by Hannah Nowack: For Complete Post, Click Here…
I grew up in a society where the disability rights movement was just beginning to emerge. My battle with polio as a child, in the 1950s, led me to start advocating for disabled people. Clearly, a lot has changed in terms of public policy in the last 40 years, but I believe there’s still much to be done. I care deeply about intergenerational work and educating younger people about accessibility, especially since disabilities are not always visible. I’ve found that the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality contributes to a stigma around disabled people that I’m working to dismantle in all arenas, the wedding industry included.
I met my now-husband, Jorge Pineda, in 1991, and we got married a year later in California. We actually had two weddings, a civil one and a religious one, to celebrate our marriage. The process of planning our own weddings taught me a lot about the steps couples can take to make their nuptials more accessible to disabled people.
A decision I’m grateful we made was to hire a wedding planner. She listened really well to all of my thoughts and concerns, which helped make the wedding planning process a success. We had 32 people in the wedding party, many of whom were in wheelchairs, so it was especially helpful to have someone coordinating our big day. Planning with disabilities in mind isn’t a cookie-cutter endeavor, but there are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure your own wedding is accessible for all guests. (Details in Full Post)
1. What types of disabilities do your guests have?
2. Are people comfortable disclosing their disabilities?
3. Do your vendors have experience working with disabled people?
4. How accessible are your venue and rentals?
5. How accessible is the food you’re serving?
6. How accessible are the restrooms?
7. How are you seating disabled guests?
8. Do you feel empowered to make the accommodations your wedding deserves?