This was originally supposed to go to a fellow blogger’s site that fall, but by the time I had the time to work on it, she was booked on her blog. So, when I came up with this series, I thought about putting this subject on my blog instead. I hope this post helps with creating or attending your next event.
We all make some type of events with our friends, coworkers, etc all the time. A lot of people love being the person that comes up with the ideas and puts it all together. I will give kudos to anyone that does that job, because I would have a headache going into it. Anyways If you are the one that plans for the entire thing, you usually have it all planned out in your notebook or tablet, just to keep everything organized, you might be missing some things that you wouldn’t necessarily think about needing to know right away.
If you invite somebody that has a disability, whether it’s physical or invisible, you need to cover all areas to fit that person’s needs. Now how do you do that? Well here are some of the basic things you need to remember to do.
You need to make sure the place where you will be having the event itself is handicapped accessible.
If you’ve invited somebody who is deaf, hire an interpreter.
Put things to at eye-level, so that everybody can reach for things easily.
Allow them to have their own food brought in, if they can’t have what you’re serving.
Brings plastic ware like forks, knifes, spoons, and even multiple straws.
Ask the person if they need help, especially if they didn’t bring somebody with them.
Make sure they are included in every aspect.
I was going to explain each one of the helpful hints in full, but I thought some were pretty self-explanatory. The first one needs to be discussed is making sure the area is accessible to everybody. For somebody with a disability, we always look out for certain things, like ramps, elevators, and a large bathroom. As a warning, from the moment we get out of our vehicles, we are like hawks, making sure everything is how it should be. You have to be as honest with them as you can as well. If you tell a person with a disability, that the building is accessible, you have to mean everything! If there are stairs, there has to be an elevator. If there is a curb, you have to say “there’s no ramp”. If the bathrooms are tiny as hell, you have to tell them!
Nowadays, lots of people have different food allergies. They might have an allergy to gluten, milk, peanuts, etc and since these are pretty common, a lot of people will respect their wishes and make sure to leave out these foods for that person. However, if you’re on a special diet, and this goes for vegan/vegetarians too, things can be a little bit more difficult for the planner. You want to serve food that everybody will enjoy, but when more than one person cannot have a certain dish, you can’t just change it for them. This is why I included allowing people to bring a small bento box of food that they know they can have to eat, but also I say this for those, who are only allowed to be feed through a tube as well!
To me, this last one just seems mandatory for anybody hosting or planning an event. You need to make sure that everybody in the room is getting attention. Whenever I’d go to events at school, I always felt like I wasn’t included on a lot of things my classmates were doing, and it made me feel really conflicted and sad, because you don’t want to pull somebody or a group of people away but you also don’t want to be lonely at the same time. One thing I do want to say is that, when you do have somebody with a disability at your event, don’t watch them like a hawk. We don’t want your full-on attention, we just want to be included with the rest of the group, so just treat us like in the way you would want to be treated.
Have you ever hosted and/or planned an event before? If you invited a person with a disability, did they explain to you what you needed to look out for to abide by their needs? If you’re disabled, please comment below with some of our helpful hints you think people should know when inviting disabled people to events.