The Ohio AgrAbility program has completed another year working with engineering students at University of Dayton and with capstone students at The Ohio State University. The 28 freshmen and sophomores attending the University of Dayton worked on seven different projects over the past two semesters. These projects emphasized a wide range of limitations a farmer with a disability might deal with daily, including carrying water buckets, grasping and using tools, lifting heavy items, rising from a kneeling or seated position, and bending or stooping over a work surface that is too low. Each student team has a $50 budget for supplies, so the final projects are rough, but show potential. The picture of the of the cart/platform is for a rolling kneeling bench with adjustable height brackets that farmers would use to raise or lower themselves onto the bench. The arm brace with trowel attachment allows the farmer/gardener to use the trowel while gripping the handle without adding torque to the wrist.
Ohio AgrAbility staff have been busy presenting workshops on farming and gardening with arthritis to groups throughout Ohio. OAP staff are also working with OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers to develop a curriculum on gardening with a disability. The curriculum will include lessons on accessibility, reasonable accommodations, modified equipment and tools, and universal design.
Submitted by Laura Akgerman