A Halloween 2020 Plan!
The curb-side, inclusive solution and the two Canadians on a mission to make it possible.
With support of Canadian Icon Rick Hansen!
Treat Accessibly aims to encourage Canadians to adopt a curb-side trick-or-treating solution in 2020 and gives them the tools to do it. These two Canadians are determined to make Halloween 2020 safe for all while making it the world’s first National accessible community event for millions.
Toronto, ON and Surrey, BC, October 5, 2020 – Two Canadians are joining forces, rallying businesses, public sector and non-profits to come together on Halloween to save Halloween and in the process create the largest single homeowners event to champion children with disabilities and it happens on Halloween 2020.
In only its second year going national, the Treat Accessibly movement is even more relevant in 2020, in the midst of COVID-19. Halloween is bound to be different this year, but provided that local governments and public health agencies advise it is safe to do so, Treat Accessibly’s goal is to make trick-or-treating safer, socially distance friendly and accessible to all. Multiple Provincial Governments released their guidelines over the weekend and they support Treat Accessibly mission, tips and vision for an inclusive and safe event – most notably: “Be more outside, than inside. If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats. Then kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell.” See full guidelines here.
Trick-or-treating is a Halloween tradition that most children look forward to, but even reaching the front door of a neighbour’s home can present accessibility issues. The Treat Accessibly movement aims to make a small change by encouraging communities to celebrate Halloween in an accessible way that’s inclusive of for almost half-a-million Canadian children and youth who live with disabilities. The number of adults with disabilities brings our national average to almost 15% of Canada.
Rich Padulo, whose family founded Treat Accessibly has been in talks about his approach to a Curb-Side Halloween Solution for all homes since March 2020 with the Ontario Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility has been promoting a safe-social-distancing approach to governments across the country since September so kids don’t have to lose something else they love. “We we’re so happy to see B.C.’s Top Doc support the suggestions we have been making for months to Government. It remains in the hands of homeowners and local government to deem if Halloween can happen. And Treat Accessibly has a scalable curb-side plan in place for Canadians and a symbol in a FREE lawn-sign to rally us all together for our differently-abled community – who deserve support now more then ever.” Says Rich, father and founder.
The Treat Accessibly movement began in 2017 at one home in Etobicoke, Ontario, with a single lawn sign designed by small business owner and father Rich Padulo, who set a precedent to promote accessibility awareness and adoption as a standard practice. The bright orange sign indicates the resident’s willingness to hand out Halloween treats from an accessible area near their home, such as the foot of the driveway or the sidewalk. By 2019, with the help of RE/MAX and Home Depot, 25,000 homes across Canada were participating in the Treat Accessibly movement by posting their own orange lawn sign.
Last year’s success coupled with this year’s new social distancing practices have given the Treat Accessibly movement an added boost, with champions from all sectors supporting the program, including Ontario Ministers, the cities and towns across the country, as well as organizations representing the differently-abled community, such as the Rick Hansen Foundation, Easter Seals, Variety Village and more.
“When I came across the movement that Rich had started, I knew I had to get involved” said Marco Pasqua, a 35-year-old Inspirational Speaker and Accessibility Consultant with Cerebral Palsy. He continued “…when I was a kid, my sister [who is completely able-bodied] and I would travel our block in costume, however, every time we would get to a house that I’d want to show off my latest costume to, I was unable to due to the stairs or steep slopes up to the entrance that prevented my wheelchair from going to the front door to meet my neighbours. What Rich is doing is simply life changing and it’s something I want to be a part of, especially to show my future child what an inclusive community truly looks like.”
Treat Accessibly has given new ideas and supported the Rick Hansen Foundation bring greater awareness to the cause of differently-abled children.
Rick Hansen Foundation’s CEO Doramy Ehling had this to say: “The Rick Hansen Foundation is happy to support Treat Accessibility and an accessible Halloween for children of all abilities”, “This initiative is a fantastic opportunity to teach youth about the importance of accessible and inclusive communities and how we can all be difference makers. We’re proud to complement this years’ event with Halloween specific RHF School Program lessons and activities.”
“Oshawa was proud to support Treat Accessibly in 2019 and the goals of inclusive and safe trick-or-treating. We received great feedback from the community, and we look forward to participating again this year,” said City of Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter.
FREE Treat Accessibly signs will be available at participating Home Depot Canada locations across Canada starting mid-October and from participating RE/MAX agents. RE/MAX Agents have made the FREE lawn signs at participating Home Depot Canada locations possible across the country. The FREE lawn signs and all the tips for Curb-Side Trick-or-Treating are also available at www.treataccessibly.com for everybody to see, use and print at their home.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
ABOUT TREAT ACCESSIBLY:
Treat Accessibly is a Canadian-based, North American social movement to help millions of differently abled children experience trick-or-treating like everybody else. Our goal is to create positive change by enlisting and enabling homeowners to easily make their homes temporarily accessible on Halloween night, and in doing so, show support and prove it is possible to remove the everyday obstacles the disabled and aging communities currently face in our established traditions, buildings, homes and institutions. www.treataccessibly.com.
Marco Pasqua is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Accessibility Consultant and Inspirational Speaker with Cerebral Palsy. Throughout his life, Marco has been involved with a number of organizations as a spokesperson, helping to spread advocacy for persons with disabilities across Canada. As an Accessibility and Inclusion Consultant, he has worked with some of BC’s biggest change-driven business leaders who are champions for more accessible, inclusive workplaces. It’s through these experiences that he is helping to pave the way for all Canadians to have universal access to the programs, services and places that they live, work and play.