As many students go about their everyday lives, they see instances  where other people may be excluded, but few do anything to address those situations. That’s not the case for Millersville University (MU) sophomore Sidney Scoralick and her family, who in 2017 decided to create an Adaptive Easter Egg Hunt.

“Speaking personally from the things my sister (who is blind) has shared, it breaks down the barriers,” says Scoralick.

This adaptive egg hunt first began in 2017 at Tymor Park in Lagrangeville, New York and was initially focused on the visually impaired. People came from over an hour away to participate that first year. The response really encouraged Scoralick and her family to dig deeper and see who else they could reach through adaptations. In 2018 they expanded the egg hunt to include a low sensory input time as well as a wheelchair accessible hunt.

An adaptive egg hunt is an egg hunt that is modifiable to fit everyone’s needs and different ability levels. For the visually impaired part of the hunt,  eggs that made noise were used. This can be either a continuous sound or beeping depending on what works best for the individual. The low sensory portion is a quieter hunt where the kids are sent out in small groups and told to collect a certain number of eggs so there isn’t an overwhelming rush. Then for the wheelchair accessible portion, magnetic eggs with extendable wands were used for easier pick up, and some were placed on raised surfaces as well.

“The traditional style egg hunts were always hard for my whole family to enjoy because my sister Tabatha is legally blind. We would try to help her find eggs, but by the time she would get close enough to them, someone else would swoop in and grab it. This really was what inspired us to think outside the box and create the adaptive egg hunt,” says Scoralick.

In addition to the egg hunt, Scoralick and her family provide lots of play opportunities with different sensory stimulating activities. The local fire company also brings some trucks over and allows the kids to explore them. Therapy pets are also present on the day thanks to Kathy Schuck at Hudson Valley Paws for a Cause. One of the dogs is in a wheelchair herself and is always a personal favorite of the kids.

“I would love to see something like this happen here at Millersville. I think it would be a great outreach project, especially because we are such an integrated campus,” says Scoralick.

This year’s hunt was held April 13 at Tymor Park in Lagrangeville, New York.

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