We don’t want anyone left out of Halloween celebrations, so we are continually developing new innovative ways to make Halloween accessible for all. Read on to get some great ideas and find products that can help bring the experience to life.
Some simple swaps can make Halloween more accessible.
Swap Face Masks for Face Paint
Instead of using masks as a part of the fancy dress experience, use face paint.
For visually impaired children, masks can hinder their sight, and for children who rely on lip-reading, masks can obstruct a person’s mouth. Children with autism sometimes have sensory sensitivities, and masks could be too intensely stimulating.
The best alternative is face paint, as you can adapt the design to be more inclusive and suitable for various conditions and disabilities.
Trick or Treating
If you plan on venturing outside, make sure you have the relevant mobility aids for children, making the experience as comfortable as possible.
Youngsters who use a wheelchair and need help manoeuvring in and out of it can use non-slip floor mats. Floor mats can give the child the support and grip required to manoeuvre into their wheelchair. Whilst out and about, feet don’t always stay on the wheelchair footrest, but having grip roll that’s stuck to the footplate prevents feet from slipping off, avoiding injury and maintaining comfort.
A trial run of the trick or treat route you will take, completed a day before, can help reassure children.
Adults and children alike can have allergies. One of the most common is a nut allergy, so make sure you stock a variety of treats that all children can enjoy, which avoids children feeling left out and prevents them from consuming foods that cause an allergic reaction.
Sometimes drinks are given out as all the candy has run out, or the child requires a drink at the end of trick or treating. Either way, you may need a bottle opener. At Tenura, we have a grip-enhancing bottle opener that helps you open bottles with more comfort and grip.
Rather than going outside and trick or treating, you can hide the treats around the house as a treasure hunt. You can place them in areas you know are manageable for children at the party.
Some children have trouble with their hand-eye coordination. But placing sweet bowls and drinks on anti-slip table mats and drinks coasters can prevent spillages. They are brightly coloured, so easy to see. Tenura mats are also easy to wipe down and protect furniture from stains.
It may be a good idea to take a drink out with you whilst you trick or treat, and a Tenura silicone CupCap drinks cover can make any drinks container spill-proof.
Carving pumpkins is a staple of Halloween, but it can be dangerous. By sliding Tenura children’s cutlery grips onto the carving knife, the child’s grip is maintained on the knife’s handle, making the knife less likely to slip out of their hand. Children’s cutlery grips make handles larger and easier to hold. Some children have difficulty grasping thin handles, so this is a perfect way to make pumpkin carving accessible.
To prevent the pumpkin from moving whilst you carve, you can place it on a Tenura anti-slip table mat.
If your child cannot participate in pumpkin carving, consider sticking items such as colourful pom-poms, fluffy pipe cleaners, and googly eyes to the pumpkin instead, which significantly reduces any risks involved.
Mark Your Home
Let others know that people in the home have conditions that require patience and understanding. You can do this by placing a sign visible to those coming up your driveway. Parents can read the sign and educate their children before approaching the door.
We hope these tips and tricks have given you some inspiration to make Halloween more accessible for various disabilities. If you have any other ideas you would like to share, let us know via our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
Initially, this observance day was known as WFOT Occupational Therapy International Day, until 2010 when it was renamed Occupation Therapy Day/World OT Day. The observation day became official and globally recognised in 2010.
The organisation behind OT day is the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, WFOT, which provides a supportive community for occupational therapists globally with over 100 organisations and 580,000 occupational therapists in their membership program. Their key goals are to provide a "global voice for occupational therapists" and "set the standards" for OT practices. They want to educate their members with the latest industry news and techniques, delivering this via their approved education programmes.
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists is pushing the focus this year on displaced persons and marginalised communities and how best to support them as occupational therapists.
This crucial topic is at the forefront of people's minds following shifts in the socioenvironmental climate following the recent events and those seeking refuge from Afghanistan.
World OT Day 2021 Theme
This year's World OT Day theme is "Belong. Be you.", which lends itself to their latest initiative. They are releasing content regarding diversity, adversity and inclusion, and how we can work together to improve community relations and resilience. We all come across struggles in daily life. Some people in our local and global communities have a more challenging time overcoming adversity, recently highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement and the scenes in Kabul following the evacuation of troops in Afghanistan.
For some readers, you may be unaware of the essential work that occupational therapists do, especially concerning the above. Still, this blog will demonstrate how vital their role is in our communities and why we need to show our support.
Occupational therapists can help those living in crisis or transitioning to a new location after seeking asylum. They can utilise socio-political occupational therapy techniques to help patients further. They can help by giving a person structure to their daily lives to provide a sense of normalcy. Their work improves the patient's mental health and integration into their new local communities. Integration is paramount and can be acquired through education and bridging the gap between cultural differences. These techniques aim to develop the patient's independence.
As you can imagine, moving to a new area or even country, things can vary, from the types of food to the typical clothing fashions. It was not a choice for displaced humans to move, and the migration was involuntary or even coerced. These people could be fleeing persecution, war/conflict and violations of their human rights. So, understanding culture is beneficial for all parties involved, especially as there may be a language barrier in the initial move.
If you are an OT and want to improve your knowledge surrounding this years theme, there are two free courses available from the World Federation of Occupational Therapists website:
- WFOT Disaster Management for Occupational Therapists
- Occupational Therapy: Working with Displaced Persons
Get Involved in World OT Day 2021
You can be involved in World OT Day via the #WorldOTDay hashtag, post a picture of you celebrating at your practice and help spread awareness. They also have some social media images and other content you can use to help promote World OT Day via their website.
Other hashtags you can use include:
The WFOT has partnered with PromOTing Occupational Therapy. Their theme is to "Pay it Forward", calling Occupational Therapist practitioners and students globally to volunteer some of their time to help make a difference in the world. They have also made a map detailing the countries that have taken part over the years.
If you are looking for some accounts to follow so you can share their content and join in on the conversation, be sure to view:
- World Federation of Occupational Therapists
- World OT Day
- Tenura's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts
We Support World OT Day + Claim Your Free Gift
We want to give away a pack of 4 anti-slip coasters with any purchase. The drinks coasters are made from non-slip silicone, which prevents drinks from being easily knocked over and spilling. To claim the free gift, add the discount code FREECOASTEROTD at checkout. We hope you have enjoyed this blog and will get involved in this years OT day. Make sure you don't miss out on other healthcare observation days and future free gifts by subscribing to our blog.
Please note, you must spend over £10 on the Tenura website to redeem the offer via the discount code. The promotion is running from 14/10/21 to 14/11/21.