Rural Disability

     Woman sitting on a porch swing smiling and waving

The RTC:Rural uses a wide variety of data from large public datasets to help answer questions about the disability experience in rural and urban locations. Most data are at the county level, which allows for comparison between metro, micro and noncore counties across the U.S.

Our data come from several federal agencies including: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Bureau of Labor StatisticsHealth Resources & Services Administration, and Rehabilitation Services Administration.

Disability statistics research aims to better understand the disability experience captured within large national datasets.


The intersection of disability status and rurality in American Indian/Alaskan Native communities

August 2022 | Genna Mashinchi, Emily Hicks, Arin Leopold, Lillie Greiman & Catherine Ipsen | Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences | online access; PDF

Disability and the household context: Findings for the United States from the public use Microdata Sample of the American Community Survey

August 2022 | Christiane von Reichert | Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences | online access; PDF

America at a glance: An update on rural-urban differences in disability rates

February 2022 | University of Montana Rural Institute | PDF; EPUB; Word document

Uncovering the intersection of rural and disability

February 2020 | Catherine Ipsen & Lillie Greiman | Annual Disability Statistics Compendium | archived video; transcription; presentations

Poverty and disability: At the intersection of place and policy 

February 2018 | Rayna Sage & Lillie Greiman | National Disability Institute Blog | online access

Prevalence of disability: Individual and household context

June 2018 | Christiane von Reichert | University of Montana Rural Institute | PDF

Transitory and enduring disability among urban and rural people

November 2018 | Rayna Sage, Bryce Ward, Andrew Myers & Craig Ravesloot | The Journal of Rural Health | PDF; online access

Data limitations in the American Community Survey (ACS): The impact on rural disability research 

October 2017 | Lillie Greiman | University of Montana Rural Institute | PDF

Disability items from the Current Population Survey (2008–2015) and permanent versus temporary disability status

May 2017 | Bryce Ward, Andrew Myers, Jennifer Wong & Craig Ravesloot | American Journal of Public Health | PDF; EPUB; online access

Disability and participation measurement seeks to understand the experiences of different groups of people with disabilities.


Comparing measures of functional difficulty with self-identified disability: Implications for health policy

October 2022 | Jean P. Hall, Noelle K. Kurth, Catherine Ipsen, Andrew Myers & Kelsey Goddard | Health Affairs | online access; PDF

Evaluating MTurk as a recruitment tool for rural people with disabilities 

January 2021 | Catherine Ipsen, Noelle Kurth & Jean Hall | Disability and Health Journal | PDF; online access

Underrepresentation of adolescents with respiratory, mental health, and developmental disabilities using American Community Survey (ACS) questions 

2018 | Catherine Ipsen, Cathy Chambless, Noelle Kurth, Sara McCormick, Rebecca Goe & Jean Hall | Disability and Health Journal | PDF; online access

Letter to the Editor: Under-representation of certain disability groups by the American Community Survey (ACS) 

2017 | Jean P. Hall, Catherine Ipsen, Noelle Kurth, Cathy Chambless, Sara McCormick & Rebecca Goe | Disability and Health Journal | PDF, online access

Community-based participatory research to adapt health measures for use by people with developmental disabilities 

2015 | Christina Nicolaidis, Dora Raymaker, Marsha Katz, Mary Oschwald, Rebecca Goe, Sandra Leotti, Leah Grantham, Eddie Plourde, Janic Salomon, Rosemary B. Hughes & Laurie E. Powers | Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action | PDF; online access

An investigation into the temporal scaling of community participation measurement 

2015 | Nicholas A. Livingston, Tannis Hargrove, Lillie Greiman, Andrew Myers, Catherine Ipsen & Craig Ravesloot | Rehabilitation Psychology | abstract

Using rapid scan to assess the need for a scoping review of the literature on the environment and disability 

2014 | Julia Hammond & Tom Seekins | Environmental Contexts and Disability | abstract

Participatory action research designs in applied disability and rehabilitation science: Protecting against threats to social validity 

January 2013 | Tom Seekins & Glen White | Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation | PDF; online access

A systematic scoping review of measures of participation in disability and rehabilitation research: A preliminary report of findings 

October 2012 | Tom Seekins, William Shunkamolah, Michael Bertsche, Colin Coward, Jean Ann Summers, Amanda Reichard & Glen White | Disability and Health Journal | PDF; online access

Guidelines for assessment of and intervention with persons with disabilities 

2012 | APA Task Force on Guidelines for Assessment and Treatment of Persons with Disabilities: Kurt F. Geisinger, Kay Kreigsman, Irene W. Leigh, Elina Manghi, Izabela Z. Schultz, Tom Seekins & Greg Taliaferro | American Psychological Association | online access

Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to measure participation: A preliminary study

2007 | Tom Seekins, Catherine Ipsen & Nancy Arnold | Rehabilitation Psychology | abstract