Navigating Disability in the Kitchen
The Takeout is a food and pop culture website from the folks who brought you The A.V. Club and The Onion. Back in January blog contributor Mark Hay wrote an excellent article detailing his personal experiences and outlining different ways people with special needs can adapt in the kitchen.
"I am acutely aware of the fact that, when I handle a knife, it often makes people nervous. And I understand why: I have a neurological disorder that manifests most visibly in a pronounced kinetic tremor. My hands get so shaky that I often have trouble using pens or phone keyboards or other common implements grounded in fine motor skills. So watching a sharp cleaver twitch and jump in one of my mitts while the other holds down, say, an onion, it is easy to worry that I might end up lopping off one of my digits. Or dropping it on my foot. Or otherwise mutilating myself or others."
But the occasional wince or sharp inhale I still catch to my side, and the unsolicited offers for help because it looks like you’re struggling there, can be frustrating, tiring, or outright disheartening. Even when born of genuine concern, they represent the all too common patronizing view that people with disabilities are not safe, or do not belong, in the kitchen. In fact, this conviction is so prevalent that it keeps far too many people with disabilities from ever finding a place for themselves in the kitchen—from developing their own tricks and adaptations.