Tips for an Accessible Halloween


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pumpkin-1544602_960_720Halloween can be scary in more ways than one – the costumes, the pranks, the candy selection… and accessibility. A holiday that many see as fun and exciting can be anxiety inducing for others as they wonder if they will be able to fully participate with their peers. Here are a few tips for trick-or-treaters, their parents, and those who decide to hand out treats:

For those heading out:

  • Plan your route out a few days before. Most houses should have their decorations up, so you will be able to assess which ones will be easily accessible.
  • Costumes should not be tight, and not dragging on the ground either; you don’t want anything getting caught in wheels or tangled around canes.
  • Consider a bright candy bag, reflective tape, glow sticks and a jingle bell or two. These will make sure that your child is visible, and can be heard.
  • Make sure any piece of the costume attached to the wheelchair, walker or cane(s) is secure. Have some duct tape on hand to fix anything that may start to fall while you are out.
  • Make sure the costume is fire-safe, allows for easy steering and will be able to fit down most house pathway.
  • If the costume uses a mask, make sure there are proper holes for the eyes, nostrils, and mouth
  • If you use a battery operated scooter or wheelchair, make sure it is fully charged
  • If your child has an allergy, make sure to bring some approved treats with you on your candy collecting route. This way, when they want a snack on the go, you can make sure the candy is safe.
  • Leave any non- assistance dogs at home. Some children are afraid of dogs, and some animals may not be comfortable with the amount of people, noise, or colours.
  • Cross at lights or intersections
  • If you must drive or walk on the road, stay as close to the curb as possible, and be on the opposite side of the street so you can see cars coming towards you
  • If trick or treating is not the best option for your family, you can always look up local events at community centres or shopping malls, or consider throwing your own Halloween party.


For home owners:

  • Clear pathways
  • Refrain from using strobe lights
  • Make sure your path and doorway are well lit
  • If you have a step leading to your door, consider a ramp, or leaving a bowl of candy before the step or by the garage
  • Think about handing out candy from your garage (this also gives more area to put up spooky decorations!)
  • If you have two doors (screen door then regular), consider leaving one open so there is only one door to get through
  • If you can, moving your cars out of the driveway allows more room for trick-or-treaters to come and go
  • Make sure any pets are kept safely away from the front of the house. This ensures their safety, and those of your guests.


See our Pinterest board for Halloween costumes here.

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