Adaptive Tools For Independence: Cooking

This article contains a video
Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

The Reeve Foundation has partnered with Craig Hospital to introduce a new health video series called Adaptive Tools for Independence, highlighting functional tools and adaptive equipment available to assist individuals living with paralysis or limited hand functions to gain more independence in their day to day activities. 

In the video above, two people with cervical level spinal cord injuries make a complex meal (homemade guacamole and refried beans). The video shows the adaptive cooking tools the pair use as well as the step by step cooking process.

The video begins by giving you a quick overview of all the adaptive cooking tools such as openers, cutting tools, measuring tools, and adaptive utensils.


The cooking process begins at 0:45 as one of the individuals is shown cutting open a pack of cilantro with adaptive scissors. Then the cilantro is placed on a cutting board and the individual uses an adaptive quad knife to chop the cilantro into fine pieces. She then picks the chopped cilantro off the cutting board and puts it into easy grip soft mixing bowls. 

Next, the individual gets the food processor and holds it against her chest for more stability as she pulls the lid off. With the food processor open, she pours the cilantro inside. She then begins cutting open an avocado using an adaptive table/steak knife. She is able to use the knife with just one finger. The avocado is then cut in half and she is able to put each half between her hands squeezing the avocado out of its shell into the food processor.

Next, the video shows an individual opening a container of garlic (2:15) while sitting the ingredients on an adaptive cutting board. He then places a few pieces of garlic in the food processor. He then uses a rocking knife to get the foil off the top of a container of sour cream. The pair then help each other as one person tilts the container while the other person scoops out the sour cream with an adaptive spoon into a small mixing bowl. The mixing bowl is then poured into the food processor. 

The adaptive jar holder, soft-grip opener, and electric salt and pepper shaker are then demonstrated as the individual continues to prepare ingredients for the guacamole. Next, a pepper is cut using the rocking knife (4:05).

Refried Beans

Next, an individual demonstrates how to open a can of beans using a hands-free can opener. He has the can sitting on a laptop tray on his lap. He then pours the can into a pan on the stove, stabilizing the pan with an adaptive tool. He attaches a universal cuff or grip to his cooking utensil allowing him to cook the beans independently. 

The video shows an individual pouring sauce into a microwavable bowl and placing it into the microwave. She then puts on heat resistance oven mitts to get the hot bowl out of the microwave when it is finished heating. 

The cooking is finished, and they are ready to eat. Bon Appetit! 

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