טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentKay Zivia
SubjectDevelopment and Design of an Occupational Therapy Model for
the Improvement of Social Skills with Special
Needs Population
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor Professor Ron Nabarro


Abstract

The background for this thesis is the search for a way to use product design to answer social needs, examining the conditions in which it is possible to develop an occupational therapy model for the special-needs population. The model is designed to be used as a guideline for determining visual preferences and for the organization of spatial order in therapeutic environments designed to increase the range of social skills of the users.

The research hypotheses are based on theoretical and practical determinations according to which a person’s functioning increases under preferred environmental conditions (Toglia, 1993).

The main Research question formulated for the basis of this thesis was:

  • How is it possible to plan and design an occupational model that will be utilized as an environment for creating social interactions for the special needs population with different abilities?

Stages of research and development were held at the Moriah Home for the special needs population, amongst a group of adults aged 21 to 28.

The aim of the development and design stage was to define a visual code to be activated by two users that have no common cultural or social referential basis

Subsequent to the aims a physical three dimensional model was built for two users that implemented the conclusions of the exploratory research.

The research and development process led to the conclusions that the occupational therapy model for the improvement of social skills with special needs population, needs to include the following principals:

  • The regulations of the activity need to be adapted on a basic level that is not connected to personal preference.
  • Two visual components will stimulate the users to do the activity: the work surface and the state of the partner’s hands.
  • Definition of a workspace that includes the components for the completion of only one task at a time.
  • The script for the use needs to create a functional interdependence between the two users. The execution process thus firmed will be ultimative to the point of the lack of need for decision-making.
  • The task execution will not need learning or interpretation and will activate the users on the instinctive level..
  • Design elements will rely on the use of contrasts such as: full and empty...
  • Visual and functional components will be translated into basic concepts such as: filling up, pouring …