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Hamilton Mountain Halloween event pairs trick-or-treating with accessibility movement

Treat Accessibly's grassroots movement, encouraging homeowners to Trick-or-Treat from their driveways, will host a Hamilton event on Oct. 16, 2022. Treat Accessibly

A Toronto dad seeking to make Halloween more accessible for children with disabilities hopes a weekend village on Hamilton Mountain will create a “kind of natural ground swell” for the movement.

Founder of Treat Accessibly Rich Padulo says the Sunday event at a dead-end street on Acadia Drive at Cartier Crescent hopes to draw some 1,500 residents to bring to light it’s goal of making trick-or-treating inclusive.

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“We now have 25 homes that are fully decorated already and will be treating from the end of their driveway,” said Padulo.

Parents with youth connected with the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Center and McMaster Children’s Hospital will be special guests at the event set to include musicians, magicians and other entertainers for the accessibility inclusion experience.

“We’ve been getting beautiful notes from parents saying, ‘our kids don’t get a traditional Halloween door to door.’ So this is probably going to be the first time for many,” Padulo explained.

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The event runs between 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Cartier and Arcadia near Upper Sherman and Stone Church Road and requires registration from prospective participants.

Treat Accessibly was founded five years ago and says about 400,000 kids in Canada have mobility, sensory or intellectual disabilities that potentially pose barriers when trick-or-treating.

That doesn’t include parents with similar disabilities, which hinder their attempts to join kids traversing local neighbourhoods.

“Basically, any home can be accessible at Halloween. You can do it from your driveway, from in your garage,” Padulo says. “By just simply removing this barrier of stairs from that scenario, it makes things a lot easier with the kids with that have various disabilities.”

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Accessible homes can highlight their participation through free lawn signs available at most Remax offices across Canada.

Those looking to join the Hamilton village gathering on Sunday can pre-register online via Treat Accessibly’s post on Evenbrite.

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