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May 2018

North Carolina

NC AgrAbility at Transition FairOn April 18, 2018, NC AgrAbility participated as an exhibitor at the Union County's Twelfth Annual Transition Fair- "Embracing Transition".NC AgrAbility at Transition Fair 2 The event was offered by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, DHHS. The purpose of this event is to inform students with disabilities, parents, and educators of the services available in Union County for persons with disabilities. Several agencies participated in the event, which provided a great networking opportunity for the NC AgrAbility Partnership Project. Three hundred forty people attended this event.

NC AgrAbility's Beatriz Rodriguez at NC Conference on Visual ImpairmentNC AgrAbility participated as an exhibitor and presented a session titled, "Hope to Those Who Feed the World", at the North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness, April 19 and 20, 2018, in Chapel Hill, NC. It was a joint presentation between Beatriz Rodriguez and Gloria Jinks, NCATP assistive technology consultant. Twenty-five people attended the session and 202 participants were able to learn about AgrAbility from the exhibit. The conference is organized by the North Carolina Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. The theme of the conference was "Preparing for Tomorrow Today." At this event educators and service providers were seeking innovative ways to support people with visual impairments and to ensure that they are prepared for the challenges that await them in the future.

NC AgrAbility at Family Garden Day 1At the Family Garden Day on April 21, 2018, in Greensboro, NC, North Carolina AgrAbility staffed an educational booth providing 144 attendees the opportunity to try some of the ergonomic tools and assistive technology available and to learn how they NC AgrAbility booth at Family Garden Daycan work with the body to take bending and squeezing out of the farming and gardening work. NC AgrAbility also provided a "reaction time" activity, where undergrad student, Jabril Wright, tested the reaction time of participants and explained how easily and quickly a blade can take part of a person's clothing, loose hair, or shoelace, and hurt you in a fraction of a second. He also explained factors that can slow reaction time, like feeling sick or tired, and how to take safety measures while working or walking around moving equipment.

On April 26, 2018, at Mills River, NC, Beatriz Rodriguez presented the NC AgrAbility program at the "Farming Resources for Military Veterans Workshop." Approximately 40 people participated in the event and had the opportunity to put their names on the NC AgrAbility information list to receive periodic information about available technology, educational opportunities, and events throughout the state.

NC AgrAbility at Greening Up the MountainBarbara Davis of Disability Partners at Greening Up the MountainChuck Oaks and Barbara Davis from Disability Partners participated as exhibitors at the Greening Up the Mountain event on March 28, 2018, in Sylva, NC. This event is one of the largest in the region and North Carolina AgrAbility's partners have the opportunity to share AgrAbility's service information and ergonomic tools with about 110 attendees.

To strengthen the NC AgrAbility networking capacity, Beatriz Rodriguez met with RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA) staff on April 23. At the meeting were Edna Rodriguez, executive director, Daryn Lane, project coordinator, and Michelle Osborne, Come to the Table program manager. Information was shared about the two programs and the way to work in collaboration to better serve farmers with disabilities across the state.

Submitted by Beatriz (Betty) Rodriguez