Cosability – Cosplaying with Disabilities
When comic book and cartoon character aficionados come together to create a fun place to share their common passions, it becomes a type of art form known as cosplay. When those with disabilities also enjoy getting involved, often times making their wheelchair a part of their costume, it becomes known as Cosability. It is the word that is created when you combine comic play with disability, and is quickly becoming a trending new way for those with disabilities to get in on the fun.
For the time they are in costume and surrounded by others who share their passion for the artistry of comic books and the characters, they can effectively forget about their disability. Everyone is accepted and has an outlet to express creativity. Respect and acceptance naturally follow. No wonder those with disabilities are loving the time they spend involved in the fun pastime of disability cosplay!
Comic Con Events Are a Natural and Direct Result of Comic Play
Events known as Comic Con began springing up all over the country as thousands of comic book and cartoon character fans gathered to show off costumes they had created themselves and immersed themselves in the theatrical art of acting out the parts of their favorite characters. This is a place and an event where those with disabilities can feel truly accepted and a part of the action, instead of being relegated to watching from the sidelines.
Costume enthusiasts feel their creativity being stirred and new ideas forming when they go to these gatherings. Entire businesses have developed around the creation of unique, beautiful costumes constructed especially for the disabled. Many of these costumes incorporate the wheelchair as a natural part of the costume, and the chair helps to tell the story of the comic book or movie character.
Places Where Comic Con Events are Thriving
Comic Con events have been held in places like San Diego, New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis, Orlando and New York. While people are attending Comic Con events, they can network with other fans, buy memorabilia, share knowledge of the comic book and movie characters and their back-stories, and simply enjoy the thrill of becoming a character for a while. They may even find inspiration for a future costume to create!
It often helps the disabled to forget about their disability issues for the time they are involved in the cosplaying with disabilities event. When an upcoming Comic Con event is going to be held, disabled people who hope to attend build up their excitement long before the event itself. It gives people from all over the country chances to meet up and to develop friendships they might not have found otherwise. It is simply a gathering of people with like-minded interests, and has been referred to as a pop culture exposition.
A Unique Hobby That Soon Becomes a Passion
Creating costumes and dressing up as famous cartoon, movie and comic book characters usually begins as a fun hobby and evolves into even more fun involving sharing the adventures with others who have the same interests. People who attend Comic Con events are often inspired by what they see, and they go off to create unique costumes of their own. Creativity is a field that those with disabilities often excel in, being able to find ways to actually make the costumes they dream of.
It takes even more creativity to be able to incorporate a wheelchair into the costume and to make it an indispensable part of the costume itself. One participant, a young lady named Kirsten Passmore from Houston, Texas, was able to fashion a costume outfitting her electric wheelchair to create the character Davros, from the famous comic series called Doctor Who. Other popular characters created during disability cosplay include Barbara Gordon from Batgirl, (after she was shot by the Joker), Nick Fury, Daphne from “Heroes” and Professor X.
Benefits of Taking Part in Cosplaying With Disabilities
Some of the best benefits of Cosplay for those who have disabilities are social ones. It can get the person who has a disability out of their comfort zone and away from their routine for a refreshing change of scenery and change of pace. Other great benefits include:
– Learning New Skills – Activities like costume creation and learning to role play are beneficial to help build confidence. Participants often cannot simply go to a costume store and buy the costume they’ve dreamed of, costumes must be created and built
– Helping Others – Others can be helped with costume ideas, and with concepts like being able to see the person with a disability as a person first. This effectively enables them to see beyond the person’s disability
– Networking – Getting to know others across the country who may have a similar or the same disease or disability lets the person with a disability and their caregivers and friends know that there are others who are sharing the same journey. This knowledge can often be immensely helpful in the day-to-day dealing with living with the disability and its symptoms. It can also lead to sharing information about possible new medical breakthroughs
A Fun Activity that is Addicting!
Many fans of Cosability events find that once they’ve attended an event, they tend to look for other future events to attend as well. The fun times and feelings of total acceptance are hard to put a price on. Those who attend leave feeling renewed and motivated to take on any new challenges that life brings their way.
It gets those with disabilities away from their homes and out socializing with others, something that can often be hard to do in their hometown. Feelings of isolation and being alone can be overcome. Often times, new friendships are created and people can then keep in touch with one another through the Internet and through social media outlets.
Social Media Has Been a Great Help!
Social media has become a help to people when they’re searching for Comic Con events to attend, and even for those who are searching for costume ideas and ideas about how to put costumes together. People can come up with new, interesting ideas, draw the ideas if they are artistically inclined, and share them with others in one convenient place. People have also used outlets like Facebook to share names of places where others can find unique costume materials and accessories that can be used for disability cosplay.
The nonprofit organization called Cosability was also created for these purposes. They have helped to find access to the resources people need to create costumes, along with places to find help with funding for costumes, and even financial help with attending future events. Cosplaying with disabilities seems like it’s here to stay, creating happiness for many people.