IDEAL RRTC—Investigating Disability factors and promoting Environmental Access for Healthy Living Rehabilitation Research and Training Center

woman pushing wheelchair

The overarching goal of the Investigating Disability factors and promoting Environmental Access for Healthy Living RRTC (IDEAL RRTC) is to promote the healthy aging of adults with long-term physical impairments and disabilities. This will be achieved by identifying factors at the intersection of the person and environment that impede or support positive health and function outcomes and creating solutions that improve the fit between the two.

The IDEAL RRTC will contribute to the understanding of successful aging with disability by investigating the interplay between individual factors and social and environmental barriers and facilitators, as they hinder or promote healthy aging and community participation. We will work across research stages to conduct research activities to promote the healthy aging of adults with long term physical disabilities. 

Core Components of the IDEAL RRTC 

IDEAL RRTC Leadership

Michelle Meade photo

Michelle A. Meade, PhD (Center Director / Co-Project Director R2-a)

An Associate Professor in the U-M Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) within the School of Medicine, a practicing rehabilitation psychologist, Director of the TIKTOC RERC and the Collaboratory for Technology, Health and Independence, (CTHI) affiliated faculty with the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and the co-chair for Michigan Medicine’s Disability Council.  






Philippa Clarke, PhD, MS (Center Co-PI / Project Director R3)

A Professor of Epidemiology in the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and Research Professor in the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. She is a social epidemiologist and social gerontologist with substantive and methodological expertise in the role of the environment in disability and aging.





Robyn Rontal, J.D., MHSA (Co-PI / Project Director for project R1c)

Leads the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation’s (CHRT) policy, analytics and consulting projects, with over 30 years of experience working with various stakeholders across the healthcare marketplace; providers, purchasers, insurers, consumers and policy-makers.









The content of this website has been developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR #90RTHF0001). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.