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Farm event for disabled children expanding because of success

Farm event for disabled children expanding because of success

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By The Associated Press

The Messenger 06.19.12

GREENUP, Ky. (AP) — An event in eastern Kentucky to help disabled children in by exposing them to farm animals has become so successful that the organizer says it will be a continuing event.
Greenup resident Frank Potter told The Independent that he got the idea for Farm Days after injuring his leg on the job a couple of years ago and meeting some disabled and special-needs children while going through therapy. He said he learned during therapy that animals have a unique ability to bond with people, especially children.
He enlisted the help of a friend who works as an outreach consultant for the Kentucky School for the Blind and some rural friends to come up with an event where disabled children could get some experience with farm animals such as horses and cows.
Potter and volunteers brought animals, set up games and crafts and provided plenty of food so that children who have any type of disability could attend and enjoy themselves.
“Kids and their families need a place where they can not feel different,” he said.
“This is awesome,” said Bonnie Fisher, whose autistic son, Austin, bathed and groomed a horse during this year’s event. “Austin loves doing things outside.”
All activities were geared toward accommodating disabilities. For example, beepers were installed below target holes on core hole games so that visually impaired children could use their hearing when they played.
Ashley Johnson, 19, who is vision impaired, worked to groom horses at the recent event.
“I want to work with horses, and I’m learning about horses here,” she said.
Potter said he plans to set up a nonprofit organization to collect donations so that he can make Farm Days a continuing event.
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Information from: The Independent, http://www.dailyindependent.com

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