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November 2010


Occupational and physical therapists from western Nebraska recently took part in a day-long seminar, Rehabilitating Farmers and Ranchers with Disabilities. The workshop was held in Scottsbluff, NE, as a tri-state venture. Sponsored by AgrAbility projects in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado, the workshop was designed to help health care professionals become more competent in the care they give to an agriculture population. Dr. Carla Wilhite, OTR/L, of the University of North Dakota, Casper College led the seminar.

Other instructors for the workshop included: Sharry Nielsen UNL Extension Educator - NE AgrAbility; Dr. Randy Weigel, PI Wyoming AgrAbility; Rodney Peterson and Del Ficke, Easter Seals Nebraska Rural Rehabilitation Specialists – NE AgrAbility; Jill Sump, Goodwill Denver Rural Rehab Specialist – Colorado AgrAbility; Kelly Gewecke, ESN Work Incentive Specialist; and Gerry Ussery, Vocational Rehabilitation Services of NE.

Participants learned about the needs of farmers and ranchers with disabilities and some of the assistive technology available to keep them in production agriculture. They also learned about the work of AgrAbility and resources available to them. In addition to classroom work, an on-site visit to the Mike Norby farm gave participants actual experience with some of the assistive technology used by AgrAbility clients.

Submitted by Sharry Nielsen