Corp Comm Connects

Here are tips for an accessible, inclusive Halloween
Oct. 21, 2022

York Region is reminding residents to be accessible and inclusive as they celebrate Halloween.

The region offered tips for how residents can better ensure accessibility for trick-or-treaters. It also said residents should be mindful of their Halloween costume choices and avoid those that might depict certain groups negatively or perpetuate stereotypes.

“With Halloween quickly approaching, York Region wants to ensure everyone can participate, feel included in the Halloween fun and have a positive trick-or-treating experience,” the region said in a news release.

For accessibility, the region recommended having a treat bowl close to the sidewalk or bottom of the stairs in a well-lit area, as stairs may present challenges for individuals with mobility disabilities. The region also said to be prepared to describe treats for kids with blindness or low vision, be patient with children who may be non-verbal and be wary of flashing lights or startling scares as some children have sensory sensitivities.

It also highlighted the teal pumpkin project to signal to treat-or-treaters that you have non-food trinkets for those with food allergies.

As for costume selection, the region said to avoid costumes focused on depicting things like race or ethnicity.

“Playing a character is one of the joys of Halloween, but costumes focused on culture, race, religion, ethnicity, mental illness, caricatures of gender or identities, depictions of homophobia or transphobia, disability and other ideas that may be considered offensive, racist or stigmatizing are not appropriate in any circumstance,” the region said. “Halloween is not an opportunity to turn someone’s identity into a costume.”

It suggested asking yourself if your costume is perpetuating a stereotype and “if in doubt, leave it out.”

“Through being proactive and considerate to others, we can help to ensure Halloween is a time where all feel safe, respected and valued.”