Diwali, the festival of lights, is a joyous occasion that brings people together to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. As we continue with this year’s celebration, it’s in keeping with the spirit of Diwali to consider accessibility for everyone, including those with disabilities. Here are some ideas for communities and families that could make Diwali celebrations more inclusive, especially for individuals who are blind or have low vision.
Create an inclusive atmosphere through decorations that appeal to all senses. Incorporate tactile elements like textured rangoli designs or use scented candles and flowers to engage those with visual impairments. Additionally, ensure that pathways are clear and well-lit to facilitate easy navigation for individuals with mobility challenges.
Diwali is known for its vibrant sounds, from crackers to melodious music. Consider organising musical events with a variety of genres, providing a rich auditory experience. For those with visual impairments, music and storytelling can be powerful mediums for conveying the festive spirit.
Tactile Rangoli Workshops
Rangoli is a traditional Diwali art form that is usually visually stunning. However, you can make it inclusive by organising tactile rangoli workshops. Use materials like colored sand, rice, or even textured fabrics, allowing everyone to participate and create beautiful designs through touch.
Leverage assistive technology to enhance the overall experience. Provide audio descriptions for visual elements in event announcements or incorporate QR codes that lead to audio guides. Utilise accessible mobile apps to keep everyone informed about event schedules and locations.
Inclusive Diwali Games
Include games and activities that cater to a diverse audience. For instance, opt for games that involve listening or touch, such as traditional card games with Braille markings or games that rely on auditory clues. This ensures that everyone can actively participate and enjoy the festivities.
Accessible Food Options
Diwali is synonymous with delicious treats. Make sure food options are accessible to those with various dietary needs. Provide menus in Braille, offer a variety of textures and flavours, and ensure that the serving areas are wheelchair friendly.
Guided Tours and Assistance
Offer guided tours of the celebration venues for individuals with visual impairments. Trained volunteers can provide assistance and descriptions, making the entire experience more enjoyable. Create designated assistance points for those who may need help with mobility or navigation.
Inclusive Seating Arrangements
Arrange seating in a way that accommodates everyone, including those with mobility challenges. Ensure that there are spaces for wheelchairs and consider providing comfortable seating options for individuals who may need extra support.
A Celebration that Unites the Community
Diwali is a time for unity and joy. At RealThing, we are passionate about accessibility, and we recognise that by taking simple yet thoughtful steps, we can make the festivities truly inclusive. Embrace the diversity within our community by considering the needs of individuals with disabilities, and let this Diwali be a celebration that everyone can fully participate in and enjoy. In doing so, we illuminate not only our homes with lights but also our hearts.
We wish you all the Happiest of Diwalis!
By Guenivir Kendrick