Now this is something I can guarantee you’ve never seen at any museum before. Debuting this Saturday at the Royal Ontario Museum,  also known as the ROM, Canada’s largest natural history museum, is a textile exhibit sure to impress any wheelchair-user, or anyone interested in fashion created for the seated form.

Called Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting, this exhibit showcases the brilliant designs of Izzy Camilleri and her line IZ Adaptive, which were all created with wheelchair-users in mind. But it’s not just showcasing her designs and no one else’s. The exhibit also will be showcasing designs from the 18th and 19th century that were also created for the seated form.

This part is pretty cool considering how difficult it is to preserve textiles from even 100 years ago. I absolutely love antique clothing for this very reason. To get into specifics on the new garment side, Izzy will be showing 12 of her looks, including her leather jacket that splits into two with a vertical zipper for easy access, a trench coat with the shorter back (my all-time fave) and her gorgeous wheelchair-friendly wedding dress.

And there will be 6 antique textile pieces shown alongside IZ’s garments. A few of these include a dolman created to accommodate a large bustle, 18th century breeches and a 19th century side-saddle riding habit. All of IZ’s garments will also be shown on standing mannequins to demonstrate why the designs work so well for sitting.

Also, 12 of Izzy’s iconic designs, garments she’s made for film, will also be on display, including her silver fox coat worn by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada.

Fashion Follows Form debuts this Saturday, June 21, 2014 at the ROM and will run through January 25th, 2015. And even cooler – if you can’t make it in person, the exhibit will also be online. I’m so glad an exhibit like this is happening. It will give a huge slice of the population insight into a world, a textile issue, they’ve never thought of before.

And if you’ve never gone to the ROM, definitely consider going in you’re in the Toronto area. It has won several accessibility awards and has dozens of fascinating exhibits. You won’t regret it.

Will you go to Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting?

– Learn more: Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting

– Izzy Camilleri’s online clothing store: IZ Adaptive

Other than walking, getting on boats is another activity most people think we can’t do. Cruise ships sure, but speedboats, dingys, fishing boats and everything else, not so much. Didn’t you know a spinal cord injury makes stuff like that impossible (dripping with sarcasm)?

You can’t argue our mobility levels are severely limited, no denying that, but that doesn’t mean boats are an impossibility. All it takes is someone with a creative edge to create the accessibility features we need, whether it’s the company itself or the end-user (always more risky, but sometimes you have no other option).

If you’re dreaming of boating once again, know that it can happen whether you’re a paraplegic or quadriplegic. It can take some serious modifications, but for boat lovers with spinal cord injuries, that’s just minor details. Read this entry

One of the most well-known people with spinal cord injuries in Canada, Barbara Turnbull has been living life as a quadriplegic for over 30 years. Her injury garnered national attention due to its severe nature – a random convenience store shooting – but what she’s done with her life since that crazy day is why she’s a true SCI superstar.

A longtime journalist for the Toronto Star, a two-time book author and a tireless advocate for improved public accessibility and spinal cord injury research, Barbara’s resume is one of the most impressive you’ll find among any high level quadriplegic. Her injury has driven her to greater things, and she’s used her power wisely.

For a sneak peek at how a strong-willed Canadian woman overcomes insurmountable circumstances, this is the story of Barbara Turnbull. Read this entry

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