It’s difficult to shake the fact that products that have existed for centuries can sometimes be prime examples of non-inclusive design. Stairs are a notorious example – they’ve existed for centuries, but are an accessibility nightmare for people in wheelchairs. The humble kettle is yet another specimen… It’s been around for practically 5000 years, and is a visual icon with its short stout body, handle on one end, and spout on the other. However, ask any disabled or visually impaired person, or someone with reduced strength or dexterity and they’ll tell you how cumbersome the product’s design can be. The handle on one end means you need a fair amount of wrist strength to hold a kettle upright without it tipping over, and pouring the hot liquid into a small cup can be very challenging for people with physical or visual impairments. Nick Fitzpatrick’s ‘Inclusivitea’ hopes to change that.
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The Inclusivitea kettle highlights the two biggest problem areas when it comes to using a kettle – the filling and the pouring. The redesigned kettle comes with two handlebar-shaped arms that let you easily carry it to fill it up with water. Dock it in the stand and plug the kettle into a power outlet and it begins brewing your tea. Once your tea’s ready, simply put the cup in its dedicated zone right under the kettle and press the main button that both filters the tea and dispenses it right into the cup. The dispensing stops once you release the button, completely eliminating any chances of over-filling your cup and/or spilling tea all over the place.
Each Inclusivitea tea-set comes with the kettle and stand, but also with an assortment of containers housing everything from sugar cubes to tea bags, spices, and even a small dairy creamer jug. The easy-to-hold kettle is also accompanied by a tiny cup with an extended rim instead of a handle. Made so you can grip it by its rim comfortably (rather than with your finger through a small handle), the cup even has a small cutout in the extended rim from which to sip through.