Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving Christian, Jersey, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties

Montgomery County
#1 Industrial Park Dr.
Hillsboro, IL 62049
Phone: 217-532-3941
FAX: 217-532-3944
Email: uie-cjmm@illinois.edu
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 12 pm, 1 pm to 4:30 pm

Christian County
1120 N Webster St.
Taylorville, IL 62568
Phone: 217-287-7246
FAX: 217-287-7248
Hours: Monday - Friday 8am to 11:30am, 12:30pm to 4.30pm

Jersey County
201 W. Exchange St.
Suite A
Jerseyville, IL 62052
Phone: 618-498-2913
FAX: 618-498-5913
Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 8 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4:30 pm and Thursday 8 am to 12 pm

Macoupin County
#60 Carlinville Plaza
Carlinville, IL 62626
Phone: 217-854-9604
FAX: 217-854-7804
Hours: Monday - Thursday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

News Release

Statewide program for agricultural workers with disabilities gains support

Source:  Robert Aherin, 217-333-9417, raherin@illinois.edu

News Writer: Leanne Lucas, 217- 244-9083, llucas@illinois.edu

 

URBANA, Ill. - AgrAbility Unlimited, a state-wide program promoting independence in agriculture for people with disabilities and their families, has acquired renewed funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

Authorized by the 1990 Farm Bill, in 1991 the U.S. Department of Agriculture initiated funding for state-level programs to provide information on accommodating disability in agriculture. “The funding is provided through a competitive grant process,” says Robert Aherin, professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Illinois, and program director of AgrAbility Unlimited. “Illinois is one of 24 states operating individually with this funding.”

 

The University of Illinois Extension is the lead organization in collaboration with Macon Resources Inc., The Illinois Assistive Technology Program, and Community Health Partnership of Illinois. These organizations have combined their expertise in agriculture, assistive technology, and disabilities to form AgrAbility Unlimited, a program to promote independence and productivity for Illinois agricultural workers who have experienced physical limitations do to a disabling injury or illness as a result of an accident, disease or age related health problem. “Through AgrAbility Unlimited,” says Aherin, “our goal is to assist farmers, their families, migrant workers, and farm workers to improve their quality of life.”

 

The program has also received private support from the Illinois Farm Bureau, 1st Farm Credit, the IAA Foundation, Growmark, Co-Bank, Farm Credit Services, The Brandt Foundation, Susan Vinckel Trust, Ullrich Foundation, and contributions from individuals.

 

Aherin says the program seeks ways to mitigate the effects of disabling illnesses and accidents through understanding each individual’s needs and then assisting them through a network of local agricultural and rehabilitation specialists, equipment modification ideas, job restructuring, and if needed, alternative job development. “If there is a need for financial assistance in covering assistive technology cost,” says Aherin, “we will assist clients in obtaining the needed financial resources if they meet certain financial qualifications.” 

 

All AgrAbility Unlimited services are free of charge and the confidentiality of those who contact the program is held at the highest regard. To allow easy access to these services, there is a toll-free information and referral hotline. In Illinois, call 1-844-876-5623.  Visit www.agrabilityunlimited.org  to learn more.

 

For more information contact Aherin at 217-333-9417, raherin@illinois.edu, or Kelly Gagnon, AgrAbility Unlimited marketing coordinator, at 217-875-8880, kgagnon@maconresources.org.

 

-30-

 

Local Contact: Gary Letterly, Extension Educator, Energy and Environmental Stewardship, letterly@illinois.edu