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5 Quick and Easy Ways to Make Halloween Accessible for All

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Updated: Oct 2023 'Tis the season to be visited by goblins, ghouls, ghosts, and princesses! Plenty of people have their own pleasant childhood memories of trick-or-treating with their friends and families, going door-to-door, looking out for the best house with the full candy bars, and black-listing the house that gave out apples. But when you look back on those memories, was Halloween accessible to all trick-or-treaters? The lack of accessibility for Halloween is a problem for thousands of families. Trick-or-treaters who hope to enjoy the season like their peers are often limited in their Halloween adventures. Here are our suggestions for how you can make this Halloween fun for everyone!

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Make Halloween Accessible for All

  1. Be Aware. Trick-or-treaters coming to your door may have different communication styles, ages, and stages of development. Some people out on Halloween may not be able to say "trick-or-treat" or may appear older than the average trick-or-treater. Avoid making requests for how trick-or-treaters should interact with you, and avoid commenting on appropriate costumes or ages. Additionally, you need to be aware that there are two common campaigns that allow trick-or-treaters to self-identify. Teal-buckets mean that the trick-or-treater has an allergy concern, and the blue buckets represent that the person is Autistic. However, not all trick-or-treaters will self-identify, so be mindful of every person and listen to their needs.

  2. Offer Alternate Treats. Allergies, medical conditions, and dietary restrictions mean that some trick-or-treaters are limited in the candy that they can eat – but that doesn't" mean they shouldn't enjoy Halloween! Consider offering a variety of allergen-safe candy or non-candy-related treats. In addition, dollar stores, party supply stores, and toy stores offer excellent selections of small toys. Having a few of these on hand for those who can't consume candy may just brighten up someone's night. Remember, not all trick-or-treaters with allergies will carry teal buckets.

  3. Make the Treats Accessible. Stairs could be the one thing blocking someone from reaching your doorbell or picking candy from the bowl left outside your door. Here are a couple of ways to make sure your Halloween candy doesn't get left behind: -Leave the bowl at the bottom of your steps, instead of the top -Add a way for trick-or-treaters to let you know that they are at the foot of your steps! You can place a bell, or even move your battery-operated doorbell to a more accessible location (this could have a long-term benefit)

  4. Think Twice About Decorations and Lighting Decorating your home for Halloween can bring so many people joy, whether you set up an entire haunted house or opt for some well-arranged pumpkins. No matter what your décor style may be, it's important that the path to your Halloween treats is well-lit and obstacle-free. That way, anyone with a disability will be able to navigate the path, and everyone can have a safe Halloween. Also, remember that scary sounds, loud music, and pop-out decorations can end anyone's good time, especially someone with sensory concerns. Consider posting a warning sign, keeping scary decorations off sidewalks, and avoiding strobe lights (which can pose serious health risks).

  5. Let People Know You're Accessible. Above, we mentioned that trick-or-treaters might self-identify with teal or blue buckets. But homes can also display colored pumpkins to notify trick-or-treaters that they are accessible!

Teal Pumpkin Project The Food Allergy and Research Education's (FARE) Teal Pumpkin Project encourages homes to show a teal-colored pumpkin to tell everyone that they provide allergen-safe treats. Through this project, you can add your house to their allergen-safe map! (USA Only). Additionally, this year, FARE and CVS partnered to offer teal pumpkin project-friendly items in stores and resources online. Accessible Trick-or-treating Lawn Signs Another option to let people know that you are accessible is to get a lawn sign. Many organizations are now providing these free of charge, and these can be stored with the rest of your Halloween decorations for future years. FARE has a variety of different posters and flyers that can be downloaded from their website In Canada, Treat Accessibly, is leading the way by offering free Halloween signs that can be downloaded here., or picked up at your local Canadian REMAX Office; Anyone can visit their website for more of their initiatives: If you're outside this campaign's region, you can ask around in your NextDoor, Facebook Community Groups, or other local community resources, as many organizations provide these signs...or you can make a sign yourself!

The final suggestion we have for you to make a more accessible Halloween is to:

Spread the News.

Being the one accessible house on the block can make someone's night, but having an accessible block or community can make someone's Halloween. Learn more about these accessible Halloween initiatives: The Teal Pumpkin Project: Blue Buckets for Trick-or-Treaters with Autism: Treat Accessibly Campaign:

Stay Safe, and Have a Happy Halloween!

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