Tag Archives: online

Rural Institute project seeking volunteers with SCI for online intervention study

ZEST- promoting the psychological health of women with SCI

Social distancing during COVID-19 can leave many people feeling isolated and disconnected from their communities, which can have negative impacts on their psychological health. For those who have high-speed internet connections and devices that allow them to get online, virtual groups offer one way to stay connected.

Researchers at the Rural Institute are partnering with researchers at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas, to test ZEST, an online psychological health promotion intervention for women with spinal cord injury (SCI). ZEST is a group program held in Second Life, an online virtual world.  

Volunteers may be eligible if they: 

  • Are a woman at least 18 years of age
  • Have had a spinal cord injury
  • Have had their injury for at least 1 year
  • Have access to a computer with high speed internet
  • Are able to use a computer and communicate in online group conversations in English

A small payment is offered for participation.

Volunteers are being recruited now through August 2020.

Continue reading

Telecom Toolbox can help VR counselors support the employment goals of rural consumers

Telecom Toolbox logoSince the recession, employment rates for people with disabilities have not increased at the same rates as those for people without disabilities. In rural areas, these disparities are even more pronounced: in most rural areas, employment rates for people with disabilities decreased significantly while rates for people without disabilities in those same areas increased. See our Employment disparity grows for rural Americans with disability fact sheet, or our Jan. 28 article Rural people with disabilities are still struggling to recover from the recession in The Conversation for more information.

In working to find solutions that help increase employment for people with disabilities in rural areas, RTC:Rural research has found that telecommunication strategies could be useful ways for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies to increase contact between counselors and consumers, and to help more consumers successfully reach their employment goals. See Use of Social Media for Employment project page for more information. Through research and conversations with partners at the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, we found that VR counselors were not using online job search tools and social media as much as they could, partially because they felt unprepared. Continue reading

New Online Training Platform Enhances Living Well with a Disability Program

Screenshot of new Living Well with a Disability websiteRTC:Rural is thrilled to announce an exciting update to the Living Well with a Disability Program with a new online Facilitator Training. The new program updates  make it easier for organizations to train staff and peers, prepare workshop materials, and receive technical support from both RTC:Rural and fellow Living Well with a Disability Program Providers.

After several months of planning, collaboration, and development with key stakeholders, skilled professionals, and multi-media experts, we are proud to share the beautiful new online learning experience to continue our long history of providing this evidence-based health promotion program for people with disabilities. Continue reading