6 Answers

We are about to design a new kitchen that needs to be wheelchair accessible for me. Has anyone been through this process and got any tips or hints to help?

Posted by mom105503, 6th March 2017

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  • Some good advice already. I would seek the advice as well from special kitchen design for disabled people such as Vip Access. But of course not only your kitchen needs adjustments, the rest of your house as well. The Australian Network on Disability has article in relation to housing as well. https://www.and.org.au/articles.php/25/accessible-housing
    You could also seek citizen advice. The Equality Act 2010 says changes or adjustments should be made to ensure you can access the following things if you’re disabled: education. employment – ask your employer for adjustments. housing – ask for adjustments in your home. goods and services like shops, banks, cinemas, hospitals, council offices, leisure…There are many helpful organisations out there.

  • An occupational therapist will be able to assess you and give you guidance in everything you need to factor in for design and access.

  • One other thing that comes to mind are power outlets. They should be easy to reach from a seated position so you can plug and unplug appliances. Often these are tucked away at the back of a counter, right in the corner and they are the most impossible things to reach (at least for small people)… it would be the same if everything was just lowered for wheelchair access without taking into account the reach across bench surface.

  • Wow ladies thankyou so much more your help and lots of ideas, we are very much at the starting point and you have given me lots of things to think about. ????

  • June has given an excellent answer to your question and she has covered pretty much all I can think of.
    here are three sites that also may be of help. :

    Wheelchair Friendly Kitchens – VIP ACCESS



    Wishing you all the very best. :-)

  • I haven’t personally been in your situation but I had a friend who was.
    You need your benchtops at your armchair sitting level, an empty gap under your sink, cooktop, oven, microwave at height suitable for you. Same applies to taps over the sink. I suggest you get somebody to help you calculate heights you need them at. If you have young children you may have to teach them to stay out of the kitchen if you haven’t already done so. Fit strong rails where you can so that if you have an accident with your wheelchair you may be able to pull yourself up if your arms and upper body are strong enough – perhaps even at the ends of bench tops. Make sure cupboards are low enough that you can easily reach anything you need. If possible you need a fairly large kitchen area so you have suitable height cupboard shelves. You may need consider having a thick base to raise the bottom shelf to a suitable height for you – the same applies to drawers. If they are too wide from the back of it to the front you may not be able to safely reach anything that is pushed to the back. Perhaps look at the height of drawers etc. you have in your bedroom as a guide. If you belong to an Organisation connected to your disability or a similar one perhaps to can get suggestions from them. Some local councils have connections to people who have knowledge about such problems. If you visit a hospital…a medical professional, some have have contact details for organisations who may be able to help you. I don’t know if an occupational therapist or social worker could help you. I know they sometimes check peoples homes to see how people can be helped.

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