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Addressing accessibility in vertical farming

To make vertical farming more accessible, it's crucial to design the farm with accessibility in mind, use technology to improve accessibility, provide training and support, and partner with organizations that serve people with disabilities. By taking these steps, we can ensure that vertical farming is accessible to all, from seed to harvest.

Accessible design
When designing a vertical farm, it's important to consider the needs of people with disabilities. This may include designing the farm with wider aisles to accommodate wheelchairs, adding braille or tactile signage for people with visual impairments, and ensuring that all equipment is at an accessible height. For example, the Growcer Osiris Access farm’s workbench stows away to increase turnaround space, and is fixed at a lower height than the core Osiris design.

Use technology to improve accessibility
There are a number of technologies that can make vertical farming more accessible. For example, voice-activated controls or touch screens can be used to make it easier for people needing mobility or dexterity accommodations to control the farm. Similarly, automated systems can be used to adjust the environment in response to the needs of the plants, reducing the need for manual labour.

Provide training and support
Regardless of accessibility needs, providing thorough and long-term training and support is crucial for any vertical farming operation. This may include training on how to use the equipment, as well as information and modifications on how to adapt the farm to meet their individual needs. It’s important for those purchasing a vertical farm solution to inquire about what kind (and how much) service and support is offered by the farm providers they are considering. Many providers offer little to no follow up once the system is purchased and installed, which can leave you in the dark when normal troubleshooting is required in your vertical farm.

Partner with organizations that serve people with disabilities
To ensure that vertical farms are built with accessibility in mind, it's important to partner with organizations that serve these communities. These organizations can help to provide feedback on the design of the farm, as well as provide support and training to people with disabilities who want to get involved in vertical farming. When designing the Osiris Access, Growcer partnered with the Reena Foundation and The Rick Hansen Foundation to ensure the lived experience of people with disabilities was accounted for in the design.

For more information:
The Growcer 

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