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An attempt to bridge fashion-disability paradox

An attempt to bridge fashion-disability paradox
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WWAD (Walk With A Difference) is a social initiative by 'AIMS Media' to discover the hidden talents of persons with disabilities in the fields of clothing, fashion, art, music, dance and sports through social events and exhibitions. Since 2010, 'AIMS Media' is building an inclusive and accessible society by imparting new-age skills, capacity building and vocational training to people with disabilities across India and overseas for their sustainable livelihoods and economic inclusion. After the first and second seasons in Delhi and Bangalore in 2015 and 2016, respectively, WWAD took place this year in Kolkata.

From November 12 to November 18, 30 finalists were chosen through an audition and underwent an intense and immersive capacity-building process.

At the finale, which took place on November 19 at the Science City Auditorium, the finalists showcased their skills and confidence through fashion walks, exhibiting their abilities beyond their disabilities. They walked for designers who kept adaptability and accessibility in mind while designing and stitching the clothes, right from replacing buttons with velcro for the benefit of individuals with fine motor issues and making reversible garments for visually impaired participants to using fabrics that cause no sensory issues for the finalists.

The event was graced by eminent personalities, filmmakers, designers and artists who were impressed by their talent and style. During the event, WWAD started important conversations on fashion and disability. To simplify and elucidate the topic for all WWAD stakeholders and the society at large, the organisers published a book on the topic, which was tentatively titled 'Fashion Disability Paradox'.

All the finalists were awarded cash prizes and corporate gifts.

Rakesh Dhasmana, the convenor of this historic event, said, "WWAD is an attempt to bridge the fashion-disability paradox. Since fashion, as an industry, grabs a lot of attention in society, the inclusion of PwDs in such a prominent industry will change society for the better."

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