Assistive Technology

Assistive technology (AT) is defined as any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. (Assistive Technology Act of 1998). For agricultural workers with disabilities, many solutions exist, including manufactured devices or structures, modified work practices, and do-it-yourself plans. There are many resources for identifying, locating, obtaining, and fabricating AT.


The Toolbox Assistive Technology Database

From the National AgrAbility Project, The Toolbox contains both commercially available products and homegrown ideas from agricultural producers themselves. Solutions cover a wide range of categories, including tractors and self-propelled equipment, crop and materials handling, shops and shop tools, livestock handling and housing, and outdoor mobility. This online database is searchable by category or item


Toolbox Spotlight

NIRA Wearable Smart Thermometer. Photo of adhesive patch, and image of patch adhered to woman's arm pit.
The NIRA Wearable Smart Thermometer – a small device affixed to an adhesive patch that’s placed just below the armpit – is designed to constantly monitor one’s temperature, which is displayed (via secure app) on his/her smartphone. The phone will reportedly provide a visual alert at the first sign of abnormal temperature change, so that the user can be proactive and take immediate, appropriate action.

AT Corner

The AT Corner is a collection of assistive technology products in agriculture published in the AgrAbility Harvest newsletter that highlights the activities and impacts of AgrAbility. It is designed for agricultural producers, AgrAbility staff members, rehabilitation specialists, agriculture professionals, educators, legislators, or anyone else with an interest in the agriculture and disability arena.


Assistive Technology Videos

Maine AgrAbility has produced a series of videos from Chapter Three Farm in Newburgh, Maine.  These videos share background on the farmers, their farm, some of the chores they’ve had to modify and information about the different types of assistive tools and modified work routines they use to continue to work successfully and safely on their farm.

3 people talking in a barn
Meet the Farmers: Steven and Liz of Chapter Three Farm

 

 

 

What to Look for When Selecting or Modifying Hand Tools — Includes an extensive list of recommended tools and where to find them.


Maine’s Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program

Administered by the Maine Department of Education and funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U. S. Department of Education, Maine CITE provides information about AT, device demonstrations, device loans, devise reuse, alternative financing, and public awareness.

These links are provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any content on the linked site.