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November 2017

West Virginia

The West Virginia Community Education Outreach Service (WVCEOS) Annual Conference was held at Jackson's Mill State 4-H Camp October 3-5, 2017. The vision of WVCEOS is to be leaders in strengthening individuals, families, and communities to become productive contributors to meet the needs of their changing and diverse society. WV AgrAbility staff presented sessions on ergonomics and accessible gardening. Proper body mechanics and ergonomic tools were demonstrated, and participants were able to use the techniques and try the equipment during the sessions.

Disability awareness was presented to 520 youth during the Mercer County Progressive Farm Safety Day. WV AgrAbility staff discussed people-first language and why "handicapped" should not be used to describe a person with a disability. They also had the students imagine what it would be like to try and build a house using only a screwdriver - which is what it would be like for an individual with a disability if they did not have specific assistive technology. Then students participated in a hands-on activity where they tried to guess various types of assistive technology and what disability it would assist. Students were also asked whether an individual with paraplegia could be a teacher, play sports, go to the movies, or be a farmer, and were then asked what special "tools" each professional would need to be successful.

West Virginia AgrAbility staff exhibited at the West Virginia Women in Agriculture Conference held at Camp Dawson October 19-21. Participants were provided with information about AgrAbility and training on the use of personal protective equipment. A demonstration on the proper use of hearing protection was provided by the staff.

Submitted by Inetta Fluharty