Tag Archives: transportation

RTC: Rural project sets out to explore what types of transportation people in rural areas use

The Rural Transportation Options project, which will help build a more complete understanding of how rural people with disabilities use public and other forms of accessible transportation, is getting ready to begin a pilot survey. Paper surveys will be available on public buses in Park County, Montana later this year. There are also options to take the survey online, or to call in and take it over the phone.

Screenshot of the Park Co. and UM Transportation Survey

The survey includes questions about what type of transportation the participant is using for the current trip, the purpose of their trip, if the trip was scheduled ahead of time, and types of transportation used in the last 30 days.

“This brief ridership survey will help us: 1) understand how people use public transit in Park County, MT and 2) shape our survey materials and procedures for dissemination nationwide,” said Andrew Myers, RTC:Rural Project Director.  

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RTC:Rural staff will share rural health care survey findings at NARRTC conference

On April 23, Dr. Meredith Repke, RTC:Rural Research Associate, will present findings from the Rural Access to Health Insurance and Health Care study, a partnership between RTC:Rural and the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL), at the 2019 NARRTC conference. This year’s conference theme is “Inclusive Disability Research and Practice: Building on our History.” The study is being led by RTC:Rural Director Dr. Catherine Ipsen.    

RTC:Rural Research & Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities and the Collaborative on Health Reform and Indpendent Living (CHRIL) National Survey on Health Reform and Disability.

Repke is presenting as part of a panel of researchers on the project who are sharing different findings from the 2018 National Survey on Health Reform and Disability (NSHRD). CHRIL conducted the survey to understand how changes in health care reimbursement strategies affect working-age people with disabilities in terms of access to health insurance, as well as associated health care and quality of life outcomes. RTC:Rural researchers helped recruit people with disabilities from rural areas, and will use their data to answer some rural-specific questions.

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More to discover in the Rural Disability Resource Library

Looking for information on accessible transportation or housing? Or for strategies to help you talk about your disability in a job interview? Need some tips on how to find a personal care assistant, or on how to do your taxes?

For all those and more, check out the Rural Disability Resource Library. It contains fact sheets, how-to guides, information for conducting workshops, web resources, and much more!

Watch our video to learn more:

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APRIL members share input in RTC:Rural survey

First page of the APRIL Members Input Survey Summarized Results. Links in post to PDF and text-only versions.

Cover of the APRIL Members Input Survey Summarized Results. To view or download the full results, follow the links in the post.

At this year’s APRIL conference (See: Another great APRIL conference in the books!), RTC:Rural asked APRIL members to share their thoughts and ideas about what work is most important for rural Independent Living and research. We want to make sure our research leads to relevant and useful solutions for rural people with disabilities, and to do so we make sure to gather input from stakeholders as we plan, carry out, and share the results of our work.   Continue reading

Rural Institute researchers awarded 5-year grant to continue research and training

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.

RTC:Rural staff photo. See caption for list of names.

RTC:Rural staff pose for a picture at UM. Front row (left to right): Tannis Hargrove, Lillie Greiman, Justice Ender. Back row (left to right): Dr. Catherine Ipsen, Andrew Myers, Lauren Smith, Maggie Lawrence, Tracy Boehm Barrett. Not pictured: Dr. Craig Ravesloot, Dr. Meg Traci, Dr. Rayna Sage, and Dr. Bryce Ward.

“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

Rural Disability and Solution-Focused Research

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.

Revised Transportation Voucher Toolkit available for FREE

What’s at the top of RTC:Rural’s holiday wish list? Accessible transportation for people with disabilities in rural communities!

Looking for some new ideas and resources to help with transportation in your area? Then check out the revised Toolkit for Operating a Rural Transportation Voucher Program.

Transportation, especially in rural areas, continues to be one of the main issues that people with disabilities deal with on a daily basis. To help address this barrier to community participation, RTC:Rural and the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) developed the Rural Transportation Voucher Program. This Toolkit was recently updated and can now be downloaded for free from the APRIL and RTC websites.

Flyer for the Toolkit for Operating a Rural Transportation Voucher Program. Full text description found below image.

Email Lauren Smith (lauren.smith@mso.umt.edu) for a high-resolution PDF file of the flyer.

Text description:

Toolkit for Operating a Rural Transportation Voucher Program. Updated 2017. Learn how to bring together community members and resources to create a transportation system for people with disabilities in rural areas.

Why try a voucher program?

  • Relatively low-cost
  • Promotes cost-sharing among service agencies, riders, and transit providers
  • Riders can get rides when and where they want
  • Gives riders more choices in where they live and work
  • Emphasis on rider needs, not agency considerations

Download the toolkit here:

For individual training and technical assistance, contact APRIL Executive Director Billy Altom at bwaltom@sbcglobal.net.

 

For more information about the Toolkit, individualized training in the voucher program model, and technical assistance, please contact APRIL Executive Director Billy Altom at bwaltom@sbcglobal.net.

 

 

Free rural transportation toolkit now available from APRIL and RTC:Rural

cover of the document "toolkit for operating a rural transportation voucher program"The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) and the RTC:Rural are excited to announce that an updated version of the Toolkit for Operating a Rural Transportation Voucher Program is now available to download for FREE. The Toolkit, used to help solve problems in areas that lack transportation options, is available in PDF and text-only versions. Individualized training and technical assistance is available from APRIL for a fee. Contact Billy Altom, Executive director of APRIL, at bwaltom@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Click here to download the toolkit.

What is the Toolkit for Operating a Rural Transportation Voucher Program?

The Toolkit for Operating a Rural Transportation Voucher Program provides a model that describes how to bring together community members and resources to develop and operate a transportation system for people with disabilities in rural areas.

In this model, eligible riders receive a voucher checkbook with an allocation of miles from a sponsoring agency. The agency negotiates with public and private transportation providers to accept the voucher checks as payment for rides, and can help riders organize potential volunteer drivers. Community members may volunteer to become drivers, and will be reimbursed up to the federal maximum rate for mileage reimbursement. In addition, other agencies that provide transportation, such as a council on aging or a developmental disability provider, can also be part of the voucher system. As long as there is room, riders from different sponsoring agencies can ride in the same vehicles. Continue reading

Resources for inclusive emergency prep and response

two people push a person in a wheelchair through a flooded street

Photo by habeebee / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Current natural disasters, including the wildfires burning across the Western United States and the hurricanes impacting the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, require us to look at the best practices and resources available to support all people, including those with disabilities, in preparing for and dealing with emergencies. In rural America, where it can be challenging to access resources on a good day due to geography, transportation, or scarcity, inclusive preparation and response is especially important.

Here are a couple resources that RTC:Rural and our partners recommend that can help people with disabilities plan for and recover from emergencies and other natural disasters.

Emergency Preparedness Toolkit

The Montana Disability and Health Program (MTDH) Emergency Preparedness Toolkit contains resources to help individuals with disabilities, their families, caretakers, and communities plan and prepare for emergency situations. The toolkit’s purpose is to increase awareness of inclusive emergency preparedness planning, and to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in emergency planning, from the individual to the community and state levels.

The Toolkit contains information on many topics, including:

  • How to register and record medical information so it can be clearly communicated with medical personnel during an emergency
  • How to assess emergency shelters for accessibility
  • First aid tips for pet owners
  • Emergency driving tactics and tips
  • How to promote involvement of people with disabilities in the planning stages of emergency preparedness

FTA Hurricane Harvey Information for Transit Agencies

In addition, Billy Altom, the Executive Director of the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, shared this information from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) about Hurricane Harvey and the FTA Emergency Relief Program, which contains useful information for transit agencies who receive FTA funds. Continue reading