Ask an Expert

1325–75; Middle English (adj.) < Latin expertus, past participle of experīrī to try, experience

Every day we live with the need to communicate. We need to rise above simple translation and see the meaning, when we build a website we need to include everyone (not just the sighted) and when we travel we are faced with challenging physical barriers. I know what it's like and think I have the depth and resources to help others make the right decisions.

Each month I will be responding to a question, chosen from a pool of some of the most commonly asked ones that I have been asked over the years and continue to be asked. A complete archive of "Ask an Expert" articles can be found here.

Donna Jodhan, a woman with short dark hair and glasses, sits at a table with a laptop in front of her.

This month, I'd like to answer the following question:

Making a Christmas party more accessible

Before you say no or turn thumbs down on these suggestions; consider these thoughts.

You can definitely increase your revenue and reduce both your internal and external costs and here's how.

Take it from me! I have been an accessibility awareness consultant and advisor since 1998 and I continue to help companies to increase their revenues, reduce their costs, and reach hidden consumer markets!

The thing to remember here is that Christmas parties are the occasions when we all want to be included in the festivities and especially for seniors and persons with disabilities; it is even more important to bear this in mind.

So, here are a few tips for you to consider when planning your Christmas parties.

  • Make sure that your party is held at a location that is easy to get to not just by public transit but also by private vehicles.
  • That it is held at a convenient time.
  • That there is enough space to accomodate those with walkers and wheelchairs if necessary.
  • That the party is meant to include everyone and not just certain folks.
  • That no one is left out.
  • If there is an exchange of gifts that gifts are tasteful and respectful.
  • That there are enough folks around to help those who need assistance.
  • That if there are buffet tables make sure that those who need assistance will be accommodated appropriately.

This should do it. Happy holidays!

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