Tip of the Day #22 – How to Make a Microwave Accessible

Today’s tip of the day is a simple and easy way to make a microwave accessible for someone who is blind and visually impaired or low vision. Microwaves are an important tool that most people use daily from heating food to cooking full meals. For someone who is blind and visually impaired or low vision, it can be a struggle to locate the buttons on most microwaves. A majority of microwaves have poor color contrast to their buttons that also all feel the same. So what is a good solution?

For a full video tutorial click here

The solution that I like to use which seems to work the best for most people is to add colored tactile bump dots to specific buttons on the microwave. These bump dots come in many different colors and shapes. This makes it easy to pick which bump dots work best for a person.

Kitchen with granite counter tops. Microwave sitting on top of an oven embedded in a wall.
Kitchen

If you are interested in purchasing or seeing different examples check out MaxiAids selection here.

One thing to note is you do not want to put bump dots on all of the microwave buttons that will lead to confusion very quickly. Rather, the placement of bump dots on key buttons will be the most effective. There are three buttons that I like to put bump dots on then I expand from there. Here is my list of these buttons.

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THREE IMPORTANT BUTTONS

1 – A bump dot placed on the number 5 button. The number 5 falls in the center and once a person finds that they can fan out to the other numbers from there.

2 – A bump dot placed on the Clear/Stop buttion

3 – A bump dot placed on the Start button.

These are the three key buttons I like to place bump dots on. However, sometimes adding bumps to other buttons can be helpful. Such as adding a bump dot to the add minute button or a preset button like popcorn. This comes down to preference and what works best for someone.

Please reach out to your local blindness agency if you need more clarification or assistance in adding bump dots to a microwave.

For a full list of tip of the day videos click here

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Published by Mike Mulligan

Is a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist who provides product resources, reviews, and tutorials.

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