Here at Disability Action Center we are excited to offer a new program called Living Well with a Disability. This is an evidence-based program created by the University of Montana Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC). It is a ten-week program that is “grounded in consumer choice and peer support”, according to The Rural Institute (2010).

This class is formatted to meet for two hours once per week and is intended to be staff facilitated and consumer led. There are ten main objectives:

  1. Introduce participants to the philosophy of health promotion, health maintenance, and quality of life.
  2. Model techniques to be used to develop meaningful goals, value a healthy lifestyle, and prevent secondary conditions.
  3. Engage participants in setting goals and creating solutions to barriers that prevent these goals.
  4. Encourage participants to recognize and modify negative thoughts and emotions.
  5. Help with frustration management, discouragement, and depressed mood by teaching self-coaching and how to use peer supports.
  1. Work with participants to develop information-seeking skills for advocating for their personal health concerns.
  2. Facilitate independent living by working on communication skills.
  3. Discuss the importance of eating well and appropriate physical exercise.
  4. Increase participants’ knowledge of self-advocacy, systems advocacy, and ways to create change in programs, practices, and policies.
  5. Teach skills for retaining information learned during the workshop.

The benefits gained from this program have been shown to include having fewer health complications, increased physical activity, decreased stress levels, and improved mood.

DAC staff is ready and willing to facilitate this exciting new program in a variety of venues around our communities. There will be a class beginning Tuesday, May 30th at Sojourner’s Alliance Transitional Housing Shelter. The manual for Living Well with a Disability is available in many accessible forms, to include standard print, large print, Braille, audio CD, Spanish standard print, and text-only CD for screen readers. For more information click here  or give us a call at DAC (208) 883-0523.
Citation: The Rural Institute (2010). Living Well with a Disability Facilitator Manual. Missoula: The University of Montana Rural Institute.