My son Liam is 6 years old (almost 7!!) and he is deafblind. He enjoys helping me around the house. One of his chores is to unload the dishwasher (see Accessible Job Chart for the Home). When he first started helping with this, he was able to put away only a few dishes independently. By making some changes and accommodations, Liam is now able to be to do many of the steps in putting away the dishes all by himself. In addition to working on braille literacy, these changes in the kitchen have helped to address the Independent Living Skills area of the Expanded Core Curriculum.
In these photos, 6-year-old Liam carries plates and pans from the dishwasher to put them away.
Making Storage Accessible
At first a lot of the dishes we used daily were stored in cupboards that were high up. As a result, Liam was not able to reach them independently. This weekend I switched the cupboards around so that the dishes we use on a daily basis are at Liam’s level and he can easily put them away by himself. Storing items where a child can easily reach them promotes accessibility and independence. See also: Making Storage Accessible.
Organizing Items By Category
I added bins to organize the dishes for both of my sons (their drinking cups, plates, snack bowls, school lunch box dishes, etc.) to make it easier for Liam to sort.
Adding Braille Labels
OF COURSE I added braille labels to both the cupboard shelves and the bins for Liam to read!
This will help him to be able to set the table at dinner time more independently as well.
He has been very excited to see his kitchen organized with braille 🙂 He has shown everyone that has come over to our house!
- Labels could be placed on the outside of the cupboards as well as the inside
- Dividers could be placed in the cupboards instead of bins or do not need to be used at all, as stacks would work fine.
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