At only 20 years old, Grace Stratton is a start-up entrepreneur, a TEDx speaker and a student of law and public relations.
She has not only achieved international praise, making InStyle magazine’s annual list of “50 badass women” in 2019, but she’s also breaking stereotypes of people with disabilities.
Stratton, alongside Angela Bevan, founded the social change agency and accessible e-commerce platform All is for All in 2019.
“I came up with the idea for All is for All, because I’ve been living with a disability since I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of one,” she says.
The company offers accessible fashion, incorporating design that is easy to wear and remove, as well as a talent agency that ensures disabled models are cast in NZ Fashion Week.
Stratton’s business is changing society’s perceptions of people with disabilities within the consumer market by making them more visible.
“When I was younger, I resisted the disability community because disability comes with a lot of bad connotations.
“But when I became older, I recognised that there weren’t people like me represented in books, media or even in schools, who were disabled but equally had big ambitions and goals.
“So, the website started out of a desire to change that.
“We started with the fashion industry and wanted to make that accessible because fashion is the home of cultural relevance.
“After building the website, I started to see people with disabilities who had ambitions.
“All is for All can elevate those people, they’re our models and help shift how we frame disability in society.
“We also have a consultancy arm that works with brands and businesses to make sure they offer an accessible UX experience to customers,” she says.
“It’s great to see more companies implementing accessibility into their services and online, like with Alt text.
“Fashion companies like Ruby have also incorporated a service to tailor a garment for no extra charge due to an access need.
“For example, if you were a wheelchair user and wanted to get your dress taken up, Ruby would do that free of charge.
“But the thing about retail sales is that we know that disabled people statistically earn less.
“We’re living in a society where only 22.3% of disabled people are employed so we need to elevate them and enable them to get into those high paying roles if that’s where they want to go,” Stratton says.
Grace spoke about accessibility within the consumer market at an event held by Westpac NZ.