By Emily Delzell
Researchers from the University of Missouri in Columbia reported in June in Disability and Rehabilitation that the lack of adequate accessible apparel keeps people with disabilities from engaging in their communities.
They analyzed interviews from a focus group of disabled individuals and found apparel-related barriers fell into three basic categories: mechanical and functional barriers, cultural barriers, and sensory sensitivity barriers.
“In many cases, the only options are custom-made clothing, which is not accessible due to high costs. Affordable clothes that can be mass produced are necessary to address specific apparel-related barriers identified in our research,” said lead investigator Allison Kabel, PhD, assistant professor of health sciences.