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
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 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
Rural Institute researchers and RTC:Rural project directors Lillie Greiman and Andrew Myers, along with community partners Bronwyn Troutman, Community Living Specialist, and Bonnie Kelly, Peer Advocate, from Summit Independent Living Center in Missoula co-presented a panel at the University of Montana as part of the DiverseU symposium. Their presentation was titled “Disability and the Socio-Political Environment.”
DiverseU is the University of Montana’s annual campus-wide diversity symposium. It is open to university students, staff, and community members, and features presentations, art exhibits, and guided discussions over the course of two days. DiverseU seeks to, “…explore the complexities of human experience, promote understanding, and create community through the practice of civil discourse,” according to the DiverseU website page. Continue reading
On October 17, Dr. Benjamin Cerf, a Census Bureau research economist and the administrator of the Northwest Federal Statistical Research Data Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, presented information on accessing restricted federal data to University of Montana researchers. Thirty-six UM researchers and staff attended the two sessions, which were part of the University of Montana Faculty Professional Development Series hosted by the Faculty Development Office.
Following an invitation from Dr. Christiane von Reichert, a professor of Geography at UM, Dr. Cerf gave presentations on restricted business, demographic, and health data that can only be viewed at Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (RDCs) located in 29 locations throughout the country. Dr. von Reichert is an RTC:Rural research partner who is working with Dr. Cerf on a proposal to access restricted census data so she can further her research on disability at the household level. Continue reading
RTC:Rural Project Director Lillie Greiman traveled to Washington D.C. to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). First funded by NIDILRR in 1987, RTC:Rural is proud to have been awarded seven Rehabilitation Research and Training Program grants to conduct rural disability research and be part of the NIDILRR network over the past 30 years.
“It was inspiring to see all the cross discipline and cross disability work that NIDILRR is currently funding and to learn about all the work that was funded in the past,” said Greiman. “NIDILRR has had a profound impact on disability research over the years and will continue to do so into the future.” Continue reading
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and RTC:Rural is celebrating efforts to support people with disabilities in rural communities as they work towards achieving their employment goals.
In addition to the economic benefits of employment, it is an important predictor of community participation and well-being. However, for people with disabilities, and especially in rural areas, employment is not always accessible. Not only are there physical barriers, such as inaccessible buildings and transportation, but there are also societal and attitudinal barriers. These barriers keep people with disabilities disconnected from important activities such as work, school, and community life, and contribute to increased social and economic inequality. Employment is one factor that helps to increase community participation. People who are employed report higher levels of community participation and feeling more socially connected than those who are not employed.
We recently came back from the annual Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) conference. This year’s conference was Oct. 5-8 in Denver, where RTC:Rural staff had an in-person meeting with Healthy Community Living (HCL) partners, presented research, and shared information at our vendor table.
All staff shared that they came home with new connections, valuable feedback, and boosted motivation. Continue reading
Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) staff, students, and community partners will be participating in a series of presentations at the University of Montana as part of the School of Public & Community Health Sciences seminar program for students, staff and faculty. The 16 week graduate seminar is part of UM’s Public Health doctoral program aimed to educate and equip students with the skills and expertise to improve public health at the community level and around the world. Continue reading
RTC:Rural heads to Denver, Colorado this October for the annual Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) conference. The conference will be October 5 – 8, and the theme is “Roots of Change Grow a Mile High.”
As well as sharing information and resources at vendor tables, RTC:Rural staff will meet with national partners, share research updates, and gather input that will help shape future research projects. We have a long-standing partnership with APRIL, and are looking forward to coming together to continue to support people with disabilities so they can participate in their rural communities. Continue reading