USDA-NRCS Missouri
Sharon Small, Disability Emphasis Program Manager
What is considered a disability?

 1. physical or mental impairment
   that substantially limits one or more of
   the major life activities of the individual;
 2. a record of such an impairment
 3. being regarded as having such an
     What is considered
   a physical impairment?
A physical impairment is any physiological
disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement,
or anatomical loss affecting one or more of
the following body systems:
neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense
organs, respiratory, cardiovascular,
reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary,
hemic and lymphatic, skin or endocrine.
    What is considered
   a mental impairment?

A mental impairment is any psychological
or mental disorder.

Examples include: mental retardation,
organic brain syndrome, emotional or
mental illness, specific learning disabilities.
    What is NOT considered
          a disability?
The following are not considered disabilities:
•   homosexuality and bisexuality;
•   transvestitism, transsexuals, pedophilia, exhibitionism,
    voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from
    physical impairments, or other sexual behavior
•   compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania;
•   psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from
    current illegal use of drugs.
I am disabled and my workplace prevents
    me from doing my job effectively,
            what can I do?

  •   Evaluate your work space.
      Call the TARGET Center for a work station
      assessment (see handout).

  •   Submit a request for
      reasonable accommodations.
NRCS Policy on Disabilities –
It is the USDA-NRCS policy to make
reasonable accommodations to the known
physical or mental limitations of qualified
applicants or employees with disabilities,
except when such an accommodation would
cause an undue hardship to the agency.
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Accommodations are
defined as a change in the work
environment or the application process
that would enable a person with a
disability to enjoy equal employment
     How do I request a
Reasonable Accommodation?

  •   Either written or oral request to
      immediate supervisor.
  When should I request a
Reasonable Accommodation?

      •   Anytime

      •   30 days from time of request
          accommodation should be in place
          unless there are extenuating
Reasonable Accommodations
    •   Remember, anyone can request an
        accommodation at anytime.

    •   Additional accommodations may be
        needed in the future.
    •   Confidentially is maintained at all
Disability Facts
Disability Facts:

•   Nearly one out of every five Americans
    has some type of disability. That is more
    than 54 million people or 20% of our
    population nationwide.
Disability Facts (cont.):
  •   Some disabilities are visible and readily
         Examples: wheelchairs, walkers,
         crutches, or other assistive devices,
         service animals or white canes.
  •   Many other disabling conditions are
      invisible, such as deafness, hard of
      hearing, mental illness, autism, heart or
      respiratory conditions.
Disability Facts (cont.):
    •   According to 2000 census report,
        288,000 individuals working in
        agriculture experience physical,
        sensory or cognitive disabilities
        that affect performing one or more
        essential work tasks.
Disability Facts (cont.):

•   Chances are, you have come in
    contact with a farmer, rancher or
    landowner with a disability.
with People Who Have A Disability
Use “People First Language”
  People First Language describes what a
   person has, not what the person is.
   People First Language puts the person
   before the disability
People First Language Examples
 Say:                            Not:
 People with disabilities        Handicapped, crippled

 He has a cognitive disability   He’s mentally retarded

 She has autism                  She’s autistic

 He has a physical disability    He’s a quad, or crippled

 She uses a wheelchair           She’s wheelchair-bound

 Accessible parking              Handicapped parking
General Communication
•   It is perfectly acceptable to offer to
    shake hands when you are
    introduced to a person with a
    disability, even when the disability
    involves limited hand use or an
    artificial limb. Shaking hands with
    the left hand is also acceptable.
    General Communication
            TIPS (cont.)
•   You may offer to assist a person with a
    disability, but wait until your offer has been
    accepted. Then, ask for instructions on
    how you can best assist.
    General Communication
            TIPS (cont.)
•   Address people with disabilities just as
    you do everyone else in the same
    circumstance. If everyone is being
    addressed by first name, then by all
    means address the person with a
    disability the same way.
    General Communication
            TIPS (cont.)
•   Relax. Don’t be embarrassed if you
    happen to use common expressions
    such as “See you later,” or “Did you hear
    about that?” that seem to relate to a
    person’s disability.
•   Ask questions if you are not sure about
    what to do.
    General Communication
              TIPS (cont.)
For more information online:
Customers with
I have a farmer who has recently lost a limb,
        is there anything
        I can do to help?

 YES! There are several resources
  available for farmers, ranchers and
  landowners with disabilities.
  AgrAbility is one of the best.

•   The AgrAbility Project was created to
    assist people with disabilities employed
    in agriculture.

•   The Project assists people involved in
    production agriculture who work both on
    small and large operations.
             AgrAbility (cont.)

•   Disabilities that AgrAbility assists with are
    not limited to traumatic injuries. AgrAbility
    assists farmers with all types of disabilities
    and limitations.
    Examples include: including chronic health conditions or
    pain, such as arthritis, heart conditions, visual impairments,
    hearing impairments, respiratory diseases, and traumatic
    brain or spinal cord injuries.
             AgrAbility (cont.)
•   The goal of AgrAbility is to provide assistance and
    resources to farmers with disabilities that allow them to
    continue farming.

•   AgrAbility provides individualized services, both on and
    off the farm, to help create a comprehensive,
    individualized plan to allow the disabled farmer to
    continue farming. AgrAbility involves not only the
    farmer, but the family, community, agricultural
    professionals, medical professions and farm implement
           AgrAbility (cont.)

•   Statewide in Missouri, the following services
    are available:
      - Farm House Accessibility Surveys and Information
     - Agricultural Worksite Accessibility Surveys
     - Assistive Technology Resources
     - Educational Materials
     - Equipment Modification Information
     - Independent Living Resources
     - Technical Support
     AgrAbility (cont.)

Contact information:


• Call: 1-800-995-8503
Civil Rights
        Civil Rights Contacts
              Area 3 representative:
             Jeff Gibson, Civil Engineer
               (660) 747-8200 ext. 3

 Soil & Water Conservation District representative:
      Kenny Sampsel, District Soil Conservationist
               (660) 646-6220 ext. 121

Missouri Department of Conservation representative:
                Rose Marie Hopkins
                  (573) 751-4932
 Special Emphasis Programs

The Mission of Special Emphasis Programs is to
  provide guidance to the Agency concerning equal
  employment opportunity for all personnel, in
  personnel management policies and practices, as
  well as in NRCS sponsored programs and activities.
  In Missouri, the Special Emphasis Program
  Manager's (SEPMs) are available to provide help
  and guidance to employees concerning employment
  issues, EEO & CR, and also outreach and
  assistance to agency customers.
   Special Emphasis Program
American Indian/Alaska Native    Federal Women’s
  Montie Hawks                     Mary Williams

Black Emphasis                   Hispanic Emphasis
   Drenda Williams                  Angie VanDyke

Disability Emphasis
   Sharon Small                  For more information online,
    Nondiscrimination Statement

•   The USDA nondiscrimination statement should
    be used on all printed materials, PowerPoint
    presentations, posters, direct mail pieces and
    any other items for public distribution.

•   The long version is to be used whenever
    possible. The short version can be used if there
    is no possible way the long version will fit.
   Nondiscrimination Statement
Long version:
  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits
  discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race,
  color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex,
  marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual
  orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or
  because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any
  public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all
  programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means
  for communication of program information (Braille, large print,
  audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202)
  720-2600 (voice and TDD).

   To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office
   of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington,
   D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382
   (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Nondiscrimination Statement

Short version:
 USDA is an equal opportunity provider
 and employer.
Thank you.

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