Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Cool Crip Culture -- Product Review #1

Intro to the Idea

When I started thinking about what I could put on the web related to disabilities, one of the things I was interested in was talking about "crip friendly" products. I will only be endorsing (or criticizing) products of which I have personal knowledge.

Other entries about "Cool Crip Culture" will include books and movies, as well as services.

Full Disclosure

I've signed up with Amazon to get these links, and I'll get a 5% commission if you buy it through my link. Which will come out to 35 cents in this case. You can also easily avoid my minor entrepreneurial impulse by buying it somewhere else, or through another vendor.

The price of my soul is considerably higher than 35 cents, so I hope you believe me when I say I wouldn't recommend anything I didn't absolutely believe in, through personal experience and/or use.

Through the comments feature, feel free to let me know if you hate a product I've recommended. Or, if you like it.

Open Up!

I like this jar opener by OXO so much that I have one at home and one in my desk at work. I'd really like to get another one, for my nightstand.

I'm not a huge consumer of food that comes in jars, you understand, but these little babies also are great for opening drinks -- bottled water, flavored waters and sodas, and "new age" soda/juices like Sobe. If you don't have much grip strength, for whatever reason, this is a great help.

They are also very well made, and have the OXO "good grip" surface on the handle. Hard plastic would kill my hands.


The only caveat about this opener is that you also need to have a fairly good grip on whatever it is you're trying to open. I approach this is a variety of ways. If it is a bottle, I often grasp it between my legs and with the hand that isn't using the opener.

If it is a big, fat jar, I use a rubber glove on the hand that isn't using the opener, to increase my ability to grip the slick surface of the jar without killing my hand.

Other Openers

I tried several different openers before I found this one about 4 years ago.

One kind is bolted to the underside of your cabinets -- you jam the jar lid against the teeth of the opener and turn the jar. I don't know if it's because I'm weak, or short or awkward, but this method almost never worked for me, and often resulted in my dropping the jar. And hurt my hands.

Another type is sort of funnel shaped, with a soft exterior, or with a soft interior surrounded by hard plastic. You hold this in your hand and place the whole thing on top of the lid. It is supposed to increase your grip strength. I almost never got anything open, and the hard plastic especially killed my hand.

Why This Works, For Me


The combination of the length of the handle, and the size of the "pie wedge" part of the opener where the teeth are, really lets you transfer the strength needed to your arms instead of your hands and ability to grip.

A Small Thing, But...

Oh yeah, I also want one to put in my suitcase. Have you ever been in a hotel room, eating room service food, and you can't open one of those little condiment jars of ketchup or mayo or jam or honey? I've been so frustrated by that one that I've wanted to throw the little mother through the window!

It All Adds Up

What I know, at the advanced age of 48, given a lifetime of notable disability, is that every little thing you can do and find that makes life just slightly less hassle takes away a tiny bit of the sting of the big things you can't change. Yet.


Rebecca said...

OXO has some great products. One of my favorites is the vegetable peeler. It's the only one I can use without skinning my knuckles.

How about a Hall of Shame for bad design? My first nominee is Prescriptives face powder compact. I may have a little arthritis in my hands and this thing annoys me every day (I'm too cheap to throw it out). The clasp to open it is very small and hard to see. You would think with all the Boomers creeping into low vision and arthritis, some companies would start paying attention to this.

imfunnytoo said...

OOOO OOOO OOO(picture an anoyying geeky kid in the front row of a class raising her hand)

I have one of these already and I certainly would have purchased one thru your link. I love good grip stuff as my wrists are weak these days...My shameless entreprenerial partner is Barne's and Noble.)