Community Participation & Accessibility

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The ability to actively participate in community life contributes to quality of life and wellbeing. The built environment, which includes everything from roads and sidewalks to buildings and parking lots, impacts how people move through and engage with their community. Unfortunately, community participation can be impacted by architectural, attitudinal, and policy barriers for many people with disabilities. Although laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, are meant to reduce these barriers, they often fall short or are not enforced.

Our research in community participation and accessibility is meant to provide tools and guidance for improving accessibility in the community, at events, and in the homes of friends and neighbors.

Tools, Resources, and Publications


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Is teaching skills for independent living to disabled adults associated with change in self-determination? 

September 2021| Craig Ravesloot
University of Montana Rural Institute | abstract; PDF available


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Community Assessment for Accessible Rural Events Toolkit

December 2019 | RTC:Rural
University of Montana Rural Institute |online access; PDF; Excel


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Chapter 4- Disability and rural events: the cultural reproduction of inclusion and exclusion

January 2019 | Rayna Sage & Erin Flores
Marginalisation and Events | Book chapter


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Developing methods for grading the accessibility of a communality’s infrastructure 

September 2012 | Tom Seekins, Nancy Arnold & Catherine Ipsen
Journal of Urban Planning and Development | abstract; PDF available


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Working with community partners to promote visit-ability in a rural state 

April 2010 | Meg Ann Traci & Desirae N. Ware
Disability and Health Journal | abstract; PDF available


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Moving from independence to interdependence: A conceptual model for better understanding community participation 

2010 | Glen White, Jamie Lloyd Simpson, Chiaki Gonda, Craig Ravesloot & Zach Coble
Journal of Disability Policy Studies | PDF


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Assessing environmental factors that affect disability: Establishing a baseline of visitability in a rural state 

February 2008 | Tom Seekins, Meg Ann Traci, Susan Cummings, Joanne Oreskovich & Craig Ravesloot
Rehabilitation Psychology | abstract; PDF available