HAND DISABILITIES STUDY AS FRAMEWORK FOR FUTURE DISABLED DESIGN - COOKING TO INCREASE SELF-ESTEEM: EVIDENCE FROM HONG KONG
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: To, Chun Wang; Shih, Yi-Teng
Institution: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Section: Ethical, social and/or environmental issues in design and engineering, and their education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.25
Hand disability, which could be considered as a part of the physical disability, is not only described as the person who lost one of their hands or arm when they have born or encountered an accident but also noticed someone whose one of their hand malfunctioned, like hemiplegic stroke patients. Those disabilities faced are not only physical issues, like mobility and dexterity, during their daily life, but also have the challenge of biopsychosocial approach and social exclusion due to the aspect of appearance and capability. Those external challenges would trigger the problem of low self-esteem and discrimination to them and influence their mental and social statements negatively. In fact, the employment rate of physical disability among the population of whole disabled persons is only 4.4% in Hong Kong, compared to the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) persons, with nearly 8 times difference (HKSAR Census and Statistics Department, 2008). To analyse the pain point and opportunity of the one-hand disabled, and understand the life experience and emotion of the one-hand person, testing and interview has been conducted in this research respectively. For testing, daily activities which have a high frequency of applying two hands with generating more force and dexterity action would be experienced because loss of strength and dexterity is also a major issue for physical disability because of the loss of muscle activity (Canning et al. 2004). The experiment showed that activities, which involved the moving of objects and plenty of steps, would take longer time for the one-hand users and have lower performance than a normal person. For interviewing, two people in Hong Kong, who were between the age of 40 and 65, with a one-hand disablement problem consented to participate in the study. Although an adaptation of one-hand activity and time consumption is a major issue for one-hand users, both participants would like to cope with the challenge by themselves independently and have a housework habit. Confidence and the capability by using a single hand is the major pain point for one-hand disability. Since cooking is a high complexity housework for them, particularly Asian cooking which contained plenty of action, like steaming and poaching soup, providing a design which could assist them to learn and cope with those difficult processes independently as a normal person does not only increase the effectiveness but also could build up their positive attitude because housework could provide a message that “ they could do it without assist” and those hand disabilities could demonstrate their own value and support to their family by themselves.