RTC on Community Living Research Projects

A young Caucasian woman who has congenital amputation of both arms holds a pencil in her mouth to writeThe RTC/CL will conduct six research projects that use existing data (Core A) to analyze how barriers to and experiences of community living may differ across socio-demographic and geographic groups.

With this information as a foundation, five projects will test interventions (Core B) designed to improve community living opportunities for individuals with disabilities, focusing on housing, health, recreation and community and civic involvement.

In addition, two systematic scoping reviews of the literature (Core C) will inform the RTC/CL interventions.

Core A includes six projects that analyze secondary (pre-existing) data:

  • R-1. Housing and Transportation Access. This project conducts a secondary analysis ofAmerican Housing Survey (AHS) data to identify the proportion and demographic characteristics of people with disabilities who experience significant housing and transportation barriers.
  • R-2.Time Use Among People with Disabilities. This project analyzes American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data to explain time use characteristics (e.g., type and location of activities) reported by people with and without disabilities and by sub-populations of people with disabilities.
  • R-3. Relation of Sociodemographics and Local Characteristics to Community Participation/Living. This secondary analysis of American Community Survey (ACS) data investigates the association of community living and participation with sociodemographic factors, features of the built housing environment, local public policies, and the nature of an individual’s disability.
  • R-4. Multiple Chronic Conditions and Healthcare Access. This secondary analysis of Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data assesses common combinations of chronic conditions among five subgroups of people with disabilities and what predicts these comorbidities.
  • R-5. Does VR Effectively Support Community Living? This project analyzes six years of the State of Illinois’ vocational rehabilitation (VR) sociodemographic and geographic data to examine the impact of VR services on the community living of recipients.
  • R-6. Personal and Environmental Factors Influencing Community Living for People with Disabilities. This project analyzes data collected using a system of measurement (CORE/SPARC) that explores the relationships between community participation and environmental facilitators, as well as person (demographic), health-related, geographic, and impairment factors.  

Core B contains five intervention projects:

  • R-7. Developing a Health Promotion Assistance Tool. This intervention develops, implements and tests a tool designed for use by staff members at community-based organizations who serve people with disabilities in the community. Staff members will use the tool to provide individualized recommendations for consumers with physical disabilities and chronic health conditions so that they can monitor and promote their healthy functioning in the community.
  • R-8. Development and Testing of an Informal PA Training Program. This intervention develops, implements and tests a training program for providers and consumers of informal personal assistance. The goal is to improve informal care providers and consumers’ knowledge and skills concerning how to best assist consumers to avoid disruptions in community living and to enhance community participation.
  • R-9. Home Usability for People with Disabilities. This project develops tools to assess whether or not housing is usable and to facilitate development of a local Home Usability Network to help people solve home usability problems.​
  • R-10. Community Engagement Initiative Knowledge Transfer (KT) Project. This study expands on the Community Engagement Evaluation (CEE) project tested in the RRTC/MCIL. It uses a grassroots community engagement technique to assess a) the efficacy of the CEE method to address recreation access for this population and b) effective knowledge transfer methods for using the CEE.
  • R-11. Building Capacity for Full Community Participation. This study examines whether an existing Community Participation Training and Technical Assistance (CPTTA) intervention effectively enables CILs to more successfully bring about community and systems change to create more opportunities for civic engagement and community participation for people with disabilities. 

Core C includes two systematic scoping reviews (numbered "SSR") of the literature:

  • SSR-1. A Systematic Scoping Review of the Literature on Risks for Institutionalization of People with Disabilities. The purpose of this project is to assess the literature and identify gaps in it regarding factors that are barriers to remaining in the community for people with severe disabilities age 18-65. 
  • SSR-2. Updating a Systematic Scoping Review of the Literature on Healthcare Use and Receipt of Clinical Preventive Services by People with Disabilities. This project extends by two years a review conducted by the DRRP on Health Disparities for the years 2000-2009.  The purpose is to assess the literature and identify gaps in it regarding how persons with disabilities use clinical preventive services in order to address subsequent interventions.

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