Abigail Klein Leichman
March 1, 2023

If the most fun holiday in the Jewish calendar is Purim, the main reason is that most everyone – especially kids – dresses up in costumes.

But the seemingly simple transition into a princess, ninja or firefighter isn’t so simple for children with physical limitations.

Ahead of this year’s Purim holiday, March 6, we were pleased to learn of a partnership between Israeli nonprofit organization Beit Issie Shapiro and industrial design students from the Holon Institute of Technology that enables kids with mobility challenges to fulfil their Purim costume dreams too.

Not just in Israel, but anywhere in the world.

The first-of-its-kind series of DIY costume video tutorials for adaptive costumes gives parents step-by-step instructions on how to create a costume that makes their child’s mobility device part of the dress-up magic.

DIY Purim dress-ups for kids with mobility challenges
Get instructions for this adaptive airplane pilot costume, and three others, at Beit Issie Shapiro. Photo by Shy Brameli/Createit Studio

The initiative kicks off with four adaptive costume tutorials specially designed for children using a stroller, walker, wheelchair or motorized wheelchair.

Each 3-minute tutorial includes visual and written instructions in addition to a customizable open-design pattern to download and print at home.

The joint “Dream Costume” initiative actually began eight years ago by pairing industrial design students from HIT with a child who uses a mobility aid.

The goal was to allow children with disabilities to stand out among their peers in a positive way, bolstering their confidence and pride in their mobility device.

“We realized the incredible demand of this initiative and wanted to ensure that every child, in Israel and around the world, can feel like a star in their costumes,” says Adi Shpigel, director of Social Impact Projects at HIT.

“We created this tutorial series to bring inclusive design expertise and knowhow into everyone’s home in an accessible and affordable way with easy-to-follow instructions to cater to the need and make sure all children can enjoy the holiday.”

The open-design templates, Shpigel adds, “allow families to benefit and connect through the creativity process.”

The Dream Costume project fits well with Beit Issie Shapiro’s mission “to create an inclusive society across the globe with equal opportunity for people with disabilities,” says Beit Issie Shapiro Executive Director Ahmir Lerner.

“We are proud to partner with the Holon Institute of Technology for this important project which helps foster inclusion in the community. By sharing the knowhow to create adaptive costumes, and for the first time making it accessible to families around the world, we hope to create true impact in our society and bring Purim joy for people with disabilities,” says Lerner.

For more information on how to make inclusive Purim costumes designed by Beit Issie Shapiro and HIT, click here.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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