This Halloween, Émile will have a Halloween costume for his wheelchair, thanks to Montréal makers who are getting together to create a dragon in his castle. Last Halloween, Émile was saddened because other kids could not see the back of his Halloween costume.
For Émile, who was born with a disability that requires him to use a wheelchair, Halloween has not always been easy. Accessibility issues posed by escalators, stairs or mouldings on floors create additional hurdles to mobility. As Boston marathon victim Jessica Kensky claims ‘I am living in a world that is not built for me.’
Public transportation, hospitals, schools, grocery stores, shopping centres and restaurants are often not designed keeping in mind that people with mobility issues might want to access these places.
For people requiring an assisted mobility device, navigating cities is not easy, and Halloween is no exception. Even worse, Halloween costumes are not designed for kids who wear them sitting down.
Maker culture is an emerging worldwide movement of do-it-yourselfers who like to tinker with disruptive technologies, open-source electronics and traditional materials to innovate or imagine solutions to existing problems. Maker communities are everywhere. They share their projects online and gather together in physical spaces that are called makerspaces, hackerspaces or fablabs to work together with traditional tools, 3D printers and laser cutters.
This year, Émile connected with the maker movement to get a special Halloween costume for himself and his wheelchair — a dragon in his castle.