Archive for 'Accessibility'

There’s a microwave oven in that drawer!

Universal design leads to products that are usable by all individuals, regardless of their abilities. This is something that has been lacking in microwave ovens, which are normally placed on the counter or above an oven. This makes it difficult for people in wheelchairs, of short stature, or those without the arm strength to lift their food up into the oven. This also makes it dangerous to bring hot food down from the built-in oven.

Sharp has a line of microwaves that solve this issue. The ovens are built like drawers. The cooking space slides out effortlessly and can be placed under the counter.

Sharp KB-6524PS 24-Inch Microwave Drawer Oven, Stainless

This video gives a better view of the oven. Just don’t follow this guy’s method of inserting a casserole dish, you may end up with half of it on the floor.

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How to cook with one hand tied behind your back

Sooner or later you will find yourself with out full usability of both hands.  It could be a broken arm, sprained wrist, arthritis, or even a bad cut. For some, this is a more permanent situation. Having the use of only one hand shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the kitchen. The following gadgets make it easy to open bottles, chop veggies, and be the hostest with the mostest… just minus one appendage.
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The ultimate bread machine by Zojirushi

To borrow a phrase from Oldsmobile, the Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme Breadmaker is not your father’s bread machine. This thing is like P Diddy, it’s got a devoted possy of bread loving moms.

Zojirushi BB-CEC20WB Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker, White

This bread machine has features you won’t find in lesser bread machines. You can even use it to make meatloaf and strawberry jam. It’s got a rectangular bowl and two mixers to create large, perfectly baked loafs. It has 10 pre-programmed settings, 3 crust shades, LCD control panel and a 13-hour delay timer.

Here’s a review of the machine by JR.com

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Scoop plates and bumpers make it easier to eat

Most people choose their dinner ware for the colors, patterns, and shapes. It’s an aesthetic decision. We want something that looks good when we eat.

For others, the right dish may not have a colorful pattern. Instead, it features a special lip that makes it easier to pick up food with the spoon. Scoop plates and bumpers give people with Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, and other disabilities that affect motor skills the ability to eat independently.

Scoop plates have one section of the rim that ‘s elevated to give you a surface to “scoop” against with a utensil, making food easier to pick up. Food bumpers are translucent strips of plastic that can be used to give any plate similar scooping capability.

A Guide to Easier Living with Technology

Scoop Plate

This is your standard scoop plate. It features a tall edge that curves inward and a non-skid bottom. One reviewer explains the independence this plate provides “For anyone who has a special needs child these plates are awesome! My granddaughter can eat on her own now and enjoy the freedom and success thanks to this plate.
Parson's Scoop Plates

Plate Bumper

For those who like to dine out, the plate bumper attaches to a standard plate and offers similar scooping functionality. This curved plastic edge provides a vertical surface for the spoon to scoop against.

Plate Guard Clear Large

While the scoop plate and plate bumper are pretty simple devices; they allow people to eat independently. Sometimes the simplest designs make the largest impact.



Parson's Scoop Plate


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Mega Popsicle Sword for kids to Swallow

You’re never too young to practice your circus sideshow talents. This popsicle holder helps your kids practice their sword swallowing.

Dripstik Frozen Treat Holder

This holder can handle just about any frozen treat. It has cups that capture any melted sticky stuff. It’s also good for non-kids that need something bigger to hold.

This holder can handle just about any frozen treat. It has cups that capture any melted sticky stuff. It’s also good for non-kids that need something bigger to hold.

How the pros do it

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Great Gifts for the Baby Boomer Chef

Let’s face it. At a certain age, things become just a wee bit more difficult. The following gifts will make cooking and baking more enjoyable for the chef with a bit of patina around the edges. These are helpful items without screaming “institutional”.

1. OXO’s Angled Measuring Cups

Imagine you are measuring a cup of hot water. You pour the water into a measuring cup and then lift the cup to your eyes to see if it hits the right mark. This gives inaccurate readings due to the cup not being level. So then you put it onto the counter and bend down to see the marks.

OXO removes the bending and guesswork of measuring with these ingenious cups. There’s a angled ledge within the cups. To measure, you simply pour in your liquid and look straight down into the cup. It’s accurate and very easy to use.

OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Cup, Set of 3

2. Rabbit Wine Opener

The Rabbit wine opener takes the effort out of uncorking a bottle of wine. It’s simple to use and makes anyone as graceful as a sommelier. This candy apple red version also looks great in the bar.

Metrokane Vertical Rabbit Lever Style Corkscrew with Foil Cutter, Candy Apple Red

3. Vibrating Kitchen Timer

The kitchen can be a noisy environment, especially when there are multiple dishes on the stove at the same time. This easy to use timer lets you know it’s time to take the cake out of the oven with a vibration as well as an auditory alarm. It features large buttons and one-handed operation. You can also set it to remind you about the roast in the oven, the beans on the stove, and the pie-crust in the freezer.

American Innovative Klip Vibe Kitchen Dual Timer/Clock/Stopwatch, Charcoal

This kitchen timer by General Tools also provides a flashing light alarm.

General Tools TI150 3-in-1 Timer for the Visually and Hearing Impaired

4. Remote Grill Thermometer

Avoid repetitive trips to the patio to check the barbq with this remote temperature probe. Simple insert the probe into the meat on your grill and carry the remote with you.

Choose from eight entree programs including beef, lamb, veal, hamburger, pork, turkey, chicken, and fish, along with four doneness selections, which include rare, medium rare, medium, and well done. Two verbal and three audio alert options indicate the status of food–almost ready, ready, and overcooked. After reaching the selected temperature, an audio alarm will sound.

Oregon Scientific AW131 Grill Right Wireless Talking Oven/Barbeque Thermometer

5. Black and Decker Jar Opener

Opening jars can literally be a pain for those with arthritis and stiff joints. This bottle opener by Black and Decker looks good on the counter and makes opening most jars a piece of cake.

Black and Decker Lids Off Jar Opener

6. Salt and Pepper Grinders

OXO is known for extremely well designed items that are easy to use. These grinders are no exception. This review says it best.

My sister turned me onto OXO kitchenware a few years back. She has issues gripping utensils. I liked them for their construction, how well they work and easy clean up. I saw these mills and loved the look and the quality materials they are made of. They are solidly constructed yet still light enough not to cause issues for those that OXO items were designed.

Both mills have adjustments on the collar above the see-through storage portion. There are little “ears” that allow selection of one of five various settings for “fine” through coarse granules to exit the mill.
I wouldn’t call any of the dispensed salt or pepper “fine” but that’s perfectly okay for me and my family. Please consider other options if you like “pepper dust” as these puppies just won’t grind that fine.

As others have noted, the mills set “upright” with the ceramic teeth facing the sky. It seems a little point, but how often have you lifted your old pepper mill to find flecks on the counter or table top? Filling and actual turning of the base portion to dispense either the pepper or salt is effortless.
Bruce Porter – Amazon.com

OXO Good Grips Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

7. Collapsible Step Stool

Every kitchen should have a step stool. I’m over 6 feet tall and I use this stool all the time to reach the deepest sections of the upper cabinets. It’s sturdy and very easy to fold up for storage. Just push the red button and lift up on the handle and it collapses for storage next to the fridge. It has non-slip feet and can hold a big bubba like me.

Polder 90401-91H 2-Step Mini-Stool

8. GelPro Floor Mat for the Kitchen

It’s not easy to stand in the kitchen for long periods of time. Especially when making a big batch of strawberry preserves and you have to stir the pot for 30+ minutes. This thick, cushioned floor mat takes the stress off your angles and makes extended kitchen chores much nicer. You can get it in various colors and sizes.

GelPro Basketweave Mat, 20 by 36 Inches, Truffle

9. KittyKaddy Pet Feeder

Pets make a home. The KittyKaddy makes it easier to give cats fresh water and food. There’s a long handle that prevents bending over to reach the bowls. The K9Kaddy is for dogs and there’s even a cat litter box with a tall handle.

Kittykaddy Double Pet Feeder

10. Audible Alarm To Know When to Say When

Avoid burns from overfilling coffee and team mugs with this audible alarm. It sits on the side of your mug, glass, or pot and lets you know when you’ve poured in enough liquid. It’s easy to use and great for those with vision problems.

Loud Liquid Level Indicator with 9 Volt Battery

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