Community Engagement for Disability and Aging Research (CEDAR)
Summer 2020
CEDAR Midwest is a Disability and Rehabilitation Research project funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. This research project is exploring the participation needs of people aging with a physical disability in the community and how community organizations can best meet those needs.
Important Dates
(see What's Coming section for more details)
  • June 23, 2020 at 3 p.m.: Social Isolation and Loneliness Webinar
  • November 19-20: NARRTC Annual Meeting
COVID-19 Resources
We have compiled a list of resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic that may be useful for people aging with disabilities and organizations that serve them. For information and resources related to health and safety, accessing food and other necessities, staying connected, financial concerns, and more, visit our website.
A picture of the COVID-19 Resources page at
Current Projects
COVID-19 Supplement to Our Longitudinal Cohort Survey
As of May 26, 2020, 160 people enrolled in our longitudinal cohort survey took part in the first round of our COVID-19 supplement. As of May 26, none of the respondents had been diagnosed with coronavirus, and about half had received their federal stimulus check. The majority reported that they were engaging in social distancing measures. We saw a small increase in reported alcohol consumption, but not a significant increase. Respondents did report increased financial stress and high levels of loneliness, but there was no change in feelings of depression. The largest change for participants of our study was in their reported ability to complete activities of daily living, with 30% of respondents noting a change in their ability to complete their daily activities. Results of this supplemental series of COVID-specific questions will inform service providers of the greatest needs of people aging with disabilities during this pandemic.
Our Team and Advisory Board
Remembering Chuck Graham

We were saddened to hear the news of the passing of Chuck Graham, one of our Community Advisory Board Members, on May 19. Mr. Graham was Co-Director/PI of the Great Plains ADA Center in Columbia, Mo., Chair of the Columbia Disabilities Commission, and Vice-Chair of the Missouri Inclusive Housing Development Corporation. In addition to CEDAR Midwest, Mr. Graham served on the Columbia Airport Advisory Board and was a founding member of Anthem’s National Advisory Board on Improving Health Care Services for Seniors and People with Disabilities.

Mr. Graham was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Missouri and founded the Mizzou Wheelchair Basketball team. Additionally, he served eight years in the Missouri House of Representatives and four years in the Missouri Senate, where he was the Assistant Minority Floor Leader. Mr. Graham has been a leader in the disability and civil rights movement for more than 30 years. Beyond his professional and advocacy work, he was a dear friend and mentor. His passion, determination and insight will be missed by occupational therapy and disability advocacy communities.

Congratulations to Our Students!

Congratulations to our graduate assistant Courney Weber on winning the Student Research Paper Award and on graduating from the Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy with her OTD in May!
On February 27, PhD student and CEDAR Midwest team member Rachel Heeb participated in the Mark S. Wrighton Research Award on Aging 3MT Competition hosted by the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging. The 3MT, or Three Minute Thesis, Competition is "an academic competition that challenges PhD students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience." The theme of February's competition was aging; Rachel presented on "Factors Influencing Community Participation of People Aging with Long-Term Physical Disability."
Rachel Heeb's slide for the 3MT Competition. Participants are allowed only one static slide as the backdrop for their presentation.
What We've Been Up To...
Latest Publication
Our paper describing the development of our community-based research network was accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, and the pre-proof is now available on their website. Read "Development and implementation of a community-based research network" here.
So far, we have hosted two webinars addressing issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak. First, Dr. Nancy Morrow-Howell and Natalie Galucia from the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging joined us to discuss the coronavirus and older adults. Topics included the reasons why older adults are at greater risk, additional risk factors, and social concerns surrounding the pandemic.
For our second COVID-related webinar, financial experts Dr. Graham McCaulley, Andrew Zumwalt and Marco Pantoja from the University of Missouri Extension discussed financial and economic issues surrounding the pandemic, including unemployment insurance, how to check on the status of your stimulus payment, and reentering the workforce after the pandemic.

All of our webinars are available at

What's Coming

Our Next Webinar: Social Isolation and Loneliness
Please join us at 3 p.m. on June 23, 2020 for our next webinar. Dr. Carla M. Perissinotto will join us to give a presentation on social isolation, loneliness and the importance of social connections. If you are interested in attending the webinar, email us at

Carla M. Perissinotto, MD, MHS, is an associate professor in the Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and is board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics and palliative medicine. Since 2017, she has served as the associate chief for geriatrics clinical programs at UCSF. In this role, she oversees and develops new clinical programs serving older adults across care settings. Her main work is in UCSF Care at Home, which provides medical care to home-bound older adults, and in embedded geriatrics consulting practices. Dr. Perissinotto has gained national and international recognition for her research on the effects of loneliness on the health of older adults. Most recently, her research has focused on integration of loneliness assessments in health care, and evaluation and implementation of community-based programs focused on ameliorating loneliness and isolation in adults.
NARRTC Annual Meeting
CEDAR Midwest researcher Brittany Minor will present a poster at the NARRTC Annual Meeting November 19-20 in Washington, D.C. The mission of NARRTC is to "improve the quality of life, independence of life choices, and the inclusion of individuals with disabilities and their families through relevant research, training, technical assistance, knowledge translation, development and demonstration activities." The NARRTC Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for grantees of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to share their research findings and strategies for knowledge translation with other grantees and NIDILRR representatives. The meeting was originally scheduled for April but was moved to November due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For technical assistance with any part of this project including information, resources, and data, please call 314-289-4270 or email us at
Find out more at
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