Have Your Say to Define Accessibility in the New Blackwood Homes - Your Voice Counts!

Designing and shaping disabled access is never a one-man job. We’re enlisting some help from some real experts i.e. YOU. Share your opinion and help us shape the future of accessibility.


The Blackwood Home is one of Blackwood Homes and Care’s most exciting projects to date. Set to be unveiled early in 2017, our next generation of homes are designed with our customers to be accessible, beautiful and affordable.


All three criteria are crucial but today we are focusing on the accessibility of the property, specifically the kitchen. Blackwood is working with Howdens Joinery and Co. to put the finishing touches in and we want to hear from bespoken users about one important point –


Cupboard door handles…


What is best for accessibility? Sleek integrated handles that don’t stick out (as seen in the photos below) or more standard grip ones?


  • If they protrude too much, is there a high risk of collision or damage to a wheelchair?
  • If they are too subtle, will someone with poor grip struggle to open the cupboard?
  • Is there any other point we may be overlooking? Let us know.


We want to hear from everyone no matter what your mobility or ability. Please post your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below.


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Find out more about the Blackwood House!

Watch the Blackwood House get built in a time lapse!

Discover Blackwood's amazing Digital Care project -Clever Cogs!

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I want to see more innovation in cupboard design, so that abled-bodied and disabled can benefit. The base cupboard looks standard when you approach it, but pull on it and it rolls firstly out and then hinges out to the side out of the way. One side of the cupboard is normal back board from which wire baskets are attached storing everything neat. and finally just saying : too white for my taste.

Thanks for your comments Angela, these have been passed on to the Strategic Development Director who is overseeing the roll out of the Blackwood House.


I would always assume the best choice of handle would be one that allows the user to get their hand behind it to pull even if their grip is limited.  Anything requiring "fingertip" grip - as I would expect of the integrated handles - would be too difficult for a lot of people.  It's difficult to tell from a photo, though.

One question - I see where a wheelchair user can cook using the hob and the oven and I see where they can wash dishes but what about food preparation?  There is no accessible clear work surface that I can see in the photo.  And obviously, the wall units are likely to be out of reach, too.

Hi Helen,

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

In answer to your questions: the wall cupboards lower and come forward so they will be accessible, the only ones that won't are the high level storage above the oven.


The project Manager is working with Blackwood's Innovation department to look at changing the layout of the kitchen to allow more accessible worktop space. One idea is to move the hob or sink to the central island.

Thank you and keep your comments coming!


I notice that you need to press a button to raise or lower the sink. I noticed in Dundee's Smart Flat that a disabled man who came to see the flat found it difficult to hold the buttons down as his hands were shaky and lacked strength. For those who can't manage the buttons, is there a way of fitting a lever instead, or alternatively using a suitable remote control?



Great point Jimmy. Thanks for sharing, Your question is being passed on to the Project Manager at Blackwood as well as the Head of Innovation to investigate. These are exactly the kind of questions we need to address.

Let's keep the comments coming everyone!


Hi Again Jimmy,

As a matter of fact Blackwood's Strategic Development Director has responded to say that the kitchen units will be controlled via Clever Cogs, Blackwood's very own digitally enhanced care package.

Using Clever Cogs' home automation features, users will be able to control different aspects in their home using wholly accessible digital technology.

I urge you to find out more on Clever Cogs by looking at our dedicated page on bespoken right here...


Clever Cogs is good - I've seen a demonstration at Blackwood's Dundee office. Thanks for your response!


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