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October 2011

National AgrAbility Project

You must be registered for the AgrAbility National Training Workshop by November 4. There will be no onsite registration. Click here for the registration website. If you have any trouble registering, call Kylie Hendress at 765-494-6679 or Emily Warter at 765-494-1898.

This year’s conference headquarters is the downtown Indianapolis Hilton Hotel and Suites located in the heart of the city, just a short walk from many attractions. Reserve your room by clicking here or calling 317-972-0600. After October 14, the rate will go up and there is no guarantee that you will be able to get a room during the conference because they are booking up quickly outside of the block. If the Hilton runs out of accessible rooms before you get yours booked, contact Kerri Hartigan at the Indianapolis Hyatt Regency Hotel at 317-616-6065. Tell her you are calling to reserve one of the rooms that Kylie Hendress has on hold for November 7-10. If you have any issues, contact Kylie at 765-494-6679.

Submitted by Kylie Hendress

The National AgrAbility Project is pleased to release the online version of The Toolbox: Agricultural Tools, Equipment, Machinery, & Buildings for Farmers and Ranchers with Physical Disabilities.

The Toolbox contains assistive technology solutions for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities.  It has been an industry standard for agriculture-related assistive technology and ideas for nearly 30 years (available first in print, then later in CD-ROM).  The web-based version has been designed from the ground-up to be accessible and Section 508 compliant.

Several features have been implemented:

Submitted by Paul Jones


Lamoille Country Field DaysAgrAbility recently had a unique opportunity to share its story at its Disability in Agriculture and Rural Life Forum in Washington, D.C.  Numerous members of the agriculture and disability community were invited to participate and learn about AgrAbility through the stories of the people that the program has helped. Part of the purpose of the event was to celebrate AgrAbility’s 20th anniversary, and to that end, the National AgrAbility Project released its 20-year summary, which has been sent to all AgrAbility staff members.

In addition to panels of AgrAbility clients and rural professionals, Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, was the featured luncheon speaker. Instead of merely greeting the group and giving an update on the Administration’s policies, Mr. Dale took the time to learn more about AgrAbility and fielded numerous questions related to the program and to rural disability issues.

Submitted by Paul Jones

Amber Wolfe, Arthritis Foundation, presented workshops on arthritis and agriculture in Dodge City, Kansas on August 29 (with the KS Arthritis Foundation and Kansas AgrAbility sponsoring the event) and Stillwater, Oklahoma on August 31 (with OK AgrAbility and OK AbleTech sponsoring the event). The workshops were full-day presentations that educated on the topics of arthritis, gardening, assistive technology, and farm youth.

Submitted by Amber Wolfe

Dr. Roberta Schweitzer recently completed a five-day training in the Mental Health First-Aid program. This is a education program that  helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. She is now a certified trainer that can teach the 12-hour course to certify Mental Health First Aiders in a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. For more information see http://www.mentalhealth

We also hope that Roberta will be able to bring this class to some of the AgrAbility states.

Submitted by Paul Jones

The Arthritis Foundation is awarding consumer scholarships for five farmers to attend the National Training Workshop in Indianapolis. In addition, three Arthritis Foundation staff members are also being funded to attend the workshop to further their collaboration with the NAP.

Submitted by Amber Wolfe