RTC/CL Happenings, Spring 2013

Bridging Meeting Connects Research to Policy and Practice

Thanks to everyone who attended the RTC/CL’s Bridging Meeting in April 2013 in Alexandria, Va. This meeting was built on the premise that research can more effectively improve the lives of people with disabilities when researchers, practitioners and policymakers share information and goals. It represented an innovative approach to knowledge translation by bringing together stakeholders while the center’s work is still in process, rather than waiting until all projects are completed. 

The center’s research partners met with RTC/CL Scientific and Consumer Advisory Panel members and national policymakers to explore ways that their research can influence both policy and practice. Representatives of the following national organizations attended the meeting: the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the Administration on Community Living, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Council on Independent Living and the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living. 


Tom Seekins and Glen White published "Participatory Action Research Designs in Applied Disability and Rehabilitation Science: Protecting Against Threats to Social Validity"  in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, January 2013.

Amanda Reichard and Michael Fox published “Using population-based data to examine preventive services by disability type among dually eligible (Medicare/Medicaid) adults” in Disability and Health Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 2, April 2013.

Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Megan O’Brien and Glen White published “Librarians as Partners: Moving from Research Supporters to Research Partners” (PDF available upon request) in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) annual conference proceedings. Monroe-Gulick also presented the paper at the April 2013 conference. 


Fabrico Balcazar has published these articles, with Ashmeet Oberoi as co-author on the first:

  • Balcazar, F.E., Oberoi, A., & Keel, J.M (2013). Predictors of Employment and College Attendance Outcomes for Youth in Transition: Implications for Policy and Practice. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 44(1), 38-45.
  • Suarez-Balcazar, Y., Lukyanova, V., Balcazar, F.E., Ali, A., Morton, D., & Alvarado, F., (2013). An evaluation of Employment Outcomes of Community Rehabilitation Providers. Journal of Rehabilitation, 79, 11-18.

Dot Nary published an article titled “Teaching Future Health Care Providers About Disability” for Insights into Spina Bifida, the national magazine of the Spina Bifida Association, Fall 2012 issue.


Jean Ann Summers and Glen White presented “The ADA accommodation training model:  A tool for teaching students with disabilities to self-advocate and increase their inclusion in campus” at the annual conference of the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers in April 2013. The course they discussed in the presentation is now available as a free online training for post-secondary students.(See “Training” for details.)


Glen White presented “Training Medical Rehabilitation Professionals in Peru to Reduce Secondary Conditions for Peruvian Patients with Spinal Cord Injury” at the State of the Science of Prevention and Management of Secondary Health Conditions in People after Spinal Cord Injury. The May 2013 conference was hosted by Medical University of South Carolina and MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital.

White presented a keynote address titled “Disability and Cultural Competence” at a Delta Air Lines vendor meeting in Atlanta, also in May 2013.Amalia Monroe-Gulick presented “Embedded Librarian Series: Consulting Librarian for the Research and Training Center on Independent Living” for the University of Kansas Libraries staff in April 2013. She and Megan O’Brien discussed her work as a librarian on two systematic scoping reviews for the Center.   

Dot Nary provided a training on advocacy for the American Stroke Foundation in Kansas City in February 2013. 

Fabricio Balcazar made the following presentations in spring 2013:

  • “Dealing with the Complexity of Human Diversity: A Conceptual Framework,” keynote at Emory University’s conference on the Intersection of Race, Culture and Disability, March, 2013.
  • “Cultural aspects in system change,” keynote at the Illinois Association of Agencies and Community Organizations for Migrant Advocacy conference, March, 2013.
  • “Promoting Critical Awareness through Peer Teaching: A Freirean Approach,” workshop at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Social Justice Initiative, April, 2013.
  • “Development and Validation of a Cultural Competence Model for Service Delivery,” at the Oregon Health & Science University’s Health Disparities Research at the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Disability Conference, April 2013.

Craig Ravesloot presented “A snapshot of rural participation:  Preliminary ideas for getting toward healthy and more liveable communities” at the annual meeting of the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, Oct. 2012.

David Gray presented “Personal and environmental influences on the community participation by people with mobility, visual and hearing impairments and limitations” at the annual American Public Health Association conference in Oct. 2012.

In the News

Advisory Panel member Linda Gonzales was profiled in independence today, an online journal. 

Technical Assistance

In response to information needs related to Superstorm Sandy, Andrew Houtenville and colleagues provided generated statistics for the Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York to use in testimony before New York state legislators in Jan. 2013. These statistics relayed the accessibility needs among those with disabilities affected by Superstorm Sandy and other disasters. (See  “‘High Concentrations’ of NY’ers with Disabilities Live in Flood Zones" in Public News Service.) Houtenville and his team generated estimates of the number of available and affordable accessible housing units by borough, using the 2011 New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey. They also provided prevalence-based estimates for New York City local community districts using the 2008-2010 American Community Survey.


A free training for college students with disabilities is now available online. Glen White, Jean Ann Summers, Leslie Schmille and Alice Zhang created the training as a Field Initiated Project funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. 

The Access to Success project is designed to improve students’ self-advocacy skills and knowledge about their legal rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. College students who have disabilities don’t always know what they are entitled to under this law or how to request accommodations.

Honors & Awards

Dot Nary received the 2013 University of Kansas Ann Eversole Advisor of the Year Award from the Student Involvement Leadership Center. The award recognizes her service as advisor to AbleHawks and Allies, a student group that raises awareness of disability issues at KU.  

Glen White was recognized in February 2013 at the University of Kansas’ Second Annual Leading Light Awards, which recognizes Principal Investigators who received external awards of $1 million or more.


Fabricio Balcazar is President Elect for the Society for Community Research and Action, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association. 

Martha Hodgesmith has been appointed to the Aging and Disability Resource Centers Advisory Council in Kansas. The ADRCs in Kansas contract with the Area Agencies on Aging to coordinate services and provide assessment, information, case management and numerous other services for seniors and people with disabilities in all 105 counties of Kansas.


Craig Ravesloot will use a $1.85 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to investigate how the hospital discharge process affects the treatment outcomes of patients from rural areas and to explore ways to improve those outcomes. Ravesloot, Tom Seekins and the others on the team from the Rural Institute on Disabilities will work in partnership with St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana.

PCORI is an independent nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010to fund research that provides patients, caregivers and clinicians with evidence-based information needed to make better health care decisions.

Jessica Dashner and Carla Walker were awarded funding for the project “Parenting with a Physical Disability: Assessing the Need for Early OT Intervention and Group Support” fromthe St. Louis Community University Health Research PartnershipDashner is Principal Investigator and Walker serves as Project Manager on the project that begins in June 2013 and will be conducted in conjunction with Paraquad, a St. Louis center for independent living. 

Fabricio Balcazar has contracted with the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services to continue analysis of vocational rehabilitation data. He  also secured a data sharing agreement with the state’s Department of Human Services for the Home Support Services program. With these agreements, he and his colleagues will expand the research they began for the RTC/CL: Does VR Effectively Support Community Living? The state agency is interested in learning about possible policy changes to improve the quality of services and program outcomes.