The ideal appliance purchase lasts at least ten years, and a lot can happen during that time. One strategy for getting the most use out of your appliances is to purchase a model for everyday use that is designed to be operated by people of all abilities.

Many standard models already meet the requirements outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act, which states that controls should be no higher than 48 inches nor lower than 15 inches. Controls, doors, and drawers must be operable with one hand, and with no more than five pounds of pressure.

Now, as more standard models use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology to incorporate remote or hands free “smart” features, your kitchen appliances can be even easier to operate for household members of all abilities. You can control them with an app on your phone or tablet or by voice over a smart speaker.


Easy-to-reach, front facing touch controls on ovens can be locked for safety. LP Appliance

With a smart oven and range, you can start a preheat on your commute home, monitor the temperature of a stovetop stew from the garage, or even take a look at how golden brown your cornbread is turning if your model has an interior camera.

You don’t have to go to the top of the line to get these features. Both natural gas and glass top electric ranges with smart features are listed under $2,000. But if you do want to go big, the camera-equipped GE Profile Smart Slide-in induction range and oven is $4,449, with the additional benefit of an induction cooktop that cools as soon as it is turned off and cookware is removed.

Switching from knobs or buttons to touch sensors can take getting used to, but they do not require torque, are simple to operate, and easy to clean. They are especially beneficial on range tops or ovens with front-panel controls because unlike a knob, you can press a button to lock the control panel so children cannot turn on the stove.


Kitchen appliances can help you age in place. Controls are within reach from a seated position, while add-ons like hands-free water fills or timed hot water make daily use more convenient for everyone. LP Appliance

When it comes to an accessible refrigerator, the more doors and drawers the better. The GE Profile four-door smart fridge ($4,199) is configured with the freezer on the bottom of the unit, and it has an easily reached temperature adjustable cooling drawer. Another feature is the hands-free, auto-fill water dispenser. Place your glass or bottle down and the water will turn off when it’s full.

Take the convenience up a notch and get a model with a built-in Keurig coffee and hot water dispenser ($3,999). You can use the GE SmartHQ app to schedule the dispenser to heat up just as you arrive in the kitchen for your morning coffee. Another smart advantage: these refrigerator models will send an alert if the interior temperature suddenly changes, or if you need to change the water filter.



Built-in dishwashers that are fully ADA compliant are not universal since they have a lower profile to fit into a 34” countertop design. But the other key features of accessibility—easy to reach touch controls, low-pressure operation, remote operation enabled by smart features—are present in most other newer models.

Many GE Profile dishwasher models, ADA compliant or not, now include Microban technology to prevent bacteria growth on surfaces, an interior disposer to chop large food particles and prevent clogs, and commercial-grade steam and sanitizing cycles. Be sure to check the decibel level too: ultra quiet models reduce indoor noise pollution.


After comparing all the makes and models, it’s important to consider the intangibles too: available warranty, customer service, and quick repairs if something goes wrong.

When you buy locally from a retailer like LP Appliance in Westbrook, you have the advantage of knowing exactly who to call when there’s an issue, as they provide the service and warranties on the machines that they sell. You get personal touches from selecting a model and finding the best price to arranging delivery, and possible repair service.

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