A 'Simpsons' animator's real-life struggle inspired a cartoon for kids with disabilities.

As long as animator Chance Raspberry can remember, he's held a pencil in his hand.

When he was 11, Raspberry broke the family VCR by skipping it backward and forward, pausing it to copy the images from Disney's "Sleepy Hollow" into an old notebook. Other days, he sat hunched over the desk in his room, mimicking the jet-black pen strokes that made Spiderman come to life.

For Raspberry, drawing pictures was a window to the rest of the world.

It was the '80s, and at the time, he was coping with Tourette's syndrome, a disorder health professionals and people close to Raspberry knew little about. It meant he often engaged in behaviors that no one could predict or control.


The tics, which started as unusual bouts of excess energy, often caused Raspberry to do dangerous things — like venture into the street in the middle of a preschool class.

Image courtesy of Chance Raspberry.

Once, Raspberry alarmed his preschool staff by perching on top of a jungle gym, pretending to shoot classmates with an imaginary bow and arrow. When they told him to stop, he literally couldn't.

As a result, Raspberry was often sent home, his parents pleading with school administrators who didn't understand him and his behavior. When he was 8, the tics started to manifest in sudden, violent outbursts.

"The worst tics were when I would repeatedly slap myself across the face. I would have to hit myself in alternating patterns of five and 10. On top of that, I had this tic where I needed to rub my right cheek against my right shoulder, and eventually I got a rash," Raspberry explains.

When he felt alone, Raspberry found solace in the zany world of cartoons, where high energy was normal.

Image courtesy of Chance Raspberry.

He began to draw. But being an artist — and one with a disability — didn't make everything easier for Raspberry. Classmates would often try to startle him just to see what he would do. Sometimes, they would even ruin his drawings.

"I remember I used to make this sound, like ‘weeee,’ obsessively. One time I left my desk to find that this drawing I was working on for hours was gone. I came back, and the drawing had this ‘weee’ written all across the top. It was destroyed, and I was really mad, because it had taken me so long,” Raspberry recalls.

He channeled all of his energy into his drawings, even ignoring the occasional teacher who would rip the pencil sketches from his hands in class and crumple them into the trash. Despite it all, his drawings got better and better.

16 years, countless hours, and thousands of cartoon sketches later, Raspberry ended up with a career drawing the same unruly boy who inspired him as a kid: Bart Simpson.

Image courtesy of Chance Raspberry.

Raspberry says he always loved Bart "because he's this outsider, rebel spirit — but he's never been ashamed. He doesn't regret being different."

"I think as a kid who had these feelings of being an outsider and being different, I loved watching Bart getting into trouble and seeing these stories told through the eyes of someone my age," he says.

After winning a group Emmy for his work on the Simpsons at 28, Raspberry decided he wanted to do more for other kids with neurological differences. He wanted to help those kids — and people around them — understand why thinking differently needs to be not only accepted, but celebrated.

Drawing from his own childhood experiences, Raspberry found the inspiration for the new animated show he's developing called "Little Billy."

Little Billy Harper. GIF courtesy of Chance Raspberry.

Like Raspberry, Billy is a young boy with a neuro-cognitive disability — only Billy's is a fictional one called "ultra-hyper-sensitivity." People around Billy don't often understand him, and some people even find him dangerous.

“I am basing this on my actual life, and I had all of these issues with my teachers and not getting along or following the order of things," he says. The show is largely based on Raspberry's life around age 4, when his abundance of energy made him realize he was different from other kids.

In 2014, Raspberry raised $30,000 on Kickstarter to help bring "Little Billy" to life. He's currently finishing the pilot and continues to work full time as a character layout artist on "The Simpsons."

Image courtesy of Chance Raspberry.

Raspberry channeled his abundance of energy into creating the completely hand-drawn series — the trailer alone required a whopping 1,372 drawings.

The goal of the series is to tap into the nostalgia of childhood in an entertaining, healing way while also creating visibility around what it's like to grow up with special needs.

"The show will explore in full in an honest way how a family that is dealing with this goes through it, how they’re affected," Raspberry says.

"Just because we're different, it doesn't mean we're broken."

Watch the trailer for "Little Billy" below:

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A sanitation worker near Kansas City, Missouri is inspiring others with his kind act that was caught on camera.

Billy Shelby, 50, was collecting trash when he witnessed Opal Zucca, 88, fall trying to bring her bin back to her house. So for the last 10 months, he's been doing it for her to make sure it never happens again.

Zucca's daughter, Colette Kingston, found out what Shelby was doing thanks to video from her mother's Ring surveillance camera. Inspired by Shelby's big heart, Kingston shared the video on Facebook, which shows the man holding Zucca's hand and chatting with her as they walk up her driveway.

[facebook https://www.facebook.com/colette.kingston/videos/10157439423166067/?__xts__[0]=68.ARAscWKURe6rWEKLRnQ_5sWIi4WcZIEEKnOrHMI_SQdqBABzCvAx0424B00HLADEN7jv-T000f7zbTnxj07wUCSwjlkiZ9YynvDvr3Pl3VbTgtFldJtZyQZLQucNcqefmGbsCe8poRbKaZ4mSRnDh1iibGs_Bbt5yOvcUzGuuhobKnTBWC3HQ44qBGL-1gPut0ppiODGWE4Bh5mRlfIDi8RNZKI4Ag&__tn__=-R expand=1]

"God bless you as always, darling!" Shelby says to Zucca. "You're looking good. That hair! You got it down!"

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If there's one thing that unites us all, it's the inevitability of death. That may sound morbid, and it's not something most of us care to think about, but our mortality is something every person on Earth has in common.

However, ideas and beliefs about what dying means are as diverse as humanity itself. So when someone manages to nail a universal truth about death, we pay attention. And when someone does so in a way that touches us deeply, we share it as a way to say, "Look at this gorgeous evidence of our shared human experience."

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via Lyft

One of the most under-reported challenges to lifting people out of the cycle of poverty is transportation. The vast majority of American cities are car-dependent and jobs are increasingly moving towards suburban areas. This puts the urban poor in a terrible position, with many jobs out of town and inaccessible without a car.

A recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia detailed the problem, saying:

"In nearly every discussion held … access to reliable transportation was discussed as a necessary component of economic mobility and quality of life. Many residents in northeastern Pennsylvania — especially lower-income or elderly residents — couldn't access employment, were missing doctor's appointments, couldn't get their children to child care, and couldn't participate in social, religious, and cultural events, all as a result of the lack of transportation. Residents from the region who did not own a car were stuck — literally and figuratively."

As part of a $50 million commitment to "improve our cities through transportation infrastructure, donated transportation, and sustainability initiatives" ride hailing app Lyft has launched a new program designed to help low-income people overcome their transportation obstacles.

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Lyft's Jobs Access Program aims to close short-term transportation gaps related to employment access and job training. It will provide people with free rides to job interviews and, if hired, free transportation to and from work until their first paycheck.

"We know that for the unemployed, reliable transportation to a job interview or to the first few weeks of work can mean the difference between successful, long-term employment and lost opportunities," a Lyft spokesperson told Upworthy.

via Lyft

Lyft aims to help immigrants, refugees, the formerly incarcerated, people with disabilities, and low-income workers or unemployed people living in low-income areas through the program.

"There's so many different types of candidates we're aiming to help," Mike Masserman, Lyft's head of social impact and former executive director for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy under the Obama Administration, told Fast Company.

"One example is the 18- to 24-year-old person who might be going to their very first job, or doesn't have a way of getting to their job interview . . . In some cases, folks are taking four different buses to get to work."

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The program is available in over 35 markets throughout the U.S. and Canada via Lyft's partners, including: United Way and 211, The USO, Goodwill, National Down Syndrome Society, Year Up, Generation, #cut50 (Dream Corps), The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, and Upwardly Global.

Lyft will provide ride credits to the nonprofits to distribute among their clientele as they see fit.

"We really defer to our nonprofit partners on that," says Masserman. "They're the ones that understand their constituency base the best."

Those who are interested in the Jobs Access Program and aren't currently affiliated with any of the aforementioned nonprofits can reach out to the United Way via it's 211 help number to learn more about their eligibility.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg is famous for her workouts. When the documentary RBG came out, the trailer started with her pumping iron (or rather, hand weights). In 2017, her personal trainer, Bryant Jonhson, even wrote a book about her, entitled The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong ... And You Can Too! And when she did her fitness routine with Stephen Colbert, he struggled. The 86-year-old Supreme Court justice still gets her reps in, even after her recent bout with pancreatic cancer. Like that's going to stop her?


Stephen Works Out With Ruth Bader Ginsburg youtu.be


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