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Adapted Garden Tools For a Child with TAR Syndrome

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Student Designers: Christopher Kobe, Matthew Baron, Kalen Riley (Duke University)


Client Using the Shoe Attachment Rake
Client Using the Shoe Attachment Rake

Due to a genetic condition called TAR syndrome, our client does not have fully developed arms and is limited in activities such as gardening. He wishes to maintain a garden, but is unable to do so using tools currently available on the commercial market. The goal of this project was to design custom tool solutions to allow our client to independently accomplish this task. Ideal tools would be light, durable, easy to grip, engage the other body parts, and accomplish all required jobs. A shoe attachment tool, a weeder rod, and an integrated body-rod have been built to collectively allow for completion of all necessary gardening tasks. Results have shown that the client is able to effectively and enjoyably utilize these tools to perform the tasks with ease.


Our goal is to develop tools and equipment that will allow him to perform all of the desired gardening tasks on his own. The overall design of our project will include three main types of devices: a weeding rod, a tool attachment to the client’s shoe, and an integrated body-rod with tool. These three tools can be used to collectively fill all roles of maintaining a garden. The rod will be used for weeding, the shoe attachment for digging and raking, and the integrated body-rod for hoeing.

For full story, visit Adapted Garden Tools For a Child with TAR Syndrome