RehabWire - Volume 9, Number 5, June 2007.


Housing and homeownership are key issues in participation and community living, as highlighted in this month's projects and articles.

NIDRR Grantees on the Cutting Edge.

Rehabilitation Engineering and Research Center (RERC) on Universal Design and the Built Environment at Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo (H133E050004) led by Edward Steinfeld, ArchD. Thomas Corfman, Project Officer.
Abstract: The RERC on Universal Design and the Built Environment is engaging the public and private sectors across four broad domains of the built environment: (1) community infrastructure, (2) public buildings, (3) housing, and (4) products. The RERC-UD generates strategically important research, development, education, and dissemination deliverables, to advance the fields of rehabilitation engineering and environmental design. The RERC-UD deliverables integrate universal design principles within the generally accepted models, methods, and metrics of design and engineering professionals in the building and manufacturing industries. Research projects document the efficacy of existing universally designed environments, and generate critical human factors data essential to resolving design and engineering problems. Development projects create evidence-based guidelines to implement universal design concepts within the tools of the design professions, and formulate methods to evaluate the usability of designs for people with mobility, sensory, and cognitive impairments. The usefulness of the guidelines and evaluation methods are demonstrated by applying them to the development of innovative products and environments with industry partners. Training activities emphasize online certificate programs in universal design for design professionals, builders, manufacturers, and consumer advocates; a web portal and site for students and educators; and graduate programs that train researchers in advanced methods. Dissemination outputs include traditional refereed and trade publications, an extensive website with downloadable information products and design tools, model home demonstrations in local communities across the country, and outreach activities with professional, business, and standards development organizations. The RERC-UDs state-of-the-science conference includes stakeholders in a plan to elevate universal design to an integral component of the mainstream design and engineering disciplines.
Find out more at:

Homeless Mentally Ill: Strategies for Maintaining Residential Stability, University of Illinois at Chicago (H133G040320) led by Christine Helfrich, PhD. David W. Keer, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project implements, evaluates, and disseminates a life skills intervention designed to increase skills necessary for maintaining housing for 230 homeless adults with psychiatric disabilities to prevent their return to the streets, reinstitutionalization, hospitalization, or jail. These skills include room and self-care management, food management, financial management, and safe community participation. This three-year project is conducted in two housing programs: supervised emergency housing and single room occupancy housing with case management. The intervention was developed based on Empowerment Theory, the Transtheoretical Model of Change, Social Learning Theory using a skills training approach, and the Model of Human Occupation. The objective of this intervention is to increase the time an individual remains housed and decrease the evictions that occur secondary to his/her inability to perform the skills and behaviors necessary to maintain housing.

Please note: These abstracts have been modified. Full, unedited abstracts, as well as any available REHABDATA citations, are available at

A Home of One’s Own?
According to Census 2000 data, 71.3% of families with at least one member with a disabilities are likely to own a home. This is slightly less than families without disabilities (74.2%).

Current Literature: Selections from REHABDATA

(2006) 2005 disability status reports: United States. NARIC Accession Number: O16630. Project Number: H133B031111.
Abstract: The Annual Disability Status Reports provide policy makers, disability advocates, reporters, and the public with a summary of the most recent demographic and economic statistics on the working-age (ages 21-64) population with disabilities by state in the United States. They contain information on the population size, prevalence, employment, earnings, poverty, household income, home ownership, and activity limitations of working-age people with disabilities, as well as the composition of this population by age, race, gender, and educational attainment. Comparisons are made to working-age people without disabilities, across types of disabilities, and to the previous year. Additional statistics by state are available at This document is available online at

(2006) Spinal cord injury update, 15(1). NARIC Accession Number: O16431. Project Number: H133N000003.
Abstract: Newsletter of the Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System, a model spinal cord injury (SCI) care system. Topics covered in this issue: accessible and affordable housing, prevalence and implications of sleep apnea, relaxation and hypnosis for SCI pain, staying healthy after SCI, and 11 abstracts on SCI topics. This document is available online at

Most home modifications are small and can be done for $150 to $2000. Large scale modification can be expensive. Visit the National Directory of Home Modification Resources at for help!

photo of a white house with an American flag in front. Photo credit: Andrew Beierle, PA, US

Kalpakjian, C. (2006) Charting a new course: The guide to independent living after spinal cord injury. NARIC Accession Number: O16602. Project Number: H133N000009.
Abstract: This guidebook provides information to help people understand and live with spinal cord injury (SCI). The chapters are divided into 4 major sections. Section 1 reviews the characteristics of individuals who sustain SCI, the anatomy of the spinal cord, and medical recovery. Section 2 covers 10 important areas related to managing common health problems after injury: autonomic dysreflexia, bladder function, bowel function, deep vein thrombosis, heterotopic ossification, spasticity, protecting the skin, lung function, pain management, and temperature regulation. Section 3 covers topics related to physical and emotional well-being after SCI. The final section covers a broad range of topics, including independent living, personal assistance, self-advocacy, civil rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act, accessible housing, employment and disability benefits, personal safety, assistive technology, recreation, and transportation and travel. Also included is a list of resources for additional information. This document is available online at

Kitchener, M., Willmott, M. (2006) Home and community-based services: Federal funding to states. NARIC Accession Number: O16583. Project Number: H133B031102.
Abstract: Report describes the ways in which federal funding is being used to support states in delivering home and community-based services programs to people with disabilities. The roles and policy initiatives of the following federal agencies are discussed: (1) the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Administration on Aging, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Administration on Children and Families, Office of Community Services; (2) the Department of Veterans Affairs; (3) the Department of Transportation, (4) the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and (5) the Department of Labor. This document is available online at

Mann, W., Helal, A. (2006) Promoting independence for older persons with disabilities: Selected papers from the 2006 international conference on aging, disability and independence. Assistive Technology Research Series, 18. NARIC Accession Number: R08809. Project Number: H133E010106.
Abstract: This book includes 25 of the papers submitted for the Third International Conference on Aging, Disability, and Independence (ICADI), held in February 2006.The focus of ICADI is on maintaining independence and active participation in family and community activities for older adults through the use of technology. The papers are organized according to 5 of the 7 ICADI tracks: (1) smart homes, (2) robotics, (3) telehealth, (4) home modifications and universal design, and (5) assistive devices and workplace adaptations.

Salzer, M., Baron, R. (2006) Community integration and measuring articipation. NARIC Accession Number: O16812. Project Number: H133B031109.
Abstract: Article focuses on the measurement of the success of community integration outcomes. It presents strategies for measuring participation in the following community integration domains: housing, employment, education, health, leisure/recreation, spirituality, citizenship, social roles, peer support, and self-determination.
This document is available online at

Seekins, T. (2006) Introduction: Disability and community development. Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, 37(3), 1-3. NARIC Accession Number: J51458. Project Number: H133B030501.
Abstract: This is an introduction to a series of articles that focus on the relationship between disability and community development. Authors present an overview of the subsequent articles, which report on disability advocacy, accessible and affordable housing, economic development, community planning, transportation, and access to faith communities.

West, D. (Ed.). (2006) TBI today , 3(4). NARIC Accession Number: O16467. Project Number: H133A020516.
Abstract: Quarterly newsletter features information about traumatic brain injury (TBI), rehabilitation, and research. In this issue: (1) strategies for remembering names, (2) a community-based group home for TBI survivors, (3) update on emotional adjustment study,(4) question about housing options, and (5) practical advice on brain injuries.
This document is available online at

(2005) Going home: A guide to nursing home transitioning. NARIC Accession Number: O16285. Project Number: H133B000002.
Abstract: Manual presents information to assist rehabilitation counselors in transitioning consumers from nursing home care to independent living in the community. Topics include: initial meeting and planning, the Olmstead Decision, independent living philosophy, assessment, finances, support services and programs, transportation, housing, overcoming barriers, and additional resources and information.
This document is available online at

Newcomer, R., Kang, T. (2005) Living quarters and unmet need for personal care assistance among adults with disabilities. Journal of Gerontology, 60B(4), S205-S213. NARIC Accession Number: J51400. Project Number: H133B031102; H133B980045.
Abstract: National survey data was used to examine the extent to which individual and environmental characteristics are associated with the likelihood of unmet need for assistance in performing activities of daily living (ADLs) among adults with disabilities living in houses compared with apartment dwellers. Analysis focused on the relative contribution of individual capabilities, social resources, social roles and norms, and physical environmental measures to unmet ADL needs. Results showed that less than one in five subjects with a specific limitation in activities of daily living had unmet needs for that ADL. The likelihood of unmet ADL assistance increased with the number of ADL limitations and other health status indicators. It was at least 50 percent higher among those living in apartments than in houses. There were no differences by age or gender.

ERIC, the Education Resources Information Center, maintains one of the most comprehensive databases of literature on education research. It includes more than 115,000 full text articles. A quick search for "housing" returned more than 8,500 articles. Limiting the search using "disability" returned 210 abstracts, including 100 full text articles. Try your own search at to review these resources.

Where Can I Find More? A quick keyword search is all you need to connect to a wealth of disability and rehabilitation research. NARIC’s databases hold more than 75,000 resources. Visit to search for literature, current and past research projects, and organizations and agencies in the US and abroad.