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Evolution of 'The Toolbox' Assistive Technology Manuals and Database for Agricultural Workers with Disabilities

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  065005,  2006 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.21190) @2006
Authors:   Paul Jones, William E. Field
Keywords:   Disability, Assistive Technology, Databases, Safety, Farming, Ranching

Prior to the early 1980s, few resources were available to assist agricultural workers with disabilities in the selection of assistive technology products and modifications. The founding of the Breaking New Ground (BNG) program at Purdue University in 1979 marked the beginning of a significant change in that trend. BNG recognized early in its existence that a consolidated source of agricultural assistive technology information was critical to helping agricultural workers become aware of the best products available and thereby discourage them from reinventing the wheel or using unsafe means to accommodate their disabilities. The main assistive technology resources developed by BNG have fallen under the label Agricultural Tools, Equipment, Machinery, and Buildings for Farmers and Ranchers with Physical Disabilities, now commonly known as The Toolbox. Four editions of the publications have been produced, each with significant revisions, including a switch from print to CD format in the most recent edition. Approximately 3000 copies of these resources have been distributed in North America and several other countries, and they have become standard tools for agricultural workers with disabilities seeking to improve their ability to work and for professionals working in the field of disability and agriculture.

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