Developing baseline design criteria for people with lower body mobility impairments using inclusive design
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The mainstream clothing market focuses on people without disabilities; however, all people should be free to enjoy aesthetic values of clothing, including wearing what they want to wear and being confident in their appearances. To remedy the lack of appropriate clothing for people with disabilities, it is important to understand their clothing needs and problems of a variety of apparel markets by including people with a variety of abilities. The primary goals of this research were to seek a more thorough understanding of the apparel needs of people who live with lower-body mobility impairments and use a wheelchair and to develop an inclusive set of design criteria for mainstream apparel products that address these apparel needs, especially men. The researcher used Rosenblad-Wallin’s (1985) framework of clothing to help address clothing properties of PLBMI users. The researcher also used Keates and Clarkson’s (2003)Inclusive Design Cube model to develop a set of inclusive clothing design criteria for people with lower-body mobility impairments. The research procedure consisted of two phases of exploratory qualitative research. First, the researcher analyzed the current adaptive clothing market for wheelchair users and its products through content analysis to gather basic information about adaptive clothing. People with disabilities’ symbolic expression of independent living, social conformity, and respectability is affected by the clothing’s design. In addition, fit, ease of donning and doffing, transferring system, thermal protection, sensory sensitivity, storage, and easy care are important functional aspects of adaptive clothing. Second, the researchers discovered the functional and symbolic apparel needs of people with lower-body mobility impairments, especially from the perspectives of men, by conducting interviews with men with lower-body mobility impairments. Through the research, the researchers identified additional clothing needs based on the sub themes we defined during the content analysis. Third, based on the findings, the researchers suggested baseline design criteria. The criteria met the apparel needs of both PLBMI while also considering mainstream users in accordance with the IDC model. In this approach, the purpose was not to suggest a single design but to provide an example of the reasonable application of information to create multiple designs of inclusive clothing.
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