Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Birding as a leisure task may facilitate increased quality of life and regulate the nervous system through nature-based experiences; however, there are no prior published studies that examine adaptive birding equipment, making this research a crucial addition to the field of occupational therapy. Existing birding equipment is built very heavily, making it difficult for users to apply and reposition during the act of birding. This capstone project focused on adaptive birding equipment use by power wheelchair users to determine the supportive features that best facilitated participation in birding from their mobility devices. Researchers purchased lighter weight mounts and various optics frequently used to bird. Birders were recruited to analyze the mount and optic features that best supported their ability to bird from their mobility device Participants all agreed that grippy materials on components of both mounts and optics, lightweight designs, and ability to reposition the equipment to their own personal preferences were key features that enhanced their experiences. This research advances occupational therapy practice into non-traditional, nature-based settings, and aims to facilitate self-reflection on professionals’ pre-existing knowledge of mounting systems and physical disabilities, to connect that knowledge to the occupation of birding.
Field, Alexander, "Features of Optics and Mounts that Facilitate Participation in Birding for Power Wheelchair Users: An Exploratory Study" (2023). Capstone Projects. 25.