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Defining the design barriers to adaptive clothing


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Abstract

The purpose of this research is to identify and organize the design barriers of adaptive clothing in order to increase its market availability. Adaptive clothing is garments designed specifically for people living with disabilities, endeavouring to increase quality of life and independence. Despite the benefits, adaptive clothing is not widely available for purchase because very little house-hold-name brands sell it, typically only available online from small companies. The aim of this research is to facilitate the identification of the design barriers by designing and testing apparel, which addresses the clothing related needs of an individual living with Down syndrome. By identifying the design barriers, this research produces a novel approach to product design. The new practice, titled Design for Inclusivity, is an interdisciplinary research method, not only focusing on user-centered design to satisfy clothing related needs of people living with disabilities, but also creating inclusion by marketing to both people living with and without disabilities.

Keywords

disability, design, inclusive, adaptive apparel

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