Ohio AgrAbility Project (OAP) staff collaborated with educators from Ohio State University Extension (OSUE) and presented "Accommodating Differently-abled Youth at Your County Fair" at the Ohio Fair Managers Conference January 6. Topics included an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, how the laws apply to public events, ways to communicate accessibility requirements, and how to provide accommodations and access to fair exhibitors and visitors. The workshop concluded with attendees breaking into groups to discuss five different accessibility scenarios and presenting their solutions to everyone. The scenario/group work format engaged all the attendees, and they presented some solutions that the AgrAbility and Extension professionals had not even thought about. In addition to a great problem solving and accessibility conversation, there was also a celebrity in attendance at the OAP/OSUE workshop - Ashlee Lundvall.
Ashlee was the keynote speaker at the Ohio Fair Managers Conference, and judging by the number of Junior Fair attendees gathered around her, she gave a phenomenal talk (as she did at NTW 2017 in Knoxville). She was very engaged in the accommodations presentation, and engaged in a lively discussion of how to accommodate a Junior Fair rabbit exhibitor with allergies. The presenters appreciated her attendance, and personal insights about providing access before it is requested, to make everyone feel welcome at the fair.
Submitted by Laura Akgerman