RehabWire - Volume 5, Number 4, April 2003

How do you access disability and rehabilitation services when you're "down on the farm?"
RehabWire for April looks at rural disability and rehabilitation research across the country.

NIDRR Projects: Research in the New Millennium.

Developing a Rehabilitation Service Delivery Model for Minority Farmers with Disabilities, University of Arkansas/Pine Bluff (H133G000192) led by Ari K. Mwachofi, PhD. Delores Watkins, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project gathers data from farmers and service providers in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Using the survey data, the project constructs a model of rehabilitation service delivery for minority farmers with disabilities based on their needs, perceptions, disabilities, and the most effective methods of reaching and comunicating with them. The main thrust of the project is active participation by minority farmers in research and model building.

Home-Based Video-Counseling for Rural At-Risk Adolescents with Epilepsy and Their Parents: An accessibility and Outcome Analysis, University of Florida College of Health Professions (H133G990500) led by Robert  L. Glueckauf, PhD. Bonnie Gracer, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project is evaluating the impact of issue-specific, video-system counseling on the pyschosocial and educational functioning of at-risk teens with epilepsy and their parents who reside in rural areas. Objectives include assessing the difference between home-based video counseling and office-based counseling on the level of improvement, severity, and frequncy of specific problems identified by at-risk and their parents.

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Rural Rehabilitaton Services, University of Montana (H133B030501) led by Tom Seekins, PhD. Joyce Y. Caldwell, Project Officer.
Abstract: This research program is designed to improve the employment status and ability of persons with disabilities to live independently in rural America, and to advance the science of rural disability. Research projects organized under four Core Areas, including rural employment and economic development, rural health and disability, rural community transportation and independent living, and rural policy foundations. This project develops new scientific methods to measure the environment and participation; develops new employment opportunities with very small rural businesses; creates new programs to prevent secondary conditions. and improve rural transportation options. The project also explores potential roles for new partners in rural community https://disability.rtc.ruralinstitute.umt.edu

Optimizing Assistive Technology Service with Video Teleconferencing. Lucile Packard Children's Hospitals at Stanford (H133G99087) led by Judith Henderson. William Peterson, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project develops an interactive video teleconferencing protocol to provide expert AT evaluations to individuals with significant physical and speech disabilities and their local support teams living in rural or underserverd areas.
Find out more at: www-med.stanford.edu/lpch/rec.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telerehabilitation, MedStar Research Institute (H133E990007) led by Michael Rosen, PhD. William Peterson, Project Officer.
Abstract: This RERC conducts research on various models of delivering rehabilitation services at a distance: telerehabilitation.
Find out more at: www.telerehab-nrh.org

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for Successful Aging, University of Florida (H133E010106) led by William C. Mann, PhD. Margaret Campbell, PhD, Project Officer.
Abstract: The RERC-Tech-Aging conducts research, development, education, and information dissemination work on technology for successful aging. The RERC-Tech-Aging also identifies needs and barriers to home monitoring and communication technology, and addresses needs of special populations including rural-living, elders, and people aging with disability.
Find out more at: www.rerc.ufl.edu.

Missouri Model Traumatic Brain Injury System (MOMBIS), University of Missouri/Columbia (H133A980008) led by Brick Johnstone, PhD. Theresa San Agustin, MD, Project Officer.
Abstract: This model system, based in central Missouri, provides a continuum of TBI care to an underserved and understudied population: communities that are primarily rural. MOMBIS is also piloting research in the transportation challenges of individuals with TBI in rural areas and how those challenges affect outcomes and the relationship between challenges in access to environmental resources and outcomes for individuals with TBI living in rural areas of Missouri.
Find out more at: www.hsc.missouri.edu/~mombis.

Model System for Burn Injury Rehabilitation, University of Texas/Dallas (H133A070023) led by Phala Helm, MD. Theresa San Agustin, MD, Project Officer.
Abstract: The North Texas Burn Rehabilitation Model System, a multidisciplinary, comprehensive, and coordinated burn injury rehabilitation system, addresses emergency, medical/surgical, rehabilitation, psychosocial, and vocational activities. Three quarterly clinics have been established in the rural areas of Tyler, Waco, and Fort Worth Texas.
Find out more at: www.swmed.edu/ntbrms/welcome.htm

Self-Employment Development for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury, Brain Injury Association of America, Inc. (H133G020215) led by Karen Flippo. Delores Watkins, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project creates self-employment opportunities for individuals with traumatic brain injuries through inventive, replicable capacity building approaches couple with high-quality and cost-effective tecnical consultation and program redesign. The research, conducted by the Brain Injury Association of America and The Rural Institute at the University of Montana, addresses consumer self-determination, staff development, dissemination, and capacity building, with signficant attention to consumer choice, minority enrollment, and local collaboration.
Find out more at: www.biausa.org

May is...Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, www.aafa.org; Better Hearing and Speech Month, www.asha.org; Huntington's Disease Awareness Month, www.hdsa.org; Mental Health Month, www.nmha.org; National Arthritis Month, www.arthritis.org.

New Research: Selections from REHABDATA

Glueckhauf, R.L., Fritz, S.P., Ecklund-Johnson, E.P., Liss, H.J., Dages, P., Carney, P. (2002) Videoconferencing-based family counseling for rural teenagers with epilepsy: Phase 1 findings. Rehabilitation Psychology, 47(1), 49-72. Accession Number: J44312.
Abstract: Study examines the effects of videoconferencing-based counseling on the psychosocial functining of rural teenagers with epilepsy. Teens with epilepsy and their parents were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions: home-based videoconferencing counseling, home-based speakerphone counseling, or office-based counseling. Teenagers and parents reported significant reductions in both problem severity and frequency and improvements in family problems and teen prosocial behavior at home across all 3 conditions. Teens reportes substantially higher levels of therapeutic alliance in the office and speakerphone conditions than for videoconferencing. No differences in adherence were found. Overall, mode of service delivery did not influence treatment outcomes or adherence.

Ipsen, C., Arnold, N. (2002) Developing collaborative relationships to enhance self-employment services for people with disabilities. Rural Practice Guidance, June 2002. RRTC on Rural Rehabilitation Services. Accession Number: O14384.
Abstract: Discusses promoting coordination between Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies in order to expand self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Presents the steps in 3 phases: (1) using focus groups to share information, (2) building interagency collaboration, and (3) formalizing agreements.

Ipsen, C., Arnold, N. (2002) Vocational rehabilitation and small business development center linkages. Rural Disability and Rehabilitation Research Progress Report #15. RRTC on Rural Rehabilitation Services. Accession Number: O14385.
Abstract: Describes project designed to promote coordination between SBDCs and VR agencies in order to expand self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities. SBDCs were surveyed regarding several areas, including: perceptions of their resources and ability to serve individuals with disabilities, perceptions of people with disabilities who seek self-employment services, existing linkages between SBDCs and VR agencies, and characteristics of collaboration. Conclusions of the study and next steps are discussed.

Senninger, S., Traci, M.A. (2002) Direct services staff turnover in supported living arrangements: Preliminary results and observations. Rural Disability and Rehabilitation Research Progress Report #17. RRTC on Rural Rehabilitation Services. Accession Number: O14393.
Abstract: Reports preliminary results and observations from a survey on the costs associated with direct service staff turnover in 7 different providers of service to individuals with developmental disabilities. Provider demographics, labor supply characteristics, turnover rate, quality of responses, and overall observations are discussed.

Arnold, N. (2002) Business owners with a disability. University of Montana, Rural Institute on Disabilities. Accession Number: O14395.
Abstract: Report summarizes the findings of a survey o fpeople with disabilities who are self-employed. Results are reported comparing: businesses that started with and without vocational rehabilitation assistance, metropolitan and nonmetropolitan bisnesses, and men- and women-owned businesses.

Seekins, T., Brusin, J., Rimel, K. (2002) Civic leadership by people with disabilities. Rural Disability and Rehabilitation Research Progress Report #16. RRTC on Rural Rehabilitation Services. Accession Number: O14418.
Abstract: Introduces project underway to explore civic leadership roles and opportunities for people with disabilities in rural communities. Presents estimated numbers of civic leaders with dsiabilities currently serving rural communities.

Spas, D., Seekins, T. (2002) Our S.T.A.T.E. policy: It means "same-time availability to everyone." Rural Practice Guidelines, December 2002. RRTC on Rural Rehabilitation Services. Accession Number: O14434.
Abstract: Presents the guidelines for implementation of the "same-time availability to everyone" (STATE) policies and procedures. When a printed document is made available to the general public, the STATE policy requires that alternative formats that are useful to individuals with disabilities be provided at the same time. The procedures include: (1) developing standard print documents, (2) creating alternative formats, and (3) ensuring access to the information.

Arnold, N. L., Seekins, T. (2002) Self-employment: A process for use by vocational rehabilitation agencies. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 17(2), 107-113. Accession Number: J44280.
Abstract: Presents the recommended vocational rehabilitation (VR) self-employment process for assisting people with disabilities to start their own successful businesses. Details each step in the process.

Humphries, K., Traci, M., Seekins, T., Brusin, J. (2002) Nutrition and disability. Rural Disability and Rehabilitation Research Progress Report #14. University of Montana Rural Institute on Disabilities. Accession Number: O14302.
Abstract: Report describes significan risk factors for secondary conditions in people with developmental disabilities: malnutrition, obesity, and issues related to staff members responsible for food planning and preparation. Presents suggestions for changes in nutritional habits to manage or prevent secondary conditions.

Seekins, T., Abbe, P., Sperry, C., Arnold, N., Brusin, J. (2002) Rural community economic development through import substitution: A citizen-led program. RRTC on Rural Rehabilitation Services. Accession Number: O14364.
Abstract: Guidebook provides the tools to establish a program to promote rural community economic development. The program is specifically designed to include a wide range of community members, including people with disabilities. Community economic development through import substitution identifies opportunities to create and expand businesses by surveying local residents' need and available resources, and develops a plan to produce the goods and services locally. Step-by-step instructions, checklists, worksheets, forms, and sample letters are included to guide participants through the entire process.

May is...National Digestive Disease Month, www.ddnc.org; National Neurofibromatosis Month, www.nf.org; National Stroke Awareness Month, www.stroke.org; National Trauma Awareness Month, www.armtrauma.org; Older Americans Month, www.aoa.gov.

photo of barn with red farmhouse