Christmas is a magical time for all but no more so than for children, yet it seems that there are some little ones being left out in the cold by organisers of festive events.
New research from charity Scope has just revealed that 43 per cent of disabled children have been turned away from a Christmas activity, whether that’s not being invited to a party, not being able to access a toy store or Santa’s Grotto, or being denied access to a winter fair or wonderland.
Chief executive of the charity Mark Atkinson observed that no family that does have disabled children should have to be excluded, particularly at this time of year. He called for a change in culture, where families are considered at the planning stage of festive events, including consultations, up-to-date policies, accessible activities and better staff training.
“We know that disabled families can experience increased isolation and loneliness at Christmas when emotional and financial pressures are often amplified. At the very least we need to make sure the ‘fun’ activities are accessible to all,” Mr Atkinson went on to say.
You can help to make your events more accessible in numerous ways, such as by hiring an induction loop facility for rooms so that hearing aid users can take part. Temporary ramps can be installed where there aren’t any already in existence, you can hire staff to assist wheelchair users when at dinner to bring food to them, floor plan layouts can be amended to make it easier for wheelchairs… there is a lot you can do.
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