CTDFF Focus on Adaptive Fashion

Texas Central America's Bullet Train presents the 16th Annual Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival & Short Film Competition, October 18 - 19, 2019

October 18 - 19, 2019
Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 West Anderson Lane, Austin TX, 78757 (map)

Adaptive fashion is having a moment, as retail stores across the country are venturing into clothing designed specifically for people with disabilities. It’s great that accessible clothing is becoming more and more widely available, and we’re thrilled to welcome Runway of Dreams and Disability Fashion Stylist Stephanie Thomas to the Fest!

Saturday night, join us for a documentary short by Runway of Dreams, followed by a Skype Q&A with founder Mindy Scheier! Plus, Stephanie Thomas will give a rundown of the best accessible brands right now and her own adaptive styling tips! Get your tickets for the Fest!

Sunday afternoon, join Stephanie Thomas, designers Vanessa Villalva and Dr. Aisen Chacin, and model Mimi Hau from the CTDFF Adaptive Fashion Challenge for a more in-depth panel discussion! Get all the details and RSVP for the panel!


About the Fest guests

Runways of Dreams Foundation. Where there's a will, there's runway.The Runway of Dreams Foundation  (RODF) was founded in 2014 by Mindy Scheier, a fashion designer and mother of a child with a disability. Her journey began when her son Oliver, who has a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, wanted to wear jeans to school like his friends. She soon realized that millions of people around the world were also struggling to access fashionable clothing that meets their needs. She envisioned a world where adaptive clothing for people with disabilities was mainstream. After spending 20 years in the fashion industry and opening a design school for kids, Mindy decided to combine her experience and her passion by creating the Runway of Dreams Foundation.

The Runway of Dreams Foundation is a nonprofit that works toward a future of inclusion, acceptance and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities. Founded on the basis that clothing is a basic human need, the Runway of Dreams Foundation develops, delivers and supports charitable initiatives to broaden the reach of adaptive clothing and promote the differently-abled community in the fashion industry. Through adaptive clothing donations, employment opportunity initiatives, adaptive design workshops, awareness building campaigns and scholarships programs, the Runway of Dreams Foundation is empowering people with disabilities with opportunity, confidence, independence and style.


A woman with a high bun smiles sweetly with her palms together, under her chin.Born a congenital amputee, Los Angeles-based Stephanie Thomas has redefined the contours of fashion styling, putting together accessible looks as a disability fashion stylist and advocate. Thomas is also the founder of Cur8able, a disability fashion and lifestyle blog-turned-company in 2015, pulling together disability-friendly clothing, disseminating advice, and offering discount lists.

Chicago-born Thomas performed as a Chicago Bulls cheerleader and captain two years prior to college, despite early warnings from doctors’ that she may never be able to walk or dance independently due to her non-severe disability. She began researching clothing and retail trends for people with disabilities while competing in the Miss Kentucky preliminary pageant in the Miss America pageant system. Thomas had no intention of starting a business, but she was committed to providing solutions for challenges related to dressing with disabilities. She began contacting iconic designers in 2003 to ask them had they ever thought about designing for people with disabilities. After a year of no real interest within the industry to dress fashion customers with disabilities, Thomas took the three questions she’d been asking about clothing over the last decade; is the clothing accessible, smart and fashionable, and the Disability Fashion Styling System was born.

Thomas holds graduate degrees in both communication and fashion journalism. Her career includes various roles at Metro Traffic, WVKL Radio, and appearances as an on-air personality at various television and news media stations. In 2004 she launched Cur8able and trademarked her Disability Fashion Styling System after over 10 years of research. In 2019, Thomas launched a podcast, and Cur8ble’s social media platforms now feature multiple regular contributors, who Thomas dubs the “Cur8tors.”

In 2016 Thomas presented a TEDx Talk at TEDxYYC, the third largest TEDx event in Canada. She is also the author of a new textbook coming out January 2020 titled, Fitting in: The Social Implications of Fashion and Dressing with Disabilities. Thomas lectures in fashion marketing and advocacy communication at Woodbury University in Burbank California and sits on the Zappos Adaptive advisory board, as well as the board of directors of No Limits Media.

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The 2024 Short Film Competition is open.

Late registration ($80) is open now!

The final deadline is June 7.

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