Textile universal design center will produce fabrics and design clothes to make life easier for persons with disabilities.
Istanbul Technical University's (ITU) Universal Textile Design Center was recently inaugurated with a ceremony overseen by Emine Erdogan, the First Lady of Turkey, and ITU Chancellor Mehmet Karaca.
Adaptive clothing - Defined as clothing specially designed for people with physical disabilities, the elderly, and the infirm who may have difficulty dressing themselves due to an inability to manipulate closures, such as buttons and zippers, or due to a lack of a full range of motion required for self dressing eg. arthritis sufferers, Quadriplegics, and Paraplegics.
Universal Design - Refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities. Universal design emerged from slightly earlier barrier-free concepts, the broader accessibility movement, and adaptive and assistive technology and also seeks to blend aesthetics into these core considerations.
Speaking at the ceremony, Erdogan stressed her support for the textile design center for persons with disabilities.
"This is the first time in Turkey that a center such as this has opened. God willing, the center will produce fabrics and design clothes to make life easier for persons with disabilities," she said. Stating that the initiative of the ITU is a result of the history of the university and its 200 years of technical accumulation, Erdogan said the foundation of this center is an important step for universal textile design, which is a new trend in textile manufacturing. "Actually, 'universal design' means 'design for everyone.'
According to this view people who are affected by obstacles are not only limited to those who are disabled.
"Everyone experiences limitations during their infancy and childhood. Many people might experience limitations due to pregnancy, old age or traffic accidents; hence, this center addresses a large part of the society," Erdogan said.
She stressed that the projects the center will undertake to make life easier for persons with disabilities are encouraging, and ITU's initiative will enable persons with disabilities to wear comfortable and aesthetically pleasing clothes. Erdogan also wished that this center will set an example for other organizations, and said the concept of universal design should become widespread in every segment of the society.
Moreover, the center will be able to measure people's sizes with 3-D body scanning technology. Testing for comfort and quality of the fabrics and clothes will also be conducted at the center.