RTC/IL Fall 2019 Newsletter

In this Edition:

  • Greetings from the Director
  • RTC/IL Welcomes New Staff
  • Program to Promote Disability Inclusion at KU
  • Hodgesmith Continues RTC/IL Archival Work
  • Home Usability Program and Out and About Program Tested Nationally
  • Alice Zhang Honored with Anne Rudigier Award
  • Fact Sheets on Disability Legislation Help Consumers Know their Rights
  • Publications
  • Presentations

Greetings from the Director

Happy Autumn! We are pleased to provide this update on activities at the RTC/IL. As you will see, we have several new staff members on board who bring great experience and perspectives to our work. We also began the national efficacy study of our two interventions to promote community living for people with disabilities. And, we have staff awards, presentations, publications and other news to share. Please feel free to contact me or any of the RTC staff if you have questions about our work or if we can provide technical assistance. Thank you for your interest in and support of the RTC/IL! 

- Jean P. Hall, PhD

RTC/IL Welcomes New Staff

Three new staff joined the RTC/IL in 2019: Lyndsie Koon, Kelsey Shinnick Goddard, and Seth Coulter. 

lyndsie koonLyndsie Koon joined the RTC as Associate Director in October. She holds a PhD in Sport and Exercise Science, with a focus in the social psychology of sport and physical activity, from the University of Northern Colorado. She comes to the RTC after serving as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research explored the exercise challenges and needs of adults aging with long-term mobility and sensory disabilities and evaluated the potential of various technologies to support and motivate physical activity participation. At the RTC, she will focus on physical activity and disability and assist with measuring the impact of the Home Usability and Out and About interventions on participants' home usability, community engagement, problem-solving skills, and self determination. 

kelsey shinnick goddardKelsey Shinnick Goddard joined the RTC as Research Project Coordinator. She is a doctoral student in KU's Department of Applied Behavioral Science with research interests in independent living, health promotion and policy, and community participation for people with disabilities. She has presented research findings to the United States Access Board in Washington, DC and served as a committee member on the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns in Topeka, KS. Kelsey identifies as a person with a disability and strives to bring awareness to disability concerns through the intersection of research, policy, and advocacy. 

At the RTC, she will assist with coordinating the national efficacy study of interventions that promote community living and develop manuscripts on findings.

seth coulterSeth Coulter is the RTC's new communication specialist. He brings ten years of marketing and communications experience from a career in university admissions, which saw him working in International Admissions at the University of Kansas and the Office of Admissions at Washburn University in Topeka. He will coordinate the center's newsletters, web and social media presences, and publications.  

Hodgesmith Continues RTC/IL Archival Work

a collage of old RTCIL productsIn 1980, the long arc of disability history began its bend toward lives of independence for people with disabilities, and the RTC/IL started to build an evidence-based, applied research agenda to support that arc. 

Forty years later, the RTC/IL has produced an amazing range of research, created a staggering number of products, educated generations of students and professionals, and forged collaborations with disability advocates and their communities nationwide. Martha Hodgesmith, former RTC/IL Associate Director, is working in partnership with RTC/IL staff to compile the paper, photographic, audio, and video artifacts that document the center's history for submission to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas. 

The RTC/IL invites you to join its efforts to preserve the history of which so many of you have been a part. Contact marthah@ku.edu if you have information or materials that would help complete this comprehensive disability archive. 

Program to Promote Disability Inclusion at KU

In 2018, University of Kansas Human Resource Management initiated a program titled "Mentoring Circles for Disability Inclusion." Designed to broaden KU employees' perspectives on disability inclusion and provide knowledge, technical assistance, and expertise on this topic, the program aims to provide opportunities for participants to change and improve disability inclusion within their own workplace. Topics covered included an overview of the disability rights movement, the Americans with Disabilities Act, employment accommodations, microaggressions, and proactively creating an accessible workplace. The pilot program included a a video session with disability rights leader Judy Heumann. 

In support of this effort to increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, RTC project coordinator Hayley Steinlage participated in the successful pilot program. Although Hayley has left KU for a position in Kansas state government, RTC involvement in the program will continue as the new Associate Director, Dr. Lyndsie Koon, will participate in the program in 2020. 

Home Usability Program and Out and About Program Tested Nationally

The Research and Training Center on Promoting Interventions for Community Living (RTC/PICL) has partnered with centers for independent living in four states to test the Home Usability Program and Out and About Program as a package. Participants meet with center staff to identify home usability and community participation goals and develop a plan for achieving them. Upon completion of the interventions, a center staff member administers a survey to assess their effectiveness. 
This is the first time the two programs have been delivered together. The following centers for independent living have partnered with the RTC/PICL for the national test:

Learn more about the Home Usability Program and the Out and About Program

Alice Zhang Honored with Anne Rudigier Award

This November, RTC/IL alumna Alice Zhang received the Anne Rudigier Award in recognition of her commitment, leadership, and potential. The award is presented by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities on behalf of the Rudigier family in loving memory of their daughter and the values she held in her life and work: a commitment, energy, love of life, and respect for all people that can be shared and persevere through others. 

Dr. Zhang is a postdoctoral fellow at Kansas Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND). She recently completed her doctoral degree in Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas, where she was actively involved with the RTC/IL. She brings both a global perspective, having studied in China, and a lived experience, as a person with a disability, to her work. 

Dr. Zhang encouraged university recognition of disability as diversity by nominating Kansas LEND for the Executive Vice Chancellor's Diversity and Inclusion Award, which Kansas LEND received in April 2019. Her work has informed enhancements to the Kansas LEND curriculum that include more global perspectives on disability as diversity, approaches to cultural responsiveness, and didactic sessions on the provision of ABA in culturally responsive and person-centered ways. 

Dr. Zhang is a mentor to many, and her approaches to disability as diversity, cultural responsiveness, and person-centeredness enhance LEND, her community, and her state. 

Fact Sheets on Disability Legislation Help Consumers Know their Rights

Staff in the RTC/PICL created two fact sheets to add to its collection of resources about disability laws as part of the "Out and About" intervention, which assists consumers in setting community participation goals and addressing barriers to participation. These topics were selected as a result of a national survey of centers for independent living, and members of the center's Scientist-Consumer Advisory Panel provided feedback on the content. Each fact sheet includes one or two scenarios that illustrate how understanding disability legislation enables people with disabilities to advocate for change: 


To obtain a copy of any of these articles, contact sethcoul@ku.edu

Hall, J.P., LaPierre, T.A., & Kurth, N.K. (2019). Medicaid and managed care: Issues for enrollees with serious mental illness. American Journal of Managed Care25(9), 500-506. 

Hall, J.P., & Kurth, N.K. (2019). A comparison of health disparities among Americans with intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder and Americans with other disabilities. Inclusion7(3), 160-168. 

Kurth, N.K., & Hall, J.P. (2019). Feeling Good About Your Smile: Implementation and Evaluation of the Stoplight Healthy Living program, Inclusion, 7(3), 169-176.

Nary, D.E., & Bruns, K. (2019). Development and evaluation of the Stoplight Healthy Living Program. Inclusion7(3), 177-187. 

Hall, J.P. (2019). Introduction to the special issue on health, health promotion, and health care for people with intellectual disability. Inclusion7(3), 158-159. 

Ipsen, C., Kurth, N.K., McCormick, S., Hall, J.P., & Chambless, C. (2019). Engaging SSI youth and families with ASPIRE services. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 51(2), 211-224. 

Chambless, C.E., McCormick, S., Ispen, C., Kurth, N., & Hall, J.P. (2019). Teaching self-determination to youth with disabilities: the ASPIRE model. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. Online pre-press. doi: 10.3233/JVR-191038 

Hall, J.P., Kurth, N.K., Gimm, G., & Smith, S. (2019). Perspectives of adults with disabilities on access to health care after the ACA: Qualitative findings. Disability and Health Journal12(3), 350-358. 

Kennedy, J., & Hall, J.P. (2019). For adults with disabilities, Medicaid expansion works. The Hill. 

Ispen, C., Kurth, N., McCormick, S., Hall, J., & Chambless, C. (2019). Exploring the PROMISE of transition services for youth with disabilities receiving SSI. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation50(1), 95-108. doi:10.3233/JVR-180991 


Thanks to all who visited our exhibit at the NICL conference in July and at the APRIL conference in October. RTC/PICL research partners gave many presentations this year: 

  • Kelsey Shinnick Goddard and Lillie Greiman presented "Living IL is not One Size Fits All" at the Association of Programs in Rural Independent Living (APRIL) conference. 
  • Hayley Steinlage and Lillie Greiman presented "Moving Out: Preparing and Empowering Young Adults in Transition" at the National Council on Independent Living (NICL) conference. 
  • Jean Hall presented "Use of Administrative Data in Evaluating Employment & Health Outcomes for Enrollees in the Kansas Medicaid Buy-in Program" at the NIDILRR Research Review of Investments Incorporating Administrative Data for Employment Research. 
  • Jean Hall, Katie Batza, and Noelle Kurth presented "Intersectionality of Disability and LGBTQ: Historical Context and Current Health Disparities" at the American Public Health Association annual meeting. 
  • Dot Nary presented to KU undergraduate students in a course titled "Tolerance and Society: Perspectives in Religion; Race; Culture/Identity; and Social/Political Thought." The interdisciplinary course is sponsored by the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications. 
  • Dot Nary presented on respectful language regarding persons with disabilities to a pilot session of KU Mentoring Circles for Disability Inclusion.
  • Dot Nary coordinated and moderated the Chair's Forum for the Disability Section of the American Public Health Association 2018 Annual Meeting. The session focused on progress and challenges in pursuing the Disability Section's agenda of health, community living, and community participation for people with disabilities. It featured RTC Director Jean Hall, Judy Heumann of the Ford Foundation, Steve Kaye of the University of California at San Francisco, and Silvia Yee of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.  
  • Dot Nary served on the planning committee for the APHA Disability Section's 2019 Chair's Forum titled "Reframing Existing Narratives in the Built Environment: Creating Walkable and Movable Communities." This session featured a panel discussion with several national experts in the field of creating accessible communities, followed by a "walk audit" of the area around the convention center to point out barriers and facilitators to access for all users. 

The contents of this newsletter were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RT5043). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These contents do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.