1. Location

Picking a venue that is accessible and caters to everybody is vital and probably the most important step. Ensure that there is adequate parking outside the venue. If any attendees use wheelchairs or walking aids, they will need step-free access into the building as well as around the building and toilets. It’s a good idea to check all lifts are in full working order if the venue has them.

Hosting at home? Be sure to block off a safe parking spot for your guests who will be arriving in a wheelchair-accessible building.

2. Décor, Noise and Atmosphere

As with any party, decor should be fun and fit your theme, however, keep in mind decorations that stick out could get in the way of a wheelchair, and long tablecloths could become problematic.

If you have any guests with sensory disabilities, anxiety-related disabilities or neurodiverse disabilities, they may struggle with overcrowded, overstimulated situations. Keep this in mind when planning entertainment and choose a venue that has good acoustics and enough space to avoid crowding.

3. Enough space

We touched on venue accessibility in the first tip, but it’s important to consider whether your guests in wheelchairs or those with visual impairment can move around the space once in it. Ensuring that a person in a wheelchair can fit comfortably under the table will also improve their experience and support them to feel included in conversations.

4. Food

Check the dietary requirements of your guests before seeking out a venue. While buffets are great, they may be challenging for some guests. If you are choosing to serve a buffet style menu, be sure you have someone available near the food to assist those who may not be able to reach as well or who may find it difficult to navigate through the buffet line.

5. Plan Inclusively

If you have an event attendee with a disability, ask them for help planning! They will have the best insight and can give specific advice on what will, or will not, work for everyone.

We hope you find these tips useful, and we encourage you to share these tips with your extended family, officemates, friends, and anyone else who you know loves entertaining at this time of year!