Assistive Technology and Farming with a Disability
This hands-on workshop provides participants with an overview of hundreds of assistive technology solutions that can be created in minutes using everyday tools and materials found around the farm or in rural communities. Participants will learn amazing uses for 42 different tools and materials for fabricating quick solutions in rural remote areas without the need for electricity.
Farming values the family working together to take care of the land, animals and farmstead. Farm families are frequently challenged with limited time and resources and are in need of an immediate fix to a challenging situation. When a farmer experiences a disability this sense of urgency is even more important. The assistive technology solutions and methods developing and providing these solutions benefit everyone in all life functions at home, school, work and play.
Dr. Therese Willkomm, PhD, ATP, is an amazing Assistive Technology magician who has invented over 600 different Assistive Technology solutions including 50 different iPad solutions for people with disabilities. Dr. Willkomm holds a PhD in rehabilitation science and technology and is the director of New Hampshire’s state wide Assistive Technology program. She is also a clinical professor in the Department of occupational therapy at UNH and oversees the graduate certificate program in Assistive Technology. She also has over 25 years of experience assisting over 1,200 farmers with disabilities. Dr. Willkomm was the first project coordinator of Breaking New Ground in the Agricultural Engineering Department at Purdue University and has developed over 30 different resources on farming with a disability.
Maine AgrAbility is a non-profit collaboration of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, and Alpha One. Maine AgrAbility is part of a nationwide network of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs begun through the 1990 Farm Bill. The goal of the National AgrAbility Project is to inform, educate, and assist farmers, ranchers, farm workers, and their families with disabilities, so they can continue to have successful careers in agriculture.