MISSOULA – Researchers at the University of Montana will develop a state-of-the-art health promotion program to advance the ability of people with disabilities to live independently in their communities through a new five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.
The Rural Institute’s Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC:Rural) will increase access to its evidence-based health promotion curricula, “Living Well with a Disability,” using an online multimedia presentation to increase individuals’ motivation and confidence to learn how to improve their health.
“Many people with disabilities live healthy and productive lives,” said Craig Ravesloot, principal investigator of the new award and center co-director. “But to be healthy with a disability, many people need access to resources like specific health promotion information they can use to improve and maintain their health.
He said the UM-based disability and health research team has worked with community partners to develop “Living Well with a Disability” into a promising program to meet this need over the past 20 years. With the new funding, RTC:Rural will use state-of-the-art technology to expand the program in order to reach as many people with disabilities as possible.
For more than 25 years, the center has responded to the needs of people with disabilities by developing new techniques to help them improve their health, employment and participation in community life. During the next five years, this grant will contribute to improving the health of people with disabilities by increasing health promotion opportunities delivered by community-based service agencies.
The project team will use a participatory curriculum development procedure that involves people with disabilities from across the United States to ensure relevance and usefulness of the multimedia program. To ensure adoption and use, the center will provide training and technical assistance to community agencies located in both rural and urban areas of the country.
RTC:Rural researchers at the UM Rural Institute on Inclusive Communities work to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities, especially those living in Montana and other rural areas across the country. The institute is part of the national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research is the research institute of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Community Living.