The Ohio AgrAbility Program (OAP) was well represented at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) annual meeting in Montreal, Quebec, with a paper on "Ohio AgrAbility Design Solutions Developed in a First-year Engineering Innovation Course," by Dr. Kenya Crosson, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio. The paper was co-authored by D. Jepsen, K. McGuire, and J. Zeller.
Dr. Crosson also presented a second paper on "Incorporating AgrAbility Projects into the University of Dayton First-Year, Service-Learning Engineering Design Course," which was also co-authored by D. Jepsen, K. McGuire, and J. Zeller.
OAP's peer to peer network recently connected two men with similar diagnoses of paraplegia. One individual has been a wheelchair user for 40 years and the other has been a wheelchair user for about one year. It was beneficial in many ways, as the newest client brought his children and wife to meet with the older client and his wife. A key element of the meeting was for the new client and his family to see that there is a future, and to analyze a lift the older client has been using for the past two years. That analysis turned out well, as plans are underway to procure a similar lift for the new client.
OAP met with staff from the Cincinnati Veterans Administration Hospital, the founder of the East End Veterans Memorial Garden, and patients from the VA hospital, to discuss a training program for military veterans who may benefit from the experience of raising and selling agricultural products. The agenda also included working with another military veteran, who is a wheelchair user, to provide instruction and information on the use of the Motz raised garden beds. While the plan is in its infancy, the VA, East End Memorial Gardens, the patients, and Ohio AgrAbility, recognize the potential for individuals to prosper in improving both health and financial status through agriculture.
Submitted by Andy Bauer