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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


'Make Tasks Easier': Arthritis Screenings, Universal Design Exhibit at Farm Science Review

December 15, 2014

LONDON, Ohio -- In conjunction with the longstanding Universal Design exhibit at the Farm Science Review, arthritis screenings will again be offered for farmers on the first two days of the annual farm show.

The arthritis screenings, along with information on preventing and managing arthritis, will be in the McCormick Building, 389 Friday Ave., on the Review grounds on Sept. 18 and 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

"We have done arthritis screenings at the Review for the past two years as part of an OSU CARES and Ohio AgrAbility project," said Meg Teaford, associate professor in Ohio State University’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

“So far, we have identified that arthritis is not only a serious health concern for farmers, but that often people think they can’t do anything about it,” Teaford said. “Yet we know that farmers are impacted at an earlier age than their peers and that the growing number of women farmers are at higher risk especially.”

This year, Teaford said, Ohio State pharmacy students developed a handout on arthritis medication, and some plan to visit the Review to answer visitors’ questions.

“We hope to help farmers also think about ways to conserve their energy and modify equipment to make tasks easier,” Teaford said.

That’s also the goal of the Universal Design exhibit, also in the McCormick Building, said Pat Holmes, Ohio State University Extension educator who coordinates Extension’s Universal Design offerings.

“Universal Design is a philosophy based on the idea that products and environments can be attractively designed to meet the needs of all ages and abilities," Holmes said.

"Initially, some people think Universal Design is only for the elderly or people in a wheelchair," Holmes said. "But after visiting our permanent exhibit at Farm Science Review, most people 'get it.'

"Visitors seem most surprised by the fact that Universal Design is attractive and works for everyone. They are excited about the possibilities for their own homes, and they seem to love the fact that they can pick and choose which features they want to use."

The Universal Design permanent exhibit includes a garage work area, laundry/mud room, bath and kitchen. Holmes said visitors especially seem drawn to the walk-in tub, a shower with a no-step or low-step entry, the variety of countertop heights, a pull-down Rev-A-Shelf in the kitchen, roll-out drawers instead of shelving, and cork flooring.

This year, thanks to a new partnership with OSU Extension's Master Gardeners, the exhibit features new raised gardening beds and Universal Design gardening tools.

In past years, Holmes said, visitors would often walk right past features in the exhibit, not even seeing the Universal Design features until they were pointed out by an exhibit host. One visitor noted, "I was going to wait to add grab bars, but I’m going to add them now so they will be mounted securely. I can’t believe how they blend in with the room.”

Another visitor in a wheelchair was inspired by seeing countertops at different heights, Holmes said, saying, "This is exactly what I need. If I had this 32-inch countertop, I’d be able to cook for myself.”

The exhibit and programs about Universal Design are available for groups in the spring and fall, Holmes said. Anyone interested in scheduling such a program should contact her at or 937-224-9654, ext. 102.

The Universal Design project was made possible from a collaboration of OSU Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State's College of Education and Human Ecology, Ohio State's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, OSU Extension's Ohio AgrAbility project, Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center, Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, Dave Fox Remodeling, and Jack’s Appliances.

Farm Science Review is sponsored by Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Pre-show tickets are $5 at all OSU Extension county offices. Tickets are also available at local agribusinesses. Tickets are $8 at the gate. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 18-19 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20. 

For more information, see For the latest news and updates, follow Farm Science Review on Twitter (@OhioStateFSR) and Facebook at


Martha Filipic
Meg Teaford, Pat Holmes