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Why inclusive design should be the norm

Christina Mallon had to rethink her life at 22 when her arms became paralyzed. Now, she's a fierce advocate for inclusive design.

Disabled by design

Christina Mallon had to rethink her whole life when her arms became paralyzed 8 years ago. Today, she’s an inclusive designer, and she shares her hacks to make the world a more accessible place. At 22, just after graduating college, Christina Mallon started to lose feeling in her hands and arms. As she began to adjust her condition, she decided to dedicate her career to inclusive design. She says that brands that ignore the disabled community miss out on major opportunities. As she planned her wedding, she continued to encounter many hurdles faced by people with disabilities.

One in five people globally have a permanent disability, and they have money

“If you're on social media and you see an ad that was someone with a disability and you feel like it represents the community, right: like it, share it, comment it, because that engagement brings it to more people. And that's a really small thing. I think buying from brands that support people with disabilities is very important. And then if you work in a creator role, making sure that people with disabilities are represented in the ads that you create. The hardest part for me, becoming disabled was not that I couldn't physically do something,” Christina Mallon tells Brut.

She says that with small acts, it's possible to represent and support the disabled community

“It was the preconceived notions that people had about disability. And I know that they do mean to be mean. It's that media and brands aren't showing people disabilities, and when they do, they show them in a very sad way. But I love my life. I wouldn't change it for the world. And I want that to be reflected, because media and culture influences how people think. And we have the power now and the voices now to tell everyone that they need to start thinking this way.”

Brut.

01/01/2020 1:00 PM

313 comments

  • Karen V.
    02/22/2020 22:42

    What was it she has that did that to her arms

  • Tikva W.
    02/22/2020 04:08

    ❤️

  • Andre C.
    02/19/2020 21:05

    Gardu GA

  • Maria S.
    02/17/2020 08:24

    this is amazing omg

  • Katie L.
    02/15/2020 12:19

    i think we know her?! Amazing story!!

  • Rodlyn-mae B.
    02/13/2020 12:02

    this is super cool!

  • Sonia A.
    02/12/2020 05:28

    Can you please inbox me some of these companies that support disabilities with some of these products thanks this is great information.

  • Zebun H.
    02/05/2020 04:11

    Most beautiful video we should show the world

  • Jac M.
    01/29/2020 01:56

    Sebrina Luckett

  • Scully P.
    01/28/2020 12:39

    Show. Me more

  • Madison S.
    01/25/2020 19:02

    this made me think of you! Super cool

  • Ani H.
    01/23/2020 11:36

    You must come from a very privileged community because I dont know a single disabled person with "disposable income." Especially if you're on social security disability income, pretty much none of that is actually disposable.

  • Jeffrey H.
    01/19/2020 22:12

    You are awesome

  • Samantha T.
    01/19/2020 17:15

    adaptable fashion ❤️

  • Kyle H.
    01/18/2020 17:31

    look baby. Something to be inspired by ❤️❤️

  • Kimuli F.
    01/18/2020 07:41

    Woow...l We are motivated more to see that in other continents there is another inclusive fashion brand. this is what we have been implementing since 2016 in Africa and started in Uganda through training persons with disabilities with skills of creative tailoring to turn plastic waste into sustainable and waterproof garments and accessories. A person with a disability is just differently abled and he/she is able to develop the community as a productive citizen if equal opportunities prevail. come see our fellow inclusion activist.

  • Kasey S.
    01/13/2020 10:45

    If disabled individuals had “disposable” income my younger sister who has extreme head trauma along with being on the higher end of the Spectrum wouldn’t only get 950 a month. My father who has cerebral palsy lives off of 780 a month in Texas. Not including most of the “extra” help he has to pay for to do daily life.

  • Berét A.
    01/11/2020 04:06

    reminded me of your dream

  • Kat E.
    01/11/2020 02:18

    Beautiful promo and great looking products! I do wonder about the disposable income part though as I’d venture to say that there is less money opportunities than the “typical” due to costs of appointments, services, therapies, medicines, etc. Not to say that the differently abled shouldn’t be recognized and items geared towards them. Another challenge is that the range of needs and different ways to be more accessible vary so greatly. That’s another big challenge. Hopefully companies start making some changes.

  • Manuel M.
    01/10/2020 02:42

    !!!!!!!!!

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