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Equipment Marketing: Specification Data Needs for Older Operators and Operators with Disabilities

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

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  075113.(doi:10.13031/2013.23506)
Authors:   Ronald T Schuler, Mark E Novak
Keywords:   AgrAbility, disability, disabled, agriculture, farm, farm injuries, farmers and ranchers with disabilities, farm workers with disabilities, farming…

A change in farming demographic data that is common across the entire US concerns the increasing average age of the population. While the average age of farmers and ranchers assisted by the AgrAbility Projects is about 50 years old (Demographic Data Reports, 2005-2006), according to the US Administration on Aging, the population of 65 and over will increase from 35 million in 2000 to 55 million in 2020 for the US in general (Administration on Aging, 2006). As one ages, the body undergoes common changes. Reduced vision, loss of flexibility and strength, hearing loss, and chronic conditions such as arthritis may be more common. Fueling the need to accommodate these changes, several companies and government projects have elevated the field of ergonomics, universal design, user centered design, and accessible design. However, even with increased awareness of the need to serve an aging population, many companies still fail to understand how marketing specific information to better accommodate this population and making simple design changes can greatly accommodate older consumers.

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