Accessible Cooking Tools for Those who are Blind or Have Low Vision

Photo description
Text reads accessible cooking tools for those who are blind or have low vision.
There is a photo of a George Foreman grill below the text.

Yes, contrary to popular belief, people who are blind or have low vision are able to cook independently. It is possible to cook without sight and it can be done with few adaptations.

Every visually impaired person has a unique level of comfort in the kitchen and I am sure this is true for fully sighted people as well. Well the good news is that technology has come a long way and cooking has become even more accessible.

Today I want to highlight some tools that can make cooking more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. I have to add that I am not good at cooking at this time but I want to improve in the future. This is research that will help me as a visually impaired person and everyone else as well.

If you don’t believe that blind people can cook just watch Master Chef winner Christine Ha in action in her kitchen.

There are talking food thermometers to ensure that meat or fish is well done. There are talking kitchen scales to measure out correct amounts of ingredients. There are sets of measuring cups and spoons labeled in braille or large print available as well. Sight is not needed to cook a meal.

For those who may be like me and are not yet fully comfortable in the kitchen, here are some tools that may make things a little easier.

The George Foreman Grill

A George Foreman grill is on a table in a kitchen

I love my George Foreman grill. It is easy to use and a good tool to practice cooking easy meals like grilling chicken or vegetables. I use it to toast bread or heat up sandwiches or to heat up waffles. I hope to expand my use of it in the future. There are many recipes that can be done on the grill.

** This post is not sponsored by any of the items mentioned **

Air Fryer

I am not a fan of fried foods but I think this is an interesting product and it seems to be a healthier alternative to frying. The buttons can be made accessible by adding braille or bump dots and you would have to memorize the temperature settings or you can use an app that reads text to read the machine.

Smart oven

I recently found out about a company called Tovala. They have a smart oven that cooks food at the scan of a barcode and they have a meal delivery service to go with it. Now, I would like to learn to cook from scratch but this is still cooking for me because they send you all the ingredients you need but all you have to do is put it in the oven. This is a good way to begin to learn to cook.

I would also probably get a regular toaster oven to practice baking instead of the smart oven.

Some extra thoughts

Cooking is accessible to all. To make the stove accessible you can put bump dots to identify the low, medium and high settings. Cooking is an adventure and I hope to start on mine soon. What are some of your favorite recipes to cook?

The Chromebook is an Accessible Option for Those who are Blind or have Low Vision

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Text reads the chromebook is an accessible option for those who are blind or have low vision
There is a photo of an open black chromebook below the text

Now that school has begun I want to shine a spotlight on the chromebook. I know that these computer models are not new but I want to highlight the built-in accessibility that is available. I believe that the chromebook is one of the most affordable options for those who are blind or have low vision. 

The chromebook comes with a screen reader called Chromevox, it is fully accessible out of the box. The computer turns on when you lift the top, you will be taken to a sign in page. It is very easy to activate the screen reader right from the sign in screen. 

  • Press control, alt and z at the same time to turn the screen reader on and off. 

I was so thankful that I was able to set up my chromebook on my own without any sighted assistance. 

I will mention that the chromebook is mainly for searching the internet and taking notes and writing papers or creating presentations, and it has a webcam that can be used for meetings. I would not recommend it for gaming. 

Here is a short video I shared on my Instagram page where I give a short demo on how it works.

I hope that this is a helpful tip for anyone looking for an affordable and accessible laptop.

Starbucks Gets an A+ in Accessibility

Text reads starbucks gets an A+ in accessibility.
The A+ is in red and the other text is white on a black background
---- #accessibility  #restaurants #braille #largeprint

When businesses disregard accessibility, they can expect to lose out on revenue. 

One of the most frustrating aspects for me as someone with a disability is to encounter businesses that completely disregard accessibility. I wrote a post on how businesses can become more accessible, you can read it here.

As someone with a vision impairment, I am mainly looking for any print materials and web pages to be fully accessible. 

I recently went to eat at a restaurant and as I usually do I went to their website to check the menu so I would be able to choose my order beforehand as I am not able to read the print menus. Sadly, the website only had a photo of the menu. T did not include any description and therefore was not accessible. I had to ask someone to read the menu to me while at the restaurant.I personally would not return to this place.

It is important to highlight businesses that are making an effort to be accessible to everyone. I recently found out that Starbucks started to provide menus in braille and in large print. This is an excellent step towards accessibility. Learn more in the video below.

I hope that more restaurants will follow this example. Do you know of restaurants that care about accessibility? Highlight them below in the comments.

The MTA Tap and Go System Enhances Accessibility for all Riders

Text on image reads the mta omny tap and go system enhances accessibility for all riders. The image below the text shows an entrance to a subway station in New York city.
The photo of an NYC subway station is by ShonEjai via Pixabay

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is currently upgrading its payment system to a tap and go contactless system. This allows riders to pay their fare by simply tapping their card or mobile phone on a designated reader. It will also work with smart watches. Learn more about how the technology works here.

This is a great step towards improving accessibility. The MetroCard that is used now has to be swiped and inserted in a certain direction. I have low vision and on days where I was rushing to catch a train I could easily get confused on which way to insert the card.

This upgrade will speed up the process for everyone. Those with mobility issues would just have to swipe their smart watch.

Swiping a card does add extra time and now being able to simply tap and go will cut down the time it takes to enter the turnstyle or paying the fare in a bus.

Here is a demonstration of how the MTA OMNY system works.

The MetroCard will only be accepted until 2023. Then it will go the way of the token.

I have not been able to try this but I would definitely like to try it when I get an opportunity.

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Spotlight: Traveleyes – A Unique Travel Experience for People who are Blind or have Low Vision

Text reads a unique travel experience for those who are blind or have low vision. There is a photo of Parlament, the palace and big ben in england below the text.
Photo of the palace, Parlament and Big Ben in England is by derwiki via Pixabay

*This post is not sponsored by Traveleyes*

Do you enjoy traveling? Do you find your loss or lack of eyesight to be an obstacle to travel, or has it made travel less enjoyable? Well, today i want to spotlight a company that offers a unique travel experience to people who are blind or visually impaired. 

Traveleyes provides independent group travel for people who are blind or have low vision. The unique aspect is that each group is made up of a mix of sighted and blind and visually impaired individuals. The sighted participants help to provide sighted guide and to describe the sights. There is a 50% discount for sighted participants. This allows those who are blind or partially sighted to travel independently without having to rely on family. 

Traveleyes handles all of the details including the entire itinerary.  Click here to learn more about how it all works.

I have not used this service myself but I hope to be able to do so in the future. I would love to visit England one day and other places as well. Individuals, couples and small groups are welcome. I think it is important that this allows a person who is blind or has low vision to travel independently because they do not have to rely on family or friends to travel and they can go on their own schedule. I know my family would probably not want to fly all the way to England or other far off destinations. This service would give me an opportunity to travel on my own. It is also nice to know that the sighted individuals want to contribute and help guide and describe the sights as they agree to this when signing up for the trip. I would not feel like I was asking for too much or feel like a burden when asking for descriptions or for sighted guide. I think this would make the vacation much more enjoyable for me. It is a great benefit that sighted participants get a discount because they offer a very helpful service. 

Click here to learn more about the destinations you can explore with them.

I should add that you should check the site to find out when the tours will be taking place as the pandemic has changed travel rules.

So if you feel safe enough to travel again or when you do feel safe enough you should look into Traveleyes.  I hope to take part in one of their travel tours one day.