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 itsuccessfully reminds the user to do something.