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Thread: Addressing the needs of people with disabilities (DT GCSE)

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Addressing the needs of people with disabilities (DT GCSE)

    For my DT GCSE I have chosen to choose the subject of 'Addressing the needs of people with disabilities', I have been looking into difficulty of cooking wondering if anyone would be able to help me with things that would help around the kitchen

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Quote Originally Posted by ElliotS View Post
    I have been looking into difficulty of cooking wondering if anyone would be able to help me with things that would help around the kitchen
    I guess you are looking at product design?

    You say cooking so start off by thinking 'step-by-step' about everything you have to do when cooking something, and make a list.
    • Open cupboard/fridge.
    • Reach for item.
    • Grip/hold item.
    • Lift/carry item to worktop.
    • Open jar/tin/packet.
    • Get food out of jar/tin/packet.
    • Cut food to size if needed.
    • etc. (Follow it through right to getting the food in your mouth).

    If you think about it you will soon see that the list could get even more detailed, for instance 'Open cupboard/fridge' how do you get to the cupboard if you are in a wheelchair?
    It only needs to be very detailed for the part you want to aim your product at, you do that bit later see below.
    (Just making a list like that will show that you have identified steps where there may be a problem, and get you marks).

    You could then just concentrate on a certain possible problem area, say opening jars/tins/packets, or lifting lids off hot pans, or stirring the food in the pan, or getting the cooked food to the table.
    Think about why that particular activity may be a problem for someone with a particular disability.
    You can't cater for everyone with one product. (What works for someone with a weak grip won't work for someone with no hand, - someone in a wheelchair may be able to grip but can't reach higher shelves).
    Go back and make your step-by-step list more detailed, or make a new list, to cover the bit you are targeting your product at.

    Now the hard bit, come up with a gadget that you think would make it easier.
    It could be complicated or simple, usually simpler is better. (You could cut bread with a laser but most people use a simple knife).

    Don't be tempted to go over the top and add things that aren't needed.
    (Personally I'd say that bluetooth connected toothbrushes, fridges with wifi, etc. are over the top - but you can buy them).

    Once you have decided on a product that you think would work then you need to think about how you would make it.
    That will depend on what material you decide to make it out of.
    Most plastics can be moulded, metals need different manufacturing processes, as does wood.
    Products are often made of more than one material, or part(s), (eg. steel blade, wood or plastic handle) so how are you going to join them together?

    It would be good if it looks nice as well.

    And don't forget that it will usually need to be sturdy, and above all safe to use, for someone who may not have full control of their movements.

    Depending on just what it is, and what it does, then it may have to comply with laws on design and use.
    (Especially if it is something that uses battries or mains power).

    When designing something you are usually thinking about all of these things at the same time as your ideas develop.
    (I know from experience, I was an engineering designer for 30+ years).

    Take a look on disability equipment websites to get an idea of what is already available, and what problems they are designed to solve. That should give you some ideas.
    If you can come up with something new that could fill a need that is not already covered, or a better way of doing what is already available then you are onto a winner.

    Why not start here:
    Last edited by nukecad; 10-02-2018 at 03:13 PM.
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  3. #3
    Thank you, I will keep you updated

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