Monday, July 23, 2012

Allez Cuisine! Cooking with AT

I love to cook. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that I really, really love to cook. The kitchen often is my sanctuary when the rest of the world seems to go crazy. During grad school when the rigors of my thesis would weigh heavily on me, I'd spend some time in the kitchen and make a delicious meal for my roommate, his girlfriend, and whomever else just happened to come by.

I know a lot of people with disabilities also share my love of cooking, but the kitchen can be problematic if you have dexterity or fine-motor issues. There's a lot of assistive technology that can help people be more than successful in their culinary pursuits. From modified utensils to protective equipment, there is a lot of really good stuff out there to help people.

Good Tools for Good Eats

Now, I don't know about you, but when I think accessible cooking utensils, I think OXO. OXO is the maker of the Good Grips line of kitchen tools. These tools were designed incorporating the principles of universal design. Now, this is where I could go into a very long lecture class diatribe discussion about universal design and it's merits, but I will save that for some resources on the subject at the end of the post. Still, the idea of universal design refers to "The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest  extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design." (courtesy of North Carolina State University's Center for Universal Design,

OXO has thoroughly embraced universal design. In fact, OXO actually says it was founded on the principles of universal design, and it's more than obvious in the development of it's products.  From angled measuring cups that you can read from the top instead of the side to a pepper grinder that's not only easy to adjust the grind but also easy to grind, the attention paid to universally designed products shines through. While they might not have specialty items like scoop dishes or weighted utensils, you may be surprised by all of the wonderful tools they do have. I know personally, I will never use another whisk but my OXO GoodGrips whisk. You don't have to go to fancy shops to get GoodGrips kitchen tools. Here in Delaware you can get them at Boscov's, Bed Bath and Beyond (watch out for that Beyond part! Found a Dalek in there once), Kitchen Kapers and even Williams Sonoma. If you want to check out the great products they have, visit their website

YouTube video that talks about OXO's design philosophy.

For more information on Universal Design, you can visit the North Carolina State University's Center for Universal Design's website at

There's also a nice website devoted to helping people better understand universal design called Universal Design Education. The website is

Make sure you come back and I will be posting more kitchen friendly AT!

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