The FAU Accessible Kitchen
This facility fully incorporates the innovative concept of Universal Design, providing access to the widest population of people. It not only serves as a teaching resource, but also as a demonstration site for FAU students and the entire community.
Of all the rooms in a domestic environment, the kitchen is one of the most essential. However, along with the bathroom, the kitchen generally has the most barriers to ease of access and use.
Our objective was to create a kitchen with as few barriers as possible. With new and innovative products and creative thinking, an exemplary, barrier reduced, affordable kitchen was designed.
We encourage the viewing of this facility by many groups both within and outside of the FAU community. The Office for Students with Disabilities continually strives to be on the leading edge of options and opportunities for FAU students, staff, and faculty with disabilities.
We would like to highlight some of the outstanding features of the kitchen and the companies who created these innovative designs.
The kitchen was designed and installed by Kitchen and Bath Design Center, Inc. of West Palm Beach.
The upper cabinets are most useful when they are positioned 12 to 15 inches above the counter, or 48 inches above the floor. Since we have several people of different stature sharing the kitchen, Kitchen and Bath Design Center, Inc. designed the upper cabinets with adjustable heights to satisfy everyone's physical needs. By pushing the button on the lower corner of the cabinet, it will raise or lower automatically. The kitchen cabinetry is manufactured and supplied by LesCare Kitchens, Inc.
Upper cabinets can also be accessed with a pull down mechanism that will allow the shelves to be lowered to countertop height and return automatically. The shelf mechanism is manufactured by Häfele
and distributed by Florida Builder Appliances, Inc.
Kitchen and Bath Design Center, Inc. designed the countertops with rounded edges to reduce the risk of injury as persons move around the kitchen. All countertops also have contrasting color defining their edges. This simple addition reduces spills and related problems encountered by people with impaired vision who often have trouble distinguishing counter edges. The countertop is made of Corian. This Dupont material is fabricated by Nora Custom Countertops, Inc.
The cooktop was installed on a variable height platform which enables it to be adjusted to accommodate any height. By pushing the button on the cooktop front, it will raise or lower automatically. Below the countertop there is enough knee space for the cook to be seated.
Other features of the cooktop include:
- Four level electric burners
- Front controls
- Staggered burners
Residual heat indicator lights
The cooktop is designed and manufactured
by Gaggenau and distributed by Florida Builder Appliances, Inc.
REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER
The refrigerator and freezer space is accessible to all users, including those who are short in stature, use a wheelchair, or have limited reach. Lower shelves of the refrigerator and the freezer can easily be stocked for the person who cannot reach the upper shelves. The freezer is set up in the form of a drawer below the refrigerator. An automatic ice dispenser eliminates the need for people to carry trays of water to the freezer or struggle while removing ice from trays. Both these tasks can present problems for those with poor balance or weak hands. The refrigerator and freezer are designed and manufactured by Sub Zero and distributed by Florida Builders Appliances, Inc.
Kitchen and Bath Design Center, Inc. installed the sink on a variable height platform which enables it to be adjusted to accommodate any height. By pushing a button on the sink front, it will raise or lower automatically. This platform also allows for adequate knee space under the sink. This under the sink area is 36 inches wide and can be set for between 24 and 48 inches in height. The sink is made of Corian. This Dupont material is fabricated by Nora Custom Countertops Inc.
The oven is designed so that the door opens from the right rather than down. This provides easier access to the contents of the oven. The oven is designed and manufactured by
Gaggenau and distributed by Florida Builder Appliances, Inc.
The efficient pull-out spray faucet is designed with an extendable sprayer end so that pots and bowls can be filled on the counter and do not need to be lifted out of the sink. This could be difficult for a person with limited upper body strength. The faucet is designed and manufactured by Kohler and distributed by Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.
This two drawer unit stacks one drawer on top of another, equaling the traditional capacity of a standard dishwasher. Besides providing easier access, this allows for smaller loads and can be run more often, more efficiently and each unit can be run independently. The dishwasher is designed and manufactured by Fisher & Paykel and distributed by Florida Builder Appliances, Inc.