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General Questions

Q. How many farmers are touched by a disability?
A. It is estimated that there are approximately 288,000 individuals in the US engaged in production agriculture with physical, sensory or cognitive disabilities that affect performing one or more essential work tasks. In the Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey area it is estimated that 15-17% of farmers have one or more disabilities.
Q. What can Agrability do for a farmer with a disability?
A. The AgrAbility Project was created to assist people with disabilities employed in agriculture. The project links the Cooperative Extension Service at a land-grant university with a private, nonprofit disability service organization to provide practical education and assistance that promotes independence in agricultural production and rural living. Examples of practical assistance might include a lift for a tractor, workplace modifications, automatic couplers and other technologies that help farmers to remain active and productive on the farm.
Q. Who can participate in Agrability services?
A. Populations targeted by the Mid-Atlantic Agrability grant include farmers, watermen, loggers and poultry growers.
Q. What federal agency oversees the AgrAbility Project?
A. USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
Q. Do I qualify for the Agrability benefits if I am injured in a non-farm related incident?
A. All farmers, ranchers, farm workers, and members of their families qualify for AgrAbility benefits regardless of the location of the incident.
Q. How can I contact someone for help?
A. 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), please visit the Staff page on this website and contact the Project Director or Case Manager for your geographic area.
Q. What if I am a farmer with a disability who now wants to get into a different type of operation – possible one less labor intensive due to my disability?
A. Together, the AgrAbility specialist and you will discuss the current operation, assess where changes may need to be made, consult with agricultural specialists such as Risk Management experts 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.
Q. How does Agrability work with local Cooperative Extension Service?
A. As part of the nationwide system of Cooperative Extension, AgrAbility projects work closely with local and state Extension staff to provide the best evidence-based resources for addressing the complex issues of farming with a disability. Both local and university-based Extension specialists are tapped for assistance when the problems exceed the expertise of AgrAbility staff. Each county Extension office in the U.S. has been provided with basic AgrAbility-related resources and can put you in contact with Agrability personnel in your state.
Q. Who provides the funding for Mid-Atlantic Agrability Project?
A. Support for AgrAbility comes from the federal government through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This funding is basically for managing the project and education.
Q. Are there any costs or fees associated with Agrability services?
A. There are no fees for the services received through AgrAbility.
Q. Does Agrability have funding to help purchase assistive technology or fund workplace modifications for clients?
A. No, the AgrAbility Project can not purchase assistive technology or fund workplace modifications for clients. If you and the AgrAbility specialist decide on accommodations or technology that may make your work easier, the costs may be your responsibility. If you unable to cover these costs, the AgrAbility specialist will help you look for financial assistance.
Q. How do Agrability projects finds farmers who need assistance?
A. AgrAbility finds farmers who need assistance through an extensive network of individuals, organizations and outreach efforts.
Q. I am looking for a particular product and need specific information such as price, specs, sizes, etc. Who do I contact?
A. AgrAbility provides resources to farmers with disabilities to assist them in their work. One of those resources is the on line Assistive Technology Product Database . If you have trouble using the database, or can not find what you are looking for, send your request to the staff using the Contact Us link on the AgrAbility web page and your request will be routed to the appropriate staff member.