Author Topic: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability? - UPDATE last pos  (Read 4104 times)

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platys

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One a year, a friend of mine visits, and I usually throw a party for her in my apartment.  Last year, it was a Soup Partay, this year is Salad Partay (too hot for soup!).   

We have a hobby that leads to overlapping friend groups.   In one of the groups, one of the women has a physical disability that makes it impossible to climb stairs.  I happen to live on the 3rd floor in a non-elevator buiding.

I really like this person, but we aren't close by any means - we maybe run into each other a couple of times a year.  Last year I did invite her when I wasn't sure if she'd be able to do the stairs or not - it turned out she couldn't.   

This year, I know for sure she can't, but I feel bad not inviting her.   I mean, I'd love to have her there, but I know she can't.   This year, the group she was apart of was just invited in general, so I didn't have to deal with it in the specific.

But, I'm wonder, in the future, what should I do in that situation?   I've thought about trying to find another place to do the party that's accessable, but there isn't really a lot of options, given that we potluck it (believe me, I've tried unpotlucking it, but everyone loves finding something yummy to bring and trading recipes) and drink wine, and sit for hours.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2007, 09:53:35 AM by platys »

Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2007, 10:53:22 AM »
It is very sweet that you are trying to be considerate.

 If you find another venue to host the party then great!... but I wouldn't go out of my way. I am not trying to be mean but if you are only acquaintances through a particular group and do not hang out socially outside of it, then I don't think that you are obligated to invite her anyway.  However, if you still wish to extend the invite go ahead. If she cannot make it, she will tell you. I am sure she will understand that you are not deliberately isolating her.

Either way, be considerate and do not talk about the party in front of her (unless she asks). She may have wanted to come, but because of her disability, could not.

twinkletoes

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2007, 10:54:11 AM »
Is it possible that the group would be willing to give up the potlucking aspect so you could all go to a restaurant instead?  I certainly get that it's a relaxed and casual atmosphere, but if I were the woman, I'd probably wonder why everyone couldn't just meet up at a restaurant or somewhere else that can accomodate a wheelchair.  

I'm sure this isn't the case, but it might come across as "sorry, we can't be bothered to change our plans for you."    

Are there any other members who could host the parties and accomodate the friend?

platys

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2007, 11:07:44 AM »
I just realized I probably didn't quite describe the situation correctly. :)

The various groups do get together weekly, usually in a panera or starbucks, and knit for 3+ hours.   My friend was part of my knitting group before she moved to California.   She worked with another woman, who was part of another knitting group that also meets weekly.  The woman with a disability is part of that knitting group.

Every once in awhile, we do combine the two knitting groups and go to a yarn shop and knit - so this isn't the only social outlet.   She's able to come to those events.  We also have done bus tours together.

The party I do actually started as an excuse for folks to get together and learn how to block lace shawls with blocking wires.   Then we added food, and then folks who didn't care about blocking, and suddenly, I had a party on my hands. :)  This year, we're learning how to do toe up socks.

Given that we always meet in public spaces, its nice to meet in a private home and bring in your favorite dish.  I did think of just saing "Hey, meet at the Panera", but honestly, we do that every week, so it didn't seem very special.

twinkletoes

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2007, 11:12:19 AM »
Then I'd still try to find a place that can accomodate the group and keep the potluck aspect.  Are there other members who could host as well?  It sounds like a lot of fun, and with a bit of effort, she can join your parties, too.  I guess I keep thinking of how much I hate when I hear about parties after the fact, and what a great time it was, and so forth.  It really, really stinks to be excluded from something - and I've been excluded because "I didn't think you'd like such-and-such."  So, not quite the same as "no accomodations for a wheelchair," but it still hurts.

I had another thought - I'm assuming the woman in question is a lovely individual, big part of the group, etc.  Who wants to bend over backwards for someone no one can stand, you know?

Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2007, 11:23:32 AM »
I just realized I probably didn't quite describe the situation correctly. :)

The various groups do get together weekly, usually in a panera or starbucks, and knit for 3+ hours.   My friend was part of my knitting group before she moved to California.   She worked with another woman, who was part of another knitting group that also meets weekly.  The woman with a disability is part of that knitting group.

Every once in awhile, we do combine the two knitting groups and go to a yarn shop and knit - so this isn't the only social outlet.   She's able to come to those events.  We also have done bus tours together.

The party I do actually started as an excuse for folks to get together and learn how to block lace shawls with blocking wires.   Then we added food, and then folks who didn't care about blocking, and suddenly, I had a party on my hands. :)  This year, we're learning how to do toe up socks.

Given that we always meet in public spaces, its nice to meet in a private home and bring in your favorite dish.  I did think of just saing "Hey, meet at the Panera", but honestly, we do that every week, so it didn't seem very special.

Oh well then that is a horse of a different color. I still stand by my first opinion but I do agree with twinkletoes.

Is there any way anyone else can have the gathering?  If so, then great!  If not, and you are still planning on having the gathering at your place, then you must decide what to do.

What about (gently) talking to her to see how she feels about it? I assume she already knows that there will be a party? I am sure that since she has had this disability for a while, she is used to not being able to do everything (I do not mean that as a dig) and she will probably understand that you are not intentionally leaving her out.

BittyB

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2007, 12:13:57 PM »
Can no one help her up the stairs?  :o

My best friend uses a walker, and sometimes she needs help to get places.  There is no way in hell I'd leave her high and dry.  However, I do realize that your situation is very different but... have you looked into getting her help with the stairs?  She may find it humiliating though, and prefer to stay home than to deal with that, but I would hope someone would at least ask.   :'(

I would also consider asking if anyone wants to share hostessing duties - someone with a first floor apartment or a house.  Have you checked around to see if your apartment has a freight elevator, actually?  If there is one, odds are good it is REALLY tucked away since it's for service "only", but I'd call the building management and find out just in case.  I bet if there is one, and you're nice, they'll help you out.

jamiescudder

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2007, 03:02:01 AM »
I realize that since the party is for an out of town friend finding another hostess may be awkward, but it may be your best solution. If that's not possible, what about having the party at a park? I don't know where you live, but I bet that there's at least one park with tables that are wheelchair accessible. Then you could still have the relaxed potluck atmosphere and invite this friend. Just a thought. Good luck with your party!

Sharnita

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2007, 09:00:47 AM »
I'd try another venue if possible.

BittyB

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2007, 10:21:53 AM »
I realize that since the party is for an out of town friend finding another hostess may be awkward, but it may be your best solution. If that's not possible, what about having the party at a park? I don't know where you live, but I bet that there's at least one park with tables that are wheelchair accessible. Then you could still have the relaxed potluck atmosphere and invite this friend. Just a thought. Good luck with your party!

They probably can't drink at the park though.

platys

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2007, 03:38:50 PM »
Thanks everyone.  We decided to move the party to my apartment complexes conference room - its going to be a bit hot too be outside for too long, but there is a patio area over there, and a larger room with nice seating we might be able to use. 

Plus, this way, I don't have to frantically clean to get the apartment to my crazy "other people coming over" standards. 

Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2007, 03:48:44 PM »
That's fantastic.  :) I hope it all goes well and keep us posted! 

platys

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2007, 02:04:05 PM »
Help, I'm so wigging out.

I should mention that I have social anxiety, but I'm in treatment, take medication, and generally speaking, do fine in my life .  But throwing parties is terrifying, but of course, I think I should be able to do it, so I do, and freak out.

Right now, we're at 11 people.  The room isn't that big.   People are bringing chairs.   There is a larger section in the clubhouse, but I don't know if they'd be okay with hanging out in there, and keeping the food in the conference room.  I'm sure it'll be fine, but eeeeeeeeek.

BittyB

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2007, 02:37:22 PM »
Platys, dont' worry!  It'll be okay!  Take someone you trust with you to go look at the space, and I bet you they can see a solution.  I have really minor social anxiety (relatively), but even with that sometimes I just freak out and see the bad.  Having someone else take a look and giving you solutions can really help.  It's the forest and the trees, KWIM?

Jenzilla

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Re: Inviting Someone you know can't come because of a disability?
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2007, 03:28:21 PM »
11 people isn't too big of a group, even if the room is small you should manage just fine.

Off-topic - Do you have a recommendation for a place to get blocking wires from? I'd like to wash my Shetland shawl, but I'd really rather not have to tediously pin the darn thing out again.