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 at home or in a special education classroom. Looking for Your Special Chef? You're in the right place! We changed our name to better reflect our goal to make cooking more accessible for everyone.
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
Parents, life skills teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, special educators, family and consumer sciences teachers, speech-language pathologists, self-advocates, and everyone else who supports individuals with disabilities!
Want to support Accessible Chef?
View more than 300 FREE visual recipes to teach basic cooking skills to individuals with disabilities
Read articles about adaptive cooking tools, learn to use the custom recipe creator, and more
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
WATCH & LEARN
Why teach cooking skills to individuals with disabilities?
FAST FACTS ABOUT ACCESSIBLE CHEF
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.