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The Ohio AgrAbility Program


The primary goal of Ohio AgrAbility (OAP) is to optimize the participants' farmstead planning, support their sustainability in an agricultural occupation, improve their financial stability and ultimately improve their quality of life. The four primary objectives of the project are education, networking, assistive technology, and increased public awareness. Through this multi-faceted approach, OAP bridges the gaps between agricultural participants, disability services and appropriate resources. A key role of this project is to continue serving our OAP participants, in addition to growing the established network. OAP's continued success will rely upon serving existing participants and creating additional linkages in the production agriculture and service arenas, specifically expanding the project's partnerships with farmers, rural health care providers, student and pre-professional collegiate groups, AT technicians, and other key stakeholders. Using traditional face-to-face approaches, as well as electronic media outlets (including webinars and social media), OAP will continue to effectively support Ohio's agricultural community.Obj. 1 EDUCATION Educate farmers/farm families, as well as health, farm, government and education professionals each year on accommodating disabilities and avoiding secondary injuries in persons with disabilities in production agriculture. Educate the agricultural community on the availability of the AgrAbility project, on accommodating disabilities in the production agricultural community and avoiding secondary injury in those who are disabled. Establish an OAP listserv to share information with and educate key stakeholders, professionals, and production agricultural groups who work with or intersect with farmers with disabilities.Obj. 2 NETWORKING Increase the capacity to serve customers of OAP by engaging an advisory and resource network of key stakeholders, government systems, service providers, farmers, health care professionals, public officials and educators that would bring increased information and resources to the project. Continue an informal peer-to-peer network of farmers and family members who have experienced disability to provide one-on-one information and support to farmers with newly acquired disabilities or new to the OAP project so they can understand how technology and other resources can continue to make farming a viable occupation. Build the capacity to serve OAP participants through engaging targeted service specialists and professionals willing to share their expertise. Increased opportunity for training & employment for individuals with physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities. Farmers will benefit from development of solutions and/or tools to improve worker productivity and knowledge.Obj. 3 ASSISTANCE Increase the quality of life, ability to remain in production agriculture and/or financial stability of farmer participants by providing individualized consultation in assessments, accessibility and ergonomic recommendations, life activities recommendations, farm operations planning, case management, and advocacy in accessing resources and direct services. Increase access to assistive technology and adaptations for OAP participants by developing resources for those participants who have limited or no funds available to them and to ensure sustainability of the OAP program. Increase the knowledge of farmers with disabilities and their families on the causes and prevention of secondary injury. Provide information on the OAP through targeted vehicles that are most likely to reach key audiences of people interested or involved in production agriculture.Obj. 4 MARKETING Increase awareness of AgrAbility program for workers, agencies, and stakeholders.

Jepsen, Shelly
Ohio State University
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