Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), a public electric utility, provided powered wheelchairs to Farm Show visitors free of charge during the show, March 30 through April 1 in Oshkosh, WI. AgrAbility of Wisconsin has had an exhibit at the show for the past 20 years. WPS had a $4,000 contract with a company to provide 50 wheelchairs each day of the show. Show visitors with disabilities used the wheelchairs free of charge. Many of the visitors using the wheelchairs were clients of AgrAbility of Wisconsin. Because the transport trucks only have a capacity of 35 wheelchairs, the wheelchair company provided two truck loads, 70 wheelchairs. During the show, 29, 54, 31 wheelchairs were used March 30, 31 and April 1 respectively. The show this year had more than 400 exhibitors and over 700 booths. WPS was very pleased to provide this service which was greatly appreciated by the visitors with disabilities.
Submitted by Ron Schuler
The Assistive Technology Exchange site is running and accessible at http://188.8.131.52/main.php The site was established to allow for the direct exchange of assistive technology between farmers. All items entered are reviewed by AgrAbility of Wisconsin staff with Easter Seals to ensure appropriateness. A few recently added items include: round bale slicer for skid steer, free-stall dividers, feed belt conveyors, and an electric wheelchair. Please feel free to share this site with your farmers or ranchers.
After successfully herding the AgrAbility of Wisconsin program from its beginnings in 1991 through the latest grant award, and a successful National AgrAbility Project from 2000 – 2008, Ron Schuler is stepping down as Project Leader. We want to thank Ron for all of his hard work over these many years supporting farmers with disabilities and the efforts of AgrAbility throughout the nation. Ron will be general manager of the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Stepping in as Project Leader will be Dr. Richard “Dick” Straub, PhD. Dick has been a member of the Biological Systems Engineering Department at UW-Madison for over 30 years. Since 1999, he has also held administrative positions in the college. Dick has been involved in a freshmen engineering course where students complete design projects, several for farmers with disabilities. He has operated on an active farm all his professional life.