Upcoming Meetings and Webinars

A message from the Executive and Conference Committees

Due to the rising infection rates in the US, the Conference Committee has decided to postpone the in-person conference to Spring of 2022. Presenters will be notified and registration will be reopened as soon as new dates are established.

2021 Annual Meeting and Awards ceremony

NARRTC intends to hold a virtual Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony in October, including elections and a featured speaker. This space will be updated as soon as information is available.

2022 NARRTC Conference

Resourcefulness, Resilience and Responsiveness:
Disability and Rehabilitation Research following the Covid-19 Pandemic

April 27-28, 2022
Ritz Carlton Hotel, Pentagon City, VA

Information on the Workshop on knowledge translation hosted by the Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (KTDRR) in conjunction with the conference.

2021 Webinar Series

In lieu of a full conference in 2020, NARRTC opted for a brief annual meeting and a series of webinars featuring panels which were planned for the 2020 conference. We offered three webinars:

March 2021: What Makes News? A Guide for Seekers of Media Coverage About Disability Research

Speaker: Andy Burness, President, Burness and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government
Moderator: Jae Kennedy

This webinar aired March 31st. View the archived video.

In today’s media rich environment, getting the attention of the press is a key step in getting information to the people who might use it.  This webinar will review how to tell the story of your research in ways that make it newsworthy.  Please join us for a discussion with Andy Burness to learn more about packaging messages for the press.

Topics to be covered will include:

  • How public interest communications are changing
  • What is not newsworthy
  • Working with writers/reporters
  • Elements of a newsworthy press release
  • Useful questions for framing your story
  • What is different, makes a difference
  • Questions to think about as you prepare your news story
  • Guidelines, elements, and advantages for using an op -ed article

May 2021: Telling Stories to Inform Disability Policy

This webinar aired May 26th. View the archived video.

In the 2017 and 2019 National Surveys on Disability and Health, the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL) included an open-ended question on health policy,  “What would you like policymakers to know about access to health insurance or health care for people with disabilities or chronic health conditions?” (see resulting paper at journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1044207320956679). CHRIL researchers also conducted  a series of semi-structured video interviews with disability advocates at the WSU Accessibility Center and at annual meetings of the National Council on Independent Living and the Association of Programs for Independent Living. We asked about personal experiences with the US healthcare system and perspectives on needed policy reform. A thematic analysis was conducted with the interview transcripts, and a documentary filmmaker was hired to create short vignettes for the Disability Stories Project website at www.chril.org/stories.


Jae Kennedy, PhD is principal investigator for the NIDILRR-funded Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL). He is a professor of Health Policy and Administration at Washington State University and is immediate past president of NARRTC.

Jean P. Hall, PhD is the director of the Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies and a professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science (University of Kansas). She leads the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Promoting Interventions for Community Living  (RRTC-PICL).

Noelle K. Kurth, MS is a Research Associate at the University of Kansas Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies, Life Span Institute.

Davi Kallman, PhD is an Access Advisor at Washington State University.

Karen Colorafi, PhD, MBA, RN is Assistant Professor of Nursing, Gonzaga University.

Jason DaSilva, MFA, is an independent filmmaker/director and founder of AXS LAB.

Moderator: Joann Starks

July 2021: Health Status Changes with Transitory Disability Over Time

Speaker: Andrew Myers
Moderator: Sarah von Schrader

Date: July 14th, 3-4:15 pm ET

This webinar is complete. An archived recording will be posted soon.

This webinar will feature discussion of the 2020 Best Paper winner:

Andrew Myers, Bryce Ward, Jennifer Wong & Craig Ravesloot (2019) “Health status changes with transitory disability over time”. Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 244.

Rationale: The six-question disability set from the American Community Survey serves as the national standard for measuring disability across all surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These questions are intended to identify people who experience a long-term disability, and data from these questions are frequently interpreted as capturing discrete groups of individuals. Recent research has shown that a significant proportion of individuals respond to these questions inconsistently over time, possibly indicating that the six-question set also identifies transitory disability. However, it is unclear if these inconsistent responses are associated with changes in health status. We begin to test the validity of these observations by exploring how changes in health related quality of life correspond to changes in disability status. Methods: We recruited 525 participants to complete a longitudinal paper and pencil survey four times over 18 months that included the six disability questions, measures of health related quality of life, and mobility equipment use. We computed within person changes in health related quality of life variables to investigate how changes in disability status are associated with changes in health status. Results: Among respondents who reported disability, half or less consistently reported the same disability. Additionally, respondents who changed disability responses also reported changes in health related quality of life. For example, when individuals transition into walking disability, their health-related quality of life index decreases by, on average, 0.18 s.d. (p<0.05), and when individuals transition out of walking disability their health-related quality of life index increases by, on average, 0.27 s.d. (p<0.001). Conclusion: The six-question set identifies people who experience both enduring and transitory disability. Changes in health related characteristics correlate with changes in disability status. This suggests that observed transitions in disability reflect real changes in perceived health and impairment.