Since I’ve been spending quite a bit of time at home lately (ha!), I’ve been noticing how many things I have that I use daily that aren’t technically “adaptive” products, but that I use that way. If you’re not someone who uses adaptive things and don’t really know what they are – basically, they’re products that have been designed to make every day tasks easier for people with disabilities in some way. They can be high tech, or low tech – think weighted silverware for someone with Parkinson’s, so that their silverware doesn’t shake if their hand does.
Most of the adaptive things that I personally use, though, are not designed as adaptive products. They’re just things that have been designed to make everyone’s lives easier or better in some way, and just have the added benefit of making mine even more so. And just like the “official” adaptive products, they span from low tech to high tech, and they’re probably things that many of you use, too. I’m sharing them both so that people with disabilities can find something new to add to their lives, and so that people without disabilities think about other ways these things can be used!
Super Lightweight Glass Mugs
It is no secret that I am coffee-obsessed. And while I have quite the collection of coffee mugs – cute ones, souvenir ones, gifts – I can’t actually use most of them, because the weight of the mug plus the coffee in it is too heavy for me to lift to my mouth, even with the straw that I always use. Finding these glass mugs on Amazon have been truly life changing. I don’t think I’ve used more than one or two disposable coffee cups since I’ve gotten these!
Everyone I know who has one loves their Echo. You can listen to music, ask the weather, hear the news, even listen to audiobooks! But for me, it really opens up so many possibilities with the different smart home devices it talks to. Smart lightbulbs (more on these in a minute), smart plugs – so many things that I can turn on and off now that I wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. Plus, since it can also make phone calls, I think of it as an extra safety measure in case I drop my phone.
Of all of the smart home things that work with my Echo, these are my favorite. You don’t need the Echo to use these – there’s also a phone app that you can use independently. Turning on and off the lights is such a basic thing, but I used to have to install a separate handheld remote for each and every light/lamp in my bedroom so that I can control them myself – these smart bulbs are way easier. I also love that you can set them on a timer – I have them set to start to (slowly, gradually) turn on 30 minutes before I wake up, so that it’s like my own personal sunrise!
Automatic Pan Stirrer
I found this during an Instagram scroll session, and I’m so glad that I did. It’s a little device that stirs things automatically for you in a pan! When you turn it on, it rotates around the pan, stirring whatever you’re cooking – a sauce, onions, etc. No more need to stand and stir and watch! And since I can’t physically stir, it’s even better.
If you’re a woman reading this, you’re probably thinking that this is, in no way, an adaptive product – this is a staple for women everywhere. And while you wouldn’t be wrong, I’d argue it’s even more of a staple for me! I obviously can’t just hop in the shower, so washing my hair is something that I have to schedule, and that takes more time for me than for the “average” person. So dry shampoo is key! I love Drybar’s dry shampoo, but my current favorite is this Ouai Super Dry Shampoo – it lives up to it’s name.
iPad and eBooks
I love to read, and there’s a part of me that loves physical copies of books (I have a collection of signed books that I’m really proud of). But in terms of the act of actually reading, eBooks are SO much easier for me physically – to hold and balance and maneuver. They also save me lots of space when packing for vacations – I used to bring at least 10 books with me for car trips as a kid! I use an iPad and the Nook app, but any of the eBook readers make things much simpler.