Why it’s important for your child to have a pretty wheelchair, walker, or leg braces

Has your child ever complained, “I don’t want to wear that! I don’t like it!” or have you been involved in picking the prettiest color you can find for a wheelchair or walker? Luckily for kids these days, there are a lot of choices of colors and designs to pick, but it’s still quite limited.

It may seem like medical equipment only serves a physical purpose, but I would argue that it really should be beautiful.

Screenshot from Aimee's TED Talk, My 12 pairs of legs, image shows Aimee motioning to prosthetic legs on stage with her

In Aimee Mullins TED Talk, she shows off and discusses the twelve different pairs of legs she owns, including some really avant-garde pieces. She argues for why some of these artistic pieces are so important, not just for her but for society in general.

I love Aimee’s concept of “whimsy” and “poetry” that brings people into things that previously scared them. She reminds me of the importance of aesthetics and creativity.

This means there is a vital purpose to art surrounding disability, whether that be innovative wheelchair designs, adaptive clothing lines, grab bars and ramps that match a home’s style, art created by disabled artists, or even just a few stickers of your child’s favorite character on the side of their equipment.

It can be easy to write off things that are pretty because they’re unimportant, but that’s not true.

Beauty is important because it invites people to truly look at things they once feared.

I hope one day that everything surrounding disability is as pretty and wild and gorgeous as anyone want to make it and hopefully, as a result, the world will be more accepting of people with disabilities.

I want to know: How have you made medical equipment beautiful? Or do you have any ideas of things you want to change after seeing Aimee’s TED talk? Let me know in the comments section.

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