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‘It warms your heart’: Families enjoy inclusive Easter egg hunt Sunday

Families and local law enforcement officers teamed up for an accessible Easter egg hunt Sunday.

The third-annual Beep Eggs Project saw special audible Easter eggs hidden throughout Emily Murphy Park for visually impaired children and youth to find.

Edmonton Police Service Det. Ryan Katchur brought the project to Edmonton after hearing of a similar initiative in the U.S.

“I learned about it and I thought this is absolutely something that we need to do in our community,” Ketchur said. “It’s important to be inclusive.”

It was the first hunt for Letisha Byrne-Baker and her seven-year-old son Jayden Byrne-Baker, who is visually-impaired.

“This is kind of a new world for us,” Letisha said. “It’s just really cool.

“He can listen with his ears instead of looking with his eyes if he needs to, and he can actually find the Easter eggs, which is amazing.”

The event was a collaboration between EPS and other organizations including the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).

The eggs were designed by the EPS bomb squad and 3D printed by the Cyber Eagles, a Strathcona County-based robotics team.

Once hunters have filled their basket, they cash their beeping eggs in for candy and prizes.

There was also a bunny petting zoo, games and live music. 

“We have a lot of excited kids, a lot of great families out here,” said EPS Chief Dale McFee. “It warms your heart.”

In addition to helping visually-impaired and blind kids take part in an Easter tradition, Letisha said the event is a great place for her and her son to meet new people in similar situations.

“It helps us create more of a community within the visually-impaired world and then also, it’s just fun,” Letisha said.

“I agree,” added Jayden, showing off his full basket of eggs.

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