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Dressing can be challenging for individuals with special needs and physical disabilities. Whether it is a parent dressing their child or an adult with a physical impairment, clothes that meet the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are in demand and the fashion industry has taken note. Simple clothing alterations like magnetic closures instead of buttons, snaps, and hooks on shirts and jackets, as well as softer materials and textures that allow for range of motion, can benefit individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Retailers like Tommy Hilfiger, Zappos, Nike, Kohl’s, and Target are leading the way in designing apparel, shoes, and other products for consumers that are not only fashionable but also allow people greater independence for activities in daily life.


Adaptive Clothing to Hit Runway at New York Fashion Week

8 Adaptable Clothing Brands for people with disabilities


Adaptive Clothing

Check out additional companies with adaptive clothing lines:

We live in a hi-tech world where new technologies surface all the time. For some of us, new apps simplify life or provide a luxury — we can order our groceries from our cell phones so we don’t have to go to the grocery store. For others, they provide a solution to a problem or satisfy a necessity — they increase reading or hearing ability and promote learning in the case of a disability.

Assistive Technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether purchased from a store or personally customized — excluding medical devices or implants — that amplifies, sustains, or expands the functional capabilities of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Understanding Assistive Technology: Simply Said:


Read more about Assistive Technology

And what is some of the best (and usable) AT developed over the past 10 years?

  • Apple’s iPad
  • Amazon Echo with Alexa
  • Microsoft Learning Tools built into the Office 365 and Microsoft Edge applications
  • Be My Eyes app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers for assistance with certain tasks.
  • AirPods
  • Microsoft’s Seeing Al app that uses the (IOs only) device camera to identify people and objects for someone who is visually impaired. The app audibly describes those objects for the user.
  • Xbox adaptive controller
  • Google Live Captioning
  • Munevo Drive smart glasses that interpret head movements into signals for controlling electric wheelchairs, taking photos, and sending emergency messages.
  • Open Sesame allow hands-free control of smartphones, tablets, and computers through a front camera that monitors head movements to upload social media posts, write text messages, make phone calls, and use apps.

An LAJAC case manager is a professional who helps coordinate services of care on behalf of an individual in need. To contact an LAJAC case manager, please complete this intake form.

Today, assistive technologies can help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn more effectively. Ranging in sophistication from “low” technologies such as a graphic organizer worksheet to “high” technologies including cutting-edge software and smartphone apps, assistive technology is a growing and dynamic field.


More examples of assistive technology are:

The Hoglet

This Michigan company reinvented the computer mouse with good reason (

Assistive Listening Systems

According to the National Association for the Deaf, assistive listening systems can be used by children who are hard of hearing or to enhance the reach and effectiveness of those with hearing aids and cochlear implants.


Text-to-speech (TTS) software is designed to help children who suffer from blindness, dyslexia, visual impairments, learning disabilities, autism, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that affect their ability to read. The technology scans and then reads the words to the student in a synthesized voice.

Intel Reader

A mobile handheld device about the size and weight of a paperback book, Intel Reader uses TTS technology to read printed text aloud and features a high-resolution camera that captures printed text, converts it to digital text, and reads it to the user.

Kurzweil 3000

For students requiring a multi-sensory approach to literacy learning, this software program helps students who may have a non-print disability or may not typically consider a TTS program.

Graphic Organizers

Some students have dysgraphia or disorders of written expressions, and graphic organizers are very useful in helping them organize their thoughts, map out a course of action, describe objects, and perform other tasks.

Sip-and-Puff Systems

For students with mobility challenges, such as paralysis and fine motor skill disabilities, these systems allow for control of a computer, mobile device, or some other technological application by the child’s movement of the device (similar to a joystick) with his or her mouth.