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The 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" runs July 29 to March 12, 2017, in the museum's Stager and Blum Galleries.
The exhibit is co-curated by Tameka Ellington, Ph.D., assistant professor of fashion design at Kent State, and Stacey Lim, Au.D., Ph.D., CCC-A, assistant professor of audiology at Central Michigan University.
There also will be a free reception Sept. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m., including remarks by Kent State's Amy Quillin, Ph.D., Kent State's director of Student Accessibility Services, at 6 p.m. Call 330-672-0300 to RSVP. 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."
The Kent State University Museum is at 515 Hilltop Drive, at the corner of East Main Street and South Lincoln St. in Kent. For more information, call 330-672-3450 or visit www.kent.edu/museum.