Kansas AgrAbility staff were invited to participate in four regional Vocational Rehabilitation staff and community service provider conference calls to discuss how they are providing services to consumers during the Corona Virus stay-at-home orders. KAP staff reported they used a combination of telephone, email, text, video chat and Zoom meetings to discuss assessment findings and recommendations, work on identifying funding solutions, and collect intake information with new referrals. Product information has been mailed and staff have shared information on products and strategies via email. A few customers have had links to KAP or YouTube video for product information. Staff offered to provide new VR counselor trainings using Zoom in lieu of face-to-face events and it is possible that an upcoming regional training may become a Zoom meeting with face-to-face follow-up later.
Karin Rasmussen, AT staff in Western Kansas, has utilized the Kansas Telecommunications Access Program (TAP) to assist a farmer in communicating with his seed buyers and other suppliers using an iPad. TAP provides specialized devices, including telephones, to those that have trouble hearing, seeing, speaking remembering, walking, or holding a telephone.
KAP Coordinator, Tawnie Larson, has spent time with Connect Extension to utilize their content related to rural stress management and participated in the Impact Collaborative Virtual Summit. Larson encourages other AgrAbility staff to participate in this valuable tool available to extension personnel.
In the next week, one of the AT Ag Specialists is going to use satellite images to conduct an initial virtual walk of a farmstead with the farmer. KAP has used satellite imaging before to get an advance look at outbuildings and terrain to help with possible considerations, but this is the first time KAP will include the farmer in the process. This farmer appears to be a good fit for this solution.
Submitted by Tawnie Larson