In recent years, a growing number of retailers have begun adding accessible items, like adaptive clothing to the products they offer. This is a wonderful step in the right direction toward inclusivity, especially given that the World Health Organization estimates that 1 billion people — around 15 per cent of the world’s population — lives with a disability.
What is adaptive clothing?
Zippers, buttons, snaps, and ties are found on most of the clothes we wear, and normally, we don’t give them a second thought. However, they can make getting dressed very difficult for some people. Adaptive clothing is clothing designed for people with a disability using technology and custom designs. Here are a few examples:
- Pants, shirts and dresses that open at the back or side and feature magnetic closures
- Shoes that open far enough for wearers to step into them and feature Velcro closures
- Pants that are cut higher in the back and lower in the front for sitting comfortably – ideal for wheelchair users
- Shirts and pajamas that feature access for medical equipment, such as G-tubes and oxygen lines
- Reversible clothing: frontward to backward, inside and out
- Sensory-friendly clothing: soft fabrics, tagless, compression, and flat seams
- Orthotic-ready shoes
- One-piece outfits
Looking for a list of retailers that sell adaptive clothing?
Check out this article from LifeZest: 53 Places to Buy Adaptive Clothing.
Do you have questions about adaptive clothing? Community First Health Plans can help.
- As part of the Value-Added Services we offer, some Community First Members may qualify for gift cards after completing certain requirements (like Texas Health Steps checkups or getting recommended immunizations).* Members can use these gift cards toward purchasing adaptive clothing.
- Community First also partners with several local organizations that serve the disabled community, like The MAC (The Multi-Assistance Center) at Morgan’s Wonderland. Visit their website or call 210-817-3935 to find out what services they offer.
- A local San Antonio cancer patient’s mom is making adaptive shirts for kids across the world with zippers allowing access to ports for chemotherapy. Read more about her efforts.
*Eligibility restrictions may apply.