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Rural Institute 2021 Impact Report

The Rural Institute's impact is broad. This year's summary features numbers, charts and a few stories describing our impact on people's lives. When it comes down to it, our work is about people and how we work together to make life better.

This fiscal year, the Rural Institute produced and shared over 200 products on wide-ranging topics. For example, RTC:Rural published several "America at a Glance" reports on the impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities. The Child and Family Tip Sheet collection offers guidance to support children with disabilities at play, at home and in school. The Montana Voices Amplified series serves as a "microphone" for individuals with disabilities and their families to share life experiences with others.

Our research and evaluation initiatives continue to focus on disability across life domains and geographies. We examined topics such as the impact of spinal cord injury on health, effective transportation networks, mental health and suicide prevention in American Indian communities, and acceptance and use of COVID-19 information in rural and urban communities. We explored issues ranging from health insurance for people with disabilities to personal assistance services. The Montana Obstetrics and Maternal Support (MOMS) evaluation project established partnerships to improve the health of mothers and newborns, with an emphasis on improving maternal health outcomes in rural Montana communities.

This year we paused to evaluate ourselves and our future. We formed an Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) workgroup to clarify our path forward. This Institute-wide effort established the foundation for in-depth strategic planning activities in 2022.

We are thankful for a rich and productive year while navigating the global pandemic. We look forward to continued growth with our partners in Montana and in rural communities across the U.S. Our relationships help us understand the best ways to promote inclusive communities for people of all abilities.

Rural Institute 2021 Impact Report (PDF)