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Pain and Participation

Woman with multiple sclerosis giving keys to a service dog in the snow 117195499 300x200Pain is commonly experienced by people with disabilities.  The relationship between pain and participation was explored by researchers at RTC: Rural to see if pain acted as a barrier to people’s ability to participate fully in community life.  The concept of participation and understanding the barriers that hinder it is important.  Just as inaccessible buildings and transportation can interfere with employment, errands and engaging in social activities, pain can also keep people at home. Understanding the multiple barriers that interfere with participation for people with disabilities is crucial to developing meaningful policies and community change.

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Transportation Voucher Model

man in wheelchair using car lift The transportation voucher model works to address transportation barriers in rural communities, a significant problems for people with disabilities.  Many rural communities lack the resources to provide accessible and safe transportation so that people with disabilities can fully participate in community life.  Researchers at RTC: Rural studied this problem and developed one potential solution that helps individual consumers meet their transportation needs through the use of transportation vouchers.

You can read more about the transportation voucher model by visiting the RTC: Rural website.

RTC: Rural - Early Exit from VR Services

business man in wheelchair pushing button to open doorPeople with disabilities have an unemployment rate more than twice that of people without disabilities.  The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) system helps people with disabilities find and maintain employment but over half of VR consumers leave services early. In 2013, researchers at the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) conducted a research project on early exit from VR services.  Reasons for early exit from VR services vary but include issues such as inaccurate contact information, disconnected phone or relocation.  However, some VR consumers cite dissatisfaction with services as their primary reason for discontinuing.  The researchers who developed this study wanted to learn more about why consumers were not satisfied with VR services and offer insight on these findings to VR counselors with the goal of reducing early exit from the system.

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Evidence Based Practices for Autism: A Practical Approach for Pre-Service Professionals

autism summer 2015 UM classSummer 2015 Class Application

CSD 491 – 80M, CRN 51149, Instructor approval required

This 3 credit blended online course with a practical lab is the first comprehensive evidenced based practices course for autism in the state. EBP for Autism will allow pre-service professionals to develop EBP strategies to effectively support their clients. This course promises to provide future interventionists with the tools necessary to implement the specialized interventions required for people with autism.

Webinar about Young Adults with Disabilities Transitioning into Adult Lives

“Amazing!” That’s how participants describe a recent webinar facilitated by the Rural Institute’s Kim Brown and Ellen Condon. Their webinar series is a highly-respected source of information for young adults with disabilities transitioning into their adult lives and for the family members and professionals who support them. Over 175 people from 25 states participated in the May 13, 2014 session entitled “Self-Management Strategies for People to Live and Work Independently.”

The presenters discussed ways to incorporate hi-, lo- and no-tech assistive technology (AT) into daily life to help build self-management and independence skills.  They also described  planning processes used to determine appropriate AT for an individual at each stage of a person’s life.

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Craig Ravesloot, Ph.D. - 2014 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Craig Ravesloot, Ph.D., was awarded the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Center 2014 Distinguished Service award at the NARRTC annual conference in Washington, DC.

Dr. Ravesloot has been conducting research at the RTC:Rural for more than 25 years. He received the award for his research productivity, including the national reach of the evidence-based Living Well with a Disability program that has been implemented by over 250 organizations in more than 45 states.

Tom Seekins Receives 2014 ADA Award at UM

The University of Montana awarded Tom Seekins its Americans with Disabilities Act Award for 2014. The ADA Award honors individuals whose contributions advance education and employment opportunities for people with disabilities at the University of Montana in Missoula, and who carry on the spirit of the ADA. Recipients of the award are recognized for consistent efforts to increase accessibility for people with disabilities, for leading the way by providing an inclusive environment for everyone, for successful implementation of programs and strategies that result in measurable change, and for using collaborative practices across units at UM.

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Rural Institute Researchers present update to Interagency Committee on Disability Statistics

The University of Montana Rural Institute on Disabiities has been invited to present an update on their recent research activities to a subcommittee of the Federal Interagency Committee on Disability Statistics on May 7, 2014. Lillie Greiman, M.A., and Catherine Ipsen, Ph.D., will present “Using National Data to Describe the Context of Rural Disability and Inform Policy and Practice.”

According to Greiman, “It’s a great opportunity to highlight our research and bring attention to disability issues in rural America, which don’t often get the attention they deserve.”

Greiman will present metro, micro, and non-core disability data from the American Community Survey (ACS). This information is also contained in a new RTC:Rural publication that Greiman co-authored entitled: Map Facts: Disability in Rural America (PDF).

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