Accessible University gives some key considerations for modifying a home to fit your accessibility needs. Suggestions for an accessible kitchen include thinking about circulation throughout the area, a person's ability to reach sink, stove, and fridge as well as their ability to access drawer and cabinet contents.
Accessible University advise the following modifications for the kitchen area:
Countertops and Cabinets
60” of clear space between counter surfaces will be beneficial because you want to be able to freely navigate your kitchen space. The way cabinets are situated is important because corner cabinets and countertops can be avoided which are sometimes hard to reach. The preferred depth of vanity counter tops and cabinets is 24” deep. There are many cabinet modifications available such as, pull-out drawers within cabinets and pull-down cabinets.
Accessible University states that the best counter height for wheelchair users is between 30”-34”. Having two counters at different height levels allows all members of the household to use the space conveniently. It is advised to use pull hardware without sharp edges to ensure that cabinets can be easily opened by everyone. Pull out work surfaces at a desired height can be a suitable accessibility option for wheelchair users.
There are many features of a fridge that could maximize accessibility to consider before buying the appliance. For example, a single door versus double door and freezer below versus above or beside. One can adjust the height of the fridge by placing a base underneath it, raising the fridge above the floor. Adjusting the height of the fridge can also make it easier to reach the shelves inside.
For sinks in the kitchen space, it is advised to use extra shallow sinks, 7-10” deep, and located 32”-34” from sink rim to floor with clear knee space below. Consider using pull-down sprayer faucets and single lever handles that control both flow and temperature. These types of faucets seem to be the easiest to use.
There are certain stove tops that are more accessible than others that can reduce danger when in use. Consider using side by side burners for accessibility as opposed to having to reach across burners. It’s also important for controls to be located on the front of the stove rather than the back. An accessible oven with a side opening door 16”-34” above the floor is ideal for accessibility. Toaster ovens and microwaves are also an option for heating up items.
Check out the original article for more details on kitchen accessibility!
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