IZ People: Tim Rose

Posted on

Tim Rose is engaging from the minute you meet him. Equally as warm as he is witty, he has a great story or a well thought out opinion about almost every topic you can throw his way, but when talking to him, it doesn’t take long for conversation to turn to his true passion: Disability advocacy.

While studying at Carleton University in Ottawa, he was the head of the Disability Awareness Centre and following his graduation he and his wife Natalie started a charitable organization that is now known as The Rose Center for Love, Sex and Disability to encourage positive discussion around disability and sexuality. Three years later, it was the logical next step for Tim to take his skills and his entrepreneurial nature and turn it into Disability Positive Consulting – a business that aims to help other businesses and organizations utilize a mix of public speaking, consultation and web content to highlight the power and potential of a disability positive approach. As part of his work with DPC, Tim has started a blog that covers a new topic every week, one of which was his more recent discovery of a love and appreciation of fashion.
“Fashion used to be so not a part of my life, and now I really like it. I enjoy going shopping and it’s a huge part of who I am.”
He writes, “Both (Fashion and Disability) have a lot to do with appearance and perception. We are often judged by our disabilities, just as we are often judged by our clothing and style. Second, in both fashion and disability, trend setting and pushing boundaries play a major role. Lastly, both are incredibly multi-faceted, seeping into every day life in cool and unexpected ways. Fashion and disability are sometimes seen as strange bedfellows, and yet they have some great links.”
Tim is also, by his own confession, a proud geek at heart, (His Gryffindor scarf only just missed out on making the cut for this feature) and an unashamed Reality TV addict.
It makes perfect sense that Tim’s style reflects his personality with bold color choices, and well edited pieces that merge fun and sophistication by blending ‘nerd culture’ with custom couture.
A fantastic writer and captivating public speaker, his fierce dedication to changing perceptions around disability and his passion for life and human rights is already making waves.. Though this is only the beginning.
We took a look at a snapshot of Tim’s style highlights.
1.  IZ Hooded Parka
“This Hooded Parka is my newest and most worn IZ piece.  Actually, it’s my most worn article of clothing in general.  It’s definitely my wardrobe staple. I’m in it all the time, especially walking the dog in the colder months. It’s so nice and warm in the freezing cold Canadian winter. Everyone should have one.”
2. Disability Positive Consulting Business Card
“I’m so proud of this. It’s my new professional venture. My brother designed this card for me and I think it looks great. The goal with DPC is to take a disability positive approach to life and business. That’s what I think IZ stands for too.”
3 & 4. Custom IZ Wedding Vest / Rush’s Bow tie 
“Green was mine and Natalie’s color for a long time, so it was the obvious choice for the color theme for our wedding. This vest is one of the most important pieces of clothing I’ll ever have. I love the bold color choice because it really stands out from the black of my chair.
 Rush, my special skills service dog was our ring bearer in a matching green bow tie. He looked great and of course, so did I.”
5. Children’s Book ‘The Knight in Protective Wheelchair Padding’.
“This sits on a shelf in our living room.. The story is really special. It was actually written by me for Natalie on our first Christmas together. As a present to Natalie for Christmas last year, my brother secretly illustrated it for her. It was even one of the three readings done at our wedding.”
6. Wildhagen Hat
“This amazing hat is from a company Called Wildhagen that’s made in Toronto. I picked it up at the One Of A Kind Show. I always wanted to be a hat guy – my brother is a hat guy, but my headrest usually gets in the way and knocks hats off my head or makes them crooked or uncomfortable. This one is custom fitted and worth every cent because it stays in place.”
7. Bright Blue Outfit
“This combination is my go-to outfit when I’m feeling really bright and out there. I wore it when I was the judge at one of the the Tell Me Something Good sexy story contests which was a fun time.”
8. Rush’s Working Coat
“While this isn’t actually a part of my style, it’s Rush’s, and he’s always with me in his red coat when he’s working and we're out. ”
9. Striped Scarf
“This was given to me by my father in law and it’s also a really important piece in my wardrobe. I used to wear a lot of oversized clothing, stuff that was easy for attendants but not complimentary on me at all. This was the first item I owned that I saw as ‘fashionable’ or as a trendy statement piece and it really encouraged me. It started me on the path of caring more about how I look.”
10. Harry Potter Audio Book
“I love these books. Order Of the Phoenix is close to my favorite. I’ve listened to it / read it a dozen times. I had to include something that represents my geek side.”
Pictures (from the top):

1. Tim in the living room of his apartment.
2. A series of Tim and his wife Natalie (L-R: engagement photo shoot, from the children's book Tim wrote, their wedding day)
3. View of the Toronto Skyline from Tim's balcony.
4. Flat Lay of Tim's fashion highlights.
5. A close up of Tim's book shelf.
6. Rush, the Special Skills Service Dog and the third member of the Rose family.