now that autumn is upon us, i get all excited for the new fall fashion trends. i don’t have a disability but my son, zach, does. he has charcot marie tooth disease. he is at the age where he is starting to care about his sense of style and the clothes he wears.
he has minimal use of his hands, so jeans are pretty difficult for him. as are button down shirts, and jackets with zippers. basically anything that has buttons and zippers, which as you know is almost every article of clothing we wear. yes he can wear sweats everyday and a pullover t-shirt or sweater but why should he have to?
why don’t we have more “adaptable clothing” for people with disabilities? zach doesn’t wear jeans to school mostly because he can’t button or zip them up after using the restroom. isn’t that insane? a person NOT using the restroom because they can’t zip or button their jeans. how demeaning and embarrassing is that for anyone but especially a teenager? we live in the year 2016. w have put men on the moon. we have phones with FaceTime but a person with a disability cannot wear a simple pair of jeans because they can’t close them? sure he can carry a button aide around with him, but why should he have to? what if he forgets it at home? what if it breaks while he is using it?
zach is graduating high school this year and going to college next year. zach has always loved being independent. so why must he be dependent on a button aide or a person to help him get dressed? simple things that people take for granted on a daily basis, zach must constantly worry about because of his charcot marie tooth disease. isn’t it hard enough growing up in this day and age? why should something as simple as getting dressed be an issue for people with disabilities? don’t people have enough to worry about?
there are a few designers that are making adaptable clothing. IZadaptive makes a fashionable and functional clothing line for people in wheelchairs. Runway of Dreams has partnered with Tommy Hilfiger to make adaptable clothing for children. MagnaReady has come out with a magnetized dress shirt for people with limited mobility. ABL Denim is a denim collection with adaptive features making them easier to get the jeans on and off. these are just a few but we need all designers and manufacturers to make adaptable clothing. people with disabilities make up more than 20% of our population. why should they not be able to dress comfortably, stylish and fashionably?
clothes make people feel good about themselves. there is nothing like a man in a crisp suit and tie or the feeling of putting on a new sweater on a cold day. don’t you remember being excited to wear your new outfit to school? fashion is our way of expressing ourselves. lets give everyone that opportunity. lets start somewhere!!!!