PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The simple act of washing dishes can be difficult for a boy who is disabled and legally blind.
Breydin and his teacher, Beth Sekelik, are finding their way around a brand new, accessible kitchen at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children.
The previous kitchen seemed perfect when it was installed 25 years ago, just before the Americans with Disabilities Act passed. But the counters and appliances were unreachable, since most of the 180 students use wheelchairs. So the school was delighted when it won the new kitchen, in a $10,000 Life Improvement Challenge sponsored by Ikea.
Ikea spokeswoman Jennifer Stockdale says many of her fellow employees have children who attend the school.
“We had a great group of volunteers from the store,” she says. “We came in, and were able to take care of some of the less technical aspects. We were lucky to have the main maintenance from the store. He was able to do everything.”
Sekelik says improvements include a center island.
“It’s lower as well as smaller, so now our wheelchairs can get around the island, where before it was really tight, and they couldn’t make it the whole way around the island,” she says.
She says the kitchen is a huge improvement, adding, “We were very fortunate that we won.”