rural communities

Creating Rural Community Outreach Materials Related to COVID-19 and Disability

The Practice Guidelines for Creating Rural Community Outreach Materials Related to COVID-19 and Disability were developed using feedback from rural disability stakeholder groups. The practice guidelines explain the health challenges of people with disabilities living in rural areas and provide a list of recommendations for rural outreach. The recommendations include guidance and examples related to Messaging, Personal Choice and Control, Universal Public Health Guidance and Practices, and Local Voices and Values.

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Social Isolation and Loneliness Among People with Disabilities Pre- to Post-COVID

This article highlights a research report looks into social isolation and loneliness among people with disabilities during COVID lockdowns. This data was collected in 2021, one year into the pandemic, but before vaccine roll-out. The authors compare this post-COVID to previously collected data pre-COVID to see what has changed. The previous report is available at https://www.umt.edu/rural-institute/rtc/stories/11.29.21-social-isolatio...

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Organizational partnerships may improve access to independent living services for people with disabilities

A study funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).

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COVID-19 vaccination among disabled people

This research brief explores how people with disabilities are experiencing COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the United States. Many people with disabilities are at higher risk of both contracting COVID-19 and experiencing sever outcomes. Despite this, disability status is not typically included in COVID-19 case reports and most state vaccination plans have not considered disability status as a risk factor,

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America at a glance: Social isolation and loneliness during the first wave of COVID-19

This paper compared data from two cross-sectional samples collected before and after the first wave of “stay-at-home” orders to learn more about how COVID-19 and related responses (i.e. stay-at-home orders) may contribute to feelings of social isolation and loneliness among people with disabilities. Social isolation and loneliness are a public health concern because they are associated with poor mental and physical health outcomes and mortality. Post-COVID rural and urban samples reported significantly more interactions with family and close friends.

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Identifying potential hospital bed shortages for people with disabilities

This blog article used geographical data to identify areas where the number of available hospital beds might outpace the number of people requiring critical care due to COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, there were concerns about rationing care when faced with a shortage of intensive care hospital beds or ventilators, and concerns that people with disabilities might be denied treatment over people without disabilities. The article includes discussion of rationing care and equitable access.

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COVID-19: An increased threat to people with disabilities living in rural institutions

This blog article compared rates of institutionalized populations across rural and urban counties, finding much higher rates of institutionalization of people with disabilities in rural counties. Research has shown that COVID infection rates were extremely high in institutional setting such as nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and group homes.

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Skilled Nursing Facilities in Rural Communities: Opportunities for partnering on COVID-19 response efforts

This blog article used geographical data to highlight the distribution of skilled nursing facilities across the use and understand the risk for COVID exposure and death within these settings, particularly in rural communities. The report finds that skilled nursing facilities benefit from community partner support to adopt CDC and local health department recommendations, practices, and resources (e.g., funding and resources being organized across federal agencies) using a whole community approach in local response and recovery efforts, particularly in rural communities.

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America at a glance: COVID-19 vaccination among people with disabilities

This brief reports on a survey of people with disabilities to gauge their access to, knowledge of, and interest in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Overall, 19% of our sample of people with disabilities reported already being vaccinated, 56% wanted to get vaccinated, 10% were unsure, and 15% did not want to be vaccinated. Rural residents with disabilities reported higher rates of current vaccination, but higher rates of overall hesitancy, and more barriers to vaccination than urban residents with disabilities.

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A cross-sectional analysis of trust of information and COVID-19 preventative practices among people with disabilities

In this article, the authors surveyed people with disabilities in rural and nonrural communities, finding variance across communities and disability types in levels of trust of information about COVID-19 and in adherence to community health guidelines. The findings highlight the importance of collaborating with trusted partners in the disability community to promote effective messaging.

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