Anyone with disabilities?

plant_dr

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Does anyone know of bonsai-ists out there who pursue this hobby despite any physical impairments or limitations?

When I was a teenager, I was involved in a shooting accident that left the left side of my body paralyzed for the rest of my life. At first I couldn't move a muscle on that side, but as time went by I was able to regain enough movement to walk and function enough to be able to live a normal and full life. I'm to the point now where most people can't tell there is anything wrong with me except for a slight limp.

I can do pretty much anything I put my mind to. My left hand and foot are still pretty useless though and I was wondering if there are others out there that have to deal with similar issues. How have you accomodated for this?
 

Concorde

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plant dr,

Good question. We have an annual show and monthly club meeting. Both places are acceptable according to the guildlines of the ADA. Some people that attend our monthly club meeting are handicapped and we provide any assistance needed in regard to the bonsai they are working on. Before I retired, I was employed with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs for over 30 year and worked extensively with disabled veterans. Don't know if this is helpful. If I can provide anymore information, please let me know.

Art
 
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Yes, I met one guy in Mexico recently who joined my workshop. His both hands have no fingers, hardly can handle shears, but I was touched by his anthusiasm to work on his material and he was doing wonderful design.

Keep going plants dr., Beethoven composed his famous masterpiece Ninth Symphony while he was losing his hearing..and you are luckier than him...

Robert S
http://robert-steven.ofbonsai.org
 

FrankP999

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I had polio as a child and now have additional major weakness in the right leg from post-polio syndrome. I get fatuiged easily so I break my tasks into small chunks with rest in between. Setting up a work station for repotting with a chair and table at comfortable height helps. My wife is a champ helping with moving heavy things like bags of soil components. Good luck and welcome to the 'nut house :)

Frank
 

Charles M

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I have dyspraxia (impaired physical coordination) as a result of Asperger Syndrome. For that reason, my wiring was, is, and always will be sloppy. I can look at and admire the jewel-like wiring jobs other artists do, but I just cannot make my fingers perform the necessary fine movements.

Just something I've had to deal with.
 

plant_dr

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Thanks for sharing everybody.
 

JudyB

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I would imagine that this is a reasonably good hobby for disabled persons as long as there is someone to help out. Like gardening is for wheelchair bound folks if you build a raised bed system... Hope for all, and gardening in any form is uplifting. keep on keepin on. :)
 

armetisius

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3 anterior compression fractures of L1-L3 resulting in arthritic spine,
and scoliosis reminiscent of Richard III. Short bursts of endeavor
followed by "get the hell away from me". Red wagon to move plants,
soil components, pots, anything with weight and/or mass sufficient
to cause any strain. Kind of like Tai chi bonsai done by Grumpy Old Man.
If not for Brent I wouldn't have a potted petunia 'cause caring for it would
be too much. Hoses everywhere. Mowing is a joy because of the hoses.
Potting is a chore; wiring a long-term project; pruning done over weeks
instead of days. Love of an action spurs modification of endeavors.
And I have to live in the last state that will legalize my best source of pain
relief; started refusing opiates in the 80's--still do. Still enjoy the look on a
doctor's face when I tell them to forget their poisons and still have a fully
functioning liver because of it.
 

jomawa

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Funny you should create this thread. I've been chuckling many times recently when I read through wiring technique or watch someone without the difficulty of a partial hand, (I'm still able to hold a hand full of nails and manuever them out one at a time to hand nail them, but I digress). Luckily it's only my left hand that was damaged at seventeen years old, (I'm right handed). Back to wiring, not sure which looks worse, the wiring job or the hand that attempts to hold the branch, while also holding/manipulating the wire end to it and also doing all that is done with the non-pliars hand. Takes a bit of creativity and a heck of a lot more time but I simply do what I gotta do. When I fillet my fish or cut up a deer, that is truly where the difficulty is manefested. Getting a thumb and couple fingers to grip a slimmy hunk of meat while using in close proximity a sharp knife in the other hand, now that is really frustrating, but I do it. Not about to shell out bucks to a meat cutter. I do it myself and simply do what I gotta do, always have. And yeah, it'd be nice to tie knots in the fishing line four times faster, like all those others spending more time casting than tying, but I do what I gotta do. Give up fishing? Wire tying? Nailing nails? Cutting meat? Nope. Not an option!
Oh, and when you come across the ADA bonsai wiring video(s) for those with serious hand complications, please enter it/them in this thread. In the meantime I'll just do what I gotta do, and fortunately I took the typing class prior to the hand damage. Getting faster all the time.
And thanks for asking.
 

michaelj

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I wouldn't claim disabled status, but my blood pressure was on the verge of requiring medication, and I dropped my numbers almost 40 points with my immersion into bonsai two years ago. Between the peacefulness and the exercise, it worked wonders.
 

DougB

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I have to use a cane due to peripheral neuropathy and also have essential tremors primarily in my fingers and hands (but also now in my voice box). Mostly shohin as I can not carry the larger pots and trees. My trimming is often one hand holding the other that has the scissors and bracing against the trunk or a branch. Beautiful wiring -- no way. But the tree often doesn't know how badly it looks. I often will just use crude guy wires -- but it works and I enjoy my trees.

One last note I use a walker when I go to bonsai events and folks are always kind and helpful. And when I attend a workshop there are always some experienced folks that will help or often do some of my trimming and wiring.

Bonsai folks though we often disagree about everything are the most considerate and helpful you will ever find.
 

JudyB

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Good for you guys. Just keep on plugging away at it. If it gives you one moment of peace for every 15 minutes of frustration, then take that one moment and run with it. I have great respect for folk who have such issues, and just deal.
 

Ironbeaver

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I'm red-green colourblind. I have trouble telling when leaves have turned a bad shade of green (or brown). I once watered a dead juniper for nearly a month before I realized it died. It also makes choosing a pot colour potentially problematic (if something looks good to me it may not look harmonious to someone with regular colour vision)
 

eferguson1974

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I had polio as a child and now have additional major weakness in the right leg from post-polio syndrome. I get fatuiged easily so I break my tasks into small chunks with rest in between. Setting up a work station for repotting with a chair and table at comfortable height helps. My wife is a champ helping with moving heavy things like bags of soil components. Good luck and welcome to the 'nut house :)

Frank
My grandmother had polio when she was a kid. Her hand would turn up in an odd way, and she had trouble all her life struggling with the effects. I happily helped her with many mAny garden projects and other stuff. One thing it didnt do was slow down her mind! She didnt let it stop her from living 89 years, sharp as a tack. But I know your struggle. Im glad it cant stop you either! Its put many in a wheelchair.
 

Mr GeaRbOx

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I was a medic for 10 years and was injured in the line of duty. Long story short, I was unrestrained in the rear compartment with a critical patient when my partner crashed the rig. Several herniated disks and annulus tears in my lumbar spine as well as a fractured pelvis. Took almost 3 years to be able to walk without assistance. As others with back problems have stated, my mods basically consist of keeping everything elevated so I never have to bend over. My next project will be elevating the hose bib :)
Hats off to the people persisting in bonsai with hand or arm injuries.

Thank you all for sharing.
 

Lionheart

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I had a table saw accident and lost half of my left thumb. It only affects my bonsai whenever I'm doing fine wiring or plucking needles etc.
 
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