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February 2012

National AgrAbility Project

The President submitted his budget to Congress and AgrAbility WAS included in the Administration's budget for 4.6 million. This is a major milestone for building support for AgrAbility. As you probably know, AgrAbility has not been submitted in the President's budget in the past, and the challenge has always been to find Congressional supporters and advocates to add it back in to the final budget passed by Congress and signed by the President. The fact that the line item for "Farm Safety," which is the wording in the AgrAbility budget, is included is a huge advantage to AgrAbility. It is much easier for our Congressional advocates to keep something in the budget as opposed to attempting to add it back in. The amount of funding remains basically unchanged at 4.6 million.

To see the actual section of the Department of Agriculture Budget as submitted today by the President go this link, and scroll down to page 84.

Submitted by Eric Olson

Goodwill will be hosting an informational booth at the 21st Annual Western Migrant Stream Forum, February 15-17, in Portland Oregon. Goodwill will be representing the National AgrAbility Project, Goodwill Industries International, the Arthritis Foundation, the California AgrAbility Project, Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette (Portland) as well as the emerging Oregon AgrAbility Project at this year's event.

Begun in 1991, The Western Migrant Stream Forum is an annual conference that brings together migrant health professionals and advocates for the purposes of education and training, information and resource sharing, coalition building, and policy development. Each year there is also a Central and an Eastern Migrant Stream Forum to support farm workers in those regions as well, something that state and regional projects in those regions may want to explore.

Literature and information will be available to forum attendees on resources and services offered by the network or organizations that support farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Each year the Western Migrant Stream Forum brings together over 200 professions working to support migrant workers and farmers who work in western farm communities.

Submitted by Eric Olson

Amber Wolfe, AgrAbility Coordinator for the Arthritis Foundation, spent five days in Chicago as an exhibitor at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting.  This annual conference drew over 12,600 attendees including Physical Therapists, PT Students, PT Assistants and other medical administrators.  The National AgrAbility booth was new to the conference this year and drew several interested conference attendees.  Over 850 Arthritis and Agriculture booklets were handed out, along with over 375 NAP brochures and various other AgrAbility and Arthritis Foundation materials.  Several assistive technology tools and devices also displayed, the Toolbox CD was promoted, and the “AgrAbility: It’s About Hope” and “Gaining Ground on Arthritis” DVD’s were shown throughout the conference.

Submitted by Amber Wolfe

Bill Field, Paul Jones, and Cory McGregor participated in an APRIL IL Conversations conference call on January 25. These calls present a variety of disability topics to staff of independent living centers and others interested in disability issues. To access an audio recording and transcript of the call click here.

Submitted by Paul Jones