Category Archives: News

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

RTC:Rural Director to present on importance of administrative data to rural research

Dr. Catherine Ipsen headshot

Dr. Catherine Ipsen, RTC:Rural  Director and Director of Employment Research

On February 22, 2019, RTC:Rural Director Dr. Catherine Ipsen will travel to Washington D.C. to present as part of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)’s Administrative Data and Employment Research Review. Dr. Ipsen will be giving a presentation on Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) data, titled “Using RSA-911 Data to Frame and Inform Rural Research.” RSA-911 is the national data collection system used by the RSA to monitor vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs and identify successful practices.

Dr. Ipsen was invited to share how RTC:Rural has and continues to use federal data, including RSA-911 data, to inform research direction, identify gaps in knowledge, and to create solutions that are relevant to people with disabilities in rural communities. Continue reading

RTC:Rural’s Health My Way app in pilot phase

Screenshot of Health My Way app. A person's hand is shown tapping the screen.

The Health My Way app was designed to be used on a tablet. The app guides users through health promotion content.

For people with disabilities in rural communities, it can be hard to access health care. Lack of services, distance, or lack of transportation can be substantial barriers to receiving adequate health care and preventative health care. Self-management health practices could help reduce the need for acute-care medical services for those in rural areas.

To help address this, researchers at RTC:Rural have worked to develop a health promotion app called Health My Way. The app, which is meant to be used on a tablet, guides users through health promotion content derived from the Healthy Community Living program. The Health My Way app allows users to explore up to 22 content areas including topics such as Disability Identity, Goal Setting, Healthy Relationships, and Eating Well. Users are also matched with a health coach who meets with them either in person or via telephone to review the content of the program, as well as provide accountability and support. Continue reading

RTC:Rural produces fact sheet on employment disparity for rural people with disabilities

screen shot of the first page of the fact sheet. In December 2018 the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2013-2017 American Community Survey summary data. In the recently released fact sheet “Employment disparity grows for rural Americans with disability,” RTC:Rural researchers used this data to begin exploring how employment rates have changed for people with disabilities in the context of changing economic conditions. They found increasing disparities between people with and without disabilities across the country as well as across the rural-urban continuum.

Click the links below to download the fact sheet from the RTC:Rural and Rural Institute ScholarWorks collection:

Continue reading

RTC:Rural researchers publish article on disability rates in Journal of Rural Health

Screenshot of the cover of the manuscript.

First page of the article “Transitory and Enduring Disability Among Urban and Rural People” in the Journal of Rural Health.

RTC:Rural researchers Dr. Rayna Sage, Dr. Bryce Ward, Andrew Myers, and Dr. Craig Ravesloot recently published an article in the Journal of Rural Health titled “Transitory and Enduring Disability Among Urban and Rural People.” Dr. Sage and Myers are RTC:Rural Project Directors, Dr. Ward is the RTC:Rural Statistician, and Dr. Ravesloot is RTC:Rural Director and Research Advisor.

Part of RTC:Rural’s continued research on the geography and ecology of rural disability (see Ecology of Rural Disability and Geography and Rural Disability), this article examines how disability rates vary by age, gender, and race between rural and urban places. While there has been some recent research on the intersection of disability and rurality, there is a lack of research on disability across the life span in rural places, and few studies include a measure of how people move in and out of disability over time. Continue reading

Healthy Community Living Project Shares Stakeholder Engagement Practices for Online Conference

Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability & Rehabilitation Research at American Institutes for ResearchThe Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (KTDRR) hosted its annual online conference on November 5, 7, and 9, 2018, titled “Engaging Ways to Engage Stakeholders.”  Spanning across the three days, the conference addressed strategies for how to plan, carry out, and measure the effectiveness of different knowledge translation (KT) approaches.

On day two of the conference, RTC:Rural’s Director of Knowledge Translation Tracy Boehm Barrett and RTC:Rural Project Director Tannis Hargrove presented on their work with the Healthy Community Living (HCL) project. Their presentation was titled “Co-creating With Stakeholders: A Case of Engaging Through Concept and Design for Program Development.” The presentation will be archived and made available on KTDRR’s website in early 2019. Continue reading

Facilitators share rural barriers to participation in Living & Working Well programs in Peer-to-Peer Series call

A circle of clip art people surrounds the Living and Working Well with a Disability logo, Peer-to-Peer Series written underneath.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

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

RTC:Rural presents at APHA annual conference on health equity

APHA 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo. San Diego, Nov. 10-14. Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity NowRTC:Rural researchers recently traveled to San Diego, CA for the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting. The conference was from November 10 to 14, and theme was “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now.

In attendance were RTC:Rural Director Dr. Catherine Ipsen, Director and Research Advisor Dr. Craig Ravesloot, Knowledge Broker Dr. Meg Ann Traci, and Project Directors Dr. Rayna Sage and Andrew Myers attended. Dr. Traci, Dr. Sage, and Myers gave a combined six presentations on Rural Institute and RTC:Rural research. Continue reading