Brantford City Council endorsed a report directing city staff to promote Treat Accessibly, a grassroots movement that encourages residents to take steps to make Halloween accessible for all families during their Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, September 27.
In early 2022, The Office of the CAO and Mayor was approached by community employer and leader, Ferrero, regarding the potential to partner with a non-profit organization to focus on making treat-giving more accessible this Halloween in our community. The Treat Accessibly program provides tips and recommendations that households can follow to ensure that all individuals can visit in a safe and accessible manner. Solutions can include moving trick-or-treat stations to the end of a driveaway, or eliminating strobe lights.
“I am very pleased that COW unanimously approved the annual promotion of Treat Accessibly,” said Jenny Sawicki, City of Brantford Accessibility Coordinator. “As a community, we can take a few simple steps to ensure our setup for trick or treaters is accessible, making Halloween a celebration that all residents can enjoy.”
Through generous contributions from Ferrero and Remax, residents that would like to participate in Treat Accessibly can pick up a free bright orange Treat Accessibly lawn sign available at various City facilities throughout October, including the Wayne Gretzky Sport Centre located at 254 North Park Rd, all Community Centres and City Hall located at 58 Dalhousie St. The signs feature City of Brantford and Ferrero logos, as well as a caped hero in a wheelchair with the words Treat Accessibly. The City’s goal is to hand out 250 lawn signs this year, with the intention of growing awareness of the program each with more participants each year. Ferrero will also be encouraging their staff to participate by offering the signs at their Brantford facility.
In Canada and the USA, more than 22% of people identify with having a disability, with nearly 400,000 of them being children. Treat Accessibly’s goal is for 400,000 households to participate in the program by 2025, which equals one lawn sign for every child with accessibility needs.
The City is dedicated to fostering an inclusive community, where residents of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can enjoy all that the City offers – including Halloween activities. Treat Accessibly aligns with the Brantford Accessibility Advisory Committee’s mandate of removing barriers in policies, programs and services to meet the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).