Can Agriculture Teachers Adequately Teach Students with an Orthopedic Impairment?

By Nicholas Tarver and Abigail Manuel, Florien FFA, Louisiana 8th Place in Social Science Division 4

Nicholas Tarver is orthopedically impaired, but he determined, along with the support of his friend and fellow FFA member Abigail Manuel, not to let him miss out on not only experiencing, but thriving, in FFA. Together, they set out to bring awareness to the topic of orthopedically impaired students in the ag classroom with their social science project.

“We wanted to determine if ag teachers adequately teach students with orthopedic impairment. Can these students be successful in FFA like me? We discovered through our research project that they can,” Tarver says. “They can do everything that all these FFA members can do here at National FFA.”

Manuel and Tarver discovered some important strategies to share with advisors through their project, including being aware of classroom obstacles, considering the comfort of students and storage for assistive devices, promoting movement and exercise in class, allowing additional timing and providing adequate space to work.

“One thing that stood out to me about the results of our project was that ag teachers were excited and wanted to make accommodations to help students feel involved and included in their ag programs,” Manuel says. 

She adds that her favorite part of being at National FFA Convention this year was being able to meet and converse with people with a similar background from all over the country.

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