Tag Archives: community participation

Working Well with a Disability facilitator training: register now!

Working Well with a Disability

Registration for the February 2020 Working Well with a Disability online facilitator training is now open. The training will take place over eight days, starting the week of February 3. Space is limited, so please only register if you know you can attend. Registration closes on January 20th, 2020.


Working Well with a Disability Facilitator Training Details

Training dates: February 3rd – 12th. Training includes online self-study and discussion participation and a live webinar on February 12th.

A group of youth with different disabilities laugh and smile while posing together

Total time required: 8-10 hours (estimate) over 8 business days, in addition to time to read the Working Well manual.

Cost: $130 per person. Cost includes a manual in your preferred format.

Registration deadline: January 20.

How to register: Complete the brief form Working Well February 2020 Training Pre-Registration

After initial registration, you will receive an email containing a training schedule, a training overview, and the link with instructions to finalize your registration and payment.

Once you’ve registered, you should also have your agency review and agree to the Organizational Licensing Agreement, which is found here: Working Well Organizational Licensing Agreement


How long is the Facilitator Training? What do I have to do?

A man using a power chair works on a computer at a raised computer desk.

The Working Well facilitator training is a self-guided online training held over the course of eight business days. It includes reading and use of the facilitator manual, review of recorded videos, participation in an online discussion forum, and attendance of one live webinar.

In order to become a certified Working Well with a Disability Facilitator, each participant is responsible for the following:

  • Reading the Working Well manual
  • Viewing the pre-recorded training sessions
  • Posting responses to discussion questions and activities in the discussion forum on five training days
  • Participating in the live webinar session

Total time estimated for this training is about 8-10 hours, in addition to the time to read the Working Well manual. Each day’s video is about an hour or less, and the live webinar on Wednesday February 12 is 1.5 hours. You may set your own daily schedule for reading, viewing videos, and posting to the discussion forums.


What is Working Well with a Disability?

Working Well with a Disability is a 6-week peer-facilitated workshop that builds on the content of our successful Living Well with a Disability curriculum and considers health in the context of employment. Participants learn skills to maintain life balance, manage stress, and improve their health in support of looking for or maintaining employment.

This facilitator training will prepare individuals to host Working Well with a Disability workshops. We recommend that trainees facilitate their first consumer workshops within 3 months of receiving their facilitator’s certification. See How to Become a Working Well Program Provider for more information.


Have questions or want to know more about the facilitator training or Working Well with a Disability?

Email Krys Standley (krysti.standley@mso.umt.edu ) for more information.


Rural Institute Researchers awarded 5 year Rural Community Living Development Grant

The University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) is pleased to announce a staff team has been awarded a five-year, $981,803 Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project grant by the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research within the Administration for Community Living.

The newly funded project, Rural Community Living Development (RCLD), is led by Rural Sociologist and Project Director Dr. Rayna Sage, and Dr. Craig Ravesloot, Clinical Psychologist and Research Director for the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC:Rural).

A group of people in a community park enjoying a picnic. Two of the people are using powerchairs.

The purpose of the Rural Community Living Development project is to provide space and facilitate conversations among community members to help them connect to resources and information they might not otherwise have access to.

Using a combination of independent living philosophy, peer mentoring and community development approaches, research staff will work with Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to take collective action that leads to positive change for and with people with disabilities living in rural areas.

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RTC:Rural researchers publish paper on rural/urban differences in social connectedness and perceived isolation for people with disabilities

Dr. Meredith Repke, RTC:Rural Research Associate, and Dr. Catherine Ipsen, RTC:Rural Director, recently published a paper in the Disability and Health Journal titled “Differences in social connectedness and perceived isolation among rural and urban adults with disabilities.”

Screenshot of the first page of journal article titled "Differences in social connectedness and perceived isolation among rural and urban adults with disabilities"

In the paper, Repke and Ipsen analyze survey data from the nation-wide Health Reform and Disability Survey to explore how a number of factors are related to social participation and perceived isolation for people with disabilities, and to see if there are differences for those who live in rural vs urban areas. These factors include number of disabilities, self-rated health, employment status, and living arrangements (alone or with others).

Previous studies have compared social isolation to smoking in terms of risk to public health. Some groups of people have a much higher risk of social isolation, including people with disabilities and rural residents. This research builds on previous work by considering how the potentially compounding effects of disability status and living in a rural area may affect social participation and perceived isolation.  

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Research Snapshot: PAS in Rural America

Rayna Sage at a rodeo with mountains in the background
Dr. Rayna Sage.

Approximately 10 million people with disabilities receive paid personal assistance services (PAS) in the United States. For many, these services are critical for social and community participation. However, little is known about rural-urban differences in PAS delivery and consumption, and how these services influence community participation and health.

To address this lack of understanding, RTC:Rural is conducting research on PAS in rural America.

Dr. Rayna Sage, RTC:Rural Project Director, explains the project and its goals, and gives a quick progress update.

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RTC: Rural project sets out to explore what types of transportation people in rural areas use

The Rural Transportation Options project, which will help build a more complete understanding of how rural people with disabilities use public and other forms of accessible transportation, is getting ready to begin a pilot survey. Paper surveys will be available on public buses in Park County, Montana later this year. There are also options to take the survey online, or to call in and take it over the phone.

Screenshot of the Park Co. and UM Transportation Survey

The survey includes questions about what type of transportation the participant is using for the current trip, the purpose of their trip, if the trip was scheduled ahead of time, and types of transportation used in the last 30 days.

“This brief ridership survey will help us: 1) understand how people use public transit in Park County, MT and 2) shape our survey materials and procedures for dissemination nationwide,” said Andrew Myers, RTC:Rural Project Director.  

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UM undergrad wins Best Presentation Award for research with RTC:Rural director on loneliness and aging

Over the past semester, RTC:Rural Director Dr. Catherine Ipsen worked with University of Montana (UM) undergraduate Nelson Weaver on his senior capstone project about the effects of loneliness on the aging population. Weaver’s poster presentation won a best presentation award at UM’s Conference of Undergraduate Research. He graduated in May 2018 with a major in psychology and a minor in communication studies.

Nelson Weaver holds his award and stands next to Catherine Ipsen.
Nelson Weaver (left) and Catherine Ipsen (right).

Weaver contacted Ipsen about his interest in psychology and well-being of those experiencing mental and physical impairments and asked about possible capstone research opportunities. “This inquiry came at the perfect time,” said Ipsen. “I was juggling lots of projects, but wanted to make headway on a grant proposal idea focused on aging and health impacts of loneliness. Nelson was the perfect fit.”

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New Book Chapter Looks at How Rural Culture, Inclusion, and Community Events Impact People with Disabilities

Quote from 'Disability and Rural Events'- "Having moments to recognize others and to be recognized as a community resource helps keep people with disabilities visible and engaged."

Dr. Rayna Sage, RTC:Rural Project Director, and Erin Flores, a former sociology undergraduate researcher at the University of Montana who graduated in 2018, recently co-authored a book chapter on the accessibility of rural community events. The chapter, titled “Disability and rural events: The cultural reproduction of inclusion and exclusion” is in Marginalisation and Events, which was published in January 2019 by Routledge.

“Rural community events are a time when community members are able to see how they are part of something bigger than their own individual experience,” said Sage. “Seeing friends and family and participating in activities that promote community identity helps sustain community and connectedness.”

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RTC:Rural staff will share rural health care survey findings at NARRTC conference

On April 23, Dr. Meredith Repke, RTC:Rural Research Associate, will present findings from the Rural Access to Health Insurance and Health Care study, a partnership between RTC:Rural and the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL), at the 2019 NARRTC conference. This year’s conference theme is “Inclusive Disability Research and Practice: Building on our History.” The study is being led by RTC:Rural Director Dr. Catherine Ipsen.    

RTC:Rural Research & Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities and the Collaborative on Health Reform and Indpendent Living (CHRIL) National Survey on Health Reform and Disability.

Repke is presenting as part of a panel of researchers on the project who are sharing different findings from the 2018 National Survey on Health Reform and Disability (NSHRD). CHRIL conducted the survey to understand how changes in health care reimbursement strategies affect working-age people with disabilities in terms of access to health insurance, as well as associated health care and quality of life outcomes. RTC:Rural researchers helped recruit people with disabilities from rural areas, and will use their data to answer some rural-specific questions.

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More to discover in the Rural Disability Resource Library

Looking for information on accessible transportation or housing? Or for strategies to help you talk about your disability in a job interview? Need some tips on how to find a personal care assistant, or on how to do your taxes?

For all those and more, check out the Rural Disability Resource Library. It contains fact sheets, how-to guides, information for conducting workshops, web resources, and much more!

Watch our video to learn more:

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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