The White List: Choosing Blind-Friendly AppliancesBy Del Boccio, Ronda; Dialogue: A World of Ideas for Visually Impaired People of All Ages, Vol. 46, No. 3, pp. 50-53
Publication Date: May-June 2007
Article on accessible appliances for users with visual impairments, and ways to adapt models that are not accessible. Appliance types discussed include microwave ovens, stoves and cooktops, dishwashers, and washers and dryers. Accessible microwaves include the Hamilton Beach talking microwave, which has tactile knobs as well as audible output; the Panasonic 1085 tabletop model, which has buttons that can be felt; and Whirlpool and Whirlpool Gold built-in models, which have tactile panels. Although nearly all stoves and cooktops have flat panel controls, Hotpoint and GE models have textured back panels that are easier for a blind user to operate. The author has placed a tactile marker over the up button on her stove's non-tactile flat panel. She knows the default temperature and counts the number of times she presses the button in order to determine the temperature setting. The author finds Whirlpool dishwashers, also sold as Sears Kenmore, to be the most accessible because of the arrangement of buttons on front and because they have cancel buttons. High end accessible models include Sears Kenmore Elite and Viking. Kitchenaid and Maytag must be adapted with tactile markings. Bausch models have tactile controls but have an LED display. Whirlpool's Duet Sport and Cabriole washers and dryers have tactile knobs that click into place so that the user can hear and feel the change. For models with non-tactile control dials, the author recommends using a Marks-A-Lot or similar tactile marking pen to mark points on the dial.
Assistive Products Discussed: GE TALL TUB BUILT-IN DISHWASHER (MODELS GLDA696PSS, GLDA690PBB, & GLDA690PWW)
MAYTAG BUILT-IN DRAWER DISHWASHER (MODEL MDD8000AWS)
Published by: Blindskills, Inc. (Website:http://www.blindskills.com)