Émile Laliberté rolled up to his school sidewalk in Repentigny in style on Halloween. With the help of some foam walls, some 3D-printed scales and an extremely intricate mask, within five minutes the Grade 5 student becomes the dragon in his keep — his Halloween costume.
“It’s a hardcore costume,” he told Global News. “To make the castle, the mask, the shirt. All of that.”
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The outfit is specifically adapted to Laliberté’s wheelchair. It includes walls that fit over his wheelchair frame, giving the entire assembly the illusion that he’s a flying dragon as he gets around.
“Imagine all the things I can do with it,” he said.
The costume also includes a supply of Halloween loot — which in this case is chocolate coins — to hand out to others.
The maker collective startup known as Duct Tapers Anonymous took on the project in August after creating a hashtag called #Rolloween in an effort to create Halloween costumes for those who have mobility issues.
“There was a bit of engineering involved,” said Bob Murphy of Duct Tapers Anonymous. “We ended up taking his wheelchair and mocked it up using plywood and scrap wood.”
The group also helped build the elaborate dragon mask, which includes blinking and moving LED eyes.
Hélène Fortin, the boy’s mother, described the gesture as an amazing project for children with special needs.
“We hope this inspires people to create other similar costumes for children with special needs, to help them enjoy Halloween as well,” she said.