October 31st, 2012

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Halloween Fun for People With Disabilities


Group photo from 2011 American Training, Inc. Business Awards banquet. (Courtesy of Paige Connors.)

The fact that the end of National Disability Employment Awareness Month coincides with Halloween provides an annual built-in excuse for organizations that provide services to people with disabilities to hold benefits using the holiday theme. Over the years, these become massive gatherings that serve an ulterior purpose of advancing inclusion of these individuals into the community.

A case in point is the annual Inland Regional Center Harvest Festival in San Bernardino, California. Reporter Michel Nolan of the San Bernardino Sun wrote that more than 1,000 people were on hand for an afternoon of games, rides, food, and trick-or-treating. Photographer Rachel Luna contributed a wonderful shot of 27-year-old Brenda Garibay to the article. Adorned in the blue-checked smock-dress of Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz, Garibay was all smiles even though she had no idea who the character was, wrote Nolan. For her, it was about having a good time with her mother and sister on an 80-degree day.

Some people just like any excuse to dress up. Tonya Moore and Matt Vennix of Midland, Michigan, are two such people. Sean Proctor’s photo in the Midland Daily News shows the couple in their black-and-white striped prisoner garbed that earned first prize at the annual People First of Midland Halloween Dance. Reporter Orrin Shawl wrote that Moore and Vennix had already spent time assisting the Special Olympics and Disability Network and “made friends with people with developmental disabilities attending the dance.” Shawl also wrote of another individual who looked forward to the chance to masque:

Midland resident Heather Smith said she has had cerebral palsy her entire life, but she didn’t let that stop her from dressing up as Little Red Riding Hood and meeting people during the dance. Her home health care aide, Midland resident Cindy Stellmacher, said she could tell how excited Heather was throughout the week.

Sarah Grieco of NBC San Diego writes that Community Interface Services has combined Halloween fun with a walk-a-thon. Trek ‘n’ Treat offers one-mile and three-mile courses along scenic Oceanside Harbor and prizes for best costumes and most money raise. What a great way to test out costume ideas before setting out on the Oct. 31 candy-collection excursion!

For a look at some of the most awesome costumes created by people with disabilities and their families, check out this photo gallery on the UK Daily Mail website. The article says the collection was assembled from various places on the Web, but they all show that a wheelchair is more than just a mode of transportation. It can also be a vehicle for the imagination of a child and parent working together to make life matter a little more.

Share any of your favorite Halloween costume links in the comments section below.

One Response to “Halloween Fun for People With Disabilities”

  1. leo says:

    How do you get this post idead?

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