05.For people with a disability
The Independent Living Centre, NSW, provides the following guidelines for buying ovens:
For wheelchair users
Control panels and door handles should be within easy reach from the wheelchair.
Wall ovens generally need to be installed at slightly lower than normal height, within the user’s reach range.
Side-opening doors are more user-friendly.
For upper limb impairment
- Look for doors that are easy to open, and handles that allow a good grip.
Easy-to-press buttons may be preferable to rotary knobs. Any knobs should be large and easy to turn, with little resistance.
- Choose appliances with shelves and trays that move very easily and aren’t heavy.
- Place the oven at chest height to avoid excessive reaching.
For visual impairment
Controls that are large and wide-spaced, and labels in a contrasting colour.
- Positive feedback — beeps and electronic lights — can be helpful.
For back pain
- It’s best to minimise bending and reaching, so avoid appliances with controls knobs at the back.
- A wall oven installed at chest height is preferable to a freestanding oven.
For cognitive impairment
- The key is to keep it simple. Labelling that has a very clear and simple picture may be more useful than words, but this will vary for different people.
- Choose appliances with few options for the controls.
Avoid appliances with auditory feedback if this will confuse the user. However, this can be useful if it successfully reminds the user to do something.