Adaptive equipment offers support for people who need or want assistance completing daily living tasks. Modified tools and appliances can make kitchen tasks easier for people with physical, intellectual, visual and hearing disabilities. With equipment tailored specifically to individual needs, people of all ability levels can successfully and efficiently navigate the kitchen.
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Auditory timing devices and visual timers provide an accessible way to measure cooking time. Braille, large print and talking timers help people with visual impairments keep track of how long an item should cook. Other timers provide larger dials that are easier to manipulate for people with dexterity issues. Vibrating and flashing timers are available for people with hearing impairments.
Visual cookbooks give directions in pictures, symbols or basic phrases. Step-by-step instructions clearly and systematically provide information for people with limited reading skills. Picture cookbooks provide information on kitchen safety and instructions on how to use basic utensils and avoid common kitchen injuries.
Spill or splatter guards on plates, bowls and other kitchen containers force food down into the bowl toward the utensil. Talking thermometers display and read the temperature out loud for people who have visual impairments or difficulty interpreting numbers. Nonslip placemats prevent kitchen items from easily moving. Setting a mixing bowl on a nonslip mat supports people with limited or spastic movement by preventing the bowl from sliding on the counter. Utensils with modified handles also support people with physical disabilities. Spoons with thicker handles and knives made with a handle at a right angle provide a larger surface for easy and safe gripping.
Microwave ovens can be made accessible by adding tactile marks to settings a person with a disability uses frequently. Small personal grills with heat control capabilities and built-in timers are easy for those with limited dexterity to manipulate. People who are not comfortable using a stove may be able to use slow cookers to prepare their meals. Talking coffee makers speak while automatically performing functions and may have an option to allow the user to speak commands to the machine.
Measuring cups and spoons labelled with large print, tactile markings, colours or symbols help people with reading or visual disabilities gauge ingredients using alternative techniques. Talking scales announce weight according to the user's choice of measurement. Liquid level indicators emit a sound when the liquid reaches a sensor that is inserted into a container.
Can and Jar Openers
Moulded nonslip materials grip jars firmly to assist people with physical limitations. Automatic one-touch can openers rest on top of a can and cut it open from the side. Tab openers provide a small hook that can be inserted underneath a tab on a soda or soup can for users who have limited dexterity to pull up the tabs with their fingers.
Purchasing Adaptive Kitchen Equipment
A variety of online stores provide adaptive kitchen equipment for people of all abilities. Some cooking tools found at large retail stores can also work well for people with disabilities. Stores that specialise in adaptive devices sell equipment tailored to specific disabilities or requiring more intense modification.
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