Mrs W is an 83 year old lady who first found out about The Disability Resource Centre when she saw our stand at an over 50s support group in an outlying village in Northamptonshire.

She explained that she was losing her sight due to macular degeneration and although she is managing to live independently in most ways she was finding it increasingly difficult to set her gas oven temperature correctly as she cannot see the temperature gauge marks on the dial/cooker front. She explained that as a result she often undercooks or burns her meals. Mrs W mentioned that she has family members and neighbours who support her very well, but she values her desire to continue to cook her own meals very highly.

On exploring her problem in more detail the DRC Information Officer found that Mrs W could light the oven safely using the integral oven lighter. Also, she’d had a visit from NAB (Northamptonshire Association for the Blind) several months ago when coloured stickers where placed on the cooker to help her to see the position of the dial. However her deteriorating sight meant she could no longer see these clearly.

As Mrs W finds using the phone difficult due to her visual impairment the DRC Information Officer asked for her permission to contact NAB on her behalf to find out if they could offer any other assistance and if not, to contact REMAP to look for a more tailored solution. Mrs W was very happy for the officer to make enquiries on her behalf.

Unfortunately NAB were unable to offer any further solutions, although they did mention that there is a talking convection oven/microwave available priced around £300 which may be of help if Mrs W were willing to give up her gas cooker in future. This information was passed to Mrs W but she asked the Information Officer to look for another solutions if possible.

The DRC Information Officer contacted *REMAP and the local REMAP engineer arranged to visit Mrs W the following week to assess the problem at a time when her neighbour would be present. The REMAP engineer modelled and temporarily affixed a large mechanical stop to the dial and cooker front to give a tangible guide to the position of the dial and also to prevent the oven from being set at too high a temperature.

Mrs W was very happy with the tailored solution to her problem and the REMAP engineer has arranged to visit her again in a week or so to check it is a successful fix, if so  he will make it permanent, if not he will consider other solutions until he finds one that works.

*REMAP is a national charity which helps people with disabilities to achieve greater independence and enjoyment of life’s opportunities. REMAP volunteers provide a free service making one-off special pieces of equipment. Find out more at www.remap.org.uk