Empowering Inclusivity: Navigating the Holidays with Accessibility in Mind

Fostering inclusivity in the workplace is important all year round, but it’s essential around the holidays. This season is supposed to be a fun time with lots of celebration, and exclusion, intentional or not, can dampen the spirits of people with disabilities.  

That’s why it’s crucial to put accessibility and inclusivity at the forefront as you make holiday plans for your office, including everything from holiday gifts to company celebrations. 

Without further ado, let’s review some tips and techniques to navigate the holidays with accessibility in mind.

1. Choose Accessible Party Venues

Holiday parties are standard in many workplaces. They’re meant to show employees you appreciate them and celebrate all you’ve accomplished as a team throughout the year. A significant aspect of hosting a party that accommodates your entire team is choosing an accessible venue.

An accessible venue should enable everybody, no matter what disabilities they have, to participate in all of the festivities. 

At the very least, it should have standard ADA compliances, such as wheelchair access and Braille signage. Most formal venues should have these accommodations, but more casual venues, like parks, probably won’t.

2. Entertain with Accessible Activities

Part of throwing a great event that empowers inclusivity is to ensure that the activities and entertainment are fun for everybody.

For example, dancing may be difficult for some people, so ensure that these individuals have alternative entertainment options. You could feature some type of live performance, such as a comedy act or a magic show.

3. Give Inclusive Gifts

It’s common for companies to give gifts at the end of the year. Sometimes, these are cash bonuses, and others are items or experiences. 

No matter what you give, you should ensure that it’s something that all members of your team can use. Cash bonuses are a safe bet if you’re struggling to find a valuable and enjoyable gift for everybody.


Raffles are another fun part of holiday parties. You may have a grand prize larger than your average employee appreciation gift. Raffles, too, should be inclusive. 

For example, a brand that sells camping equipment or survival gear may think of raffling off credit to rent or buy a used RV. This prize is a fun option for a company that values adventure. 

Plus, this style of travel is accessible to those who can’t fly or have mobility issues.

4. Offer Floating Holidays

Part of creating an inclusive work environment is recognizing that only some celebrate the same holidays. People on your team, both abled and disabled, may want to opt out of some holidays for personal reasons. They may prefer to use the time off to celebrate or honor other days of the year that have greater importance to them.

That’s where floating holidays come into play. Floating holidays are a type of (paid time-off) PTO that allows employees to choose which holidays they’d like to take off. For example, if somebody celebrates Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, floating holidays would enable them to take their preferred holiday off.

Of course, offering federal holidays off as defaults is still nice, so your team isn’t pressured to come to work. However, having additional floating holidays allows your team to plan their celebrations however they see fit. 

5. Create a Diversity Committee

Another excellent technique for empowering inclusivity throughout the holidays is to put together a diversity committee. This committee should include representation of marginalized groups, ranging from people with disabilities to people from different demographics.

A diversity committee aims to ensure that decisions made on behalf of the company are favorable for each team member. Having this committee in place helps to prevent insensitive or inaccessible choices from being made since it allows everybody’s voices to be heard.

6. Prepare Presentation Strategically

Many companies use end-of-the-year gatherings to celebrate the year’s success. However, viewing this data can pose some challenges for people with disabilities. Someone who uses accommodations in the office may be unprepared for a surprise after-hours presentation.

One way to empower inclusivity and accessibility is to use data visualization tools to create interactive and engaging experiences that everyone can enjoy. Data visualization tools are software applications that allow users to make graphical representations of data, such as charts, maps, and dashboards. 

These tools can help users explore, analyze, and communicate data insights in an accurate and easy-to-understand way. They can also offer different features and capabilities, such as business intelligence, artificial intelligence, custom dashboards, visualization options, and custom apps. 

8. Make Participation Optional

Although it may sound like the opposite of inclusivity, making participation in holiday celebrations optional is a great way to promote accessibility. Remember, even if you create an inclusive and accessible event environment, some people may not feel comfortable attending. 

Letting everybody on your team know they aren’t required to come to after-work functions empowers them to decide if they want to participate. This removes any pressure to go to an event that may be uncomfortable for any reason.

9. Decorate with Inclusive Decor

Although it’s not directly related to accessibility, featuring inclusive decor in your office and at your party is a thoughtful way to appreciate all of your employees, no matter what they celebrate. 

For example, it’s great if you want to put up a tree. However, consider putting up a menorah to honor the traditions of those celebrating Hanukkah instead of Christmas. These small touches will contribute to a more inclusive environment. 

Final Thoughts 

Creating an inclusive workplace is just as important during the holidays as it is for the rest of the year. Inclusivity should extend beyond office hours and into the celebrations of this jolly time of the year.

Which techniques will you use to empower inclusivity in the workplace throughout the holidays?

About the Author

Kelly Moser is the co-founder and editor at Home & Jet, a digital magazine for the modern era. She's also the content manager at Login Lockdown, covering the latest trends in tech, business and security. Kelly is an expert in freelance writing and content marketing for SaaS, Fintech, and ecommerce startups.