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Making trick-or-treating more accessible in Cambridge

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A partnership in the City of Cambridge is on a mission to make trick-or-treating more accessible this Halloween.

Sheri Roberts, ward 5 councillor in Cambridge, uses a wheelchair and so does her partner’s son, Holden.

“When I met Holden's dad and he became a part of our family, I realized how important that inclusivity piece is,” said Roberts.

Sheri Roberts and her partner's son on Oct. 24, 2023. (CTV News/Spencer Turcotte)Roberts has seen firsthand how tricky trick-or-treating can be.

“Unfortunately, we live in a fairly inaccessible world still. So there's a lot of things that people with disabilities and kids especially don't get to participate in, and Halloween shouldn't be one of those things,” she said.

Roberts and her family are hoping to change that. Her home is one of the first to have an accessible trick or treating sign on their front lawn this year.

The program, Treat Accessibly, started in 2017 and is making a return.

The City of Cambridge partnered with RE/MAX, which sponsored the signs. Anyone can get them for free online, at city hall, or other locations. 

Roberts said there’s a lot of different ways to make trick-or-treating accessible.

“Bringing Halloween either into your garage or onto your driveway if you don't have a driveway, putting a little table on the grass so as kids are coming by they're able to access the treats easier,” she said.

A accessible Halloween sign in Cambridge on Oct. 24, 2023. (CTV News/Spencer Turcotte)

It can also mean handing out tiny toys for kids that can’t eat candy, or being more mindful of Halloween décor.

“In some cases, not including things like strobe lights, which can be problematic for some people,” Roberts said. “Maybe having like less scary stuff happening earlier in the evening when there might be some neuro-divergent kids who might not be comfortable with some of the scarier aspects of Halloween.”

Roberts hopes to see more signs popping up in the next week. A sign that eliminates the parts of trick-or-treating that make it spooky for all the wrong reasons.

“All kids should be allowed to participate in Halloween in a safe and inclusive way. And this allows that to happen,” Roberts said.

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