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46
NOVEMBER 2019
Safety Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
American support system for farmers with disabilities.
He acknowledges that much more needs to be done in
altering farm equipment to make it fit for purpose for
those with specific requirements: "Much more needs
to be done on an international scale. Having said that,
there are machinery companies who accommodate
individual needs on a regular basis. We are continually
working for solutions as we meet specific problems.
The most active level is at the farm itself. Farmers
themselves often figure how to change and reconfigure
their workplaces and farm machinery to their individual
requirements. What we try to do in Agrability is capture
some of those adaptations so that we don't have to
reinvent them. If a farmer comes up with a new way
to handle bales or feed calves we want to know so
that we can share that knowledge on our website so
that everyone can benefit. That website now has 1,500
adaptive aids outlined on it and has upwards of 1,000
visitors every day from all over the world."
A source of encouragement
Bill Field has over forty years' experience working
in the farm accident and disability space: "We are
a source of encouragement for people first and
foremost. The technical issues are solvable. If we
can send a person to the moon and back then we
should be able to get a person onto a tractor and
o again. What is often lacking today in our busy,
computerised lives is personal encouragement.
As humans we are becoming more isolated
despite the vast communication networks we
have at our disposal. In some ways we are
becoming depersonalised and hostile to
others because we don't talk face to face
as much as previously. The energy and
encouragement I saw at the Embrace
conference was reassuring. That
kind of personal interaction is
what is needed most. Sharing
experiences and comparing
di erent approaches to
problems
that arise
is not just
applicable to people with disabilities. It is needed right
across society."
What also impressed Professor Field about the
Embrace Farm structure is it's focus on the entire
family: "The children, as much as parents, spouses,
relations and friends need to be involved. The mutual
encouragement by disabled people themselves as well
as the realisation by those around them that these
are still the same people they knew and loved before
their injuries are key aspects of what makes Embrace a
success."
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The Hearne family
crowned winners of the
2019 NDC & Kerrygold
Quality Milk Awards.
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