Interagency collaboration to equip farmers and ranchers with vocational rehabilitation and assistive technologies

Rhonda Miller, Anne Brown-Reither, Michael Pate

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Assistive technologies are available to accommodate farmers and ranchers who become chronically ill or injured so that they can continue to farm. Utah's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program is the largest provider of assistive technology in the state. Providing assistance in the acquisition of assistive technology and training is an important component of the VR program; however, counselors often have limited expertise in addressing the assistive technology needs unique to people in agriculture. In addition, the nature of farming, and the farmers themselves, often results in confusion regarding eligibility for VR services. Utah VR's 2013 Annual Report of successful closures indicates that only 79 individuals were successfully rehabilitated in farm/fishing/forestry occupations. When estimates of Utah farmers with disabling conditions are considered, VR assisted less than one half of one percent (<0.5%) of potentially eligible farmers. Using information from client satisfaction surveys and focused panel discussions, AgrAbility of Utah developed strategies to advocate for farmers by educating and empowering these important stakeholders to create a more effective interagency network of support. As a result, AgrAbility of Utah has collaborated with VR in developing a Farm and Ranch policy clarifying how farm assets are counted and establishing a partnership for identifying and addressing assistive technology needs. This paper documents the outreach and education efforts that are used to increase access to vocational rehabilitation services for farmers and ranchers with disabilities to maintain their careers and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting, ASABE 2016
PublisherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9781510828759
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jul 17 2016Jul 20 2016

Publication series

Name2016 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting, ASABE 2016

Other

Other2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando
Period7/17/167/20/16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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