Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Accessibility for Everyone in the Kitchen

I have recently started to become more aware of issues around accessibility thanks to some wonderfully outspoken activist friends, and from my own personal experience in navigating the world with a disability.

Growing up, my understanding of the concept was that accessibility was about wheelchairs and scooters, or helping people with other mobility issues can come and go in public or private spaces.

Accessibility the idea that everyone deserves equal access to activities, services, tools, organizations, social opportunities and facilities and so on.

It’s not just about getting in and out of stores and restaurants but about going to the bathroom and washing your hands; using transportation; acquiring food, shelter, and healthcare; it’s about getting a job (and keeping it) and an education. It’s about so many little details that go unnoticed by most of us because we don’t understand that how things might not work for others as well as they work for us.

Another example of accessibility issues I found relates to online recipes. This had not occurred to me; I had not considered that some people are denied the chance to cook (or learn to cook) using a recipe or find cooking difficult because of how the recipe is presented. I have, until now, taken for granted that because I can follow a recipe that others don’t have difficulties.

I have found a couple online sources for recipes which include information that makes cooking a more accessible activity for some.

Sue’s blog helps blind people navigate cooking, using audio recipes and including tips specifically for the visually impaired (http://www.tafn.org.uk/kitchen/cookery.htm)

I found another with gluten free recipes and recipes for diabetics (http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/3327/gluten+dairy+free+muffins). There is also information about nutritional value.

One important note is that both these websites provide buttons to increase and decrease text size and the option to print recipes.

Further reading on the issue of accessibility
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility.

Types of disabilities:

This is a great guide to planning inclusive meetings: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/disability_issues/doc/gpim/guide.pdf

and a checklist for event planning that can assist in making people feel welcome:

1 comment:

  1. Nice post giving a spin on accessibility that others also miss. I encourage parents to teach their children with disabilities through cooking and to cook. Thanks for the suggestions for online accessibility. Barbara