Kitchen Tips for People Who are Blind or Partially Sighted

If you are blind or partially sighted, cooking can seem like a difficult task. However, by adapting your kitchen and how you prepare food, you can still enjoy cooking!

  • Use color and contrast. If you have low vision, color and contrast can help you see when cooking.
  • It can help to use a colored bowl to hold food of a contrasting color.
  • It is easier to see light-colored food like white onions on a dark cutting board and darker food, like asparagus, on a light board.
Half of a dark red onion sits near a knife on a white cutting board
A light cutting board works great for dark produce | Photo by Elizabeth Layman
  • It is easier to see plugs and sockets if they are a different color than the walls and counters.
  • Have good central lighting, so you can make the most out of any sight you have.
  • Have lights under cupboards that shine onto areas where you usually work.
  • Use a clip-on spotlight.
  • Talking equipment can be really helpful. There are many options for this type of equipment, so check out our Accessible Kitchen Tools and Devices list for some helpful links.
  • If you buy the same type of product often, write the directions on the package in large print or record them with a tape recorder.
  • If everything in your kitchen is always put back afterwards, this will help you find things. Make sure that everyone who uses your kitchen puts things back where they got them.
  • Have a system for identifying items. Put one rubber band on cans of corn and two rubber bands on cans of peas. Alternately, put Braille labels on items.
A can of black beans with two rubber bands wrapped around its middle
Perhaps, two rubber bands can signify black beans | Photo by Elizabeth Layman
  • Put your flour and sugar in different sized containers.
  • Mark the controls on your oven with brightly colored marker, paint, or strips of Velcro so you can tell what temperature it is on.
  • Time things you cook, and they will turn out almost the same each time. You can use a raised line timer or a talking watch to determine how long something should be cooked.
  • Listen to the food you are cooking. If you pay close attention, you will find bacon sounds different as it is becoming fully cooked.
  • To avoid burning yourself on the oven or stove, use oven mitts that come further up your arm.
  • Keep handles of pans on the stove turned in the same direction, so that you avoid bumping them and burning yourself.
A pot with its handle facing inward as it warms on the stove
Turn handles inward | Photo by Elizabeth Layman

If you’re interested in reading more, go to our impressive list of Accessible Kitchen Tools and Devices or click on our resources listed below:

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