Many of us have fond memories of Halloween from when we were children. Most people enjoy the celebration because of the fun and thrill of dressing up, scaring others, trick or treating and going to haunted houses. Blind and visually impaired youngsters and adults don’t have to miss out on the activities of this holiday!
As children, one of our favorite Halloween activities is picking out a costume. Usually our main priority is choosing something that will impress our friends and classmates! The fact that I was blind didn’t make any difference; I only needed a little extra help to choose my costume. My parents always preferred to take the easy path when it came to costumes, so my mom would take me and my older brother to the store. She would describe the different costumes and let me feel them when possible. Naturally, I’d always pick out something that had some type of texture or sound! The greatest advantage was when it came to masks since I didn’t have to pick something with see through material!
Trick or treating was always my favorite part of Halloween. After all, it was the only time of the year when I could ask for and receive candy from everyone in the neighborhood! Since I can’t see, it was easier for me to tag along with a small group of people. I would generally go trick or treating with family or friends. The various Halloween decorations at different houses didn’t cause much of a thrill for me, unless they had some type of tactile or auditory component. Although at first I was startled by things like hanging spiders and scary sounds, I knew it was all part of the celebration and fun!
Activities like pumpkin carving and Halloween parades were also quite enjoyable for me. With some imagination and a little help, carving pumpkins can sure create fun and tactile experiences for young children! The fact that I couldn’t see the Halloween parades didn’t necessarily mean I couldn’t enjoy them. Friends or family would describe the various costumes, and I would occasionally get to feel some of them after the parade was over. This was probably the best part for me, especially if the costume was that of a favorite character!
Scary movies and haunted houses have never been particularly interesting to me. Most scary movies have a great deal of visual elements, and it can be hard to follow the story even if they have some dialogue. Although some scary movies have audio description, I still can’t always grasp the full plot. However, I can use my imagination to picture the scene. Regardless, I enjoy watching scary movies with my friends on Halloween evening. Haunted houses have never had much of a thrill for me either. While I can tell the difference between light and dark, I am not always able to get the full effect. Like scary movies, haunted houses are mainly based on visual elements.
I still enjoy Halloween as much as everyone else. Having dinner and watching scary movies with my friends are just some of the ways I like to celebrate this fun and scary occasion. Blind and visually impaired children and adults don’t have to miss out on this fun holiday. With some creativity and imagination, we can have a great time by using our other senses. If we really pause to think about it, Halloween is a multisensory experience for everyone! Happy Halloween from the Sandy’s View team and all of us at the Chicago Lighthouse! We hope you have a fun, scary and safe weekend!