INTRODUCTION

Welcome To Accessible Chef

Accessible Chef is a collection of free visual recipes and other resources to help teach cooking skills to individuals with disabilities. Looking for Your Special Chef? You're in the right place! We changed our name and look to better represent our goal of making cooking accessible to everyone.

STARTING OUT

What kind of resources are available to teach cooking skills?

Visual recipes make use of task analysis, which is an evidence-based approach for breaking down a complex task into manageable steps. Each task is separated into discrete skills, and individuals can learn to complete skills in a specific order to learn new tasks. Students may require visual, physical, or verbal prompts to complete each skill, and prompts may be gradually removed as the individual becomes more independent. Visual recipes share similarities with PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and curricula created with Boardmaker.

Assistive technologies are available in a variety of low and high tech options. Cooking apps can be found in the Apple app store, and include images of cooking supplies, actions, and appliances that can be combined into recipes and viewed on a phone or tablet. Parents and teachers can also produce video or audio-based prompts, which can be played on phones, tablets, computers, or portable DVD players.

Kitchen equipment can be adapted to make cooking easier and safer for individuals with physical disabilities. Ideas for adapting kitchen equipment can be found here. Many challenges in the kitchen can be solved with a combination of creativity, adaptation, and practice.

MEET THE TEAM

WELCOME

Parents, life skills teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, self-advocates, and everyone else who supports individuals with disabilities!

Recipes 

View more than 80 FREE visual recipes to teach basic cooking skills to individuals with disabilities

Resources 

Read articles about adaptive cooking tools, learn to use the custom recipe creator, and more

Recipe Creator 

Create your own custom visual recipes and share them with the Accessible Chef community

DID YOU KNOW?

Food insecurity is more common in households that include an adult with a disability

In the United States, about one-third of households that include an adult with a disability are food-insecure, which researchers think could be related to a loss of earnings, increased expenses, and difficulty accessing food. People with disabilities can face challenges traveling to the grocery store, budgeting money for food, shopping, and preparing meals.

Recipes typically expect that cooks have no constraints on mobility, cognition, and sensation, and poor nutrition among people with disabilities can exacerbate existing medical conditions. The goal of Accessible Chef is to provide resources for teaching individuals with disabilities how to cook, with an emphasis on individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

WATCH & LEARN

Why teach cooking skills to individuals with disabilities?

FAST FACTS ABOUT ACCESSIBLE CHEF

10
YEARS (AND
COUNTING!)
80
VISUAL
RECIPES
72738
USERS
164
COUNTRIES

WHY COOKING?

It's not just about the food

Food preparation skills cross a variety of curricular domains, and learning to prepare simple meals can improve independence and nutrition. An individual with disabilities who acquires cooking skills may have an increased ability for employment in food industries, may save money by preparing more economical options, may use cooking as a form of recreation, and may experience social benefits by cooking with friends or preparing food for a potluck. Academically, learning to cook may promote math and reading proficiencies required for employment.

 

For students with physical disabilities, teaching cooking skills may double as physical therapy while promoting kitchen accessibility. Cooking lessons can incorporate cross-cultural tolerance by exploring foods from other countries and cultures, and nutrition education promotes healthy eating. Finally, exposure to new textures, smells, and tastes may decrease selective eating in individuals with abnormal sensory processing. For these reasons, teaching cooking skills can be valuable to both children with disabilities and young adults who are transitioning to post-secondary education or independent living.

63 %

63% of adults with disabilities in the United States are unemployed

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"Encouraging research on cooking instruction for persons with disabilities has shifted the control away from the instructor to stimulus materials and equipment that can serve to teach or prompt completion of tasks ... As technology advances, so will the demands for response in special education to stay abreast of how these advances can be applied to improving the lives of persons with disabilities."

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WHERE ARE WE?

Baltimore, MD, USA

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814 446 2662