Assistive Technology in the Kitchen

Jan 05, 2011
Tagged with:

I had a conversation with some people at work the other day about what kind of assistive technologies are needed in the kitchen for cooking and preparing food. So I went to YouTube to see if there were any videos that could demonstrate some examples to me of what was out there. I found this great video from an organization in New Jersey that demonstrates five different assistive devices for use in the kitchen, and they are each under $25.

I was surprised by one of them in particular, because I actually have one in the very back of my kitchen cabinets and I’ve just never thought to break it out. It’s an ULU knife and board set, apparently an Alaskan treasure, that my mother and father-in-law brought us from an Alaskan cruise that they went on a couple of years ago.

To me this is a great example of “universal design” and I’m now kicking myself for still having it sitting unused in a cabinet (and please don’t tell my in-laws). Apparently the ULU has been used by Native Alaskan people for over five thousand years, originally by Eskimo women who used it to clean and skin fish. But today Eskimos and people from everywhere use it because it’s so versatile and ergonomic. Since the center of force is concentrated directly over the middle of the blade, it creates twice the direct downward force than when using more conventional cutting tools like knives, where the force is behind the center of the blade. The website does acknowledge that individuals with hand or wrist problems will have an easier time using the ULU for chopping and cutting compared to other knives, but it was originally designed long, long ago for the sole reason that it was easier and more effective for everyone to use. You’ll notice the cutting board as well can assist, again, everyone in chopping and cutting because of its bowl shape, preventing items from falling off the board once they’ve been chopped.

Need one? Check them out at I’m going home to dig mine out of the cabinet.

Author: Blythe

  • Anonymous

    The information which you have given regarding the assistive technology in the kitchen is very nice and also understanding. It will also help me as well as others for knowing the complete information regarding it. I am very much impressed by this.

    Fitted kitchen