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June 2013


Sherry Nelson, human development specialist/county program director and AgrAbility co-coordinator Northeast Region, co-facilitated the 2013 Lewis County Health & Safety Day. The annual Lewis County Health & Safety Day was for fifth grade students and sponsored by the Lewis County Soil and Water District. AgrAbility health displays were showcased along with youth appropriate health information and give a-ways placed in student packets. Sherry also co-facilitated the Discovery Days for Kids at Mark Twain Lake in Monroe City. Sherry facilitated interactive AgrAbility health displays along with health resources and give a-ways put into the student packets.

Karen Funkenbusch was a guest lecturer for the MU Adapted Recreation class. One hundred and fifty-five junior and senior level students were provided information about the USDA NIFA funded AgrAbility project coupled with assistive technology used in rural recreational environments. During the month of May, Rehab Services for the Blind (RSB) staff in central Missouri and Karen co-developed several iPhone and iPad resources for Farmers and Ranchers with Low Vision. Resources are currently being reviewed by Missouri's RSB central staff. Stay tuned for additional updates. Karen also was an invited presenter for the Sprouts and Roots Conference: "Promoting Well-being through Nutrition, Wellness, and Gardening" hosted by Lincoln University Cooperative Extension. Thirty-five small acre gardeners participated in the two day conference. Sessions included: Introductions about Sprouts and Roots; Yoga and Tai Chi for seniors with disabilities; Dealing with Alzheimer's; Keeping Mentally Active; Introduction to Gardening; What's AgrAbility Got to Do with Small Acre gardening; All Tools are Not Created Equal: the Right Tools for your Small Acre Needs; Medications, Food, and Nutritional Needs for Seniors; and Nutrition Tips for Senior Gardeners.

On Thursday, May 23, Connie Neal, University of Missouri Extension housing specialist and AgrAbility co-coordinator Northwest Region, co-facilitated "Universal Design - Plans for Better Living."Eighteen participants enjoyed dinner, networking, and professional seminars on moving beyond accessibility in design and construction. Guest speakers Mark A. Irvin and Jerry Ratway spoke on living with mobility issues from first-hand experiences and the reality of living in a home with zero universal design features. Builders and contractors learned about products that are universal design friendly. Programmatic information is found on the MU Extension calendar.

Jackie Allenbrand helped plan and implement the Universal Design Workshop held at MERIL on May 23 for contractors and the general public. Jackie Allenbrand worked with Connie Neal, University of Missouri Extension Housing Specialist, and Paul Bergonzoni from MERIL in planning this workshop. The presentation consisted of hearing from two specialists in the area of Universal Design and retrofitting. The information was well received. Connie Neal received a grant through Extension with assistance from MERIL to allow this program to take place in the NW Region of MO. There were 18 in attendance for this event and there are plans to expand this workshop for next year. She also presented an AgrAbility and PHARM Dog program to the Harrison County Rotary Club on May 30.

Submitted by Karen Funkenbusch