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Your guide to designing kitchens for people with disabilities, advice, kitchen suppliers and manufacturers

Designing kitchens for people with disabilities



Many families have members who are disabled in some way. The kitchen design in these cases has to cater for their particular needs, which might include physical or learning difficulties or confused and forgetful behaviour. Many, many families have a requirement for  wheelchair accessible kitchens

Where the needs of the disabled are concerned specialist advice should be sought. There are access issues where wheelchairs have to be accommodated, adapted controls for the blind and safety features for people with problem behaviour.

For people with learning difficulties, autism and Asperger syndrome, visual aids such as picture symbols can be useful, to identify contents in cupboards for instance. For people with arthritis physical aids can assist those with a poor grip to open taps, hold utensils, maneuver pots and pans

RCD (Residual Current Device) sockets can provide some protection for electrical appliances, door opening restrictors can prevent access to harmful products. Flame failure cutouts on gas hobs ensure that the gas is not left on and induction hob ensure that there is no flame or hot plate to burn oneself on.

Planning work top heights, width of access ways and the height of storage for essential items can ensure that a physically disabled family member may use the kitchen independently.

A person with memory loss, such as in Altzheimers disease might benefit from audible timers and alarms to remind them when it is time to start or finish a task. Visual aids might act as prompts and reminders for people who are forgetful from one minute to another.

If you have a person with a disability in your household, seek specialist advice before designing your kitchen. A useful website with a question and answers section is the U.K. Kitchen and Bathroom Suppliers Association. There are also many professional and voluntary organisations that can help, such as those with links on this page.





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