Presented by Home Economics, Royal Blind School
As a Home Economics Teacher at the Royal Blind School I teach anywhere from basic food preparation right up until National Qualifications to visually impaired and blind young people. For a child and young person with a visual impairment it is really important to be developing skills required to meet the demands of everyday life. Having a successful and satisfying life is created by mastering a range of independent living skills. As teachers of children and young people with visual impairments we know that many incidental learning opportunities are lost to the visually impaired, so we as teachers need to initiate learning.
Today with the help of one of my pupils I’m going to demonstrate how to make a toasted cheese sandwich. We’ve got tongs, we’ve put them on the dycem mat just to have colour contrast so a visually impaired person can see this. We’ve also got a white toaster on a grey worktop so again, the contrast can easily be seen. We have a chopping board that’s got rubber ends so it minimises movement. We have a cheese grater with rubber on the bottom and you can also work with that on top of a dycem mat, it’s a really soft movement and on a contrasting dycem we’ve got a spoon for spreading and a round handled knife with an indentation to rest the index finger.
And the last piece of equipment we’re using today is a bread spreader that is anchored to the edge of the worktop. So to begin the process we have two slices of bread on our chopping board. We pick up the bread one a time. With one of our hands we feel where the toaster is because at this point it’s cold. We’re going to take our bread and we’re going to put it in the toaster. We’re going to put in one slice of bread at a time. While the bread is in the toaster we then push down our switch at the side to toast our bread.
In the meantime, while our bread is toasted, we’re going to grate our cheese. We put our box grater on our dycem to keep it from moving. Take our cheese and we feel which direction the blades are going, very gently and so that the young person can actually feel the direction at which to push the cheese. We take our cheese and put it in the palm of our hand with our fingers pointing up as much as we can. The reason why we do that is that our fingers don’t get caught in the blades. We gently push down on the cheese and push it forward in the direction of the blades. We pull it back again keeping the cheese in the palm of our hand, then push it forward again keeping fingers and thumbs up. Keep repeating this motion until all the cheese is grated.
The toast is now popped up and we count to ten to give it time to cool down. We then use our tongs because the toast is still hot. We grab the top of our toast, squeeze the tongs, gently bring it over to our chopping board, one at a time. We go and get the other piece of toast. Squeeze the tongs, pull it up away from the toaster and put it onto our chopping board.
The next step is to put our chopping board aside, take our bread spreader, anchor it to the edge of our worktop so it’s nice and firm. You take your toast, one at a time, and secure it in the top corner or our bread spreader. Using our spoon, we go into our tub of butter and take a spoonful out. Using our other finger, we put the butter onto the centre of our toast and with the base of the spoon in a circular motion, you slowly spread out the butter going from the middle to the edge of the toast. We can use our thumb and our index finger to grip the toast while we’re spreading our butter so we can feel the size of the bread and how far the butter needs to go on our toast. Once we have our two pieces buttered on our chopping board we then get our grated cheese, take off the lid, we put it on the side of the hand that we’re going to use to minimise movement. Keep your index finger and your thumb edge to edge on the toast so you can see the area that you need to cover with the grated cheese. Now that we’ve finished putting our grated cheese on one side of the toast we can take our other piece of toast, butter side down, so take it with index finger and thumb and flip it over covering the cheese and we feel with our hands that both pieces are together.
The last step is to cut our sandwich in half. To cut our sandwich in half we use a special technique by putting our hands like a bridge. We do this to keep our fingers and the rest of our hand away from the knife. We take our knife, putting our index finger in the indentation, pressing down and sawing back and forth. Keeping the knife in the same position, back and forth, and we do that until we hear the sound of the bottom of the chopping board. And now we’ve completed our lovely, tasty toasted cheese sandwich.
Read more about Basic Independent Living Skills.