Universal Design Features & Appliances in the Kitchen
- At least 3’-4” minimum space in kitchen for maneuvering, including enough floor area to use a mobility device at main sink.
- Contrasting color border treatment on counter tops. Color or contrast difference allows easy recognition of the edges of counters and the different heights to prevent accidental spills.
- Stretches of continuous counter tops for easy sliding of heavy items, particularly between refrigerator, sink, and stove top, for easy one-level food flow.
- Side-by-side refrigerator allows easy reach of otherwise hard-to-get items, particularly if pullout shelving is provided.
- Under counter drawer type refrigerators to provide additional convenient access to refrigerated storage space.
- Lever water controls at all plumbing fixtures and faucets can be used with a closed fist or with soapy hands.
- Glare-free task lighting to illuminate work areas without harsh reflectivity.
- Clear knee space under sink (27” high minimum) allows use of the sink from a seated position. This is achieved by means of a variety of adaptable base cabinets, including swinging sliding, fold-back, self-storing cabinet doors, rolling carts, and removable shelves.Pipe protection panels must be provided at sinks to prevent contact with hot or sharp surfaces.
- Motorized and manually adjustable counter segments and several different fixed height counter top areas give work options for a variety of tasks to people of all heights, those with back trouble, people who are seated, and/or children.
- Full-extension, pullout drawers, shelves and racks in base cabinets for easy reach to all storage space.
- Pantry storage with easy access pullout and/or adjustable height shelves for easy reaching of otherwise hard-to get items.
- Front mounted controls with clear labels that contrast with adjacent surfaces on appliances to facilitate easy use and reach.
- Built-in wall oven with adjustable counter top and adaptable base cabinet for knee space place beside it and set for one pullout oven rack at conventional counter top.
- Cook top or range with staggered burners and front mounted controls to eliminate dangerous reaching over hot burners.
- Drop in cook top with space underneath adaptable to a knee space by removing pullout shelves.
- Two drawer type dishwasher makes it possible to use one drawer for clean dishes and one for dirty so they do not have to be put away in a cabinet.
- Dishwasher raised on a platform puts bottom racks within easy reach requiring less bending.
Video clip courtesy of AARP