RTC:Rural Rural Institute University of Montana

logo for Montana Disability & Health Program: Living well under the Big Sky

Living Well With A Disability


What is Living Well with a Disability?

Living Well with a Disability (LWD) is a ten week wellness workshop for people with disabilities that helps participants achieve full participation through health maintenance and health promotion activities. The workshops introduce participants to a process for setting and clarifying  goals and teaches how to generate, implement, and monitor solutions to problems. Goal setting and problem solving is the framework for developing healthy lifestyles and linking health with function. When appropriate, individuals are encouraged to consider health behavior as one tool for increasing participation. Living Well with a Disability puts quality of life issues at the forefront and teaches participants to:

  • Link health to quality of life
  • Set goals and solve problems
  • Manage frustration and discouragement
  • Seek information
  • Develop and maintain healthy relationships
  • Eat well and be physically active
  • Advocate for themselves and for systems change
  • Maintain healthy lifestyle changes

What does Living Well do for people?

  • Participants report improvements in outlook and positive changes in daily activities, such as new employment, returning to school, or more active social lives.
  • Many participants report the session on systems advocacy as their first exposure to disability rights advocacy.
  • Individuals who participated in Living Well also report less limitation due to secondary health conditions and reduced health care costs.

To attend a LWD workshop in Montana click here

To facilitate a LWD workshop, click here

Program Reports

Living Well with a Disability Improves Health and Saves Money, Success Story, 2016
Community Activated Living Well: A Guide for Implementing the Living Well with a Disability Health Promotion Workshop for Community Members who have Disabilities, 2005
Living Well and Medicaid, Better Health and Lower Costs
Living Well with a Disability: An update Research Progress Report #19, February 2004
Living well could save $31 million Research Progress Report #7, June 2001
Cost-effectiveness of Living Well
  Preliminary Research Progress Report #6, November 1999

For more information about the Living Well with a Disability program, please contact:

Maggie Lawrence
Programs & Resources Coordinator, RTC: Rural
The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities
52 Corbin Hall, University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-4688