The overarching goal of our center is to conduct research and knowledge translation (KT) activities across health, employment, and community living domains to improve the quality of life of rural people with disabilities. To achieve this, we will (a) fully engage people with disabilities and other relevant stakeholders in all aspects of research and KT activities, (b) utilize national service systems as research and KT partners to improve the reach and uptake of effective solutions, and (c) evaluate community and service system contexts to understand how strategies and available community resources align for impact. Together, our projects promote rural disability community capacity building by providing stakeholders with the data needed to advocate for their interests and goals and developing and sharing interventions appropriate for delivery through existing rural service systems.
NIDILRR’s Priority Area 1 is to create new knowledge about the experiences of rural people with disabilities relative to their urban counterparts. We propose three projects to address this priority. R1: Expanding the Availability and Quality of Rural Data includes collaborations with the Disability Equity Policy Initiative (DEPI) at the Urban Institute, the RRTC on Disability Statistics (StatsRRTC), and the Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies at the University of Kansas (IHDPS-KU) to identify data gaps, create updated rural-specific knowledge, and build capacity for more rural analyses. R2: Analyses to Inform Practice and Policy includes a series of secondary data analyses to inform practice in the areas of (1) rural service delivery within the VR system, (2) rural transportation, and (3) impacts of rural nursing home closures and availability of transition services in rural communities. R3: Indicators of Rural PAS Workforce Capacity includes secondary data analyses regarding the need for and availability of rural personal assistance services (PAS) and the identification of community and systemic factors related to rural PAS workforce capacity.
NIDILRR’s Priority Area 2 is to develop interventions designed to improve outcomes for people with disabilities living in rural areas. We propose four projects to address Priority Area 2. R4: Comparing Virtual Peer-Group and One-on-One Health Promotion builds on past collaborations with Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to increase access to health promotion programs. This study will evaluate the comparative efficacy of remote facilitated peer-group and remote one-on-one health promotion programming delivered through CILs. R5: Building American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) Capacity in Self-Employment builds on partnerships with AIVRS stakeholders and the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Training and Technical Assistance Center (AIVRTTAC) to evaluate the co-developed Tribal VR Self-Employment Toolkit (www.tvrselfemployment.org) and regional training model. R6: Rural Transportation Voucher Capacity Building builds tools for organizational capacity to establish, operate, and sustain transportation voucher programs in rural areas and supports effective use of vouchers by consumers. R7: Building Organizational Capacity to Promote Home Usability builds on past research collaborations with IHDPS-KU to develop strategies and tools for program evaluation of the Home Usability Program (HUP) in rural CILs.
NIDILRR’s Priority Area 3 is to develop greater capacity to promote positive outcomes for rural people with disabilities. We address Priority Area 3 using research to practice methods that involve stakeholders in the design, implementation, and analyses of projects to promote contextually relevant and appropriate solutions, products, and interventions. We propose three KT projects to gather stakeholder input, as well as dissemination, training, and TA initiatives.