The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) conducts research on disability as part of the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana.
RTC: Rural is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to improve the ability of people with disabilities to engage in rural community living.
Read our 2-page Executive Summary: RTC:Rural- Research that Leads to Solutions for Rural Americans with Disabilities (PDF)
Read our 10-page Research Summary: RTC:Rural Research Summary_2017 (PDF)
As a NIDILRR-funded program, the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities strives to ensure people with disabilities participate in all stages of the development and implementation of research projects. Our goal is to make sure research results and products are useful and relevant to people with disabilities, their families and service providers.
- Disability rates among females and males
- People with vision, cognitive, mobility, self-care, and Independent Living difficulties
- Veterans with disabilities
- People with disabilities in poverty
- Employment, unemployment, and out of labor force rates among people with disabilities
October is National Disability Employment
Awareness Month! RTC:Rural joins with many others to celebrate the
contributions of workers with disabilities. We are pleased to highlight the
work being done to support people with disabilities in rural communities as
they work towards achieving their employment goals.
Barriers to Rural Employment
For people with disabilities who live in rural areas, job
opportunities are limited. There are physical barriers, such as inaccessible
buildings and no accessible transportation, and also attitudinal barriers, such
as negative stereotypes and discrimination. These barriers often keep people
with disabilities from participating how they want in work, school, and
community life. These barriers also contribute to increased social and economic
inequality between people with and without disabilities.
Benefits of Employment
Employment has obvious economic benefits, but it also is
important because it helps people participate in their communities and increases
their overall well-being. Research shows that people with disabilities who are
employed report that they participate more in their communities. They also feel
more socially connected to other people.
For more on RTC:Rural’s recent research in this topic area,
researchers publish paper on rural/urban differences in social connectedness
and perceived isolation for people with disabilities.”
RTC:Rural’s Disability in America State Profile
Map Series is well underway! We have maps for 17 states posted on
the website so far, and more are coming soon. In the next two months general
disability maps for every state (for example, Montana
and Puerto Rico
will be complete and available on the RTC:Rural website. Once the general
disability rate maps are completed, we will work to produce maps showing different
topics for each state. These include: