Pedagogy and Professional Development

Assessing the Impact of an Adaptive Apparel Curriculum in Preparing Students to Develop Products for Diverse Markets: A Longitudinal Evaluation of Student Projects

Authors
  • Kristen Deanne Morris (Colorado State University)
  • Morgan Davis (Colorado State University)

Abstract

This study investigates the evolution of adaptive apparel (AA) design education amid a rising population with disabilities. With 1.2 million more people identifying as disabled in 2021 than in 2020, the demand for inclusive clothing solutions intensifies. Examining a four-year capstone project, the research explores how AA design courses shape students' comprehension of persons with disabilities' (PWD) diverse needs. Incorporating theoretical frameworks and guest speakers, the study reveals a shift from user-aware to special purpose design, reflecting a heightened understanding of various disabilities and an embrace of non-binary/gender-neutral designs and sensory capabilities. Despite progress, gaps persist in addressing caregiver-assisted levels, cognitive abilities, designs for older adults, and intersecting identities. The findings provide educators with insights to enhance future AA curricula, emphasizing the importance of multifaceted, intersectional perspectives in creating inclusive, expressive, and functional solutions for diverse abilities.

Keywords: Adaptive Apparel, Disability, Scholarship, Clothing, Pedagogy, Design, Product Development, Inclusive Design

How to Cite:

Morris, K. D. & Davis, M., (2024) “Assessing the Impact of an Adaptive Apparel Curriculum in Preparing Students to Develop Products for Diverse Markets: A Longitudinal Evaluation of Student Projects”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 80(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/itaa.17260

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Published on
22 Jan 2024
Peer Reviewed