Research Brief: Exploring how Housing Impacts Participation for People with Disabilities

Weather-beaten houses in a rural community. There is a homemade wooden ramp leading to one front porch, and a pile of logs by another.

Picture from Healthy Community Living (

Modern perspectives of disability focus on the impact of the environment on the participation and independence of people with disabilities. The interaction between a person and their surroundings can either support or inhibit their functional needs to live independently and participate in the community (World Health Organization).

RTC:Rural research on housing and ecology indicates that increasing the availability of accessible and usable housing is a significant step toward building greater community participation and independent living for all. Accessibility and usability issues within the home can present barriers to daily living that negatively impact an individual’s ability to participate in their community. Increased energy spent on overcoming these barriers in the home may reduce available time and energy for activities outside the home, such as employment or social engagement, especially as a person might experience even further barriers in the community.

To view and download the full Research Brief, click on the link below.

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Life starts at home: Exploring how housing impacts participation for people with disabilities


For more information on RTC:Rural housing research, see

Effort Capacity and Choice

Improving Home Usability