Kent State Museum Exhibit Considers Assistive Technologies in Fashion Context

Moto Jacket, Legging and T-shirt by IZ Collection in CanadaThe Kent State University Museum will offer a fresh, design-focused survey of assistive and adaptive devices in an upcoming exhibition. “(dis)ABLED BEAUTY: The Evolution of Beauty, Disability and Ability” will run July 29, 2016, to March 12, 2017, in the museum’s Stager and Blum Galleries. The exhibit is co-curated by Dr. Tameka Ellington, assistant professor of fashion design at Kent State, and Dr. Stacey Lim, assistant professor of audiology at Central Michigan University.

There will also be a free reception on Thursday, September 29, from 5 to 7 p.m., including remarks by Kent State’s Dr. Amy Quillin (director, Student Accessibility Services) at 6 p.m. RSVP by September 23 by calling 330-672-3450. The reception precedes the start of the university’s disAbility Awareness Month in October.

“(dis)ABLED BEAUTY” examines the aesthetic results of a historical reversal. In the past, assistive technologies were designed to be inconspicuous, a byproduct of the intense stigma attached to disability. Franklin D. Roosevelt famously shielded his use of a wheelchair and other devices from the public eye. However, in recent decades, fashionable and highly visible assistive technologies have been used to stand out, make a statement and challenge stigma.

“(dis)ABLED BEAUTY” traces the rich intersections between design, technology and adaptation, supporting the case advanced by actor-playwright and advocate Neil Marcus: “Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It's an ingenious way to live.”

About the Curators

Learn more about co-curators Tameka Ellington, Ph.D., and Stacey Lim, Au.D., Ph.D., CCC-A.

About the Museum

The Kent State University Museum is located at 515 Hilltop Drive, at the corner of E. Main St. and S. Lincoln St. in Kent, Ohio. The museum is open to the public on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. - 8:45 p.m.; and Sunday from noon - 4:45 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children under 18. The museum is free with a Kent State ID and free to the public on Sunday. Parking is free. For more information, call 330-672-3450 or visit


Contact: Alex Parrott, marketing associate,, 330-672-2714 (office)

POSTED: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:02pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 12, 2016 - 4:16pm
Alex Parrott