Fr. Sam Logan with child in a customized ride-on car.
Dr. Sam Logan with child in a customized ride-on car.

No commercially produced motorized wheelchairs are available for children under three years old with mobility challenges. That fact and his belief that mobility is a fundamental human right spurred Dr. Sam Logan to start Go Baby Go (GBG) Oregon.

 

GBG Oregon is a community-based outreach program that works with families and clinicians to provide modified toy ride-on cars to young children with disabilities. The ride-on cars encourage exploration and play. In Oregon alone, there are more than 3,000 children receiving early intervention services who might benefit from a modified rode-on car. To date, more than 200 Oregon families have received modified ride-on cars.

 

GBG Oregon was founded in 2014 by Dr. Logan, assistant professor, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Dr. Bethany Sloane, assistant professor, Oregon Health and Science University, joined the project as an equal partner in 2015. She oversees the GBG Oregon program that serves Portland-area families, including an advisory board that includes 10 clinicians, families, and community-member stakeholders.

 

Team for GO BABY GO OREGON
Team for GO BABY GO OREGON: MODIFIED RIDE-ON CARS FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES at the 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence. From left: Ed Feser, provost and executive vice president; Lindsey Shirley, associate vice provost for University Outreach and Engagement and associate director of OSU Extension; Dr. Sam Logan, Dr. Bethany Sloane, Bethany McNeil, two OSU students from the CARS club,  Javier Nieto, dean of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences; and Scott Reed, vice provost of University Outreach and Engagement and director OSU Extension Service.

The 15-member Children’s Adaptive Resources for Social Mobility (CARS) undergraduate club at Oregon State—for which Dr. Logan is founder and faculty advisor—supports the work of GBG Oregon. The club’s mission is to customize ride-on cars for a child’s particular disability. Dr. Logan also developed and taught an Honors College colloquial titled “Toy-based technology for children with disabilities.” This is an experimental learning course where students learn the science behind Go Baby Go, modify ride-on cars, and interact with families to customize ride-on car modifications for their children.

 

Logan published three peer-reviewed articles in Pediatric Physical Therapy, collaborated with Dr. Bill Smart (Mechanical Engineering, OSU), and published a technical report in Frontiers in Robotics & Artificial Intelligence outlining advances in modified ride-on car technology. He also collaborated with Dr. Kathleen Bogart (Psychological Science, OSU) on a research study that found caregivers’ attitudes toward disability and mobility may be related to the opportunities they provide to their children to use the modified ride-on cars (positive attitudes, more opportunities).

 

In addition to other scholarly activity, Logan represented OSU while conducting more than 20 Oregon and national workshops teaching the science behind GBG and the skills required to modify the ride-on cars. Dr. Sloane also leads monthly community workshops to modify ride-on cars.

 

Based on an abstract for the 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence. Go Baby Go Oregon received a 2017 Vice Provost Award of Excellence. Click here to see the Go Baby Go Oregon presentation at the awards celebration.

Editor’s Note: Outreach takes on many forms. The goal most often is to understand the needs of a particular community. In this case, the goal was to improve Latino nursery worker educational materials. The results of the research can improve communication tools well beyond the nursery industry, OSU Extension, and Oregon State University. The “What Workers Think” project is one of 15 university outreach and engagement projects recognized at the 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence celebration on April 17.

 

"How to Control Slugs in Your Garden" bilingual publication published by Extension and Experiment Station Communications
“How to Control Slugs in Your Garden” bilingual publication published by Extension and Experiment Station Communications

Spanish-speaking workers make up most of the labor force in Oregon’s horticulture industries; however, few Oregon State University Extension publications and multimedia materials are designed to meet their vocational and linguistic needs.

 

A team at Oregon State set out to understand how instructional materials can be designed to improve the learning process for Latino nursery workers. The team consisted of Ariel Ginsburg and Dionisia Morales, publishing managers with Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC); Luisa Santamaria, Extension plant pathologist for nursery crops and bilingual educator, North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) and associate professor, Botany and Plant Pathology, College of Agricultural Sciences; and Gilbert Uribe, education program assistant (NWREC), now pesticide registration and certification specialist at the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

 

EESC translates into Spanish some publications from the Extension catalog. Feedback from Extension faculty working in Latino communities suggested that the choice of topics was not always well-suited to horticultural workers. Publications were often too technical, written at too high a reading level, or required a computer to download and print.

 

Dionisia Morales (middle) and Ariel Ginsburg (right) accept a Honorable mention for the WHAT WORKERS THINK: COMMUNICATION NEEDS ASSESSMENT FOR LATINO NURSERY WORKERS project. Ed Feser (left), OSU provost and executive vice president, presents the award.
Dionisia Morales (middle) and Ariel Ginsburg (right) accept a Honorable mention for the WHAT WORKERS THINK: COMMUNICATION NEEDS ASSESSMENT FOR LATINO NURSERY WORKERS project. Ed Feser (left), OSU provost and executive vice president, presents the award.

This feedback sparked a number of questions: Do workers want information to help them do better at their jobs. Do they want to learn key English vocabulary to communicate more easily with their employers? Are workers more interested in web-based training they can do on their own time, or in face-to-face sessions? Are they more likely to access information on their smartphones?

 

Using a $1,500 professional development grant from the Association for Communication Excellence, the team conducted three focus groups. They asked workers directly about their needs and interests. Integrating into existing, employer-supported worker training events allowed maximum participation. The three focus groups conducted thus far involved 21 community members. A final focus group will take place in spring 2017.

 

The findings have already started to shift how EESC delivers translated content. Latino workers want more photo-rich, mobile-friendly information and they want publications in which English and Spanish appear side-by-side.

 

In 2017, members of the team will write an article for the Journal of Extension. Findings will be presented at conferences to help other Extension and communication specialists learn how they can engage Latino community members to learn what education needs they have and their preferred learning formats.

 

Based on an abstract submitted for the 2017 University Outreach and Engagement Vice Provost Awards of Excellence.

 

Written by Gregg Kleiner and Tiffany Woods for Oregon Sea Grant (April 17, 2017)

 

Editor’s Note: This story is a great example of outreach and engagement work: co-creation of solutions, cross-disciplinary collaboration, applied research, building community capacity, partnerships, and more.

 

Crab fishing. Photo by Oregon Sea Grant.
Crab fishing. Photo by Oregon Sea Grant.

West Coast crabbers and faculty with Oregon State University and Sea Grant programs in Oregon and Washington have been exploring ways to reduce injuries at sea.

The effort is part of the Fishermen Led Injury Prevention Program, which was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

“The ideas are generated by the fishermen, and the goal is that the solutions are voluntarily embraced and are not imposed,” said Laurel Kincl, the leader of the project and an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

Gathering research

To gather the suggestions as well as build rapport with the fishermen, nine community members with ties to the fishing industry were contracted, including several fishermen’s wives. Kincl and others then trained them to conduct outreach, engagement and research.

As part of the project, in the fall of 2015, the nine community members surveyed 365 crabbers in Washington, Oregon and California about the types and number of injuries they may have experienced during the 2014-15 crabbing season. The crabbers reported 65 injuries, 36 of which required them to take time off work or change how they worked. Of those 36, sprains and strains were the most frequent, with 13 incidents. Out of the 36 injuries, hands, arms and shoulders were the most commonly injured body parts, with 17 reports. Nine of the 36 injuries occurred while handling gear on deck, and seven happened while hauling in gear.

When asked what they thought contributed most to injuries, fishermen gave answers that included not paying attention, weather and sea conditions, inexperience, unsafe vessels or gear, a lack of training, and poor physical shape. When asked what they thought was the most important thing for staying safe, responses included having a good captain and crew, being aware, taking care of oneself, avoiding fatigue and having a well-maintained boat and gear.

Co-created solutions

Fishermen suggested the need for a fishing-specific first aid and CPR course. As a result, a wilderness medicine expert was invited to the Oregon towns of Newport and Astoria in the fall of 2016 to train fishermen on how to treat medical conditions and at-sea injuries such as cuts, broken bones, dislocated shoulders and hypothermia.

Another fisherman suggested looking at the design of banger bars, which are metal bars that are welded to the tables where crabs are sorted. Crab pots are hoisted over and slammed against the bars to force the crabs onto the table.

“Some say the bars make it easier on fishermen’s wrists and backs if positioned correctly,” said Kaety Jacobson, a marine fisheries Extension specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and a partner on the project. “But there’s not a standard design, so crabbers make their own – if they use them at all. We’re pretty sure someone has come up with the ideal banger bar, so we’re trying to find that design and share it with the community.”

The research team is considering using fishermen-focused Facebook pages, like the Oregon Sea Grant Fisheries Extension Facebook page, to ask for information about the use, design and benefits of the bars. With this information, she said, Sea Grant could create a publication on what a banger bar is and why fishermen use them. It could also include photos or schematics of designs that work better.

Also because of fishermen’s feedback, Jacobson and the nine community members will interview experienced deckhands and boat captains about what makes a good crew, how to size up a boat to see if it’s safe, and what safety-related language fishermen should look for when signing a contract to become a crew member. Jacobson and her team plan to share this information with novice or aspiring crewmembers.

“We’ll put these findings in an infographic or factsheet that we’ll post on social media or mail out so that fishermen looking for work can have that resource,” she said.

Importance to Oregon

During the 2015–16 season, fishermen in Oregon landed just over 14 million pounds of Dungeness crab, which they sold for a record $51 million, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Dubbed the official state crustacean, Dungeness crabs make up the most valuable single-species commercial fishery in Oregon.

Photo: Jill Wells via SnapChat

OSU Extension Service needs to evolve and innovate to serve Oregon and our communities. The eXtension iTeam is challenging us to think innovatively and they are providing the vehicle to amplify our innovative talents in a collaborative environment at the Innovate Extension 2017 event on May 23.

The University Outreach and Engagement Vice Provost Awards of Excellence celebration and luncheon event on April 17 also celebrates innovation, but this time its innovative outreach and engagement projects. Experience 15 award-winning projects from across the university. Register and learn more here.