Making Halloween on P.E.I. Accessible for All Trick-or-Treaters

‘It’s one of those things that you don’t think about till you live it’ Tom Steepe · CBC News · Posted: Oct 22, 2019

The Weeks family hold one of the Accessible Trick-or-Treating signs popping up on lawns across P.E.I. From left to right, Edison Weeks, Chris Weeks, Robyn Weeks and Kaidence Weeks.

An Island woman is doing her part to make sure children with accessibility issues don’t miss out on trick-or-treating this year.

Robyn Weeks of Clyde River has posted a bright orange sign on her front lawn, telling people her home is accessible for everyone trick-or-treating and helping to raise awareness.

“It’s one of those things that you don’t think about till you live it, so we had never thought about it and then once I saw it, I thought that’s something that if we could make happen here would be just really great,” Weeks said.

Five months ago, Weeks’ husband Chris was in a car accident that left him paralyzed and in a wheelchair.

Recently, she read about an accessibility campaign sponsored by ReMax.

Easily Accessible

The program was launched in Canada two years ago.

The orange signs are designed to show support for children with accessibility issues.

This year, more than 28,000 of these bright orange signs will be distributed to homes in Ontario and Atlantic Canada by ReMax.

When a sign is posted on a front lawn or in a window, it signifies that the homeowners are aware that some children may have trouble getting to the front door to get their Halloween treats, and pledge to do whatever they can to be inclusive.

Homeowners with staircases, steep or long driveways, crowded front entrances or narrow pathways distribute candy from their garage or driveway, or promise to be on the lookout to make trick-or-treating easily accessible.

Last year, 12,000 were distributed, and this year, at least 28,000 signs will be planted on front lawns across Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

We might be a little late for this Halloween, but maybe by next year it will be a big initiative for the whole Island.

Robyn Weeks

“We just want to make sure that everyone can have a great time and be safe and get to enjoy the true authentic trick-or-treating experience,” said Mary Jane Webster of ReMax Charlottetown.

“Why shouldn’t that person have the same opportunities,” she said.

“That’s the point of what we’re doing and that’s the point of having an inclusive society is that everyone is provided the same opportunities.”

Hoping to grow program

Hopefully by getting the word out, Weeks said families will know that they don’t have to stay home.

“I have a few personal friends of children with walkers and wheelchairs and I was more just kind of hoping it would get the word out a little bit in our community, so I certainly didn’t think it would go as far as it did,” Weeks said.

“It’s a great initiative if it can take off and we might be a little late for this Halloween, but maybe by next year it will be a big initiative for the whole Island.”

Weeks’ husband Chris is hoping the program will grow this year and in the future, ensuring all children have an opportunity to trick-or-treat.

“You wouldn’t realize if you were a child that you couldn’t come up and knock on a door or your parents would do it for you, so it’s just a nice thought that a child can come and do that themselves and to get the excitement in the holiday,” Chris Weeks said.

“It would make my Halloween if I even had one person come and it helped them.”

About the Author

Tom Steepe is an award-winning video journalist with CBC P.E.I.

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