Inclusive Halloween: South Shields mum joins campaign for more costumes for disabled people

Campaigners are calling on the fashion industry to offer more options for disabled children and adults at Halloween.

There are concerns that adaptive fashion - that's clothing specially created for disabled people - is limited and often quite expensive.  

Kymberleigh and her son Rayne live in South Shields. Rayne uses a wheelchair, making it difficult to find appropriate costumes.

  • Kymberleigh and Rayne.

Disabled lifestyle blogger Gem Turner often resorts to face-paint or decorating her wheelchair because she can't find a costume that is practical and comfortable.

She believes everyone should be able to access fancy-dress costumes and enjoy celebrations like Halloween.

She explained: ''I love Halloween. I really enjoy socialising and being with my friends, but it's really difficult to find costumes for Halloween.

''I've got small limbs and I'm 3 ft 1. Costumes are for average tall people with long sleeves and long legs, so it's difficult.''

  • Gem Turner, disabled lifestyle blogger

Research from the charity Scope shows there are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK. Figures suggest that 8% of children and 19% of working age adults are disabled.

This means the Purple Pound - that's the purchasing power of disabled people and their families - is worth around £274 billion pounds a year. 

Despite this customer base and clear demand, experts say there are limited options when it comes to adaptive clothing and costumes for Halloween. 

Disability specialist Shani Dhanda explained: ''It's very difficult to find clothing that's suitable for you if you live with a condition or an impairment.

She added: ''I can't just go into a shop and find an item of clothing and wear it straight off the rail. I have to get that tailored or adapted first.

''That costs money and disabled people already face unavoidable extra costs and this only adds to that.''

  • Shani Dhanda, Disability specialist

Warren Kirwan from the disability equality charity Scope added: ''Disabled kids want to dress up, trick-or-treat and have fun just like everyone else.

''I think it's up to major companies to put their disabled customers first and not have them as an afterthought.''

The adaptive clothing industry is growing, but disabled people and their families say the scariest thing about Halloween is the lack of options.