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April 2010

National Project

The NAP welcomed 18 staff members from current and future SRAPS for a professional development event focused on worksite assessments. The training, which began at noon on April 13 and ended at noon on April 15, Participants visit the Purdue dairy farm during assessment trainingincluded a site visit to the Purdue Animal Sciences Farm for onsite assessment practice. Participants prepared presentations that were critiqued by current and former VR counselors. Also included in the training was a discussion of VR services and an overview of AgrAbility for new staff members.

Faculty for the training included Steve Swain, Sam Mathew, Bill Field, Gail Participants listen to Steve Swain at assessment trainingDeboy, Eric Olson, Ed Bell, and Paul Jones from the NAP, plus Fred Williams, an Indiana VR regional supervisor.

Reviews from the event were very positive, and it is hoped that similar events will be repeated.

Submitted by: Paul Jones

The 2010 AgrAbility National Training Workshop in Charleston, West Virginia is just about six months away. As in past years, the NAP wants to open the agenda to presentations from AgrAbility staff members.

The 2009 NTW evaluations showed strong interest in the following topics:Funding,Veterans,Evaluations/Demographics,Marketing,Assistive Technology,Ergonomics,Peer Support,Mental/Behavioral Health

Presentations that pertain to the above-mentioned topics will be given high consideration. Feel free to submit proposals on other topics, including those related to AgrAbility’s Communities of Interest and Standing Committees.

It would be helpful to know the amount of time needed/preferred for various presentations. Please be sure to fill out that question on your proposal to assist with our planning purposes. The options will be 45 minutes, 60 minutes and 90 minutes – and should you be comfortable presenting in two or more of those options, please mark those as well.  Please note that we cannot guarantee any particular time option at this point.

Non-AgrAbility organizations/individuals may also have ideas for presentations that would be of benefit to AgrAbility staff members and customers. Please feel free to forward this message to those that might fall into that category.

If you are interested in making a presentation, please complete the attached form and submit it to by May 1, 2010.

Hotel reservations can now be made for the 2010 NTW! Mark your Calendar!! NTW 2010 is officially on the books for October 11-14, 2010 in Charleston, West Virginia! The conference will take place at the Marriott Charleston Town Center. Reservations can be made by calling (800) 228-9290 or (304) 345-6500. You will want to mention that you are coming with the National AgrAbility Training Workshop. Rates are $101.00 per night. Book your room early to ensure you receive the conference rate.

Submitted by: Kim Stockment

A new report, AgrAbility – A Program that Works has been posted on Goodwill Industries International website This report is a collaboration between  Robert Fetsch of Colorado State University, Bill Field of Purdue University, and Eric Olson of Goodwill Industries International.

The report synthesizes four separate studies regarding the impact and effectiveness of State and Regional AgrAbility Projects in meeting the needs of rural farmers and ranchers with disabilities. The hope is that the report can be an effective tool in helping to communicate that AgrAbility is a program that works in communities across the country.

AgrAbility is the cornerstone of Goodwill’s efforts to expand services to rural communities. Goodwill intends to use the report for educating at the Federal level about the importance and effectiveness of AgrAbility. This report could also be an effective tool for SRAP staff to educate key legislative and community stakeholders about the impact of AgrAbility.

Submitted by:Eric Olson

The Arthritis and Agriculture project is preparing a mailing to be sent to over 7300 high school agriculture departments and over 3,000 county extension offices across the U.S. to promote AgrAbility and raise awareness of arthritis in agricultural occupations.  This mailing will include a copy of the Gaining Ground on Arthritis DVD, a letter about AgrAbility, and a contact sheet containing information for each SRAP.  This mailing is planned for the end of April. 

Over 1,800 copies of the Gaining Ground on Arthritis DVD were ordered by the SRAP’s during the special promotional period from March 11th to March 19th! For more information on the Gaining Ground on Arthritis DVD, please contact Amber Wolfe at or 317-879-0321, ext. 212.  Information can also be found at

Submitted by:Amber Wolfe