As anyone who knows me will attest, I have never been a big believer in Halloween in Australia. (I may be fast becoming the minority on this one!) But what is really important to me as a therapist and someone who works closely with kids, is inclusivity.
When I heard about the moves that Australian retailer The Reject Shop were making, I just had to share.
At this time of year, plenty of kids are planning their costumes for the spookiest night of the year and The Reject Shop are on a mission to become more inclusive and allow children of all abilities to be part of these celebrations.
Partnering with national charity HeartKids, The Reject Shop have launched a range of wheelchair-inclusive Halloween costumes for children, featuring two costumes that fit over a child’s wheelchair, and easily attach with velcro.
With the wave of a magic wand, one of the costumes transforms the chair into a beautiful princess carriage, while an ‘Ahoy Captain’ will see the other transform into a pirate ship. As every wheelchair is different, they have included multiple velcro pieces with each costume to ensure it fits.
“The Reject Shop has long been known as the place for affordable Halloween costumes, but we wanted to ensure that all children were able to join in the fun of Halloween celebrations,” says The Reject Shop’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dani Aquilina.
“Our wheelchair-inclusive range is the first step in ensuring that inclusion and diversity are inherent in our organisation. We’re excited to introduce the range to parents and children this October, as part of our broader strategy to help more families live on a budget.”
The collaboration with charity partner, HeartKids is an important one, as they are dedicated to working with children with congenital heart disease, who often find themselves in wheelchairs post-surgery and throughout their recovery stage.
“We’re thrilled to partner with The Reject Shop on such an important initiative,” says Rob Lutter, CEO of HeartKids. “These costumes will allow wheel-chair bound children a much needed distraction from their time in hospital, and the chance to simply be kids again and enjoy Halloween celebrations.”
Along with The Reject Shop’s full range of kid’s costumes, the Halloween wheelchair range will be available in selected stores nationally from Tuesday 29th October, just in time for Halloween. Retailing for $49 each, they are hoping that the range will make children in wheelchairs feel every bit a part of the Halloween celebrations.
Now that, is worth celebrating.