Homes are filled with small buttons and tiny print on appliances and home controls that are difficult for many people to use.
The problem: Many items in the home are difficult to use because they require the ability to see and feel small details. This include home items such as microwaves, stoves and ovens, laundry, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, home security systems, and thermostats, which are essential to living comfortably and easily at home.
Flat panel appliances are particularly challenging because there are no physical buttons to push and the reflective surfaces make it hard to read any printed information on the panel.
Additional, most printed information on appliances and home controls is very small and has inadequate color contrast.
Who is this a problem for?
Problems occur when the buttons are too small to be found by touch because a person has decreased sensation in their hands or poor dexterity or control with their fingers and/or the buttons or print is too small to see because a person has decreased vision.
This can occur with many health conditions:
Decreased hand use occurs with diabetic neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, stroke and other neurologic conditions. Decreased vision occurs naturally as people age, but also with health conditions such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, and other low vision conditions.
Needs more in-depth information and ideas?
Try our 4 page pdf with examples (photos included) and pros and cons for 10 ideas of how to mark appliances and home control for increase visual and tactile input.
Here is an overview of 10 ways you can make your home appliances and controls easier to use:
Click image for full graphic, or view a free printable pdf on Marking Appliances and Home Controls
Looking for more information? Visit FAQ page for more info on home modifications.