The holidays are here! That’s right, the time for stressing over the perfect present is at our doorstep. If that special someone has a disability, it can add yet another wrinkle into the gift-buying process. What do they do for fun? What can’t they do? What might make their lives easier? Sure a new wheelchair or accessible van would be nice, but you were probably thinking of something a little smaller. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of nine amazing gift ideas for your disabled friends and family.
Zipper Pull Tabs
If your secret santa has arthritis, low dexterity, or reduced mobility in their hands, these zipper pull tabs are a great way to help them gain independence. They’re small, discreet, and can be used with one hand. These tabs look better than just tying a piece of yarn or fabric to the zipper, which can fray and tear over time. With the cold season just beginning, they’re going to be using zippers more and more over the coming months. These particular ones come in a pack of ten, so the receiver won’t have to pick and choose which garments to put them on.
In the same vein of the zipper tabs, this button hook is extremely handy for someone who wears a lot of button-up shirts. This simple device allows the user to fasten a button using only one hand, which is great for people with limited mobility. This particular hook comes with a zipper pull on the other end, which can be used instead of or in conjunction with the tabs above. The wide handle is also great for people who have issues gripping. For under $10USD, it makes a great stocking stuffer!
When I was little and got my first wheelchair, I got a Barbie who was also in a wheelchair. That gift meant the world to me because I had never seen a doll who was like I was. Giving a child a gift that has representation of their disability can help instill confidence in them and show them that they can do anything.
Make eating easier with a bowl that suction-cups to the table. This gift is great for someone who only has the use of one hand, or limited mobility in general. The higher lip on one side allows for easier scoops, and can prevent food from spilling over the side.
Using silverware when you have mobility issues in your arms and hands is extremely difficult. To the point where most people will avoid eating certain foods if possible. Silverware such as this one are great for people who tend to lose food on the trip from their plate to their mouth. The stabilizing technology in the grip allows for unintentional jerking to be lessened by up to 85%. This utensil is a bit on the pricier side as far as this article goes, but it is definitely a game-changer for someone with a physical disability.
A t-shirt or pop-socket with a catchy, disability-related slogan can make a fun gift for the right person. Take this idea with a grain of salt, because not everyone is into this sort of thing. I usually only suggest this to someone who is close to someone with a disability, because not everyone with a disability likes this sort of thing. Also, keep in mind what slogan or images are on the gift. You don’t want to give someone something that has offensive language on accident.
Reacher Grabber Tool
Chances are, if the person in question can use this item, they already have at least one. HOWEVER, this is one of those items that you can never have too many of. Mine get moved, misplaced, broken, or are just at the other end of the house when I need it. Having multiple for around the house (or one in the office) can make a big difference. There’s a wide variety of ones to choose from, too!
Playing Card Holder
If the person you are gifting to plays a lot of card games, a card holder is a fantastic idea for them. Holding and shuffling through one’s hand can be difficult if dexterity is an issue, and these devices allow the person to see their hand of cards easier. With these holders, they can see all their cards fanned out, and reorganize their hand easily. They come in a wide variety of shapes and layouts, so finding one that works best for them is simple.
Alexa Smart Devices
Hands down, the best Christmas gift I’ve ever received was an Alexa and a set of smart plugs. These devices allow the user to control lights, fans, and a whole bunch of other things right from their phone. The level of independence this brings is astounding. It’s hard to sum up in a single paragraph all the ways this device has helped me gain independence. Chances are, if you know someone with a physical disability and they don’t already own a smart hub, they have their eye on one.
Hopefully this list has given you some ideas for holiday gifts. Remember, just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean you have to give them a gift related to their disability But if you want to go that route, this is a good place to start. Keep in mind what kinds of things the person in question can already do for themselves, and what they struggle with. Above all, the person comes first — then the disability! Happy holidays!