Kitchen Modification Tips

*Features that make sinks more accessible include single lever controls and a sprayer with a flexible hose. Also, controls and faucets mounted on the side of the sink rather than the back are easier for seated persons to reach.


* Wall-hung cabinets should be at the appropriate height for the user. If they are too high, much of  the space will not be usable by persons who are small, seated, or have limited reach. Consider having them installed 15 inches above the counter top rather than 18 inches.

* Cooktops should be at the appropriate height for the user. Drop-in ranges or cooktops can be installed at the desired height. For short or seated users, the most convenient height may be 30 to 32 inches.

* Wall-mounted ovens can be installed at any height to meet the user's needs, and wall ovens with side opening doors are ideal. Self-cleaning ovens aid persons with limited strength.

*Microwave ovens with side-opening doors are safe and easy for most people to use.

*Control knobs on the range and oven should be front-mounted or side-mounted to eliminate the need to reach over hot burners. Appliance dials 112 inches or greater in diameter are easier to turn.
Controls should have readable settings and directions with large print and good contrast.

* Counter space should be located near all ovens for placing hot dishes.

* Side-by-side refrigerator/freezers have accessible space in both the refrigerator and freezer sections for persons with limited reach. Self-defrosting units are easier for persons with limited strength to maintain.

* Kitchens may have some low work surfaces for preparing meal while seated. For example, a pullout work surface, such as a cutting board, located 24 to 30 inches above the floor can serve this purpose.

* Floors and walls under the sink and cooktop should be finished in the event that any base cabinets need to be removed at a later time to lower the work surfaces or create knee space for seated users.

* Below a sink or cooktop, base cabinets with no shelves or a center stile can be used by a seated person when the cabinet doors are open.

* Color contrasts at the front and back edges of counter tops serve as visual cues to persons with impaired vision. Light-colored counter tops reflect available light and are desirable for persons with limited vision.

* Adequate task lighting is needed in the kitchen. Fluorescent lighting installed underneath wallhung cupboards provides light for working at the counter top.

* A fire extinguisher should be located in an easy-to-reach place in the kitchen.


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