Get your accessible festive gift guide here

The festive season is almost here! If you’re counting down the remaining shopping days but still looking for gift inspiration, we’ve pulled together some ideas for great accessible gifts for your family and friends.

Accessible gifts for around the home

With each year comes a host of new technological innovations to make everyday life a little simpler. If you want to splurge on your loved one, smart home devices like an Amazon Echo can allow you to play music, control temperature and search the net all on command. If they already have one, shop around for a new smart home appliances that they can hook up to their existing system. Or for those who need some support with cleaning, a robotic vacuum cleaner like a Roomba can help keep their place tidy without lifting a finger.

If your loved one likes to dabble in the kitchen, The Mighty’s list of accessible gifts for those who like to cook includes items like an electric skillet which can be easily moved and cleaned as well as an electric can opener and vegetable chopper which can make food prep easier for those with muscle weakness.

When you’re thinking about gifts for around the home, sometimes it can be as simple as getting back to basics. A new lap tray is handy for wheelchair users to transport throughout the home and use at their convenience. Or to brighten up any house, consider low maintenance plants like succulents or a peace lily – perfect for those who prefer an indoor garden.

Gift ideas for kids living with autism

Most kids with ASD love tactile toys. Things that can be squished, mashed or just feel downright lovely between your fingers can deliver hours of calm play as well as endless creative possibilities. An oldie but a goodie, there’s a reason Play Doh has been around forever. Kinetic Sand is also great for kids (and easier than regular sand for parents to clean up afterwards) while water beads expand in water for some summer tactile fun.

A cubby or indoor tent can give kids with sensory processing issues a calming cave to escape to. Fill it with cushions, a beanbag or weighted blanket for ultimate chill. Click here for more ideas on gifts that can help create a calming sensory space for kids.

While gaming isn’t every parent’s cup of tea, for kids with Autism who are a little older, video games can provide a protected space to learn important social skills. Games like Autcraft (a modified version of Minecraft) is hugely popular in the gaming community and can give parents peace of mind that their kids are playing in a safe space. Or if you’d prefer pages to screens, a new addition to your home library is always a great gift! Check out our list of inclusive kids books to add to your collection.

Experiences for those who’d prefer something that can’t be wrapped

These days, many of us prefer to give and receive gifts that can be experienced and shared. If you and your loved ones count yourselves amongst these people, then here are some ideas to consider.

Membership to your local art gallery, museum or favourite attraction will usually get your loved one access to discounted entry, special offers as well as VIP tickets to special events. Many of the large attractions in major cities will also regularly host accessible events and sessions that cater to visitors with different needs. Gold passes for your local cinema are always a special treat – check out the schedule for any screening with closed captions or a hearing loop – or if you want to go all out, Trendhunter has reviewed these Sony Access Glasses which are manufactured to work with headphones and can dictate audio of a show or display closed captions on the lenses.

Take them on a trip somewhere special with the support of an independent support worker from Mable, or a specialist tour company. Whether it’s a weekend away to the countryside or an overseas adventure, there are a number of organisations that cater to diverse needs. If you’re looking to explore our beautiful country, engage the support of companies like Push Adventures, which support people to explore beautiful South Australia, or tap into Lonely Planet’s extensive research by downloading their free online resources for accessible travel in Oz. If you’d like to explore over the ocean, organisations like Leisure Options and Discovery Holidays specialise in creating inclusive travel experiences to destinations including the South Pacific, USA, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa. 

We all have family and friends who are tricky to buy for. In these instances, edible treats can be a good option. Luxury hampers or edible blooms can make someone feel really special. Or for a gift that will keep on giving, food subscription boxes like Hello Fresh will deliver easy to follow recipes with all the ingredients needed to their door.

Still stuck for ideas?

Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive, so here are some more gift ideas, cleverly curated by others. US-based Vision Aware has created this list of ideas for someone who is blind or visually impaired. Action on Hearing Loss from the UK have pulled together some ideas for those who are deaf or have hearing loss. New Mobility Magazine have created this list of gifts for active wheelchair users, including wheelchair lights and camera mounts for budding photographers. If your loved one loves tech, check out Trend Hunter’s list of innovative and well designed gifts for people with disability.

Do you have the support you need over the festive season? Make sure you engage your independent support workers now to ensure support is available over the holidays.