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How to make sure that this Christmas is an Inclusive Christmas

Making Christmas Accessible for Everyone

The holiday season is a time for joy, love, and togetherness. Unfortunately, it can also be a challenging time of year for many.

For some, the holidays are filled with traditions that might be difficult or even impossible to participate in. It's important to remember that creating an inclusive environment starts from being kind and thoughtful towards everyone—no matter their situation or ability level.

We've listed a few easy ways you can make this Christmas more Inclusive, particularly fpr those who experience disability.

Inclusion Starts at Home

The holidays don’t just happen in public spaces - they start at home. Christmas is all about being with the ones you love so make sure to prioritise inclusion within your household. If you have a loved one who experiences disability, make sure their individual needs are considered while decorating, giving gifts, cooking food, or engaging in activities around the house. Ask them directly what would make them feel included and accepted during this special time of year and follow through with their wishes. Everyone’s definition of ‘inclusion’ is different, so remember to be mindful that some may need more support than others - for instance requiring help when opening presents - whereas others may want (and even prefer) to do it by themselves. Show kindness this season by honoring every individual's requests.

Don’t forget about Accessibility!

As you plan events outside of and around the home, like Christmas parties or trips to see Santa Claus, remember to think about accessibility issues and ensure that everyone can join in on the fun. Look into wheelchair access, accessible toilets, reduce potential trip hazards, provide support seating such as bean bags or wheelchair cushions, and consider providing sensory aids such as noise cancelling headphones - all so that the festivities remain accessible for everyone in your group! At the end of the day, no matter who you're celebrating with or where you're hosting the party, kindness knows no bounds; inclusion and accessibility mean that everyone can participate equally in your event.

Inclusive Language is Key

This Christmas, use empowering language to embrace life’s natural diversity and speak with kindness towards those who experience difficulty, remembering that a disability is just one part of someone's identity - we all have other qualities, preferences, experiences and interests too. Show inclusion by engaging in conversations around these shared life experiences: happiness, joy, celebration and more.

Not sure what the right language or terminology to use is? Check our PWD Australias Language Guide

Making Room at the Table

Christmas is a special time of year that's not just about having access to physical items, but also feeling socially included. That's why it's so important to create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and accepted.

Start by making sure the table has plenty of chairs, so no one has to stand while dining. Consider asking your guests if they need any special accommodations like larger plates or utensils in order to make things easier for them. Additionally, take into account the conversations happening around the table; try not to include topics which could be triggering or uncomfortable for some people based on their backgrounds and experiences. Practicing inclusion and acceptance creates a warm, inviting environment which allows everyone to enjoy their day in their own way– whether its participating in conversations, activities or playing a special role in the organising of the festivities.

Encourage Participation

Christmas is full of wonder and magic that all can enjoy. We all express it differently, but those moments of joy can be so powerful. Encouraging those around us who don’t celebrate Christmas traditionally to contribute their own ideas and customs to celebrate can foster a feeling of inclusion. From singing carols with loved ones, exchanging gifts, decorating the tree and participating in other activities together, there are so many ways to celebrate this season with kindness and acceptance for everyone regardless of their background or beliefs.

Be Patient & Flexible

When hosting a large group at a Christmas celebration, it can be helpful to remember that not everyone will feel comfortable doing the same things at the same time. Some people may need more time or attention than others; some may wish not to participate in certain activities at all; while others may want to take part in activities differently than the norm—and that's okay! Being patient with others' needs and flexible in accommodating them is key when it comes fostering an inclusive environment during the holidays.

Be Kind

Above all else, remember that kindness is key at this time of year! From simple acts like holding a door open for someone or offering help carrying something heavy – no one wants to feel unseen or left out during the holiday season. And we never know what someone else may be going through.

Christmas is a special time of year that should be shared by all. By taking the time to ask questions, being kind and showing empathy towards others, we can make a difference in creating an inclusive Christmas environment where everyone feels welcome and appreciated!

The best gift we can give this Christmas is the gift of kindness and acceptance "In a world where you can be anything, be kind"

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