AK Agrability Logo


Alaska Fisherman
Alaska Peony Grower
Alaska Farmer

Who are we?

The AKAgrAbility program is managed by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service and is funded nationally through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The purpose of the program is to help bring awareness, education, technical on-site assessments and resources to help Alaskans working in an agricultural industry such as farming, fishing, or timber who may have a barrier that limits their independence.

This could be due to a disability, injury or through the aging process. Extension partners with Assistive Technology of Alaska (ATLA) to help determine assistive technology that may be needed to carry out day-to-day activities necessary for employment or quality of life. No matter what the reason for the impairment, the program works to connect clients in a holistic approach. 

You can visit the National Agrability site at the Agrability website.

What does AgrAbility do?

The vision of AgrAbility is to enable a high quality lifestyle for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities. Through education and assistance, AgrAbility helps to eliminate (or at least minimize) obstacles that block success in production agriculture or agriculture-related occupations.

Adaptive Technology in Use

Who does AgrAbility serve?

AgrAbility serves those agricultural workers who are limited by any type of physical, cognitive, or illness-related disability, such as:

  • amputation
  • arthritis
  • back impairment
  • deafness/hearing impairment
  • developmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy or autism
  • disabling diseases, such as cancer or heart disease
  • mental/behavioral health problems
  • respiratory diseases
  • spinal cord injuries
  • stroke traumatic brain injury
  • visual impairment

What services does AgrAbility provide?

AgrAbility offers the following services at no cost to customers:

  • Conducting on-site assessments to identify barriers to completing tasks both in the agricultural workplace and the home.
  • Recommending appropriate assistive technologies (equipment/tools/devices), modified work practices, and/or other possible solutions to overcoming disability-related limitations.
  • Providing access to informational materials on a variety of topics related to disability and agriculture.
  • Providing education/training opportunities through workshops, conferences, seminars, and on-line programs.
  • Referring customers to other service providers for potential assistance (e.g., financial, rehabilitative, educational) specific to the clients’ needs.
  • Arranging for peer support opportunities that connect customers with others who have successfully accommodated their disabilities.
  • Assisting military veterans seeking employment in agriculture-related occupations.

AgrAbility does not provide direct funding or equipment. However, AgrAbility projects often work with state Vocational Rehabilitation departments and other funding sources to help customers obtain needed assistive technologies and modifications.

4-H Self-Determined Projects and Idea Starters

 4-H Project Idea Starter

People with disabilities are our nation’s largest minority group. They are also the most inclusive and the most diverse. Everyone is represented—all genders, all ages, all religions, all socioeconomic levels, and all ethnic backgrounds.

Ohio AgrAbility, Kansas AgrAbility, and Alaska AgrAbility recently wrote a Self-Determined 4-H project: Disability Advocacy and Awareness, which has been published on the Ohio State University Extension 4-H website.

Self- Determined 4-H projects are projects are for members who have a great project idea of their own, or who want to work beyond a current project book.  Disability Advocacy and Awareness has four topic areas: Person First, Safety, Service and Advocacy, and Wellness and Lifestyle. The Idea starter also includes a Person First Survey, a Community Survey Checklist, and a Greenhouse Activity. The AgrAbility working group has plans to work on a 4-H Disability book as a next project. Below are the links to all of the documents in the idea starter. These will also be posted on the Alaska AgrAbility wepage. Questions or more information, contact Art Nash at

Idea starter PDF

People first survey PDF

Community survey checklist PDF

Greenhouse activity PDF


For more information, contact

Leslie Shallcross
Project Director
Professor of Extension: Health, Home, and Family Development
UAF Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Extension
1000 University Avenue, Room 109
Fairbanks, AK 99709
Mailing: P.O. Box 758155
Fairbanks, AK 99775-8155
Phone: 907.474.2426
FAX: 907.474.6885

Art Nash
Project Co-Director
UAF Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Extension
1751 Tanana Loop
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775
Phone: 907.474.6366

Debasmita Misra
UAF Institute of Northern Engineering
307 Duckering Hall
1760 Tanana Loop
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Phone: 907.474.5339

Mystie Rail
Executive Director, Assistive Technology of Alaska – ATLA
Phone: 907.563.2599 xt 106
Text: 907.351.5276