Adaptive equipment in cooking helps people who have disabilities, whether they are visually impaired or deaf (or have any other type of disability, such as arthritis), to be able to gain some independence and freedom when it comes to cooking and preparing their own meals. Adaptive equipment assists individuals in being able to depend on themselves for their food needs. Adaptive equipment is particularly useful for individuals who only have one hand, or only are able to use one hand.
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What are the different functions in which adaptive equipment can help individuals? Some examples are having two pins on a specialised, adapted cutting board to hold food in place during cutting, spread boards that can stabilise food items such as bread (to make sure the bread doesn't move as food is being spread over it), a one-handed dish scrubber that is suctioned to either the side or the bottom of the sink (to enable the washing of utensils using only one hand) and pan holders that can prevent pans from moving while cooking with the stove.
Cooking isn't the only area in which adaptive equipment is helpful. People with disabilities can benefit from adaptive equipment when it comes to mobility, eating meals, dressing themselves, personal grooming and hygiene and other normal, everyday activities.
Adaptive equipment for those who only have one hand (or only have the use of one hand) is very useful. For single-hand cooking, there are a lot of convenient equipment choices, such as roller knives (with round blades like pizza cutters), bowls and plates with sideguards (these stop food from slipping), stationary peelers (which include suction cups to hold them in place during fruit or vegetable peeling), stationary cutting boards (utilising aluminium prongs to stabilise food during the cutting process) and scrubbers (these enable one-hand scrubbing).
Some other popular and commonly used adaptive equipment tools for cooking are reachers (which assist people in picking up things that might be too far away from them), tools to help open jars, mirrors that hang over stoves to enable people to see inside of pots while sitting in their wheelchairs and mouth sticks for people who have absolutely no use of either hands.
If you would like to purchase adaptive equipment for cooking over the Internet, there are a lot of great online vendors that have diverse and large selections of these kinds of cooking tools. Some websites to check out include The Wright Stuff, Maxi Aids (Products for Independent Living) and several others.
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