CAMP HILL, Pa. — Learn how farmers and agricultural workers persevere in agriculture despite a disability or health condition by talking to the AgrAbility PA staff at Ag Progress Days: Aug. 10-12, 2021.
AgrAbility PA is a non-profit that provides direct services and support to farmers and agricultural workers so that they can continue to or return to working in agriculture.
Visitors to AgrAbility PA’s exhibit will learn about farm-related assistive technology, how to work with an occupational therapist for a farm assessment, and gain ideas for modifying workspaces and tasks around the farm. Free daily health screenings will be offered and a variety of additional health-related resources will be available.
AgrAbility PA will exhibit inside the Rural Health and Safety Tent located at the end of West 6th Street adjacent to the farm safety demonstration area.
AgrAbility PA is a statewide partnership between Penn State Extension and UCP Central PA in support of a project funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Since 1991, NIFA has awarded AgrAbility grants to more than 35 states resulting in on-farm assistance to more than 12,000 farmers, while educating thousands of professionals on how to accommodate those with disabilities in agriculture.
AgrAbility PA has been assisting farmers and agricultural workers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 1995. Some of the more common disabilities or health conditions that Pennsylvania farmers may have include: arthritis, spinal cord injury, amputation, traumatic brain injury, stroke, diabetes, visual or hearing loss, respiratory problems, and back impairment or joint injuries.
AgrAbility PA staff provides a variety of services at no cost:
- On-site farm assessment to identify barriers to completing essential everyday tasks and chores, both in the agricultural workplace and the home.
- Identification of safe and appropriate assistive technologies (equipment/devices and efficient modified work practices).
- Referral to information resource materials on a variety of topics related to agriculture and disability.
- Access to face-to-face and online educational training opportunities through workshops, conferences, and seminars.
- Referral to other service providers for potential assistance (e.g., funding resources, occupational or physical therapy assessments) specific to the farmer’s or farm family’s needs.
- Provide peer support opportunities to connect farmers to one another.
AgrAbility PA does not provide direct funding, however, the staff works with the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), Technology for Our Whole Lives (TechOWL), and other third-party funding sources to help farmers and their families obtain needed equipment, assistive technology, and modifications.
For more information, visit AgrAbilityPA.org or follow AgrAbility PA on social media: @AgrAbilityPA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. Contact AgrAbility PA at AgrAbility@psu.edu or (814) 867-5288.
–Kendra Martin, AgrAbility PA