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June 2017


AgrAbility PA staff enjoyed hosting NC AgrAbility staff for a farm assessment learning session! The group visited several Pennsylvania farmers who are working with AgrAbility and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Information was shared about the services both organizations provided and the assistive technology the farmers received, as well as discussions on what to look for during farm assessments.

PA dairy farmer demonstrating automatic detachersThis dairy farmer showed how automatic detachers work in his parlor and explained how they have enabled him to continue milking with this assistive technology. He shared that since the automatic detachers were installed, he is now able to sit down when needed to relieve pain. He no longer has to worry that a cow's udder will be injured if he does not make it over in time to remove the milking unit. This AT helps overcome physical disability while reducing stress!

AgrAbility PA joined the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) at their annual press conference at the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg. The event featured remarks from PATF CEO Susan Tachau, as well as comments of support and engagement from several state legislators, department directors, and people who have benefited from PATF's services.

PATF provides education and financing opportunities for people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians, helping them to acquire the assistive technology devices and services that improve the quality of their lives. AgrAbility PA has worked strategically with PATF and Pennsylvania's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to support farmers with the necessary assistive technology on the farm.

As OVR Executive Director David DeNotaris said, "Access equals Success for people with disabilities in Pennsylvania."
PATF's Cents and Sensibility:

AgrAbility PA staff spent time meeting with state legislators and their executive staff in Harrisburg to educate and inform them about AgrAbility PA, who it serves, and how it can be a resource for farmers and agricultural workers in their districts. Staff shared client stories and information, with a focus on meeting specifically with those legislators that serve on the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee and Veterans Affairs Committee. Follow-up appointments have been made. Looking ahead, many legislators are planning to attend Penn State University's Ag Progress Days in August. AgrAbility PA is looking at ways to maximize exposure to them about AgrAbility during their visit. Stay tuned!

Submitted by Abbie Spackman