Spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner! During this time, friends and families will gather together to celebrate. From Easter egg hunts to Easter dinner, there are some things you will want to consider in making your celebration accessible for electric power wheelchair users, so that everyone can enjoy this time together.
Your first thought may be to host your Easter gathering at home. However, not all homes are accessible. Power wheelchair users may run into some issues when trying to navigate entrances with steps and go into different rooms when the doorways are not wide enough. If you are wondering if your home is power wheelchair accessible, you can read this article on making your home power wheelchair accessible to see if your home is wheelchair-friendly.
If you find that celebrating at your house may not be inclusive, consider scheduling your get-together in an open area. Whether you are celebrating outdoors or in a public place, it is important that there is ample open space for everyone attending to socialize. Keeping the same criteria in mind, you can find a place that has an entrance without steps and that is wide enough for a power wheelchair to enter. Some restaurants have a party room with open space that guests can rent out. To make the best use of space, we recommend moving any tables with refreshments to the edges of the room. The same ideas that Stephanie Woodward mentions in her blog post on Making Your Holiday Celebration Wheelchair Friendly applies to Easter gatherings as well. She recommends checking the lengths of tablecloths and placement of decorations. Another option that you may consider for Easter gatherings and celebrations is to host them outside. Since the weather is getting nicer, you can check out hosting your get-together at a local park.
Egg hunts are another fun tradition around Easter time to celebrate the holiday. There are a few things you can do to make your Easter egg hunt accessible and inclusive for all your guests. Whether you plan for your egg hunt to take place indoors or outdoors, consider hiding your eggs at eye level. If a wheelchair user doesn’t have a power wheelchair with iLevel® power adjustable seat height technology, collecting some of the hidden Easter eggs could pose a challenge if they are hidden in higher locations.
If you are hosting your Easter gathering outside and are organizing an egg hunt, you probably will not have to worry about hiding the eggs in places that are too high to reach, but they may be in spots that are too low for your guests that use an electric power wheelchair to reach.
Some ideas that people have done when making their Easter egg hunts accessible and inclusive is using a grabber to pick objects up off of the floor, tying balloons to the eggs, or even putting magnets inside of the plastic Easter eggs and giving their guests a pole or tube with a magnet attached to the end of it so that they can magnetically pick up the eggs.
One last thing to consider when planning an accessible Easter egg hunt is where power chair users will put the eggs that they collect. As they collect the plastic eggs, they may start to roll off onto the floor. One place wheelchair users can store their collected Easter eggs is in a Quantum® backpack or other type of backpack so that their hands will be free when collecting more eggs. There are other creative ways to store the plastic eggs, such as temporarily attaching a basket to the chair.
With proper planning, your Easter gathering can both be accessible and inclusive for all of your guests, creating fun, lasting memories.