People living with a disability can function very well in all areas of the food system. Certain accommodations can lead to the individual living a more fulfilling and independent life. In this piece, I list the four major categories of disability (vision, hearing, motor control, and cognitive) and under each category I provide links to written and video recommendations for accommodations. The accommodations are divided into categories of gardening & farming, shopping/obtaining food, cooking/preparing meals, and eating food (for a few disabilities where this poses a problem). Major types of disabilities are in purple text. The activities are listed in blue and written or video resources are listed in red.
GARDENING & FARMING: People with vision disabilities face the hindrance of not being able to see what they are growing, but there are ways to overcome this, and receive the comfort and satisfaction that gardening and farming offer.
There is a resource where a volunteer will use video technology to help someone who suffers from vision difficulties, called Be My Eyes.
The University of Delaware site describes ways to overcome challenges of vision problems on farming and gardening.
These are some tips from an experienced gardener who is living with blindness.
Another site with tips for gardening for people living with vision problems.
A garden for people living with visual and auditory difficulties.
Garden tours in Australia for people living with vision difficulties
A journey with a farmer who lives with full blindness
A journey with another farmer who lives with full blindness as well as many other disabilities.
SHOPPING/OBTAINING FOOD: People living with vision disabilities face problems obtaining food, but listed below are ways they can overcome these difficulties and get high quality food.
A list of tips for shopping with vision disability.
Another list of tips for shopping with a vision disability.
A YouTube video where we are taken shopping with a person who is fully blind.
Another YouTube video where we are taken shopping with a person who is fully blind.
A YouTube video where we are taken shopping with a person with vision impairment.
A YouTube video where we are taken shopping for general items with a person who is fully blind.
COOKING & PREPARING FOOD: Cooking can be a very difficult task for someone with either vision impairment or full blindness. These links provide tips and tricks for cooking with vision disabilities.
Be My Eyes is a resource where a person without vision impairments helps a person with vision impairments by using a video phone or device to describe what the person with the vision impairment is looking at.
A description of tips and tricks to help people living with vision impairments to cook.
8 tips for people living with vision impairment to cook.
A list of tip for people living with vision impairments such as reading labels, and hacks for appliances.
A list of tips and tricks for cooking and eating with vision impairments.
Cooking tip for getting ingredients into the pot or pan for people living with vision difficulties:
Cooking tips for people living with vision impairment.
Discussion about talking microwaves versus standard microwaves.
Winner of MasterChef shows how people living with vision loss can cook.
Cooking and cleaning tips for people living with vision impairment.
EATING: Eating can be challenging for people living with vision disabilities. Following are a list of tips and tricks to better eat food as well as etiquette for eating with someone who has a vision difficulty.
Dining etiquette for eating with people living with vision impairment.
Mealtime tips number 1 (color and organization of meal) for people living with vision impairment.
Mealtime tips number 2 (placement of food on plates, and instructions for describing the location of an item for people who are with someone living with vision impairment, and tips for dining out).
Independent living coach describes food bumpers for helping people living with vision impairments eat.
Tips for using color contrast to help people living with vision impairment in their kitchen.
GARDENING & FARMING: Although auditory disabilities don’t have as much impact on the steps in the food system that are covered here, there are some. Also, there is a lot of information about the therapeutic effects of gardening.
A resource for people living with hearing loss about the hobby of gardening:
Gardening tips for people living with disabilities in general, and hearing loss more specifically.
News story about a sensory garden for people with disabilities in general.
SHOPPING/OBTAINING FOOD: Auditory disabilities affect shopping less than other disabilities, so there are not many resources listed here.
General nutrition information for people living with hearing difficulties or full deafness.
COOKING & PREPARING FOOD; EATING: I was unable to find any resources for people living with auditory disabilities because this disability doesn’t affect cooking and eating as much as other types of disabilities.
Mobility disabilities include disabilities that require the individual to use a wheelchair. It also includes disabilities that affect the use of the entire body. Examples are spina bifida, spinal cord injuries and arthritis.
GARDENING & FARMING: People with mobility disabilities can be greatly effected in gardening and farming. Following as a list of tips, tricks and tools that can be used to overcome mobility challenges.
A list of websites for tools for people living with mobility disabilities.
A site describing tools for helping people living with a mobility disability to be able to garden.
A list of tips and tricks for the entire range of gardening, from raised beds, to weed control to plant selection, to help people living with mobility impairment garden.
Accessible gardening techniques for people living with mobility disabilities.
Gardening tips for the disabled and elderly for gardening.
Tips and tools for helping people with mobility impairments to be able to garden.
A life hack for a kneeling pad for gardening.
A video with a lot of tips and tricks for gardening for those living with a mobility disability.
Raised bed gardening for people living with a disability.
Describing benefits of an assistance dog for people living with mobility disability.
SHOPPING/OBTAINING FOOD: People living with mobility disabilities may face many challenges when shopping. The following list should help people with tips and tricks to overcome these challenges.
Q&A about general disability legal/ADA compliance issues for shopping.
Join someone who uses a wheelchair while they go grocery shopping.
Join another person who uses a wheelchair for general shopping.
A list of suggestions for grocery stores in regards to shoppers living with a disability using their store.
A website with tools and devices to help people living with a mobility disability in all areas of life.
Another site listing suggestions for businesses to make accessing their stores easier.
COOKING & PREPARING FOOD: Mobility disabilities can pose many challenges for cooking. Following are tips, tricks, and tools to help people overcome challenges in this area of life.
A website describing many areas of assistance available that can help people living with mobility disabilities in all areas of cooking.
A description of tips and tricks for cooking with a mobility disability caused by arthritis, in addition to eating well for health.
Ten tips for cooking with a disability or injury.
Cooking from a wheelchair; tips, tricks and hacks.
An article about cooking with a mobility disability.
Wheelchair cooking in a non-modified kitchen.
Cooking for people with disabilities that cause fatigue.
Cook with someone who uses a wheelchair.
A video on assistive technology for cooking.
EATING: Eating can pose challenges to people living with mobility disabilities. Following are resources to help people overcome these challenges.
Tips for eating right with arthritis.
11 Adaptive utensils and eating aids for hand tremors, dementia, Parkinson’s and stroke.
Living with a feeding tube.
A list of tips and devices to help people living with mobility disabilities with eating food.
Google spoon helps people living with different mobility disabilities eat.
An alternative to the Google spoon called Liftware Level.
Cognitive disabilities are ones that include intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, some mental illnesses, brain injuries (Traumatic brain injury and stroke) and Alzheimer’s and dementia. These are basically any disability that is centered on the brain and its function.
GARDENING & FARMING: Cognitive disabilities can cause difficulty with gardening, but gardening is also shown to be therapeutic to many people living with cognitive disabilities.
An article about the benefits of gardening for people living with cognitive disability.
An article called Gardening with Dementia.
An article called Benefits of Gardening for Children with Autism and Special educational Needs.
An article that describes the benefits of horticultural therapy for those with special needs.
Special Dreams Farm is a farm teaching people with cognitive disabilities and providing employment opportunities.
Another farm, called Smile Farm, providing people living with cognitive disabilities training and employment opportunities.
COOKING & PREPARING FOOD: Cooking can pose many challenges to those living with cognitive disabilities. Research has shown that cooking is beneficial to people living with cognitive disabilities.
A New Mexico resource for teaching cooking to people with intellectual disabilities.
An article called How to Teach Cooking to a Person with Intellectual Disabilities.
An article about teaching cooking skills to adults living with developmental disability.
A video explaining why it is important to teach cooking to children with cognitive disabilities.
Step by step instructions to cooking pizza for a person living with a learning disability.
A video about rice cooker cooking.
EATING: Cognitive disabilities can cause trouble eating food. This section includes information on diet, tips for solving eating difficulties and people with multiple challenges of cognitive disability and an eating disorder.
Helpful general information about talking with someone with a cognitive disability.
A list of resources for nutritional educaation and food skills for people living with developmental disabilities:
Information for people living with a cognitive disability and an eating disorders.
Video called Transitioning to Adulthood.
A video discussing the correlation of overeating and cognitive disability.
A video discussing nuanced care for patients with intellectual disability.
A description of thickening drinks for people living with dysphasia.
The La Montanita Coop delivers food to seniors and those living with a disability (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Gallup).
This is a list of CSAs and delivery services for local farms to deliver fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs and dairy, and even baked goods to your door.
-Posted by Dani