Meal preparation is an important component of independent living skills. As children grow, they are increasingly able to get or prepare food for themselves, from getting a snack from the cabinet to pouring their own cereal to making their own grilled cheese sandwich. Meal preparation skills vary from person to person, of course. While one person might be comfortable preparing a fancy three-course meal, another’s skills may not go much beyond putting a frozen pizza in the oven. However, it is generally expected that by the time an individual reaches adulthood, she should be able to make food to sustain herself, if she has the cognitive and physical capability to do so. For students with vision impairments, this is no exception. However, many students who are visually impaired need intentional instruction to learn meal preparation skills, because they cannot visually observe how meals are prepared or because they have not been given the opportunity to do so.
This activity is a great opportunity for parents and other caregivers to help a child with a vision impairment increase her independence and prepare for transition to adult life. The activity assumes very little prior experience with meal preparation. Students with more experience can learn to prepare meals that involve more advanced utensils, appliances, and skills. Students with complex needs who may not be able to prepare their own meals can nonetheless participate in some portions of this activity, such as learning to recognize and choose a food they would like to eat or helping to put food into the microwave.