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The Joy of Cooking 

by: Peter J. Fischer


My favorite room in our home is by far the accessible kitchen. There are more accessibility features located in the kitchen than anywhere else in our home. These features make it possible for everyone in the family to experience the joy of cooking.

Accessible Kitchen Prep Area

A great meal normally starts in the Prep Area of the accessible kitchen. The hub of the Prep Area is the island where most of the chopping, slicing, dicing, rolling, mixing, peeling, pounding, rinsing, measuring, and other food preparation tasks take place.


Prep Area Pull-Out Cutting Board

In order to simplify many prep tasks use a pull-out cutting board at the end of the island or countertop. The false drawer front tilts or opens and the cutting board slides out into the locked open position, ready for use. The height of the cutting board is just high enough (~28") for a wheelchair user to roll under it, but low enough that I can get pretty good leverage with a preparation tool, like a knife.


Prep Area Prep Sink
We suggest that on the same end of the island or countertop as the pull-out cutting board you should have a round (or small) prep sink with a garbage disposal. When I'm working at the cutting board it is easy for me to turn to my left to use the prep sink.

*** Special Note *** In lieu of a prep sink, consider a drop hole in the cutting board with a trash can below.

Prep Area Pull-Out Faucet

Although not part of the island, the pull-out faucet we have on the main kitchen sink is an important accessibility feature in the prep area. It allows the user to fill a large pot on their lap with water. This eliminates the need to lift a heavy filled pot up and out of the sink.

The pull-out faucet is also handy when rinsing large pots and pans or cookie sheets in the sink.


Other Prep Area Ideas and/or Improvements
Mixer Cabinet

Description: Description:

If you have a larger stand mixer that weighs about 30 pounds, you know how difficult they are to move around. It is difficult for anyone to move the mixer from the pantry to the island where it is normally used. Consequently, it is not used often.

Consider including a mixer cabinet to accommodate this beast of a mixer. The mixer sits on a movable shelf inside a regular base cabinet as shown in the adjacent picture. There is also room for a shelf under the mixer to hold attachments or supplies.

Description: Description:

When ready to use the mixer you simply open the cabinet door and give the mixer shelf an easy pull. The heavy-duty lift mechanism gracefully raises the mixer to countertop level, plugged in and ready to use. When finished, gently pull on the release levers and the lifting/lowering mechanism smoothly returns the mixer into the cabinet.
This appliance liftDescription: Description: manufactured by Rev-A-Shelf and can be found at Amazon.
Appliance Garage

Description: Description:

Description: Description:

There are several good reasons for having an appliance garage in a kitchen. From an aesthetic perspective they help keep the kitchen looking tidy by reducing the clutter. They also help to keep the appliances from getting dusty. Quick and easy access to a variety of appliances is the greatest benefit of these garages.

Appliance garages can be placed in a corner or in a straight section of counter. There are numerous types of doors including: tambour, bi-fold, swing out and pop-up doors.

(Peter is a wheelchair user, and the Owner of Access.Architectural, a Home Modification and Accessibility Compliance Firm in Phoenix, Arizona)

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Phoenix, Arizona 480.577.1271

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