We are one week out from Halloween and kids across the province are getting increasingly excited. However, for children living with a disability, Halloween is not necessarily just a day full of candy and laughs with friends. It can be a day where they feel excluded. It can be a day where they feel different. It can be a day where their disability is highlighted due to an inability to trick-or-treat alongside their friends. However, we as a community can make small changes that will ensure Halloween is accessible and inclusive for all children.
One of those changes is placement of your trick-or-treating station. Many of us choose to be inside, benefitting from the warmth and comfort of our homes. However, if you have stairs or a long or steep driveway, this can result in barriers to those living with a physical disability. As such, consider setting up at the bottom of the stairs or driveway. Alternatively, you could place a trick-or-treating station in a more accessible location for those children that are unable to otherwise get to you. These are simple modifications that can have an enormous impact and also serve as a message to your community that you believe accessibility matters.
Treat Accessibly is a movement that started in 2017 and aims to drive awareness of accessibility issues during this holiday tradition, and encourages small changes that will make a big difference to trick-or-treaters of all abilities. You can visit the website for tips on how to make trick-or-treating accessible. You can also visit the website to find locations of participating ReMax offices (a partner of Treat Accessibly) where you can pick up free lawn signs to notify your community that your property is accessible. There is also an option to print the sign yourself.
This Halloween please consider what you can do to make trick-or-treating truly fun for all. There is no time like the present to raise awareness and make a positive change in your community!
About the Authors
A born-and-raised Barrie resident, Karen knows and loves her community. She is proud to be a partner in one of Canada’s most successful personal injury law firms—right in her own backyard. Karen joined Oatley Vigmond in 2013 as an associate lawyer. She holds a BA from Queen’s University and her Juris Doctor from Bond University in Australia. Prior to being called to the Bar in January 2013, Karen articled at a well-known personal injury law firm in Toronto.