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April 2009

National Project

The NAP launched a web-based survey on April 15 to choose a new AgrAbility logo. Each AgrAbility staff member will get one vote, and the choices included a design commissioned by the former NAP, one from Purdue's Agricultural Communications Department, and one from a freelance designer. Responders may also make general comments about the designs and the tag line on the survey form. The survey will be open through Friday, April 24. If you are an AgrAbility staff member and didn't receive a survey invitation email, or if you have any problems with the survey software, please contact Paul Jones at

SRAPs should submit their annual demographic data for the 2008-09 project year to the University of Wisconsin. Using carryover funds, members of the former NAP team will be processing the data for this year, and the University of Illinois evaluation team will be developing a new demographic data collection system for next year.

Demographic data collection forms may be downloaded from the extranet at If you need access to the extranet, please contact Mark Novak at Completed data collection instruments should be emailed to within 60 days of the close of the project year.

The first session in the AgrAbility Webinar Series is scheduled for May 28 at 3:00 p.m. EDT / 2:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. MDT / 12:00 p.m. PDT. The webinar topic will be an Introduction to Self-Employment and Entre-preneurship for People with Disabilities, and Steve Swain from the NAP/Indiana AgrAbility will be the presenter. Adobe Connect software will be used to conduct the webinar, and participants will receive instructions and handouts prior to the session.

Look for an announcement and registration information coming soon on the AgrAbility listserv for this no-cost event.

The National AgrAbility Project Advisory Team met in Indianapolis on April NAP advisory committee photo1-2 for their annual meeting. The mission of the Team is to provide external feedback on the NAP's work plan and accomplishments for program improvement. Members participating in the April meeting included representatives from RESNA, APRIL, FFA, and the American Legion, plus professionals in the field of law, assistive technology, counseling, occupational therapy. A total of 23 people, including advisory comittee members and NAP staff members, attend one or both days of the event.

The Advisory Team provided a variety of useful suggestions, including ideas for improving peer support services, expertise in assistive technology among AgrAbility professionals, and outreach to rural youth.

The National AgrAbility Project has initiated a survey among State and Regional AgrAbility Project (SRAPs) personnel about their past and present experience working with their respective state VR agency. The survey is designed to gather information on the current status of VR/AgrAbility cooperation in the states where AgrAbility currently operates and to share the information among all AgrAbility personnel. Twenty three states have participated in the survey and currently the data is being tabulated and analyzed.

Survey questions included funding limitations by VR in different states, conflict resolution, status of order of selection, pay for service details and recommendations for enhancing current relationships. Some of the states have shared their current success models that others can emulate to develop a win-win relationship with VR. NAP also plans to bring out a white paper with recommendations for enhanced relationship with VR.

The NAP is planning to prepare web based training modules about the VR process and working with VR counselors based on feedback from survey participants. The training modules will be available on the AgrAbility web site for all AgrAbility personnel in the near future.

All of the survey participants have been very cooperative in providing data for this survey. NAP is very thankful for their cooperation and hopes to share the data for the common benefit through a webinar in the near future.