Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sandra Wagner

Second Advisor

Holly Grieves


The concentration area for this doctoral capstone experience (DCE) was program development, which occurred at the Community Connection Skill Building. This site provides services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Research has found that individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities often face barriers to community participation which can lead to poor health outcomes, engagement in more sedentary activities, and a reduction in quality of life. Participation in garden-based activities can promote health and wellbeing and establish a sense of purpose within the community. A needs assessment at the DCE site revealed the need for additional programs that provide community participation and opportunities for skill building. To address those needs, three wheelchair accessible raised beds were built and a corresponding accessible gardening program was developed for participants receiving services at the Community Connections Skill Building. The design of the garden beds presents opportunities to be utilized in various occupational therapy (OT) practice settings as part of a therapeutic intervention. Additionally, creation of this program demonstrated the benefits of inclusive program development utilizing an OT perspective and highlights the need for OTs in nontraditional settings.