Exploring the relationship between county level resources and disability outcomes

Authors: Lillie Greiman*, , Arin Leopold*, University of Montana
Topics: Disabilities, Resources, Development
Keywords: disability, community resources, community development, health, policy
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2020
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Tower Court A, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Second Floor Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


There is considerable geographic variation in reported rates of disability (and other disability outcomes like employment and poverty) across the United States. Current disability models view disability as the result of an individual’s functional ability and surrounding environmental factors.

The availability of and access to community resources is a key environmental factor that contributes to the experience of disability. For example, community resources such as affordable and accessible housing and transportation are significant factors to successful transitions from skilled nursing facilities to community living. Conversely, limited access to social service resources (like personal assistance services) and accessible transportation in rural communities can make it difficult to access healthcare services, and employment opportunities.

However, limited research has examined the relationship between community resource availability and the experience of disability. In this presentation we explore the relationship between county level community resources (e.g. human service, educational, health, housing organizations and nonprofits) and disability outcomes. Does the presence of these types of organizations in the community impact reported disability rates as well as other disability outcomes (i.e. employment and poverty). People who report disability also report lower levels of employment and experience higher rates of poverty than those without disability. Results from this analysis have implications for disability policies and service programs.

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