IDeA student competition: Making the kitchen barrier-free

March 15, 2018
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Text on screen: [Making the Kitchen Barrier-Free. IDeA logo.]

Micah Rakoff Bellman, Carleton University graduate and 2016 IDeA winner:

We started the year by visiting four people with disabilities in their homes. Three of the four people we visited said, “Oh, I don’t cook.  It’s too dangerous.” Or, “It’s too difficult,” or “It’s too physically demanding.”

I decided I needed to sort of understand it. So I got myself a wheelchair, cooked in it for about a week. I learned all kinds of stuff from that and through prototyping and interviews with the people we visited. After that research, I kind of arrived from this idea that the kitchen needed to be more accessible, to basically a platform on wheels that moves up and down to help people—either as a work surface or as a transfer surface for lifting and moving hot and heavy objects around the kitchen.

I’ve actually been lucky enough based on sort of having won the competition, now I’m undergoing building of full sized working prototypes in my own space.

Text on screen: [Learn more about the IDeA Program: CIX logo, IDeA logo, Government of Canada logo, Universities Canada bilingual logo.]

Carleton University graduate Micah Rakoff Bellman saw a need for kitchens to be more accessible for people living in wheelchairs. He explains how he won the Innovative Design for Accessibility (IDeA) competition in 2016 with a prototype of a kitchen work surface that reduces common barriers faced by people cooking in wheelchairs.

Tagged:  Research and innovation

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