Research and Training Center on Independent Living


Our major research project:

logo for Research & Training Center on Community Living

News Highlights

CHEC Out Our Motion Graphic!
Learn about the CHEC, a tool to map sites in your community for usability.

Farewell to a Colleague

Dr. David Gray died on Feb. 12.
There's a Map for That:
Accessible Paths on Campus

Dot Nary helped identify accessible activity options at KU.

Dog sitting next to roof of house in flood waters
Do you know where your pets are?
Emergency preparedness involves every member of the family.

Air Travel & Travail

Two Center staff contributed to a New Mobility feature about air travel for people with disabilities. Read more.

What's Your Weight?

For wheelchair users, answering this question can be daunting. Read more.

Alumna Brings IL
to Vietnam

Yen Vo advocates for people with disabilities in her country. Read more.

Glen White Trains Peruvians

Glen White, Sam Ho and Peruvian medical professionals

Our center director and a KU student trained medical professionals in Perú on caring for people with spinal cord injuries. Read more.

Welcome to our Center dedicated to independent living (IL)
for people with disabilities!

Kansans with Brain Injuries Discuss Access to Health Care

African American woman
In a collaboration with the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, we led focus groups for Kansans with brain injuries (BI) to learn about their experiences with and access to health care. Findings are reported in an Issue Brief that summarizes what participants said works and doesn't work, then presents recommendations to improve policies, programs and practices.

New Grant Trains College Students with Disabilities

A young woman with congenital amputation sits before a laptop smiling
Two Center researchers have received a three-year $600,000 grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to help community college students with disabilities request the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations they need to succeed in their post-secondary experiences.

Housing: How Well Is It Working for People with Disabilities?

Infographic for U.S. housing, urban and rural
Check out our new housing infographics, based on data from the American Housing Survey. One infographic shows information for the entire U.S., both urban and rural, while the second focuses on rural conditions.

The infographics show that people with mobility disabilities still face many barriers in their homes that affect their ability to participate in the community. Positive changes can be made, though, through advocacy and policy change.

Get Your Copy of the New Guidelines Today!

Cover of brochure
The 8th edition of our classic guide for preferred disability terminology is now available, along with the companion poster, "Your Words, Our Image."

Download your free copies today or order multiple print copies. These are great resources to share with your colleagues, friends and family to spread the word about respectful and accurate use of language when discussing people with disabilities.

In addition to updated terminology, the 8th edition of the brochure includes three new sections: "Rosa's Law and the Language of Bullying," "Key Concepts in the Disability Community" and "A Few Exceptions."

Improving Access to Health Care for Kansans with
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A White Paper

A gray-haired man with IDD mixes batter in a bowl
We met with Kansans across the state to discuss their health care experiences. This white paper presents their suggestions for programs, practices and policies that can improve access to health care for people with IDD.

Martha Hodgesmith presented results of the project at the National Home & Community-Based Services Conference in early Sept., 2013.

How Is the Health of People with Disabilities?

Infographic about multiple chronic conditions among people with disabilities shows rates at which people with different types of disabilities experience chronic conditions
Chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes are very common among people with disabilties. This infographic presents new research on the topic and provides insights on which disability types are most at risk.

Are You Ready?
It's Time for Floods, Tornadoes and Other Emergencies

Just as one storm season passes, another blusters in. Check out our emergency preparedness resources to make sure you and those you love are prepared in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Read more.

Ann Cody speaks into a megaphone that has stickers reading "America for All," "ADA," and "Don't roll back our rights."
Advocacy for People with Disabilities

Do you know how to advocate for yourself?

The RTC/IL provides resources for learning this important skill, and several of our research projects focus on advocacy to make changes in housing, civic involvement and recreation for people with disabilities.

Learn more about these resources and projects.

A Caucasian man, an African-American woman using a wheelchair and a Latina woman with a service dog walk together on the University of Kansas campus

Community Living Research

People with disabilities still face many barriers to living and participating in their community.

The Research and Training Center on Community Living investigates the factors that put people with disabilities at risk for institutionalization. That information is incorporated into new strategies designed to improve the experience of living in the community .


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).