Ohio AgrAbility to host workshop Feb. 19

First Posted: 2/13/2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Experts from Ohio State University Extension's Ohio AgrAbility Program will host the Building Independence through Agriculture for People with Developmental Disabilities workshop Feb. 19 in Columbus.

The workshop is designed to increase knowledge and understanding of employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities in agricultural settings, said Kent McGuire, Ohio AgrAbility program coordinator. The program is housed in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

"The idea is to offer information about existing agricultural models that employ people with developmental disabilities and identify resources and challenges that impact employment," he said. "The purpose of the workshop is to demonstrate how agriculture can be a viable work environment for individuals with developmental disabilities."

The program, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., will feature presentations from OSU Extension, Ohio AgrAbility, regional and national experts. It also will include an open discussion on opportunities and roadblocks for employing people in agriculture and a panel discussion with representatives from a local farm program for people with developmental disabilities.

The event will feature opening remarks from Dee Jepsen, Ohio AgrAbility program director, and a keynote address by representatives from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Thomas Snyder, OSU Extension specialist in horticulture and vegetable crops also will present a session, as will Patricia Wright, director of National Easter Seals Autism Services.

The workshop will be held at the Ramada Plaza, 4900 Sinclair Road. Registration is $40 for professionals and $25 for family members, and includes lunch, refreshments and handouts. The deadline to register is Feb. 12.

Participants can register at http://go.osu.edu/agrabilityworkshop.

For more information, contact McGuire at 614-292-0588 or mcguire.225@osu.edu.

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