A PIONEERING jewellery range designed by a young Leamington design student aims to support people who struggle with dexterity.
Imani Hafeez, who has a cousin with cerebal palsy, was inspired to design her brand ‘Align’ to support people who have difficulty fastening jewellery such as necklaces.
As part of her range, Imani has created a magnetic clasp with two grooves to hold the magnets in place to ensure the necklace is locked properly.
The 21-year-old, who studies at Nottingham Trent University, said: “People with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease or arthritis may feel as though they’ve been designed out of wearing some items of jewellery.
“Many necklaces or bracelets, for instance, feature tiny clasps which are impossible for many disabled people to fasten or undo without help from someone else. It can mean that some people with special requirements may be put off buying jewellery altogether, or have to depend on somebody else to put jewellery on and remove it for them.
“But with just a few inclusive designs it’s perfectly possible for them to do this for themselves, giving them a greater degree of independence.”
Other designs in Imani’s range include a claspless necklace large enough to fit over a person’s head, a toggle bar clasp, which is a less fiddly way to secure a necklace together and an adapter which can be fitted to existing jewellery to allow accessible clasps to be used.
Imani added: “Putting on jewellery by yourself is an experience which most people take for granted. But the value of someone with cerebral palsy, for example, doing this for themselves should not be underestimated.
“By designing jewellery products in an accessible way, it will allow people with a range of conditions feel more independent. So I genuinely hope that these products can contribute towards some disabled people having improved wellbeing.”
Imani’s designs are on show for Nottingham Trent University’s Summer Show where graduating artists and designers can showcase their work.
Visit www.ntudesignindustries.com to see Imani’s collection.