“Greenhouse of Senses” – A New Quality of Educational Space for the Blind
Authors: Katarzyna Ujma-Wasowicz, Klaudiusz Fross
Abstract: The idea of creating sensory gardens, also known as gardens of senses, is developing around the world since the beginning of the 20th century. Such places are organized mainly for the disabled people for the purpose of socializing, therapeutics and education. Spatial zones of sensory gardens refer to different senses like taste, smell, touch, hearing, kinesthetic sense and others. Following towards social expectations, the authors of the paper have taken the task which resulted in developing detailed guidelines for constructing innovative educational and recreational path called the Greenhouse of Senses dedicated to visually impaired as well as to healthy people. Three aims were given at the beginning of the research. The first was bringing new values into education programme for children and young people with visual disorders. The second was to develop a sensory garden independent from the climate conditions. The third task was to extend the available offer aimed at advancing integration processes between disabled and non-disabled people. Chosen research methods, which are based on close cooperation with users, as well as with experts on ergonomics, pedagogy, psychology, sociology, physiology, dendrology and others, are to bring effects in the form of the development of the functional and spatial plan including the arrangement and detailed equipment for this unprecedented educational training ground of a limited volume.The assumed final effect of the authors’ research is constructing a model facility near the school for blind and partially sighted children in Dąbrowa Górnicza (Poland) and supporting the implementation of new teaching methods and reinforcing integration processes within the facility, as well as in wider range of the city and the region.
Keywords: sensory gardens, people with disabilities, blind people, innovative educational space, integration processes, universal design
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