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?

(I) Independent Living (#AToZChallenge 2021)

The blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter I graphic is on the top center. Text below reads independent living
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter I graphic is available here.

My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired and to squash misconceptions regarding blindness and low vision.

One of the misconceptions that some people have about blind or visually impaired people is that they are not able to live independently. People think that they need a caregiver at all times. In this post I want to share that it is possible for a blind person to live independently. I am visually impaired myself and I do still live with my parents but this is my choice and it has nothing to do with my vision impairment. 

How a person who is blind or has low vision handles money

First, to have money, you must have a source of income. It is true that over 70 percent of people that are blind or visually impaired are unemployed, but it is possible for a blind or visually impaired person to hold a job in various career fields and to perform the work as well as their sighted peers due to assistive technology. I will be discussing jobs in my next post in this series. Let’s get back to the matter of money. There are apps that can identify dollar bills and there are ways to organize money in a wallet to keep track of each amount. Most banks have now moved online and this makes things even more accessible information can be accessed using screen reads which are text to speech programs that read the text on the screen. Banks also offer large print checks and some banking cards can have braille added to them. A person who is blind or has low vision is able to manage their finances independently. 

I will also add how the mail and Bill’s are read.

How a person who is blind or has low vision cooks and shops for groceries

A person who is blind or has low vision shops for groceries like everyone else. They can go to a physical store and the only difference is that they may ask for a shopping assistant to help them locate items. All stores should offer this service to their customers that need it. There is also an app called AiRA that connects to a trained agent over video call and they can assist a vlind or visually impaired person to navigate a store and locate items. Delivery services have become more widely available as well allowing all the shopping to be done online from home.

Cooking without sight is not much different from cooking with sight. There are tools that make certain kitchen tasks more accessible. There are talking food thermometers and talking scales There are measuring spoons and cups with braille and large print labels. There are tips and hacks that make things safer and easier but it is very possible to cook without sight.

How a person who is blind or has low vision handles daily living and household tasks

When it comes to getting dressed a blind or visually impaired person is able to pick out their own clothes and have their own style. I wrote more about that here..

A blind or visually impaired person is able to do laundry independently. Machines can be made accessible with bump dots to identify buttons on a touch screen. This system works for all touch screen machines around the home. 

Cleaning can be done by touch and it may not be perfect but it is doable. 

Some extra thoughts

I hope that this gives you a better insight into what is possible. Please leave any questions in the comments below.