Based in San Fransisco, California, The Academy of art university is a privately owned institution offering a variety of courses related to arts and design. Founded in 1929 by Richard S. Stephens, the university has grown to become one of the most significant art and design schools in the U.S.
With its open admissions policy, the school has an acceptance rate of 100%. By 2012, the institution had approximately 18000 students. Offering certificate, professional and undergraduate programs, the university produces well trained and capable artists every year.
Innovation and progress in education are critical drivers in the school. They have adopted technology in the application process to ease the procedure. The university also has online programs for their courses so that students can study from anywhere in the world.
In early 2018, the university’s alumni were invited to a panel discussing inclusivity in fashion design. Hosted by Flore Morton the Assistant director of fashion styling, guests and students were challenged to embrace diversity in designing clothes.
Clothing for people with disability is a challenge that the industry needs to consider seriously. The guests and students were challenged to redefine their approach to designing clothing that would accommodate the neglected group. The components of good designs and the elements needed to serve disabled people were some of the issues discussed.
Chelsea Werner who won the special Olympic U.S National Championship in gymnastics four times joined the panelist. She suffers from downs syndrome and once walked the runway at the New York Fashion Week. Chelsea’s mother explained how her daughter wants to wear high heels but due to her condition is forced to buy children wear. She encouraged designers to be brave in diversifying their designs to accommodate everyone.
Stephanie Thomas who was born with a missing thumb and several toes and is also an alumnus of the Academy of Art University also joined the panel. She is the founder of Cur8able, a company that seeks to inspire and create space for designs suitable for disabled people. She told the audience that they need to accept that disabled people are people first and that each of them expresses themselves differently which is part of being an individual.