Community / Press Release / Special Needs

Fun Fashion for All show celebrate diversity and inclusion at the Mackay Centre School

simon chang
Montreal - Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Grade 5 reverse integration student Bella Flanz is celebrating the diversity of her classmates by showing that fun fashion can be accessible for all. The Fun Fashion for All show will take place at the Mackay Centre School  (6333 Terrebonnne Avenue) in NDG  of the English Montreal School Board (EMSB)  on Thursday, June 9  (11:10 am).

Prominent community members Simon Chang, who is guiding the students in fashion creation, and B-boy Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, who is choreographing the show, have stepped in to make this a one-of-a-kind fashion show.  Students from the Laurier Macdonald Career Centre will do the Mackay Centre student models’ hair and makeup.

Bella came up with an idea after watching a video that showed students with disabilities walking the runway in fabulous fashion. She knew she wanted to bring this to her classmates. “I want them to know that they can wear fun, colourful, creative fashion no matter what their abilities or if they use a wheelchair,” she said, adding that she hopes to tie in a unique environmental theme into each student’s outfit.

This project is completely student-driven, focusing on interest, diversity and collaboration. The Cycle 3 students will model their own creations. “When Bella came to me with this idea, I thought it was brilliant,” said Christina Sollazzo, Bella’s Grade 5 teacher. “ I loved her inclusive mindset. She is constantly thinking about how all the students can participate, from the planning to the final event.” 

Mr. Chang has shown students how to create their own fashion and is accessorizing the outfits according to their personal preferences, be it nature or Elvis. “I’m so excited about this,” he said. “The students are so creative with their fabric and colour. Everything is original, everyone is participating, and it’s being fed by a great energy in the classroom.”

Mr. Patuelli is working with the students to choreograph their routines as they walk the runway sporting their new styles.

About the Mackay Centre School

The Mackay Centre School services students who are deaf, physically disabled and/or have a communication disorder, providing a safe, caring academic environment for children and young adults from the ages of 4 to 21 years of age. The school works in conjunction with the Lethbridge-Layton-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre, which offers rehabilitation services to optimize the social participation and autonomy of our students. They also provide mobility instruction, computer services, adaptive technology and physical assessments. 

About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at www.emsb.qc.ca.

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