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Wyoming AgrAbility Project Helps Producers with Disabilities

State's extension program boosts ability to stay on the job.

May 21, 2007

1 Min Read

AgrAbility continues to provide education, networking and assistance to farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers facing physical disabilities that challenge their lives.

The federal program, authorized in the 1990 Farm Bill and reauthorized under that program in 2002, is working well in one of the most dangerous occupations, says University of Wyoming officials.

In Wyoming, the major industry with the highest nonfatal occupational injury and illness rate is agriculture. About 288,000 workers in the industry nationwide between the ages of 15 and 79 have a disability that affects their ability to perform one or more essential tasks, reports the UW Extension Service.

Last April, the UW Extension partnered with the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities on the UW campus in Laramie, Center for Rural Health Research and Education for the university system. Also involved are the Gottsche Rehabilitation Center in Thermopolis, Wyo., and the Wyoming Independent Living Rehabilitation, Inc., in Casper. Together, these organizations established the Wyoming AgrAbility program.

The Wyoming AgrAbility project provides information and referral services, training for rural professionals, on-site technical assistance and assessments, education and peer-support networks. The services are all available to anyone connected with agriculture who has a disability, and includes family members. Disabilities included under the AgrAbility agenda include, but is not limited to, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, amputations, acquired brain injury, age-related conditions such as hearing and vision impairment, or disabilities present at birth.

If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, contact toll-free (866) 395-4986, send an e-mail to [email protected] or check out their Web site at www.uwyo.edu/agrability.

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