Every birthday party should be special. But throwing one you’ll always remember with a smile takes time and effort — especially when the star of the show (or guests) are affected by impaired vision or blindness.
Proper accessibility is crucial to ensure everyone invited to the birthday party has fun and feels included. Sounds daunting? Don’t worry: here are 5 easy tips for an accessible birthday party you’ll never forget.
Send customized invitations to your guests affected by sight loss
One of the most important steps in creating an inclusive birthday party for all of your guests is sending customized invitations.
Text isn’t enough. Yes, a friend, relative or carer may be able to read a traditional invitation to them, but the guest is bound to be touched if you tailor it to their needs.
Cards with Braille are available online but you can make them more tactile with stickers, beads and glitter.
Let guests reach out and touch your decorations
Placing balloons, streamers, banners and other traditional birthday party decorations up high is fine for guests unaffected by sight loss.
But it’s vital to create a fun atmosphere for those living with blindness or vision impairments. And hanging your decorations lower, within reach, can help.
Obviously, health and safety is important, so be careful. But place balloons and streamers in positions where they may brush against guests as they pass. It all helps reinforce the celebratory buzz for those unable to see the decor.
Create a tactile experience with gifts and treats
One sweet way to ensure an accessible birthday party everyone will remember is to prepare tactile snacks.
For example, create Braille on cupcakes and/or birthday cake using decorations or treats like M&Ms. Spell out sweet messages or names, so each guest has their own custom treat.
Host games based on touch and interaction
Games are a nice touch for birthday parties, no matter how young or old your guests are. They’re terrific for breaking the ice and bringing everyone together.
All games must be accessible to everyone, whether they’re affected by impaired vision/blindness or not. Try:
- a treasure hunt around the home/venue, using Braille signs or tactile maps
- classics like pin the tail on the donkey or piñatas
- pass the parcel
- quizzes (perhaps based on the guest of honor)
Make sure the venue offers suitable accessibility
The birthday party venue must be accessible and safe for all guests.
Hosting a celebration at a hotel, restaurant or public space can be tricky for guests with special requirements. Property-owners are required to align with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ACA), but you may still need to check all your guests are accommodated for.
If it’s taking place in a house or apartment, controlling the environment is a little easier:
- make sure all doorways are unobstructed
- hang signs with Braille and/or large, high-contrast text to aid navigation
- check stairs and floors are free of obstacles/tripping hazards
Accessibility is a core concern at RightHear. Our indoor orientation solution is designed to help users living with vision impairments or blindness find their way inside almost any environment. This maximizes safety and independence for every single user.
Take the 5 steps above into consideration when hosting an accessible birthday party to create an unforgettable event for every single guest.