Kitchen Design for the Hearing Impaired

Home & Garden Blog

In order to make a kitchen safe and usable for the hearing impaired you need to look at converting some of the current aural signals in your kitchen into signals that a deaf person can perceive more easily. The DeafSpace Guidelines developed by Gallaudet give some incredibly detailed tips on creating friendly residential and commercial spaces.

Here are some important kitchen design aspects to consider.

Smoke Alarms

One of the most important safety conversions to make in the kitchen, for the hearing impaired, is to convert the audible smoke alarms into visual alarms and to ensure they can be seen from any angle in the kitchen. It can also be a good idea to convert some of the other alarms at the same time, including front door bells and phone calls.

Gentle Lighting

As the hearing impaired rely on visual communication, it is easy for the eyes to get taxed with excessively low or high lighting, and glare can make it hard to view some angles. Using natural, diffuse light through high windows and skylights can make the kitchen a friendly and pleasant environment for people with hearing impairments to spend time.

Hard Flooring

Many people with a hearing impairment use the percussive effect of footsteps on flooring to gauge when other people are approaching. If your current flooring is soft (such as carpeting), renovating to include a harder floor, such as tiles, can be useful.

Half Walls

Look at ways to create visual connections between the rooms, as people with a hearing impairment rely on visual cues such as lip reading and sign language for communication. By creating connections between the rooms it can help the cook and other members of the household communicate during food preparation. 

Equally half walls have also be helpful for users of assistive devices such as hearing aids and cochlear impacts who can find noise reverberation against hard walls challenging, and at times painful.

Circular walls and tables

Equally circular walls and preparation tables give a clear line of sight so that conversations with multiple participants can be maintained easily between all parties. Aim for more free space around and between the benches, as the space required for a signing conversation is more than that of an aural conversation.

Using appropriate design principles in kitchen design will not only make the kitchen easier to use for the hearing impaired members of your household, but will increase enjoyment for the entire household.


17 February 2015

Improve your Bathroom

Hello. My name is Tina and this is my home improvement blog. The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. My mother used to always say that you could discover a lot about a person by how clean their bathroom was. Because of this advice, I have always been very worried about the state of my bathroom. Last year, I was convinced that the bathroom was too old and grubby so I contacted a team of contractors who came out to work on it. They re-tiled the place and installed a new sink and splashback. I really love me new bathroom and I hope you like my new blog.