Adaptation for people with disabilities
Medium for mushroom bag cultivation
In order to train people correctly, it is necessary that a proper mushroom farm be set for training. Large or small, the mushroom farm must offer all the facilities encountered on a commercial farm as to give hands-on experience to trainees. Annex 2 gives a detailed description of all buildings and equipment required for an appropriate training center.
There should be one incubation house for three fruiting body houses. This allows rotation of the mushroom bags.
Mushroom houses must take into account ventilation, humidity, temperature and light, while buildings and equipment need to be adapted for use and accessibility by people with disabilities. In order for people with disabilities to perform, it is necessary to create a friendly environment. This means to take into account the various disabilities that can be encountered in disabled trainees, and adapt all buildings, tools and equipment, as required.
Paved roads and access ramps to all buildings
A water trench around the mushroom house limits the entry of ants and other bugs, and allows wheelchairs to enter without difficulty. (This trench must be cleaned at least twice a month).
Doors wide enough for easy access by people in wheelchairs and tricycles.
Aisles inside mushroom houses must also allow movement and work
Height of mushroom racks must allow people sitting in wheelchairs or unable to stand to access to highest level.
The layout diagram of a commercial size mushroom production center can be found in Annex 1 and be used as reference.
Basic designs and materials are different in the case of a commercial farm and for a small private farm. These changes are necessary to lower costs and make mushroom farming accessible to poor farmers. Trainees need to learn how to make simple inexpensive mushroom houses. Grass, rice straw, dried leaves and other readily available materials can be used efficiently.
Pictures of small grass mushroom houses can be found in THE MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: preparing the mushroom house section in the second part of the manual.
Pasteurization systems also need to be adapted for use by people with disabilities.
Pasteurization chamber must be built lower than standard, for easy access by people in wheelchair and those unable to stand.
Pasteurization systems can also be made with used drums and appropriate material. This will be especially interesting for those new entrepreneurs who wish to make their own mushroom bags in order to generate higher income. Details can be found in Preparing the Mushroom House section.
The medium used in mushroom bags varies from one farmer to another. Each one hopes to have the best recipe to make high yield, fast growing, sweet and tender mushrooms. A recipe is proposed in the second part of the manual, Producing substrate bags section (pp. 60 - 61). It can be used for all types of mushrooms cultivated in bags and can be modified through Research and Development.
Ingredients used include:
For appropriate training, teaching equipment such as video and pictures could be most useful, to show how other people with disabilities countered their disabilities. It is most helpful for trainees to see and try different production systems. This will allow them to compare the benefits of each so they can select the one most suitable for their personal needs considering their disability and personal preference.
Tables and chairs for theory, overhead projector, video and television with speakers for visual presentations, white board for supplemental information.