Apparel Causes Additional Barriers for People Living with Disabilities

Posted in MU School of Health Professions

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The U.S. clothing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, but for the millions of Americans with disabilities and their families, a lack of options in the apparel industry presents daily challenges. Now researchers from the University of Missouri are looking at the relationship between apparel and marginalization for people with disabilities. Allison Kabel, assistant professor of health sciences in the School of Health Professions, found that the lack of adequate, accessible apparel created barriers for people with disabilities from engaging in their communities. She identified the need for innovation in design, production, distribution and sale of adaptive clothing. “While it may be an afterthought for some, clothing and appearance are not trivial,” Kabel said. “What we wear matters in how we participate in our communities. Job interviews, court appearances, team sports and formal events are just a few examples of times when standards for appropriate dress exist....

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