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Check out Tommy Hilfiger's clothing line for kids with disabilities.

This adaptive clothing line is an awesome step in the right direction.

Tommy Hilfiger just made news by announcing a new line of adaptive kids’ clothing for the spring.

“What the heck is adaptive clothing?” you might be asking. Precisely. The term sounds foreign because no large companies have sold that type of clothing ... until now.

People with disabilities don’t fit into clothing the same way able-bodied people do. They can’t button and zip the same way. They can’t wiggle into (or out of) clothing like others can.


tv comedy seinfeld kramer jerry seinfeld

GIF via "Seinfeld."

Mindy Scheier is a fashion designer who understands that struggle. So she decided to do something about it.

Her son, Oliver, has a rare type of muscular dystrophy. When he was 8, he started caring more about what he wore and whether it looked like his friends’ clothes. Zippers and buttons presented a problem for him, and his leg braces limited his options.

Mindy and Oliver. Photo via Runway of Dreams, used with permission

There are a few specialized adaptive clothing companies, such as Buck & Buck and Izzy Camilleri, but Oliver wanted to wear normal jeans like the rest of the kids he knew.

His mom saw a problem and realized she was in the perfect position to find a solution. She founded Runway of Dreams, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making fashion accessible to people of all abilities. And her hard work has started paying off.

Mindy persuaded Tommy Hilfiger to team up with Runway of Dreams, and their accessible clothing collection is now available for order.

The accessible clothes feature magnets in place of zippers and buttons, pants with adjustable hems and openings for leg braces, and shirts that can magnet closed in the back, which is awesome for caregivers of children with special needs.

Oliver even got to take part in the photo shoot for the new line. Photo by Richard Corman, used with permission.

“Clothing can empower,” Scheier said in a press release. “Clothing can create confidence, clothing can make a difference.” Amen, Mindy.

This is a huge flipping deal, folks.

I have a disability myself, and my hands don’t work so well. I remember getting a pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans in high school. I was crazy excited to be wearing the same jeans the cool kids wore because I usually had to wear baggy pants with elastic waistbands.

Exhibit A. Photo by Sarah Kovac, used with permission.

Shockingly, I got picked on for my frumpy off-brand clothing on more than one occasion. That's why I loved my new Hilfiger jeans so much. I was so proud to wear them, but the button made them very difficult for me to get on and off. I had to have my mom button them for me in the morning, so I had wait to use the bathroom until I got home from school. I just didn’t drink any fluids all day.

When a young person (or any person) is forced to choose between wearing clothes that she likes and using the restroom at some point during the seven-hour school day, something needs to change.

sistersmovie  movie amy poehler tina fey sisters

GIF via "Sisters."

For a person with a physical disability, getting dressed can be super difficult. Finding clothes you can wear AND like is nearly impossible.

As you can imagine, for a child just learning to assert their independence and sense of style, these fashion limitations are embarrassing and frustrating. Kids with disabilities already feel different enough without having to wear awkwardly fitting clothes.

I’m so stoked about what Runway of Dreams is doing, and that Tommy Hilfiger stepped up to give kids with disabilities the chance to feel good in clothes that actually work for them.

Let’s hope this is just the beginning for accessible clothing and that other clothing brands see that people of all abilities like to wear nice things.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

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