With Christmas around the corner, holiday parties and family get-togethers may be filling up your schedule. This year, your Christmas gathering may be the perfect opportunity to reach out to someone in your church or community who has a disability! As you make plans to include someone new for one of these special celebrations, we’ve provided tips to help you best serve your guests with disabilities.
Know that your guests may come late or leave early.
If your guest needs extra assistance with anything, such as when entering your home or with feeding, make sure someone is available to help. Be willing to make them feel comfortable and at ease.
If your guest is uneasy in a crowd or needs to lie down due to fatigue, prepare an empty room or quiet, safe space where they can relax.
If your guest is in a wheelchair, create space around the dinner table and throughout the house for them to move around. If you don’t have an accessible entrance, let your guest know and ask how you can make your home more accessible.
Before the party, ask your guests if they have any food allergies or sensitivities to fragrances. Some people have life-threatening allergies that you may not know about. If you are unable to accommodate all of their special needs, let them know. Invite them to bring a dish or snack for themselves, or one to share with others at the party.
Do what is best for your guest but be conscious about respecting their personal space – not everyone wants or needs help. Don’t show pity, show empathy.
Can you think of other ways to help a guest with disability feel included? Please share your ideas with us!
Download “Ways to Best Serve Your Guest with Disability during the Holidays”