Special Party Planning Considerations – Entertaining the Disabled
In just about everyone’s circle of friends and acquaintances, there are people who are disabled in one way or another. In just my own immediate family, I have one person who is in a wheelchair and another who is on a special diet due to kidney failure. Whenever I entertain, I know that I have to take both of their special needs into consideration. For many people this is a very daunting proposition which they answer by simply not inviting their disabled friends and relatives to their parties, or simply not entertaining at all. How completely sad is that?
It is very important that as you move through your daily life you understand that fact that disabled people are just like you and I. While they have additional challenges in their lives, they still enjoy the same things you and I do, and a good party is no exception! It is very possible for you to plan your party and include those with disabilities without too much extra work.
The first thing you can do when you are planning a party is to plan on inviting your disabled friends and family to the event. Don’t let their differences scare you away from having them to your home or event. However, you should also not be shy about asking these friends and relatives if there is anything you can do to help them navigate the area better, or if there are any dietary restrictions they have which you can plan ahead for. Even by asking these two questions, they will feel appreciated and included in your event. In addition, they will have respect for the fact that you asked the questions, many people don’t bother to.
The next thing you can do is to take a moment to view your home as other people will who attend your party. Try sitting down in a chair, or sitting on the floor, and have a good look around. Look at obstacles like clutter and see if you can move some things out of the way for the party time. This is especially important in tighter spaces such as bathrooms and hallways. Look for tripping hazards like stairs and see if you can highlight them better to make sure that even your visually impaired granny can see them and be able to navigate them without falling down.
If you would like to invite someone to your party with a more physical disability, ask them if there is someone they would like to bring along as their caregiver. Many people will be happy that you asked and were considerate of the fact that they may need someone available to help them. Many people need help in places like the restroom, and would prefer to have someone there they trust and can feel comfortable around.
If your invitee has never been to your home before, you can simply ask if they would like to come over before the event and the two of you can work on accessibility issues together. This can be a great help and make both you and your guest feel as comfortable as possible.
The best thing you can ever do when entertaining is to invite those around you with disabilities. Especially during the holiday season, people can be very lonely and it only takes a nice gesture such as an invitation to a party to start to feel better about yourself and your situation. If you feel uncomfortable about the person’s disability, then try talking to them about what challenges they face and what things you can do to make their stay nicer at your home. Through some simple communication, both you and your disabled friends and relatives can have some great party memories to share.
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