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Disability and Services
According to the department of labor regarding the number of individuals engaged in production agriculture and the 2000 census report on the percent of individuals who experience a disability, approximately 288,000 individuals engaged in production agriculture experience physical, sensory or cognitive disabilities that affect performing one or more essential work tasks.
In Georgia, it is estimated that between 25,000 to 35,000 agricultural workers have disabilities.What can AgrAbility do for a farmer/rancher (the customer) with a disability?
Assistance may include identifying assistive technology solutions to make tasks easier; a
business plan to help stabilize and grow your business; community or student volunteer
projects; and a wide variety of other resources. Read our farmer and rancher stories for examples on how AgrAbility might be able to assist you.
Farmers, ranchers, farm workers, or family members employed in production agriculture are eligible for AgrAbility services and may have any type of disability. For example:
YesHow can I contact someone for help?
If you are interested in AgrAbility Project services (e.g., training, site visit, on-farm assessments, technical assistance, and other information working directly with the farmer or rancher), please contact us at 706-542-0304 or call toll free at 1-877-524-6264. You can see what the typical steps are in getting assistance by clicking here.I don't live in Georgia. Does my state or region have an AgrAbility program?
For a complete listing of the State AgrAbility Projects and state staff, please go to the State Projects web page. The State Projects web page has a map of the United States at the top. The map shows each state with an AgrAbility Project or Affiliate Project.My state / region does not have an AgrAbility program. Who can I turn to?
If your state does not have an AgrAbility Project, or if you have general questions about AgrAbility, please contact the National Project staff through Purdue. The national staff can provide direct technical consultation to consumers, health and rehabilitation professionals and other service providers on how to accommodate disabilities in production agriculture. For example, staff can assist fabricators with designing hand controls for a tractor. In addition, national staff can provide members of other national and international agricultural and health-related organizations with information and resources to help farmers and ranchers with disabilities.What if I'm a farmer with a disability who now wants to get into a different type of farming, or less labor intensive farming, can AgrAbility help?
Yes. The AgrAbility Service Coordinator and you will discuss the current operation, assess where changes may need to be made, consult with agricultural specialists if needed and then develop a plan for switching into a different type of farming. Sometimes with labor-saving technology or restructuring how work is done, you may be able to remain in your current operation.
Support for AgrAbility comes from the federal government through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Are there any fees or costs associated with AgrAbility's services?
There are no fees for the services received through AgrAbility. If you and the AgrAbility specialist decide on accommodations or technology that may make your work easier, the costs will be your responsibility. If you have difficulty with these costs, the AgrAbility specialist will help you look for financial assistance. However, many solutions may not have a cost associated with them. Read stories of farmers and ranchers in Georgia who have received AgrAbility services.Does AgrAbility have money to help purchase assistive technology for customers?
No, the AgrAbility Project can not purchase assistive technology for customers. In special circumstances, devices are fabricated at AgrAbility's workshop at the Tifton campus. In this instance, the customer buys the materials and the AgrAbility staff time is free.Does AgrAbility fund modifications on farms/ranches?
AgrAbility staff perform work site assessments and develop a plan to accommodate the farmer/rancher. Funding for the plan must come from the farmer/rancher or other sources such a State Vocational Rehabilitation or charitable organizations.Where do I find funding to buy equipment I need to keep farming?
Funding is always a difficult issue. If you have a disability and are eligible for their program, the State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program may be able to help you. VR would not buy farm equipment unless that equipment would directly accommodate limitations imposed by a disability.Are there waiting lists for getting help through AgrAbility or funding sources such as Vocational Rehabilitation?
Waiting lists with the AgrAbility Project are rare. If a list exists, apply so you can receive services when they are available. Programs like the state vocational rehabilitation agencies (VR) are more likely to have waiting lists due to federal and state budget constraints. Services are being provided to those with the most significant disability and how it affects daily functioning. It is recommended that you submit the written application to VR. The process of determining eligibility and ranking for services, done in an interview format, often reveals barriers and functional limitations not previously considered.
Send your request to the AgrAbility in Georgia staff using the Contact Us link at the top of the web page and your request will be routed to the appropriate staff member.