Holiday gifts for people with disabilities or chronic illness

You can give one of these inclusive gifts as a gift to celebrate and support people with disabilities this year

(Washington Post illustration).


For the holidays, giving a gift that specifically considers a person’s disability can be a great way to make them feel seen and supported.

Many of the products featured in this guide are created by disabled people. They are more likely face discrimination at work and to have their income restricted. And you’ll find gift ideas for people with a variety of different needs and conditions.

And even if you aren’t shopping for someone with a disability, you can still support disabled people by buying holiday cards or sponsoring a guide dog, both of which are listed below. Prices are subject to alter.

For those with chronic conditions or illnesses

A hot water bottle is a great way to ease sore muscles or joints. Heat Treats, a British company, offers a range of hot water bottle covers, including this cow-shaped one. Hugo Frosch USA also sells faux fur covers, kids’ water bottles and a line of eco-friendly water bottle covers made from sustainable materials. Prices: $23 for Heat Treats and $26.95 for Hugo Frosch

Compression socks, gloves, and braces are great for relieving pain and swelling. They also help with chronic conditions such as postural orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Bibipins offers a variety of compression accessories, including these galactic-patterned gloves. On its website, Bibipins is described as a “Black, disabled and queer owned company.” The shop also has a line of rainbow compression items to celebrate LGBTQ+ identities. Price: $15

Comfortable shirt for chemotherapy

A port is often placed under the skin to treat cancer. It is usually located on the chest. This port allows you to draw blood and receive drug therapy with out the need for multiple needle sticks. ComfyChemo’s shirts have zippers that make it easier for you to reach the port, while still keeping your shirt on. This can make your chemo experience more comfortable. Price: $37.95

Spoonie Threads makes ostomy bag covers in fun patterns and colors, as well as some with humorous expressions such as “Go with the flow.” Another place to order fun ostomy bag covers is through Stoma Style, a business run by Lisa Wilkinson, a woman in the U.K. who has an ostomy bag and wears some of the designs she creates. Wilkinson ships to the United States at $5. However, orders may take up to three weeks. Spoonie Threads $17.50 for one cover; Stoma Style $30 for two or more covers

People who use prosthetics or mobility aids

Covers for prosthetic legs

Prosthetic sleeves are a great way to customize your prosthetic. While custom-made prosthetic paint jobs can be costly, they can also be fun and affordable. Fred’s Legs allows people to order sleeves with decorative patterns in specific sizes to match their prosthetics. Kurt Pauloz, an amputee and licensed prosthetist, founded Fred’s Legs in 2001. Price: $27 and Up

Many people who use wheelchairs have to carry purses on their laps. Ffora offers an essential bag set that can attach to the side or back of a wheelchair. Other attachments are also available from Ffora, including cupholders. Price: $90

Some people who use mobility aids like crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs love to decorate them. Herboreal Art is a queer-disabled woman who sells beautiful mobility aid stickers featuring flowers for $17. Another option is to get this “Disability Is Diversity” sticker pack, from Crip Riot, a business with a diverse, intersectional team of deaf and disabled creators. Price: $13.99 – $17

Adaptive clothing removes the back seams, so people with disabilities can put on pants easily and sit comfortably in them for long periods of time. IZ Adaptive offers a range of adaptive clothing for women such as jeans that look professional and stylish. Price: $125

This customizable amputee Teddy Bear is made by Vermont Teddy Bear. It makes a great gift for children who would benefit from having their limb differences represented in toys. The Amputee Coalition is a non-profit organization that supports amputees. 20 percent of all sales go to the coalition. Price: $70

People with poor motor control skills

Rehab Store has edges and spikes that allow people with fine motor impairments or dexterity to easily and safely cut their food. The edges and spikes can hold food in place while cutting, while the edges prevent it from falling off of the cutting board. Price: $46

The EazyHold grips were invented by three sisters who struggled with gripping items as they grew up. These grips can be easily washed and used to grip tools, hair brushes or cups, as well as toys, forks and toothbrushes. Price: $40

For people with cognitive disabilities or neurodiverse individuals

Fidget toys are helpful for those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or autism. Alissa, who is a 30-year-old woman with autism, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, anxiety and ADHD, creates fidget toys at All Things Sensory Shop. In the shop’s mystery fidget bundle, you can indicate the sizes and colors of fidgets you want. You can also choose from quiet or noisy fidgets. Price: $25

Pinch Me therapy cookie dough can be used for anxiety reduction, hand strength improvement in those with fine motor control issues or sensory stimulation to autistic persons through touch and smell. Price: $29.95

People with ADHD and autism can use weighted blankets to help them calm down or prevent sensory overload. Laura LeMond, who is a woman suffering from sensory processing and attention disorder, owns Mosaic Weighted Blankets. The company offers prints that include Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting, unicorns or dinosaurs, and also allows you to order customized weighted blankets. Price: $130

ADHD sufferers often have trouble remembering where things are. However, this Tile Mate bluetooth tracker can help them find the most important items such as keys or phones. Price: $24.99

Disability awareness socks

Socks can be a great way to show off personality or disability pride, such as these Down Syndrome Awareness ones made by John’s Crazy Socks, a company started by John Lee Cronin, a man with Down syndrome who happens to have an affinity for socks. Some of the company’s sock designs feature drawings of superheroes with Down Syndrome that can give an extra boost of confidence to people wearing them. Five percent of the company’s earnings are donated to the Special Olympics. Price: $13.99

People with sight or hearing loss

A stuffed animal dog seeing eye guide

Two Blind Brothers sells adorable stuffed animals that have their names embroidered in Braille on their ears. Two Blind Brothers founded the company and use the profits to support blindness research. Price: $32

People who are deaf or hard of hearing may find it difficult to use noise to wake them up. But these alarm clocks made by Sonic Alert can go into someone’s pillow to wake them up with powerful buzzes and vibrations. Price: $36.99

People who are deaf can wear clothes that display American Sign Language as a way to identify themselves. Community to show their pride. There are many deaf creators who sell designs online. Ericka B.Olujie, a Black woman, says that her company, Erry B. Shop aims to promote Black deaf culture. She sells hats and T-shirts as well as pins, hoodies, and tote bags. Starting at $18.99

Blind in Mind, the Braille Superstore offers a raised line drawingboard that allows low vision or blind people to create tactile drawings by using regular paper and a pen. This allows them to create art more quickly and can also encourage tactile literacy skills. Price: $14.95

Scattergories Access Kit

A 64 Oz Accessibility Kit makes the classic game of Scattergories accessible to low-vision and blind people. These games can be read using Braille, tactile cues and sometimes QR codes. Kits for popular games such as Settlers of Catan and Taboo can also be found. Prices range between $15 and $150

A children’s book featuring disabled characters

There are an increasing number of children’s books featuring disabled characters, and “I Deaf-initely Can, Rhett the Heeler” The story includes not only a deaf lady but also her deaf dog. This story is inspired by Karlie Waldrip’s life. She is a Texas deaf education teacher who uses American Sign Language commands to communicate with Rhett her Australian cattle dog. Waldrip posts videos of Rhett’s tricks on Instagram. Lucy Rodgers, a deaf woman, illustrated the book. Price: $18.99

Hearing aids are susceptible to water damage, dust, dirt, sweat, and moisture. The sweatbands for hearing aids can protect them by keeping them dry and clean. These sweatbands could prove to be very useful for those who are active or love the outdoors. They are available in many colors, and were founded by a man who used hearing aids. Price: $29.95

Consider getting greeting cards from the Mouth and Feet Painting Artists to go along with your gift. Each piece of art sold in this self-help-oriented group is created by someone who was either born without hands or has lost their use of their hands. Price: $10.95 per six cards

You can sponsor a guide dog for the blind as a gift for someone or yourself through the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (a U.K.-based charity). You can sponsor Grace, Moose, or Albus puppies and receive updates and photos about how they are developing. Price: $4.35 per month

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