Assistive Technology for Cooking and Cleaning

Some homemaking products designed for the mainstream work especially well for people with various types of disabilities. Other products have been specifically designed with accessibility features. This article covers products from both categories that are useful for cooking and cleaning tasks.

Cleaning

Automatic devices for cleaning floors such as the Roomba and Scooba have become commonplace, and may herald more widespread development of robotic devices for similar functions.

Several dishwashers have been designed so they can be loaded and unloaded by wheelchair users.

Opinions are mixed on low-effort cleaning products such as Scrubbing Bubbles for the shower and Clorox toilet cleaner, but they're probably suitable for some situations.

Cooking

Talking microwave ovens can talk users through the steps of cooking food. They are generally marketed to people with visual disabilities, but could be useful to people with cognitive disabilities as well. Some have knobs for setting the timer, instead of inaccessible touchpad controls.

A variety of cooking aids are available to help people with dexterity disabilities, especially those who have use of primarily one hand. These include food processors, mixers, and auto-stirring pans.

If you're looking for step-by-step instructions, Nintendo offers Personal Trainer: Cooking for the DS platform. It uses speech output as well as clear graphics, and has speech input for moving on to the next step or getting more detail. It can even help you shop for ingredients.

Directions for Me has electronic packaging information, including cooking directions, for thousands of products.

There are several smartphone apps that can scan product codes and retrieve nutrition information, recipes, and cooking directions, for iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile devices.

Selecting Appliances

There are also appliances that are not necessarily designed with accessibility in mind, but that are nonetheless usable. Dynamic Living put together an article on what to look for when selecting appliances.

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