RTC:Rural Rural Institute University of Montana

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

Working Well With a Disability


What is Working Well with a Disability?

Working Well with a Disability (WWD) is a 6 week workshop for people with disabilities who want to be employed.  It is built on the successes of the Living Well program by continuing with similar concepts, but it tailors information to individuals preparing for, or trying to maintain, employment.

People with disabilities describe secondary health conditions as a barrier to employment (Ipsen, Seekins, & Arnold, in press; Kaye, 2009). Secondary conditions include pressure sores, chronic pain, fatigue, depression, and a variety of other conditions. These conditions can interfere with a person’s ability to get and keep a job.  Working Well presents health promotion concepts to help people develop lifestyle behaviors that can reduce the limitation they experience from secondary conditions.  Specifically, this program provides the tools to maintain a healthy life balance while meeting the demands of employment.

What does Working Well do for people?

The Working Well research findings suggest that people most affected by secondary conditions who participate in the Working Well program experience significant reductions in limitation from secondary conditions. The workshop appears to be an effective way to reduce problems of secondary conditions like chronic pain, fatigue, and depressed mood that may act as barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment. When their lives are out of balance, Working Well helps people develop a healthy lifestyle to manage health conditions so they can focus on getting and keeping a job.

To attend a WWD workshop in Montana click here

To facilitate a WWD workshop, click here

Program Reports

Findings from a Study of the Working Well with a Disability Program, 2010

Working Well with a Disability: Research Progress Report, 2009

Building the Case: Health Promotion for Vocational Rehabilitation Consumers, 2007

Working Well with a Disability: Project Update, 2005

Linking Health, Secondary Conditions and Employment Outcomes, 2004


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

Tracy Boehm, MPH
Program Coordinator
The University of Montana Rural Institute
52 Corbin Hall
Missoula, MT 59812-7056

Catherine Ipsen, PhD
Project Director
The University of Montana Rural Institute
52 Corbin Hall
Missoula, MT 59812-7056