#PWDfashion Chat

On Wednesday, July 20, Easterseals Thrive hosted a Twitter chat on fashion and disability featuring blogger Emerald Barnes, writer/performer/activist Chella Quint, and fashionista Karin Hitselberger!

About Thrive

Fashion isn’t just models on a runway – it’s a form of expression. Choosing what we wear day-to-day or how we style ourselves for a trip to the beach depends on how we access fashion. For some people with disabilities, wearing certain clothes, putting on makeup, or styling hair can be a challenge; but designers are taking notice as we spread the word about accessible fashion.

Our lively chat was tons of fun, with participants offering support, fashion tips, and clothing hacks for people with disabilities. Check out some highlights:

Read about our featured guests below, and see how you can still join in the conversation!

Featured Guests

Emerald sits in her wheelchair, which is on a grassy surface, wearing a vibrant red dress and smilingEmerald Barnes is a 20-something lifestyle and beauty blogger located in Central Florida. At 20, she began experiencing the effects of a genetic muscle disorder that makes things like walking and, at times, speaking difficult. Searching for an outlet, she created Sweet Tart Beauty to share her love for lifestyle and beauty. Even though her disability can get her down, she strives to find the positive in life. When she is not blogging, you can find Emerald curled up watching documentaries or practicing her favorite hobby, photography.

picture of Chella, woman with long dark hair and bangs, with black rimmed glasses, smiling

Chella Quint is a writer, performer, activist, designer, comedian, and education researcher living in the UK. She works on erasing the stigmas of menstruation in her zine “Adventures in Menstruating,” and promoting disability equality through live talks and podcasts. Chella also has a knack for picking the right stockings for every patterned dress she owns. For more info, visit her website https://chellaquint.wordpress.com/

Woman in red dress, wearing sunglasses, smiling and sitting in her wheelchair indoors

Karin Hitselberger is a disability-rights activist, writer, and fashion blogger based in Washington, DC. She has undergraduate degrees in communication studies and religious studies from the University of Miami, and is pursuing a Masters degree in Disability Studies from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Her writings focus on the intersection of disability and everyday life as a young woman. Her fashion work focuses on inclusive options, and the importance of disability visibility. Find her online at www.claimingcrip.blogspot.com, ceepstyle.tumblr.com, instagram at @KHitselberger, and twitter at @Karinonwheels.

How can I still join the chat?

On July 20, Thrive posted the questions below on our Twitter account, @ability2thrive. Even though the live chat is over, everyone is still welcome to send in their answers!

Joining is easy. Just reply to the questions, starting your answer with the question number. Most importantly, make sure you end your tweet using the hashtag #PWDfashion – it’s how we keep track of the conversation and make sure your voice is heard!

Here’s an example: you could answer question one (a.k.a. Q1) by typing “A1: Flip flops and sun dresses! #PWDfashion"

The Questions

Q1: What do you think of when you hear or see the phrase “summer fashion”?

Q2: Why is it important to talk about disability when we talk about fashion?

Q3: What is your ideal summer style/look?

Q4: Are there any barriers to accessing summer fashion? What are some challenges you have with clothing in general?

Q5: Are there any designers/brands that work with your clothing access needs?

Q6: What would you like to change in clothing stores (online or off) to make them more accessible?

Q7: How can we encourage the fashion industry to include more accessible styles and models?

Q8: Do you have any fashion or beauty hacks for people with disabilities?

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