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A revolution in Adaptive Clothes for the 21st century

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jld66
jld66 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
A Revolution in Adaptive Clothes for the Twenty First Century

I want to start a revolution in adaptive clothes for people with disabilities.
I have had a disability for nearly fifty years and have always had to struggle with clothes. It may be just a button which is too small for me to do up or a top with a very fitted body which means it is almost impossible for me to get it off. In 2011 I become interested in adaptive clothes. Whilst I was skiing with a group for skiers with disabilities I watched a friend struggle to put her jacket on. It took three members of her family to help her put her jacket. Due to her disability of cerebral palsy her arms were very stiff and so it was difficult to bend her arms to feed into her sleeves. I began to think that there must been an easier way to put a jacket on. I can’t draw but by the time it was time to come home I had a very basic design for a jacket in my head.
I started to research the whole market of adaptive clothes and was shocked at what was available. Although adaptive clothes have been available from a small numbers of companies the clothes have been designed and made for the convenience of the carer. They were not made to make the person with disabilities feel great and attractive when they are wearing the clothes. An observation I have made is that without exception is the all the companies selling adaptive clothes are run by able-bodied people. Whilst this is not a criticism I feel this to needs to change. The majority of clothes on sale was very old fashioned and traditional in their design. It seemed that they were aimed at residents of old peoples’ homes. On company even offered bulk orders for residential homes. What about a person’s right to individuality? It become obvious to me that things had to change. In the 21st century many people with disabilities live active, busy lives integrated in mainstream society. So why does the adaptive clothes available not reflect this?
It has become a passion of mine to provide well designed adaptive clothes that are trend for people with disabilities. I have been working with a Business Coach for two and half years. I have secured help from a University Fashion Department to design the clothes but I need to fund the money to fund this work. Finding this money is providing extremely difficult but I am determined to find it.
The first garment I am hoping to produce is a pair of gloves that are easy to use and allow the wearer to carry out a variety of tasks.
What I need is to find out what people actually want from clothes. I am only one person with a disability with one set of limitations. I need to know the experiences of as many people with disabilities.
So
• What are the problems?
• What do you need from a pair of gloves?
• Would you like a bag to go on your wheelchair that is brightly coloured?
• Is there a problem with your clothes that you want help solving?
Please let me know I am so interested in your clothes problems whatever the garment. I have a Facebook Group ‘Jazzy Jayne Adaptive Clothes’. Please join and have your say. You can also email me on j.dafforn@btinternet.com.

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