As we round the corner towards Halloween, still in the throes of a global pandemic, we are reminded that ghouls and goblins may not be the scariest thing lurking around every corner as we trick-or-treat this year. While Covid-19 has managed to put a damper on almost every holiday since March, Halloween may be where its festive reign of terror ends, at least for those with accessibility needs. Rather, Covid-19 might just be the great equalizer when it comes to how we gather our beloved Halloween treats. Social distancing guidelines for Halloween inadvertently breakdown barriers for many people with accessibility needs; here is how it will be more accessible for those with mobility issues:
1. A shift from indoor to outside activities
Whether it is a neighbourhood haunted house or annual trick-or-treating, people are encouraged to move all Halloween activities to outside venues. This means haunted houses will shift from typically tight and inaccessible indoor locations, like basements and garages, to driveways, back yards, and public green spaces. Similarly, trick-or-treating, which often requires the navigation of endless steps and doorbells, will relocate from front doors to driveways or perhaps even sidewalk’s edge. While these simple shifts make little difference to able-bodied individuals, they eliminate obvious and often disregarded barriers for people in wheelchairs and those with other mobility issues clearing the path for them to participate fully in Halloween. Those using manual wheelchairs may want to look into the Cheelcare Companion, a power assist add-on that can help you conserve energy to go the distance this Halloween!
2. Activities must allow for physical distancing
Not only will Halloween activities be in accessible locations, they will need to be designed in a way that allows for physical distancing. People are encouraged to go so far as to draw arrows indicating which way to enter and exit their driveways for trick-or-treating. This is great news for anyone using a wheelchair or mobility aid, as they can be (more) confident that there will be space for them to maneuver at the treat table, inside the Haunted House or while participating in any other Halloween activities.
3. Crowds are discouraged
While it’s fun to see gaggles of children running up and down the sidewalk and clumping into rave-like mobs on porches and at front doors, for someone using a wheelchair or mobility aid it can be difficult and overwhelming to navigate around and within them. As families and individuals take it upon themselves to move around in smaller groups and in a more organized fashion, it will free up space on the sidewalk and eliminate chaos creating a more inviting atmosphere for people with mobility aids.
4. Self-Serve candy bowls will be scarce
For many people with mobility aids, the self-serve candy bowl represents a hurried rush of grabbing loose candies from a wobbly bowl while juggling a trick-or-treat bag and mobility aid and simultaneously navigating the people around you. Thankfully, what will be more prevalent this year are pre-packaged treats, quick and easy to grab off a table or other stable surface. In some creative cases, you might even find specially designed candy chutes. How cool is that?! You’re going to want to make sure you can accommodate all those extra treats, visit evika.io to find the right candy haul solution for you. Check out Drive Medical’s Walker/Rollator Accessory Hook able to hold up to 11lbs of treats, or the Pembrook Wheelchair Backpack Bag, perfect for freeing up your hands and lap for the task at hand. While Halloween may look a bit different this year, there is a silver lining to be found. Many people with accessibility needs, especially those with mobility issues will benefit from the pandemic driven guidelines. When it comes to Halloween, a socially distanced design equals inclusive design and with any luck some of the changes forced upon society this year will stick around for years to come!
This bag features expandable size, reflective stripes, and water-resistance, making it well suited for wheelchairs. It easily attaches to the back of most wheelchairs and strollers.
The Walker Rollator Accessory Hooks are designed for travel, shopping, or walking and can be used to hang your purse, jacket, or shopping bag on your walker, rollator, or wheelchair. It has a non-slip strip and can hold up to 11 pounds. This versatile accessory hook swivels 360 degrees that allows for easy access for your itms.