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September 2009

National Project

After polling AgrAbility staff members about the need for a shuttle service at the NTW, it was determined that such a service would not be feasible. However, other options are available. Call County Connection Bus Service at 800-849-1191 a day or more in advance, and for $14 per person one way, they provide curb to curb service. (Same day service is $19.) Transportation is also available for wheelchair users. All services are subject to availability. The NAP has also established an Internet bulletin board that staff members may use to coordinate the pooling of cab rides between the Grand Rapids airport and the conference hotel. More

An Arthritis Foundation Scholarship is being offered for an Arthritis Foundation client to attend the AgrAbility National Training Workshop.  Nomination/application forms are available from Amber Wolfe at or 1-800-783-2342.  Scholarship applicants/nominees must be an agricultural worker that is affected in their work by arthritis.

Submitted by Amber Wolfe

The Ergonomics Community of Interest has kicked off! Fourteen people from around the nation participated in the first conference call of the Ergo COI. The group moved forward on several fronts, including resource sharing, case study feedback, critiques of ergo solutions/equipment and the development of formal ergonomics methodologies for onsite farm evaluation. In addition, an electronic networking site has been established for Ergo COI members, with slide shows, documents and discussions available to view. The AgrAbility Ergonomics Community of Interest site may be joined by clicking here: or contact Rob Stuthridge to be added to invitation to future conference calls and discussion updates. You will need to register as a Linked In user (free of charge) to access the Ergo COI site, digests which will be sent to any Ergo COI members who don’t wish to join the networking group.

submitted by: Rob Stuthridge

The first conference call on Vocational Rehabilitation Community of Interest occurred on August 20, 2009. Thirty-five people signed up, including AgrAbility staff, Vocational Rehabilitation counselors, and rehabilitation specialists from other organizations.  The call was moderated by Samuel N Mathew, VR Specialist for the NAP. Future interaction will be through conference calls. Those who would like to join the COI should e-mail to be informed of the next VR Community of Interest call.

The second in the NAP webinar series was held on August 27.  The webinar titled: “AgrAbility/Vocational Rehabilitation Relationships: Where are we now, and where should we be going?” was based on information gathered from a phone survey in January – Feb 09. Data collected during the phone survey was shared and also success stories from a few states were highlighted. The presentation done by Samuel N Mathew, the NAP VR specialist, lasted for one hour. Thirty five people logged into the webinar.

Submitted by: Sam Mathew

The first two webinars in the Agrability Webinar Series are now archived and available for viewing. Links to the Adobe Connect presentations of An Introduction to Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship for People with Disabilities and AgrAbility/Vocational Rehabilitation Relationships: Where are we now, and where should we be going? are now available at An Internet-enabled browser with Adobe Flash Player is required.

Help spread the word about the 2009 AgrAbility National Training Workshop in Grand Rapids. Direct your customers and interested professionals to the conference site at

Submitted by: Liz Semmel