Assistive technology (AT) commonly refers to both assistive and adaptive devices, which may be either high or low technology, and various services such as evaluations, fabrication and training. Examples of high through low technology assistive devices which farmers and ranchers with disabilities might find beneficial, could range from mounted chair lifts to easy grip hand tools respectively.
Plans for Equipment Modifications
Related Technolgy Web Sites
Secondary Injuries and Illnesses
- Assistive Technology Database (Sponsored by AgrAbility)
- ABLEDATA, Information on Assistive Technology (Sponsored by the NIDRR, U.S. Department of Education)
- AssistiveTech.net, Assistive Technology Explorer (Sponsored by Georgia Tech and NIDRR, U.S. Department of Education)
- The Toolbox (print copy), Agricultural Related Assistive Technology (Sponsored by Breaking New Ground Resource Center )
Assistive Technology Resouce ideas grouped into categories.
- Gardens for Every Body
(Link takes you to the University of Missouri, Columbia, web site)
- Crops & Gardening – How Do I … Build Raised Beds
Growing in raised beds has many advantages and it can be easier on aging backs and knees. Interested, check out this helpful article from
Hobby Farms. (5/08) (Link takes you to the Hobby Farms web site.)
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
- “Ultimate All-Terrain Test”
Successful Farming magazine editors took a week to test and evaluate several ATVs. See their comments and specific ATV comparison test results. (2/08)
- Farming with an Arm Amputation, PDF
- YouTubeTM Clips for Individuals Who Experience an Arm Amputation, PDF
- Aquaculture and Disability, PDF
So you think aquaculture is a new concept? You might be surprised to learn that the Japanese, Chinese, Romans, Egyptians, and Mayan Indians all farmed fish for food prior to 2000 BC. (04/05)
- “Farming with Arthritis” (link to the streaming video)
Researchers at the Missouri Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (MARRTC) put together this educational video (also available on DVD) to help people in the agricultural industry deal with arthritis. The video titled “Farming with Arthritis”, features farmers in real-life scenarios such as building, planting crops, working with equipment and performing other physical tasks that demonstrate the types of movements performed daily. It is also a useful tool for physicians and other health-care providers in better understanding the challenges specific to farming population. (3/08)
This video was produced by the Missouri Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (MARRTC) and Missouri AgrAbility with a grant from the U. S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research under special project number H133B980022, 1998-2003. For a copy of the video, contact Missouri AgrAbility at 1-800-995-8503.
- Hand in Hand
(Link takes you to the Farm Journal web site, for an article written about farming with arthritis in their February, 2003 issue.)
- Products and packaging that have received a favorable review and carry the Arthritis Foundation Ease-of-Use Commendation Logo (08/04).
Farm and Ranch Tools
- What to look for when selecting or modifying hand tools to provide a better fit with the user, PDF (updated 4/08)
Fencing, Cattle Guards, Corals, etc.
- Squeeze Chutes
- Gates, Guards & Latches, PDF (updated 2/2010)
- Gate Access for Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Workers with Mobility Limitations
(download PowerPoint presentation by Brad Marsh, 2001 Workshop)
- Cattle Guards and Drive Through Gates, PDF (updated 2/2010)
- Drive-through Farm GatesGet a drive-through gate for your farm and make winter or any type of weather more bearable. (Link takes you to the article posted on the Hobby Farms web site. 1/08)
- Grain Bin Storage, PDF(updated 2/2010)
- Hay Making and Handling Made Easier, PDF (updated 4/08)
- Assistive Technology and Workplace Modifications for Poultry Growers with Disabilities, PDF presented with permission from the Delaware/Maryland AgrAbility Project. (3/05)
Tractor Accessories and Replacement Parts
- K & M Manufacturing manufactures replacement tractor seats, suspensions, steps, mirrors, floor mats, cab foam kits, warning light systems, tool boxes, weight / rock boxes and many more products for Allis Chalmers, Case IH, David Brown, Ford, International Harvester, John Deere, Kubota, Massey Ferguson, Minneapolis Moline, New Holland, Oliver White, Steiger and Versatile tractors and mowers, (January 2007)
Tractor Hand Controls
- Hitches, PDF(updated 2/2010)
- New innovation automatically connects PTO attachments to compact tractors
“John Deere introduced a new innovation that will help you switch from one attachment to another. The new iMatch AutoHitch, which follows in the footsteps of iMatch Quick–Hitch, takes operator ease and efficiency to a whole new level by eliminating the hassle and frustration of attaching PTO–powered implements to compact tractors.” (link takes you to the John Deere web site) (6/08)
- Compact Tractor Review – The Best Source On The Internet For Objective Equipment Reviews and Information.
Tractor Seating and/or Self Propelled Equipment Seating
- Are you thinking of replacing or upgrading the seat in your John Deere tractor? Details of seats for John Deere tractors from the 30 Series to the present day John Deere tractors are listed here. Link takes you to the John Deere parts web site, for a list of replacement seats, seat belts and instructional seats.
- A Review of the Current Seat Technologies in Agricultural Tractors, PDF (Published with permission from the author, Mr. Dimitrios Drakopoulos, 8/07)
- Proper Seating and Positioning for Tractor Operators Affected by Spinal Cord Injuries, PDF
Tractor Steps/Hand Holds
- Added Steps & Hand Holds for Tractors, PDF(updated 2/2010)
- The Ultimate Utility Tractor Test. (Link takes you to the Successful Farming web site, November, 2008, issue of Successful Farming, . 11/08)
Skid Steer Loaders
- Controls Refine Great Skid-Steer Power
Cab and control refinements put a variety of weights, horsepowers and hydraulic capabilities at your fingertips in 1,600- to 2,200-pound skid-steer loaders. Article features and compares 32 models of mid-sized skid-steers. May 1, 2006, By Larry Stewart, Executive Editor.
- How do Utility Vehicles measure up?
(Link takes you to the Farm Industry News web site, for a comparison review of eight popular utility vehicles, October 2002.)
- Side by side: Utility vehicles (03/05)
- Load Warriors
- The Mid-January, 2006, issue of the Farm Journal Magazine had a great comparison article about utility vehicles titled “Two By Two, Utility vehicles take on the farm market”.
(Link takes you to the article posted on the AgWeb web site. 3/06)
- “Ultimate All-Terrain Test:” Successful Farming’s team of trail riders and engineers put several utility vehicles (UVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) through a series of tests. What they found may be of interest to AgrAbility staff and/or farmers and ranchers with a disability when considering these vehicles (2/08).
- Listing of Electric and Manual Off-Road Wheelchairs, PDF (3/10)
- YouTubeTM Clips on Transferring, PDF (many show from a Wheelchair into a Pickup Truck) (3/10)
Information regarding equipment modifications that AgrAbility Staff might find useful.
- Hand Operated Clutch Lever
- The National AgrAbility Project staff have been assisting the Distributed Collaborative Product Development Project hosted at Georgia Tech University with their “GALE – Gator with Assistive Living Enhancements” project. The GALE project is developing a hand control, a wheelchair lift, and a pivoting seat for a John Deere Gator utility vehicle. (1/05)
- (8/05) Georgia Tech has successfully wrapped up the GALE (Gator with Assistive Living Enhancements) project with a live demonstration of 3 working prototypes! The results can be viewed at http://ptc.cad.gatech.edu/phase4/.
- Northend-Mobility provided the National AgrAbility Project with information about modifications they made to a John Deere lawn tractor and Gator for a C5-6 quad. For more information and pictures of these modifications, please check out the links below (3/05):
- The Colorado AgrAbility Project recently completed modifications on a Kawasaki Mule for
a client. Read about the project and view pictures by checking out theWord documented linked below (6/06):
- Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) students at UW-Madison design a hand control for a utility vehicle working in cooperation with the National AgrAbility Project. You can preview the report here and look at their design (7/06).
- Freshman Student Design Projects (2/07)
- The Healthy Farmers, Healthy Profits Project
is a team of researchers and outreach specialists who find and share work efficiency methods that improve health, safety and profits for nursery growers, dairy, fresh market vegetable, and berry farmers. Below are some items that may interest you, or please visit the The Healthy Farmers, Healthy Profits Project web site for other great ideas. (8/07)
- MTB Amputee
This site is intended to encourage and inform both amputees and the general public in regards to prosthetic and mountain bike innovations and modifications as well as mountain biking and cycling skills and technique. Besides bike modifications, they offer information on motorcycle, ATV, and snowmobile modifications with links to other outdoor activities. (8/07)
- Grasping the Importance of Our Hands
“Our hands do so much for us. They are capable of a wide variety of functions: touching, grasping, feeling, holding, manipulating, caressing, and more.” Web link /Reprinted with permission of the Amputee Coalition of America/, from Volume 16, Issue 6, November/December,
2006, inMotion Magazine (7/07)
- Dial 7-1-1 For Telecommunications Relay Service (Word Doc)
The (FCC) has implemented 7-1-1 for access to all Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) (8/06).
- The Farmers with Disabilities program began in 1985 to provide support for Saskatchewan farmers with disabilities who want to stay on the land. They have built an extensive on line library, or CD you can order. (2/05)
- Square Foot Gardening is a uniquely simplified method of gardening , without all the hard work and drudgery of single row gardening. (11/04)
- Nov. 3 , 2004: NIOSH Update that provides the public, press, and other stakeholders with information about a new publication by NIOSH and the Cal/OSHA Consultation Service for evaluating and selecting non-powered hand tools to reduce risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Easy Ergonomics: A Guide to Selecting Non-Powered Hand Tools
- The Able Workshop, Resource for Disabled Woodworkers. A Site for Woodworkers who have a Disability. Regardless of handicap, anyone can have a workshop and enjoy making projects in wood.
- Ergonomic Ideas Bank
(link takes you to the Washington State Ergonomic Ideas Bank web site, that offers a searchable collection of ideas which may help you to reduce exposure to awkward postures, high hand force, repetitive motions, lifting, vibration, and other work related risk factors.)
- Ergonomics of Back Pain in Farmers. Descriptive Reference Manual, PDF (** 25 MB **) (4/08)
- On the farm communication
- Not your father’s phone.
(link takes you to the Farm Industry News web site, for an article written about Telephones becoming walkie-talkies, March 2004.)
- Not your father’s phone.
- Simple Solutions: Ergonomics for Farm Workers, The tip sheets in this publication show you how to make or order inexpensive new tools, or modify existing tools. A NIOSH publication from February, 2001 (04/05)
(link takes you to the NIOSH web site, and this is a PDF only document.)
- The Guide to Financing Business and/or Assistive Technology (PDF) offers funding resources available through public disability-related funding sources, private disability-related programs or charitable organizations, USDA, and the Small Business Administration. The Guide also provides numerous examples of how AgrAbility clients used the funding awarded (1/08)
The National AgrAbility Project, 2002, 2003, and 2006 National Training Workshops (NTW) each had a presentation covering liability issues. Some of this information has been collected and is presented on the liability resources web page.
However, we would like to know what other issues regarding “liability” you may have. Please contact us or send us your thoughts using the Contact Us page.
Recently (2006-2007), the National AgrAbility staff conducted focus groups and interviewed several farmers and ranchers who had experienced a secondary injury or illness. This purpose of this effort was to better understand the causes of the secondary injury or illness, and to also assist in the creation of educational material to help prevent future injury or illness. Most of the farmers and ranchers in the focus groups or who were interviewed had experienced a leg/arm amputation, or were using a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury.
Below are three documents which summarize some of our findings to date. We hope you find this information beneficial.
- Secondary Injury Prevention and Farming/Ranching with an Arm Amputation (9/07)
- Secondary Injury Prevention and Farming/Ranching with a Leg Amputation (9/07)
- Secondary Injury Prevention and Farming/Ranching from a Wheelchair (9/07)
This next document summarizes some questions you may wish to ask your prosthetist.
The information below was gathered by the Easter Seal Society of Iowa’s Farm Family Rehabilitation Management (FaRM) Program a few years ago. The documents pertain to Secondary Injury and Illnesses, and are collected here for your convenience and information only. (Note: Six of the following links take you to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], National Ag Safety Database [NASD] web site. The remaining link takes you to the Extension-AgrAbility web site at Iowa State.)
- Safety Tips for Farming with Upper Extremity (Arm) Limitations
- Safety Tips for Farming with Paraplegia
- Safety Tips for Farming with Quadriplegia
- Safety Tips for Farming with Lower Extremity (Leg or Foot) Limitations
- Safety Tips for Farming with a Back Injury or Back Problem
- Safety Tips for Farming with a Brain Injury
- Safety Tips for Farming with Limitations due to Aging
Slips and Falls
If you would like to share your ideas, comments, or be interviewed during a future focus group session, please contact Contact Us.