Chapter 4. Cookbook for visually impaired people (Eurasia)

Chapter 4. Cookbook for visually impaired people (Eurasia)

Cookbook for visually impaired people #

In this part, we are going to introduce our best practice entitled “First cookbook for visually impaired people” which is linked to a food topic as it can be easily understood from the name of the project. Before introducing our project, we are going to briefly talk about food sector related problems visually impaired people face in their daily life. 

Being a person with visual impairment means facing various difficulties such as going shopping, preparing a meal and improving their cooking abilities, as well as having a knowledge about healthy diet. When they want to dine out, they start to face numerous difficulties the moment they enter the parking lot of the restaurants. Many studies have supported the existence of these problems concerning the lack of accessibility: steps in and out of the building can be tricky for visually impaired people, so the garden and entrance of the building can be constructed in an accessible fashion. When they manage to enter the building, this time they face untrained staff who may rush to help them to their seat, which might bother their independence. Additionally, if their plate and glass is removed without prior notice, it might be shocking for them. Moreover, according to the World Blind Reunion, 90% of published material isn’t accessible to people with visual impairments. It is good to have  different kinds of menus available, including large print and braille which will help them to order at their own pace. In addition to all these problems, they also struggle with getting to the bathroom themselves.

Our best practice addresses cooking activities of the visually impaired. As we have previously mentioned, 90% of the published materials are not accessible to people with visual impairments, this cookbook, which is written with Braille alphabet, is not among the 90%. The content of the cookbook is prepared by volunteers of the Çekirge Rotary Club which is followed by famous chef and editor of the book Omer Akkor’s review and standardisation process. All the recipes are adapted in accordance with the capabilities of visually impaired people with the help of smells and shapes.

The Cookbook is introduced through an activity at Academy INOKSAN. Ömer Akkor and people with visual impairment, prepared four recipes in the book together. Chef mentioned that he blindfolded himself in the 15 days preparation phase in order to understand difficulties visually impaired people face. He added that throughout this phase sometimes he burned and cut himself and wrote the book after educating himself on how they move in the kitchen.