Special Considerations in Planning a Disabled-Friendly Party
Your circle of friends and acquaintances is most likely to include people with disability. As you get to know them better, you understand that they also enjoy the same things normal people do, like going to a good party. However, because of their special needs it is daunting to include them in the guest list for fear of faux pas, accidents, and complications. It is indeed sad to exclude them considering that people who are disabled are quite lonely, and a little entertainment can go a long way to help them feel better about their situation.
There’s no need to be scared or shy about inviting them to an event. It can be an additional challenge, but it is very possible to plan and organize a party that includes those with disabilities minus the stress and extra work.
Here are special party-planning considerations when entertaining the disabled.
- If any of your guests have disability, ask them or their families in advance if the person requires particular setup or arrangement to help them make their way around the area. You can also ask the disabled person to come over to your home or to the venue before the party so you can work together on accessibility issues. As host, you are responsible for providing convenient means or access to the handicapped guests to make it easier for them to navigate entrances, bathroom spaces, and other areas.
- Let the guests with physical disability know that it’s all right to bring along a companion or caregiver who can personally attend to their needs during the party. In fact, the disabled will appreciate your thoughtfulness because they may actually need someone they feel comfortable with to assist them in moving around.
- When planning for the party, take a good look around the venue. View it in the eyes of the disabled guest to see what obstacles need to be moved away to provide more space. Clear tripping hazards most especially in tighter spaces such as hallways, bathrooms, and stairs. Rearrange the furniture, if necessary. Putting away décor items that block the way is a considerate thing to do for someone who is blind or in a wheelchair.
- Provide enough lights to illuminate areas especially for the visually impaired guests. If the party theme requires dramatic lighting use candles, tea lights and luminere to highlight corners, steps, and other treacherous spots.
- Having disabled guests to entertain makes it more practical to use hanging party accessories and decorations like streamers, banners, lanterns, scene setters, and glow in the dark products because they don’t pose as barricades along the way yet they add up in making the party mood more festive. Do your stress-free shopping for all needed decorating supplies in a one-stop online party shop.
- In selecting entrée choices, give priority to dietary concerns of the guests. If the budget allows, have a wide range of menu, from meat to fish and vegetables. Avoid dietary issues that can lead to disabled guests going hungry during the party by stating in the RSVP card that the person with disability or special food requirements must inform you about a particular request at least seven days prior to the event.
- To show your personal concern, provide disabled guests a personal loot bag containing items for their utmost comfort. Discretely hand out the special pouch with anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, extra party napkins, and a cold bottle of water to refresh them when they become thirsty or the time has come to take their pills.
- Make available games and equipment especially ideal to be played by people with disability or wheelchair-bound like giant board games that are not only good tools for mental exercises but also for promoting communication and creativity. Multi-player video games can also be set up to allow the disabled to play virtual ball games and other action-packed games.
The world of people with disability can be very lonely, especially during occasions when they feel there’s no choice but to stay home while others get to be invited in different parties. The best thing to help them overcome their unfortunate plight is to invite them to your own party. However, make sure they are safe and comfortable by planning with special considerations for them. Like normal people, your disabled relatives or friends also like to be a fabulous part of the festivities and share great unforgettable memories with you.