Assistive garden structures for children with locomotor disabilities to implement horticultural therapy
Horticultural therapy is defined by the American Horticultural Therapy Association(AHTA) as the engagement of a person in gardening and plant-based activities, facilitated by a trained therapist, to achieve specific therapeutic treatment goals (AHTA, 2008). Several studies have shown that horticultural therapy resulted in an improvement in fine motor skills (Beela et al., 2015), encourage creativity (Blair, 2009), and developed higher self-esteem (Beela and Reghunath, 2010). Horticulture or farming is considered to be an intensive occupation that involves physically demanding work. But if the proper assistive technology is used and structures are provided horticultural therapy can be made fun and easier for children. In order to implement horticultural therapy for physically challenged children, garden structures need to be developed which are ergonomically suitable for them. This study aimed to develop garden structures to implement horticultural therapy for children with locomotor disability. With this objective some simple agricultural structures were developed after collecting and evaluating by the children with locomotor disability. The user-centred design (UCD) (User-Centered Design Basics, 2017) was used in this study to design the structures. The implementation of the UCD method in this study involves four phases, namely, analysis phase, design phase, implementation phase and evaluation phase. The developed structures included rotating pots, hanging pots with pulley and umbrella stand.
Beela, G.K. and Ganeshan, V. (2021). Assistive garden structures for children with locomotor disabilities to implement horticultural therapy. Acta Hortic. 1330, 19-26
assistive technology, gardening structures