With Halloween just around the corner, a group of HWS students volunteered at an accessible trick-or-treat event for the community members that’s sponsored by the Center for Disability Rights. Held in conjunction with the Geneva Halloween Parade, the accessible event took place from 6 to 8 p.m. at 34 Castle St. in Geneva.
The trick-or-treating experience gave children and young adults with or without disabilities an additional opportunity to join the festivities. The event was scent-free to help create a space where people with sensitivities also are welcome. For many children with disabilities, Halloween can be an inaccessible holiday. The event helped create an inclusive and accessible space for children in the Geneva community.
“We were happy to offer the opportunity to welcome children both with and without disabilities to a fun Halloween event that was fully accessible,” says Tammy Papperman, assistant manager of service coordination at the Center. “We had more than 120 people attend the event, and we were pleased with the support we received from local businesses, schools and agencies. From decorating the children’s room, to acting in and leading tours through the haunted house, the volunteers from Hobart and William Smith worked hard to make the event great, and we couldn’t have done it without them.”
This year’s volunteers included Ella Calder ’18, Samantha Cohen ’16, Sophie Halter ’16, Kelsey Irving ’18, Ashley Joy ’15, Catherine Linehan ’18, Dan Magin ’18, Markel McConeghy ’15, Alyssa Newman ’16, Taylor Sweet ’16 and June Travis’18; as well as students from Associate Professor of Education Helen McCabe’s First-Year Seminar, “Narratives on Disability,” and Assistant Professor of Education Diana Baker’s EDUC203 class, “Children with Disabilities.”
“The accessible Halloween event was a wonderful experience and allowed the Geneva community come together for such a fun day,” Cohen says. “As an aspiring teacher, I hope to share my experiences about creating new ideas, interacting with others, and most importantly giving back to others.”
Similarly, Sweet says the accessible trick or treat event was a wonderful opportunity for residents and students to get together as a community to show their Halloween spirit for such a wonderful cause.
Volunteers helped decorate during the afternoon and worked during the accessible haunted house (in costume), hosted the cider and donuts table, greeted people and mingled with families attending the event.