Holiday Gift Guide for People with Disabilities

Posted on November 23, 2014

There are holiday shopping guides for men and women. Catalogs filled with children’s toys. There are tech guides. Lists for the cooks in our lives. Don’t forget the travel and reading and music and sport holiday guides. But there is one holiday guide I have never seen. And I am so thrilled to bring it to you. This is the very first Holiday Gift Guide for People with Disabilities. I believe assistive devices have the potential to be just as covetable as that shiny new bike or a cashmere sweater. I truly hope this list gets a little bit longer next holiday season.

The Sabi Classic or a Top and Derby Chatfield cane [$75 & $129].

Sabi and Top and Derby Canes

My alter-ego is The Girl with the Purple Cane, I obviously believe canes make great gifts. And these are the two best canes on the market. One has a birch (skateboard) handle and a bicycle grade aluminum shaft. The other has a silicone covered aluminum handle and a walnut shaft. Both are incredibly beautiful.

The eOne Bradley Tactile Watch [$275 – $315]

eOne Bradley Tactile Watch

This watch was initially designed and produced for people with impaired vision. But it’s so beautiful that  both the visually impaired and/or stylish have invested in this time piece. Best feature? It’s a great way to discreetly check the time. This item is on my Christmas list.

MagnaReady Oxford Shirts [$63 & $65]

MagnaReady Oxford Shirt

These dress shirts have magnetically infused buttons that ease dressing for those with limited mobility or dexterity. They’re actually just well made shirts that are a little easier to put on. Who says you need to have a disability to wear one of these? Options available for both men and women.

Alleles Prosthetic Coverthe Roth [$375 – $425]

Alleles Prosthetic Cover

The Roth is just one of many beautiful prosthetic covers Alleles has to offer. Alleles deserves accolades for creating a giftable prosthetic piece. Some covers are delicate as lace, others strong and tough. The best part about browsing Alleles is the moment you think to yourself ‘if I ever had a prosthetic, this is the cover I would want’.

Darveelicious Candy Cane Card [$23]

Darveelicious Candy Cane Card

I found these cards during a search for ‘candy cane’ on Etsy. Sarha from Darveelicious is exceptionally kind and a lot of fun to chat with. She was more than happy to customize these cards at my request. I don’t know who these cards were intended for, but they’re original, amusing and inclusive.

American Sign Language Scrabble Tiles [$30]

American Sign Language Scrabble Tiles

I would buy these for my sister, a Speech Language Pathologist who relies on ASL to communicate with her patients… but she’s terrible at Scrabble. So I will probably be buying her this instead.

Sabi Hold [$150]

Sabi Hold Grab Bar

This circular aluminum grab bar was initially constructed to provide a modern option to those of us who need a little extra stability in our homes. But imagine lining a wall with these to practice your rock climbing skills. Imagine your childhood self visiting grandma’s house to find some amazing monkey bars in the bathroom.

StimTastic Building Block Highlighter Set [$14]

StimTastic Highlighter Set

I’m a fidgeter. I scratch and itch and pick and poke. I bite the inside of my lip. I do these things because I’m human. Many people with Autism and other Sensory Integration Disorders struggle to take the world in around them. So they cope through a variety of behaviors that can often be redirected. Most notably, through Stim devices. There are all sorts of Stim toys. These highlighters are my personal favorite, mainly because I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t enjoy having these at their desk. Stimtastic is run for and by adults with Autism.

Walnut Studio ‘Cane Belts’ 

Cane Belts Close Up

Walnut Studio makes the most beautiful leather bicycle goods on the market. I got in touch with them over the summer, asking if they could help me find a way to affix my cane to my bike, hence the creation of the Walnut Studio Cane Belt. I have learned that I’m not the only paradoxical bike riding cane user out there. If you are interested in purchasing your own pair of ‘Cane Belts’ please contact Walnut Studio.

Po Sum On [$10 give or take]

Po Sum On Medicated Oil

Just do as it says and pour some on. This oil has been produced in Hong Kong since 1907. Po Sum oil reliably relieves my most stubborn aches and pains. It may help with yours too. You can read more about Po Sum On here.

REDSTARink Bills Calendar [$35]

REDSTARink Bills Calendar

Ok, this is just one of the best things I own. Unfortunately it works spectacularly for hospital bills. This is the one thing I am including on this list that is not intended for and does not nod to people with differing abilities. But it’s something I can’t live without.

FUTURE GIFT LIST ITEMS

There are actually a lot of incredible products designed for people with differing abilities. Unfortunately, there is no path to production and it is incredibly difficult to raise the capital needed to get these troths of beautiful products off the ground. I wanted to take a moment to point out two products I hope to feature in my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide.

The Colo (previously Nautilus) Bowl

Colo Nautilus Bowl Arthritis

I don’t know much about this bowl (and mug?) other than the fact that it is made for people with arthritic hands and dexterity issues. I have reached out to Small Giants and will update once I hear back. I believe there will be a Kickstarter in the near future.

Braille Dreidel 

Braille Dreidel

After seeing the above photo, I was disappointed to find there are currently no braille dreidels for sale. Since braille dreidels would probably be very easy to 3D print, I propositioned my friends at BoeTech. Brittney from BoeTech responded immediately and enthusiastically. “I LOVE BEING PUBLICLY HARASSED! We could totally do braille dreidels next year!” I then responded by saying I think J. Crew could learn a thing or two from her about responding to my inclusive product requests. Which leads me to my next point:

If you’re in a giving mood this holiday season, I would be so grateful if you would help me mainstream assistive devices and assistive fashions. It won’t cost you a penny and takes about 30 seconds. Will you please sign change.org/yesjcrewcane?

What Others Are Saying

  1. Jeanne November 24, 2014 at 1:32 am

    This is great! I look forward to a much expanded 2015 edition.

  2. Patricia November 24, 2014 at 4:54 am

    May I add his link to my website? This is the page is like to includ it on – http://www.autistikids.com/inspired-entrepreneurs.html

    Thanks!

  3. Amanda jones November 24, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Wonderful stuff! Any UK availability?

    • The Girl with the Purple Cane November 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Amanda, this actually occurred to me last night as I was falling asleep. I’m going to work on this today. I also would love to add a few products made outside of the US. The hard part is finding those products…

  4. Melody W. November 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Great idea. Love the list. Thanks.

    Will post on Crutches 4 Kids Facebook and Twitter sites.

    You should also consider adding $10 buys a new pair of pediatric crutches for kids in need at Crutches 4 Kids. 😉

    Happy holidays.

  5. Pat November 24, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    This is a fantastic gift guide!

    I work for a home care company in New York City and have found that many of our clients with limited dexterity wish they could still dress themselves. These MagnaReady shirts would go a long way towards providing our patients with more independence in their morning routines.

  6. Deanna K November 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Love the cane belts! I so need a set of those as biking is one of the few forms of exercise I enjoy participating in, but sometimes need to be able to walk distances too. I used to break down my aluminum can and stick out of my backpack, but it’s a pain to collapse and set up over and over again (hard on the hands and fingers too).

  7. Stephanae V. McCoy November 24, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    What a great idea!! Thank you Liz. Going to share dwith my networks. May you have a Happy Thanksgving.

  8. Melissa November 24, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Royal Copenhagen already makes a mug similar to the nautilus. Check out their website. If it’s not on their site there will probably be contact info.

  9. Chelsea November 25, 2014 at 7:08 am

    LOVE this list! Thank you!!!

  10. Morgen November 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I’m involved with the Penguin Project. And that is a theater program that helps kids with disabilities put on a broadway show. And my partner is in a wheelchair and I have a hard time thinking of gifts that useful for him. Do you have some suggestion?

    • The Girl with the Purple Cane November 25, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      Hi Morgen, Thanks for writing in. That was a big struggle for me, I so badly wanted to put something on this list for people in wheelchairs. But nothing stood out to me. I can absolutely promise you that there will be two amazing items on next year’s list for people in wheelchairs. I’ll be writing about them in the coming months and will be sure to reach out to you when I do.

  11. Nicki H November 25, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    These are great gifts!!!! My brother is deaf and I’m going to buy him the t-shirt you mentioned you were going to get your sister. It’s cool. 🙂

    Thank you for creating this platform.

    Nicki H.

  12. Maddie November 27, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Ooh! The tactile watch! My adviser at school has one, and I want one really badly because I can’t see a normal watch and either use my tablet or iPod lock screen for time. She showed me how to use it, and it was so cool. Unfortunately, it’s a bit pricey. This whole list has amazing stuff, though. I kinda want to get the ASL tiles for my hard of hearing friend.

  13. Pingback: A Holiday Guide for Doctor Gifts - The Girl with the Purple CaneThe Girl with the Purple Cane

  14. Patrick Conboy December 6, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Fantastic selection; a well thought out collection and great ideas.

  15. Sharon Wickline December 22, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I’m looking for fingernail and toenail clippers that would be easier to use by someone with arthritic hands and fingers.

  16. sue heller December 22, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Listened to you this morning on doctor radio -(I am a nurse – and I think your list is very creatively done -keep up this awesome resource! Happy Holidays

  17. Julia February 9, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    You should include Love Letters by Emily in your next list. https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveLettersbyEmily?ref=l2-shopheader-name

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