It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Disability & Holiday Shopping


By Kathe Skinner

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every wall is a door.” We people with disabilities know about both.  We’ve persevered by busting down walls.  We are tough, competent, purposeful and resilient, but we’re no match for doors that become walls.

Black Friday is a good example of a “door that becomes a wall”.  Some people love to camp out for days in the cold and dark, waiting in long lines for a store’s doors to open so they can push and shove, and sometimes physically and verbally abuse others, in order to buy made-in-China stuff they think they can’t live without.

Who does this? In my opinion, anthropologists and geneticists would do well tapping this population for clues to early man.  But evidently, more people than I thought take part in this seasonal ritual: according to the National Retail Federation, in the four days of Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday, $59.1 billion was spent, a new record – up 13 percent from last year.  So much for the tough economy.

If you have a disability, visible or invisible, the truth of holiday shopping isn’t filled with fa la la la las.  Most of us will never compete for one of the four discounted big screens a store has in stock.  We’ll never get to save money on Black Friday sales because there’s no way we can thunder along with the rest of the herd.  In fact, unless the store has automatic doors, we can’t even get in.

Click to read more.




There are currently no comments

New Comment


required (not published)




Disability Network Northern Michigan

415 E. Eighth St.
Traverse City, MI   49686

Phone: (231) 922-0903

Accessibility Statement

Disability Network Northern Michigan is committed to making its website accessible to the widest possible audience. This website has been developed to comply under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which was enacted to eliminate barriers to information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities and to encourage the development of new technologies to help achieve these goals. This law requires that all individuals with disabilities have access to information and data comparable to that which is available to individuals without disabilities. is regularly monitored to ensure that it meets the requirements of Section 508, along with the best practices outlined by the W3C’s (World Wide Web Consortium’s) Web Accessibility Initiative, specifically WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Level A Compliance. We are diligently working to reach and maintain a higher standard of accessibility, which is Level AA Compliance of W3C’s WCAG standards. Because technology changes rapidly, this is an ongoing process.

If you experience any accessibility issues in relation to this website, please contact us. Let us know which page or item you need help with and we will provide a solution that works for you within a reasonable period of time. Questions, comments or complaints about the accessibility of our website, videos or documents can be sent to