Aghealth Australia - Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety
Farmers with Disabilities

AgrAbility Australia

The AgrAbility Australia network of injured and disabled farmers and carers was established in 1996 as part of a larger program of worked aimed at improving rehabilitation and return to work of farmers and farm workers across Australia.
AgrAbility Australia is an informal, peer support network of farmers who have suffered severe injury or disabling illness, and continue to seek and find solutions which enables them to be productive in their farm endeavours.

Meet some of the members who have come together to share ideas and encourage one another. 

AgrAbility members

AgrAbility Australia membership is open to farmers with a disability or illness as well as their carers and family.  A directory containing the contact details of members as well as the modifications they have made which has enabled them to return to work is updated at regular intervals as new members join. Click here for an AgrAbility Australia network of injured farmers and farm workers - Application form

Since January 2008 over 60 members with disabilities ranging from arthritis, diabetes and Parkinson disease to back pain, brain injuries, amputations and spinal cord injuries have joined the network. 

See some of the modifications the members have made which allow them to keep working on the farm. See Member Information sheets below:

Help for Rehabilitation Service Providers
While the national accident and injury rate for the agricultural industries is high, farmers and farm workers represent a relatively small percentage of the overall client base for most rehabilitation service providers.  Despite these statistics a survey of rehabilitation service providers found that over half the respondents wanted additional information and training in farmer rehabilitation, specifically.
• Conducting agricultural worksite assessments
• Identifying, selecting and implementing assistive technology in the agricultural workplace.
• Modifying farm work practices
• Coping with disabilities in rural settings
A series of resources have been developed to meet the needs of rehabilitation service providers.  These resources are available from the AgrAbility Australia Resource Centre.  See below.

AgrAbility Australia Resource Centre
The AgrAbility Australia Resource Centre contains resources and information about how to undertake an assessment of the farm work environment as well as how to modify machinery or fabricate assistive technology to accommodate an injury or disability.  Additionally there is information about how to manage a disability in farm work environment.

Resources:  The following publications are available.
Identifying, selecting and implementing assistive technology in the agricultural workplace (manual)
Conducting agricultural worksite assessments.  (manual)
Osteoarthritis in farming people – a practical resource. 
Farming with Back Pain.  (pamphlet).
The Gate Latches Booklet– 10 easy to use gate latches for on the farm.  (pamphlet).

AgrAbility Australia Newsletters

Issue 10

If you require further assistance, please contact us through the AgrAbility Australia Resource Centre Inquiry Form.  

Additional Related Links
Safety of Older Farmers
Farmsafe Australia

For further information contact:
Australian Centre for Agricultural Health & Safety
Phone:  02 6752 8210

Related Links
Sam Bailey
AgrAbility Project America
Breaking New Ground Resource Centre
Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association
Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society North America
Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney
Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety

University of Sydney
PO BOX 256
Moree NSW 2400

Ph: (02) 6752 8210
Fax: (02) 6752 6639
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