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Tag Archives: Accessible

  • 5 Things to Consider in a Disability-Friendly Kitchen Design

    When the word "disabled" or "disability" comes to mind, we always associate the many hindrances and constant dependence on others for assistance. However, with great advancements in the last century, many actions can be taken to make surroundings more accessible to all individuals. Even contemporary homes are designed to be disability-friendly, where an individual can easily perform their home routine activities regularly. In these homes, kitchens are specifically to allow the user to perform their activities with ease. Below: are the top 5 to consider when designing an accessible kitchen.

    Spacious Layout: The first thing you to consider is the kitchen layout. If a user is using a wheelchair or a walker, they will need more space to move around. Even the kitchen entrance should have a clearance of 40" to allow the user to pass through without too much maneuvering. An L-shaped layout is extremely spacious, and allows for great floor space for the user to move around the kitchen easily. However, if the user opted for a U-shaped kitchen then it should be at least 60" wide.

    Image Credit: Trueden Disablity

    Extended Countertops: While using a wheelchair or walker, an individual requires a lot more space to position themselves while working at a counter. An individual with a wheelchair or walker should have countertops at the appropriate to allow them to work without being uncomfortable. Even underneath the counter, there should be enough space for the wheelchair, so the user can sit as close to the counter as possible and conduct activities comfortably, while cabinetry can be placed on the sides.

    Cabinet Accessories for Storage: In kitchen storage, the cabinetry should be placed in such a way for the user to access all spaces easily. Wall cabinetry should be placed closer to the counter and include accessories that allow the user to fully utilize their storage. Some accessories include, adjustable shelves, pull out shelves, or pull down shelves. For storage purposes, the user should put the most-used items in their floor cabinets, as they are more accessible. Other items can easily be placed in wall cabinetry so the user can access the items as needed

    Image Credit: Lewis Builder

    Appliances Within Easy Reach: All appliances should be placed within easy reach. In a conventional kitchen, one can stack appliances vertically and use them. However in an accessible kitchen, the appliances should be strategically placed for the user to access whenever they need. For example, appliances should be installed closer to the floor, while the dishwasher should be raised from the floor. The hob should have staggered burners next to each other, as opposed to burners in front and back of each other.

    Image Credit: Pinterest

    User-Friendly Sink: Finally, the kitchen sink should have space underneath to accommodate a wheelchair or walker, and ensure that there is no knee injury while using it. In terms of drainage, the drain should be placed towards the back of the sink, to prevent the piping underneath from getting entangled with the wheelchair. All pipes should be insulated and towards the wall to avoid any unnecessary injury.

    Image Credit: Universal Design Style

    Accessible kitchens need just as much design attention as a regular kitchen. With the appropriate measurements and facilities, this kitchen can be just as functional. When considering an accessible kitchen, remember these tips and you will have a fully functional and attractive kitchen design!

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