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August 2011


On a beautiful evening in Geauga County's Amish community, 45 people attended Ohio's first Agricultural Arthritis Workshop. The event was a partnership between the Arthritis Foundation, Geauga County United Way and Ohio AgrAbility. The host Amish family provided their window making shop as the event location and provided great food for the evening. The event featured different displays of information, services, and resources available to the Geauga County residents, as well as provided an opportunity for people to talk with local health network providers, OSU extension, and other local organizations. The Northeast Ohio Arthritis Foundation talked to the group about the types, management, and prevention of arthritis. Ohio AgrAbility discussed the effects arthritis has on the farm community and some simple solutions to farming with arthritis and preventing injury. The Geauga County United Way spoke about available resources in the area including the 211 service directory. The success of this event makes it a model for other agricultural arthritis workshops scheduled for later this year in other areas of the state.

Ohio AgrAbility staff brought a dozen participants together who could benefit from the use of a lift. One participant brought his truck, lift, and scooter to demonstrate. Staff used The Toolbox as a directory for finding potential lift suppliers, as well as to direct the decision-making process for AgrAbility participants. Multiple suppliers provided equipment data, ordering forms, contact information and selection criteria. Staff discussed resources for purchase such at the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) at the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. Staff plans to continue to do assistive technology demonstrations as needed for participants.

Submitted by Kent McGuire