July 07, 2016
Posted By: Paige Mador
Gardening season is in full swing! With the advent of accessible equipment and a greater emphasis on the therapeutic nature of this valuable skill, gardening is becoming more available to people with disabilities. Whether it’s tending to the beauty of a flower garden or the resourcefulness of a vegetable garden, this hobby has remarkable rewards for all. In fact, many Venture residential programs have developed their own vegetable gardens and are enjoying the fresh produce! Our day habilitation programs also offer horticulture as an activity.
Horticultural therapy has been gaining recognition for its positive effects for individuals with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, physical limitations, dementia, brain injury, and more. According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, this modality can improve cognitive abilities, enhance memory, develop social skills, and advance communication. Physically, gardening can assist with balance, coordination, endurance, and strength. Horticultural therapy is also an excellent source of sensory simulation, especially for those with autism. For more information about local resources, check out the Northeast Horticultural Therapy Network.
Another great local resource for therapeutic and accessible gardening is Tower Hill Botanic Garden located in Boylston, Massachusetts. Venture recently assisted them in an advising capacity as they developed their Garden Within Reach program, which offers an innovative and inclusive design for those of all ability levels and breaks down barriers for those with mobility issues.
For more resources, be sure to follow Venture’s Adaptive Gardening board on Pinterest and check back often for updates!
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