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February 8 – August 2018

Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


(dis)ABLED BEAUTY: the evolution of beauty, disability, and ability  celebrates highly designed assistive devices, adaptive devices, and apparel for those living with disabilities. 

This exhibition featuring more than forty items including prostheses, hearing devices, and mobility devices aims to change the negative stigma associated with disability. The items featured in this exhibition are not for concealing, but rather, they were designed to be seen and shown off.

Link to the live simulcast of this event. 

Opening Event:

image001_web.jpgThursday, February 8
Exhibit Opening Speaker and Reception 
7pm Park Library Auditorium & Clarke Historical Library

Speaker: Heidi McKenzie

In 2007, an accident left speaker Heidi McKenzie without the ability to feel from the chest down. She subsequently founded Alter Ur Ego, to design clothing for herself and her “wheelie” friends. “I want to make it possible for those with disabilities to be able to express their “alter-ego” through fashion while breaking down social barriers.” —Heidi McKenzie

After the opening presentation:

dis(ABLED) BEAUTY Juried Design Competition awards will be presented.

 The purpose of the competition is to provide opportunity for CMU students to explore discussion between fashion students and people with disabilities. The students were given prosthetic devices which they artistically enhanced. Their creative work will be on exhibit during the opening event.

The competition is a collaborative effort between CMU's Threads Fashion, the Fashion Merchandising and Design department, the Department of Communication Sciences Disorders, the Clarke Historical Library, and the student designers.

Award winning designs of CMU student Alexis Jones will be featured.

The 2017 American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) Concept 2 Consumer Student Merchandising Competition challenged students to create a business concept for a hypothetical new apparel line for children with special needs. Alexis Jones was awarded 1st place for her line called “Moxie.” Fashion student Danni Chen constructed prototypes of the designs which will be modeled by children at the opening of (dis)ABLED Beauty.

Exhibit Opening Reception
Refreshments will be served at the in the Clarke Historical Library. 
This event is free and open to the public.

Individuals in need of an accommodation should contact 

the Library at or by phone at 989-774-1100.