Unique Gift Ideas for Disabled Recipients

Sometimes we struggle thinking of gift ideas that don’t feel like the same old thing.  When the intended recipient lives with a disability, a few extra considerations can ensure a thoughtful and unique gift that they will love.

Below, we compiled some creative gift ideas, as well as suggestions for ensuring your recipient feels the level of care behind your gift. The list covers gifts for the special someone who appreciates anything from advocacy for the disabled to sports equipment, tech gadgets, and live experiences.

Recipient-Sensitive Giving

It’s important to consider that each person’s personality and disability journey is unique and deeply personal. All gifts aren’t right for all people. Someone who lives with a disability does not necessarily want a gift that revolves around being disabled.

However, learning about your recipient’s unique needs can ensure you choose a gift that suits them. Asking questions about accessibility when shopping for a gift can ensure the very best experience.

The most thoughtful gifts we can give show a focus on what the recipient would want. Consider someone’s physical needs, but also their personality, hobbies, and passions to choose the perfect gift, just for them.

Here are some gift-giving inspirations for the person on your gift list.

For the Fashion Guru

Adaptive clothing is available to suit all levels of mobility and all types of fashion. You can choose a gift that perfectly represents your recipient’s personal style.

Adaptive clothing is as different as the spectrum of mobility needs, but many brands offer the ability to shop by need. A few examples include:

  • Pants with special loops or magnetic closures instead of buttons that make them easier to pull on and off.
  • Slimmer profiles to avoid getting tangled in wheelchair wheels.
  • Shoes that can be slid on, hand-free.
  • Clothes with easy access points for medical devices.
  • Accessories (organizers, backpacks, cup holders) made specifically to go on a wheelchair and be easily accessed.

Gift certificates for services that keep them looking good are another great choice. Research accessible nail or hair salons in the area and pamper them with a fresh look from a professional.

For the Sports Enthusiast

Adaptive sports equipment is available for most every sport and all levels of mobility. From more traditional sports like basketball, baseball, and soccer, to climbing, rowing, cycling, and fishing, there is adaptable equipment available for every activity.

A subscription to an at-home streamed exercise program or a gym membership can be a great choice for conditioning and overall wellness. Be sure to ask the gym about their accessibility options and choose accordingly. At-home equipment like weights, stress balls, or exercise bands offer another option.

Maybe your recipient prefers a fan experience. Tickets to a local sporting event could be a great way to celebrate their passion for sports. It is also an opportunity for time together cheering on the home team. Professional sports teams are fun, but minor league tickets can offer a less expensive alternative that often provides added activities to get the crowd into the game. Look into the accessibility offers at your local sports facilities.

For the Tech Enthusiast

Technology is more than a popular hobby. It is also a wonderful way to enhance connectedness with friends and family anywhere, any time.

  • If your budget allows, items like phones, tablets, or video games may be a great choice. Technology gifts don’t have to come at high price points. Earbuds, app purchases, charging stations, game controllers, and device stands can be incredibly useful additions to your techie’s home.
  • You might also consider items that stylize the devices your recipient already has. Device covers and accessories offer endless options in your recipient’s favorite color or pattern or featuring a favorite character or animal. Make the things they use every day even more “them”.
  • Smart home devices can be incredibly helpful to those of all mobility levels. The ability to use lights, fans, blinds, and other items with voice command can represent tremendous time and energy savings, daily. There are also many devices designed to lessen the physical load in the kitchen, from mixing to chopping and peeling.

Experience Gifts

A well-researched experience gift can be an opportunity for the person on your gift list to try something new, take a hobby to the next level, or spend some time with you doing something they love. Ask local experience providers about their accessible options for your recipient’s mobility level. Below are some ideas:

  • Adventure enthusiasts might love a ride-along in a race car or plane.
  • For the animal lover on your list, many zoos have animal experiences that allow you to get up close to an amazing creature.
  • Classes can also make a fun gift. What is something your recipient loves to do or has always wanted to try? Art, cooking, woodworking, and a variety of other classes can make wonderful gifts.

Give Services

Services can also be given as a gift. Lightening someone’s load now or providing a certificate for the time of their choice can ease someone’s mind or provide time for relaxation. What better gift to receive, especially during busy times like the holidays?

Consider gifting some time from a:

  • Personal shopper
  • Errand runner
  • Handyman or woman
  • Ride service
  • Personal chef

You might also consider offering up some of your own time to do these things for someone as a gift. This makes them more affordable and provides a personal level of care for your special someone.

Gifts That Support Others

Consider gifts that support causes close to their heart. This may or may not have to do with their disability. Would your recipient appreciate a gift that gives back to their specific disability community? Maybe they are animal lovers or are passionate about social causes. Find something that speaks to them.

  • Volunteer with them at a charity that is dear to their heart. This is an incredibly affordable opportunity to spend time together while showing you care about what they care about.
  • Purchase a gift from their favorite charity. Most charities have wearable merchandise, as well as calendars, greeting cards, and a variety of other items that directly support their mission. Donations can also be made in someone’s honor.
  • There are also a multitude of amazing creators who also happen to be disabled. Purchase a gift from an author, artist, or film maker who is disabled. This can be a special or even one-of-a-kind gift that also supports advocacy for the disabled community.

Consider the Person for the Perfect Gift

A person’s disability journey is very personal. Listen and consider the person. What sparks joy in them? What is driving them crazy?  What do they want or need? Choose gifts tailored to their interests while being thoughtful about what may not be appropriate for their specific mobility level.

Ultimately, don’t be afraid to ask, either. With a little thought and care, a gift can feel like it was made just for them, and the memories can last for years to come.

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