As we approach this year’s somewhat more normal Halloween, here are some tips and ideas for children and adults with vision impairment – as well as family members:
Making Costumes Accessible – Using Technology and More: For a child who is visually impaired, “you may want to try and experience the feeling of being (in) their costume, even if they can’t experience the visual elements…” Tactile elements can be helpful, like including a beard to stroke, if in character, or claws for a dinosaur or other creature. Including sound can also be a plus, using bells or other features. You may also want to equip the costume with spooky or other sounds via a phone or tablet. Check out these and more tips from Seable: Tips For A Safe, Fun and Accessible Halloween.
Using the Blindness Cane in the Costume: The website Veroniiiica (Veronica With Four Eyes), a free resource for low vision and assistive technology, shares practical blog posts about living with vision loss. In one of their posts, author Veronica Lewis offers tips for incorporating the cane into a variety of costumes. Costume ideas include “Being Blind as a Bat,” “Adding a Fairy Wand to a Cane,” “Using the Force with a Lightsaber Cane,” and more. She explains what materials are needed and provides background information about each innovative suggestion. Read more about it in Incorporating Blindness Canes Into Halloween Costumes.
Preparing for Trick-or-Treaters: When handing out goodies to trick-or-treaters, a few pointers can help make sure you are keeping “all kids in mind…”. If the child has a vision impairment, you can:
Let them know what the treat is as you hand it out;
Keep walkways and steps leading to your home clear of Halloween decorations;
Consider setting up a table in front of or by your home so that it is easier for you to see kids approaching and meet them outside.
Check with neighborhood parents ahead of time to accommodate any specific needs children may have.
Read more tips from Canada’s reachAbility Association, reported by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation): How to make Halloween more accessible to everyone.
What’s Halloween Like for a Blind Person? YouTuber Tommy Edison, who has been blind since birth, shares how he celebrated Halloween growing up. He points out, for example, how he chose which candy to eat after treat-or-treating. Edison would sort out those he could identify, like “Hershey with almonds…So I would eat the ones I knew first…”