The temperatures are falling, and Christmas music is being played on repeat. This can only mean one thing- the holiday season is upon us, and with it, the pressure to find the perfect gift is building. Everyone is in pursuit of the perfect gift for their family members and friends- something that is fun, useful and shows how much they care. Easier said than done! Below is a list of accessible gifts- perfect for friends and family members who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
Give the gift of cozy ears, and hands free mobile device control. Voice controlled bluetooth technology, built-in speaker and microphone all in a fashionable and warm hat. Various designs available on Amazon.com, pictured hat available at: http://www.robotshop.com/ca/en/bluetooth-braid-beanie-fur-pom-pom-black.html
Our very own Braze Hydra and Sentina are innovative products that just launched this October and can turn any wheelchair into a 'smart' wheelchair (cars have sensors, why can't wheelchairs?!). These add-on devices are the first in the world that easily attach to any wheelchair and offer visual, audio, and vibrational feedback to wheelchair users regarding location and proximity of obstacles. They provide the freedom of improved maneuverability, increased spatial awareness, and increased safety (see testimonial video at https://youtu.be/j0EtXYNW--Q).
These products have been available for purchase mainly by institutions, but anyone in Canada or the U.S. can now get the Braze Holiday Hydra for $349.99 USD only, with free shipping (limited time offer) at: https://brazemobility.com/products.
Chairmelotte designs wheelchair couture, specifically designed to be comfortable and fashionable. Check out the Evening Collection and find the perfect outfit to work on New Year’s Eve! Available at: http://www.chairmelotte.com/ (pictured: Dress Sophia, € 248.00; Coat Roger, € 565.00)
Having cold hands is never fun, but driving a wheelchair with cold hands is worse. This device protects hands from the cold, and allows the user to still have the control and visibility they need. It also protects the control panel from snow! A less bulky alternative could be tight fitting gloves. If you are feeling crafty, a similar design could be made with crochet or knitting skills. Available at: https://www.activemobility.co.uk/m/prod_detail.php?products_id=1839
Homemade gifts are a great option, and truly show that you care. It also makes the gift customizable, and lets you show off your skills! This design for a water bottle holder is a quick, easy and practical gift. Available at: http://www.sewcando.com/2010/06/laminated-cotton-cupholder-tutorial.html
For those feeling less crafty. Etsy has some different designs for bottle holders, and sidebags, with a variety of different designs, including this one, perfect for Harry Potter fans! Available at : https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/539304330/
No holiday is complete without adding to one’s cozy sock collection, and for people with limited lower body mobility, cozy socks are essential to keeping feet warm. Indigo sells many designs of reading socks, that keep feet and legs warm (https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/fashion/reading-socks/500027-cat.html)
For people who may find it difficult to get long socks on, check out these slippers (https://eglifarm.com/products/crocheted-slippers-adults) or a leg warmer designed for wheelchair users, available at: http://www.thewheelchairpro.com/leg-warmers-blankets
This speaker provides hands-free control of smart appliances. It can also control the lights, and heating in your house- all handsfree! Plus, the google assistant can book appointments, set alarms, Google things for you and play music! This is the perfect device for someone who has limited upper body mobility, giving them hands-free control of the house! Available at: https://store.google.com/ca/product/google_home
Hands-free technology doesn’t have to be left behind when your friend/family member leaves their Google home system at home! The Tecla Shield connects with smart devices, providing hands-free control anywhere you go! Check it out at: http://www.asl-inc.com/products/product_detail.php?prod=183
As the days get shorter, a flashlight becomes more and more handy- no one can navigate in the dark! Pair this flashlight up with the Braze Holiday Hydra (gift #2) for the ultimate safe driving gift! This flashlight available on Amazon is designed to attach to mobility devices. Flashlight available at: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Mounts-Wheelchair-Patented-Universal/dp/B013MJD5NO/, Braze Holiday Hydra available at: https://brazemobility.com/products/holiday-hydra.
Don’t let a curb stand in the way of your plans! The world is slowly becoming more accessible, and apps like accessnow (http://accessnow.me/) can be used to find accessible hang outs; unfortunately accessibility still has a long way to go. Bringing a ramp can help reduce the barriers faced during your adventures! Available at: http://www.wheelchairfriendlysolutions.ca/portable-wheelchair-access-ramps/
Thank you for reading about all of these gift ideas. Have any other suggestions? Please comment below! Have a very happy holiday!