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December 2017


Happy Holidays from CalAgrAbilityAs California AgrAbility staff reflected on 2017, they were all thankful for new collaborations formed to help the agricultural community and the opportunity to serve farmers throughout California. Over the year, one of the biggest impacts seen was the fruitful results from their hard work in outreach. They noticed that they were recognized more by other agencies, not just in their proximity, but throughout the 840-mile length of California. Another impact was the successful use of assistive devices to ensure Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) funding for their clients. Thank you to all the AgrAbility states for their hard work and passion to help farmers throughout the nation, and Happy Holidays!

Veteran Net Ally ProgramStaff joined the first Veteran NET Ally Program to commemorate Veterans Day. At this training, staff got a better understanding of military culture, challenges of student veterans, and ways that one can help create a positive environment for veterans. Earl L. Raehsler, coordinator at the UC Davis Veteran Success Center, conducted the training to help staff throughout UC Davis understand how to communicate and aid veterans. Raehsler explained the mindset of veterans from his experience of serving in the United States Army for 24 years. Staff talked to Raehsler about a future collaboration with USDA to host a veteran farmer outreach workshop around Davis and the greater Sacramento area.

CalAgrAbility attended the 5th Annual Que Viva la Vida Farmworker Conference. Eighty male farmworkers attended this event. A couple of workers were wearing bandages on their hands, which they blamed on "minor accidents" on the farm; one had a broken finger. This conference is held twice a year, with one focusing on female farmworkers and the other on male farmworkers. It is a collaboration between RISE Inc, a Yolo County resource center, and local farmers.

AgrAbility Tools TrainingCalAgrAbility joined Ability Tools AT advocates for their Northern California in-person training. Representatives from Bioness and NorthState AT presented AT devices that are relatively new on the market. Bioness displayed devices that can help individuals regain some movement when suffering from foot drop due to MS, stroke, and other central nervous system disorders. NorthState AT presented their updated NuEyes glasses that work as a magnifier and that can also help individuals read with its text-to-voice feature. NuEyes can help individuals with macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and other visual conditions.

CalAgrAbility staff led a presentation for the Valley Health Team Inc. (VHTI) in San Joaquin, California. Valley Health Team Inc. is a network of 7 clinics in the Fresno County area that primarily serve agricultural families. VHTI is interested in distributing CalAgrAbility literature at their health centers and in maintaining a long-term partnership in which CalAgrAbility staff meet with their team once a year to have everyone on staff learn about AgrAbility services.

Submitted by Sara Wat