “I see this call series as a platform for facilitators to share experiences, stories, skills, questions, successes, and challenges; everyone is an expert, and everyone is a learner.” Continue reading
April showers bring May flowers- and by flowers we mean Independent Living skills and consumer empowerment!
Registration for the April 2018 Working Well with a Disability online facilitator training is now open. The training will take place the week of April 9th. Space is limited, so please only register if you know you can attend.
Registration closes on April 2nd, 2018.
Working Well with a Disability Facilitator Training Details
Training dates: April 9th – 13th. Training includes online self-study and discussion participation and a live webinar on April 13th.
Total time required: 8-10 hours (estimate) over 5 business days, in addition to time to read the Working Well manual.
Cost: $130 per person. Cost includes a manual in your preferred format.
Registration deadline: April 2nd
How to register: Visit Working Well April 2018 Training Pre-Registration
Would you like to know more about RTC:Rural’s recent research results and solutions? We’ve produced two research summaries that provide an overview of our community-based research. Our projects integrate disability stakeholder collaboration to develop evidence-based solutions that are relevant, appropriate, and respond to the unique needs of people with disabilities living in rural communities.
The Executive Summary provides an abbreviated overview of some of RTC:Rural’s current research findings, as well as some of the products, tools, and solutions that have been developed in response to those findings and the needs of people with disabilities in rural communities. View an accessible PDF of the two-page RTC:Rural Executive Summary below:
Two-page Executive Summary: RTC:Rural- Research that Leads to Solutions for Rural Americans with Disabilities (PDF)
The Research Summary provides a detailed overview of RTC:Rural’s current research findings in the following domains:
- Geography and Rural Disability, including: the geography of disability in rural America and access to Centers for Independent Living
- Health and Rural Disability, including: the rural disability penalty, transitory and enduring disability, rural healthcare access, and Healthy Community Living
- Rural Community Living, including: home usability and community participation, accessibility and participation, participation in rural events, self-advocacy, and rural transportation
- Employment, including: self-employment, premature exit from the VR system, rural contracted services, and increasing employment outcomes through telecommunications and online strategies
10-page Research Summary: RTC:Rural Research Summary_2017 (PDF)
Through our research, RTC:Rural uncovers relationships among personal and environmental factors that influence quality of life. We incorporate these relationships into our research agenda and utilize stakeholders to help us understand them. Our projects integrate disability stakeholder collaboration to develop solution-focused results that are both relevant and appropriate for intended rural audiences. Through a shared understanding of rural contexts, we work to engage regional and national disability leaders in sharing understanding of how emerging policies impact rural communities and to help understand and prepare for challenges coming in the future.
RTC:Rural staff recently traveled to Spokane, Washington, for the 23rd annual Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) conference.
“Attending APRIL gives us a chance to connect with the real people, both service providers and consumers, who work on the ground every day,” said RTC:Rural Research Associate Lillie Greiman. Those connections allow RTC:Rural staff to share, gather feedback and solicit input on our research and resources. Added Research Associate Andrew Myers, “The APRIL conference gives us the opportunity to hear about the lived experiences of people with disabilities in rural communities all across the county, and these stories can help inform our research and improve the work we do.”
Tools for Today and Tomorrow – Presentation
Researchers shared information about new and current RTC:Rural projects and products in a packed workshop called Asking Question Leads to Solutions: Tools for Today and Tomorrow, which highlighted some of the many RTC:Rural products and tools that have been developed as a result of our research. Presenters provided information about:
- Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit
- Maps of Disability and Employment, from our Disability across America map series.
- Disability Counts Data Finder
- RTC:Rural employment research, including Telecom Toolbox and the Vocational Rehabilitation Self-Employment Guide (which is still in development)
- Living Well and Working Well with a Disability
- Healthy Community Living
- the new Rural Disability Resource Library website
All of these resources can be found on the Rural Disability Resource Library website.