Many people with disabilities are at higher risk of both contracting COVID-19 and experiencing sever outcomes. Despite this, disability status is not typically included in COVID-19 case reports and most state vaccination plans have not considered disability status as a risk factor.
RTC:Rural’s newest fact sheet explores how people with disabilities are experiencing COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the United States. Addressing this knowledge gap is critical to ensuring that people with disabilities are considered as vaccination efforts progress during the ongoing pandemic and future health crises.
The Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL) at the University of Kansas is conducting the nation-wide Health and Disability Survey to learn more about how health insurance, health care access, and the current pandemic are impacting adults with disabilities. RTC:Rural is partnering with CHRIL to increase the rural representation in the survey.
To take the survey, you should:
Be 18 or older
Have any type of disability, chronic illness/disease, mental or physical health condition
Whether you have private insurance, insurance from an employer, TRICARE, Medicaid, Medicare or no insurance right now, please consider taking the survey.
The two types of funding discussed in this analysis are the FTA’s Elderly and Persons with Disabilities program (§5310) and the Formula Grants for Rural Areas program (§5311). A total of 921 rural counties receive 49% of available 5311 funding and 5% of available 5310 funding, while 1,292 receive neither source of FTA funding.
We recently spoke to Luke Koppisch, the Deputy Director from the Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) of New Jersey, about his experiences networking with other Centers for Independent Living (CILs) through one of our programs – Healthy Community Living (HCL) – and transitioning workshops and other services online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Workshop facilitators from selected CILs met weekly for several years discussing resources, ideas, and successes facilitating the HCL workshops – Community Living Skills and Living Well in the Community. Luke shared that these weekly meetings were a key part of his center running successful groups.
The purpose of the study was to better understand the relationship between how much someone trusts an information source and how likely they are to adhere to COVID-19 preventative practices. Specifically, the researchers wanted to see how disability type, demographics, and geography might be related to trust and adherence to preventative practices.
We are pleased to announce that Working Well with a Disability has been added to the Healthy Community Living (HCL) program! Both the consumer workshop and the facilitator training are now part of HCL.
What is Working Well with a Disability?
Working Well with a Disability is a seven-week workshop within the HCL program for people who want to develop a healthy lifestyle to help get and keep a job that meets their needs. Continue reading →
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused interruptions and barriers to service delivery for people with disabilities around the country. When Centers for Independent Living (CILs) offices closed, it affected their ability to offer their usual in-person services, including skills-based trainings and classes.
Staff from RTC:Rural learned first-hand how the pandemic was affecting CILs’ delivery of such classes. Healthy Community Living (HCL), a health promotion and independent living skills program developed by RTC:Rural staff and disability stakeholders, was designed for in-person delivery. With several partnering CILs actively conducting in-person HCL workshops with consumers when the pandemic hit, it triggered a need for discussions, collaboration, and problem solving to adapt the program’s delivery under vastly new conditions.
The Rural Community Living Development (RCLD) project is a knowledge translation grant funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). RTC:Rural staff have partnered with the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) to develop and implement a peer-mentoring training with and for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) that will prepare CIL staff to work on community development activities in rural areas. This training will help CIL staff to identify community needs and develop sustainable groups to solve community challenges. The project’s aim is to help CILs across the country connect with community partners to better serve people in rural communities.
In October 2020, RTC:Rural Project Director Rayna Sage presented on RCLD progress-to-date to attendees of the 2020 APRIL Conference as part of a talk on “Strategies for Rural Outreach and Networking,” where she explained how the project shifted due to the current pandemic.
“We planned on being in a community, actually in a number of communities, to use community development strategies like coalition building and partnering with diverse groups to address issues around community living for people with disabilities – but COVID – so we shifted gears,” Sage said. “So we shifted gears to bring together a team, a development team, from across the U.S. to build this Peer-to-Peer Mentoring curriculum.”