Assistive Technology Solutions for Farmers or Ranchers with Multiple SclerosisBy Agrability Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 4
Publication Date: March 2003
Article describes some assistive technology options for farmers or ranchers with multiple sclerosis. For people with multiple sclerosis, it is important to conserve energy, pace work activities, and accommodate temperature sensitivity. Sensitivity to heat can be problematic when working outdoors. Air-conditioned cabs in farm equipment can help maintain a controlled, comfortable temperature. Cool Touch Comfort Cushions and SteeleVest cooling vests use cooled gel-like substances to provide cooling for up to four hours. Farmers and ranchers with multiple sclerosis may experience visual fatigue and disturbances that could affect their ability to read. Visual fatigue can be reduced by using large print, off-white paper, magnifiers, or prism glasses. A portable magnifier such as a lighted pocket magnifier could be useful for reading gauges and instructions, or for manipulating small software. For farmers or ranchers who use a computer to maintain agricultural records, adaptations are available to accommodate low vision, visual fatigue, and blindness, such as screen magnification, voice input and output, and Braille. A number of technologies can assist a farmer in scheduling and remembering daily work activities. The WatchMinder special purpose wristwatch has a reminder mode, and multiple messages can be activated at specific times during the day to remind the wearer of tasks that need to be completed. When activated, the displayed message is accompanied by a continuous vibration, which lasts for roughly four seconds.
Assistive Products Discussed: WATCHMINDER
STEELEVEST BODY COOLING COMFORT SYSTEM
University of Wisconsin - Madison (Web Site: http://www.wisc.edu )
Link to text: http://www.agrabilityproject.org/newsletter/march_2003/3.cfm