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There are blind doctors, lawyers, and athletes. It's time more workplaces caught up.

If the first thing you think of when you hear 'blind person' is all the things they can't do, this campaign is for you.

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Perkins School for the Blind

There are more than 23 million people who are blind or have experienced vision loss in the United States and Canada.

They are doctors, lawyers, and professional athletes. They're actors, writers, and daredevils. They love skiing, dancing, and watching movies.

Check out this moving video about ways that blind or visually-impaired people are challenging misconceptions:


‌‌

There's also an audio-described version of the video here.

While being blind or vision-impaired has little bearing on people's ability to do many jobs, it does affect their ability to get a job in the first place.

Fred LeBlanc knows this all too well.

LeBlanc is the star of a PSA created by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). After 29 years working as a firefighter, he began to lose his sight in 2011. A diagnosis of legal blindness followed soon after. In an interview with the CNIB, he talked about how his diagnosis made him doubt his abilities to remain in the workforce:

"I questioned myself. If I struggled with everyday tasks, how was I going to lead a fulfilling career?”

With the support of the CNIB and other blind workers, LeBlanc found his confidence. He decided to run for the position of 13th District vice president with the International Association of Fire Fighters, a job he still holds.

"I thought 'why can’t I do what I set out to do?' I had to tell myself 'don’t be silly, this is not your fault, there’s nothing to be ashamed of,'" he told CNIB.

‌There's plenty of room at the table for blind workers — as long as we give them the chance. Image via iStock. ‌

In Canada, about 60% of people of working age are employed. That number drops to just 32% for the visually-impaired. Similarly, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, only about a third of working-age Americans with visual impairments or blindness were employed in September 2016.

Diane Bergeron, the executive director of CNIB, says that's not for lack of trying. In an interview with the Toronto Star last month, she relayed her frustrations, saying, "We go out, we get an education and then we come out of education and when we want a job there’s no job to be had."

According to the CNIB, creating a workplace that is inclusive and welcoming for blind and sighted workers isn't as daunting as it might seem.

‌A man reads on his tablet. Substituting printed correspondence for digital is one easy way to make a workplace more accommodating for people who are visually-impaired. Image via iStock. ‌

Jim Lee, Chief of Staff to the General President, International Association of Fire Fighters, is Fred LeBlanc's boss at the IAFF. For him, working with Fred is a mind-opening experience.

Prior to working with LeBlanc, Lee had no experience interacting with someone who is blind or partially sighted. Lee quickly saw firsthand that LeBlanc's abilities didn't change, even though his vision did. "Unless he tells you, you wouldn't know that Fred has vision loss," Lee told the CNIB. "His abilities didn't change at all."

To accommodate his colleague's vision loss, Lee and his team made minor adjustments to their workplace. Rather than printing hard copies, they focus on email correspondence. Documents use an off-white background to provide easier visual contrast.

Realizing how little things needed to change helped Lee understand that vision impairment doesn't mean workers needed to exit or stay out of the workforce.

"People with visual impairments have a lot to offer," said LeBlanc. "They just need the opportunity to prove that. Employers have to give them a chance to come in and show what they can do. A lot of employers would be amazed."

It would be easy to tell a story about blindness that focuses on depressing statistics around working or employment. After all, there are a lot.

‌A doctor and a patient look at a computer screen. A more inclusive workplace benefits everyone. Image via iStock. ‌

But the real power is in flipping that story to one of empowerment. Whether they choose to become athletes, artists, or professionals, individuals who are blind can and do lead rich, fulfilling lives, like anyone else. It's time to elevate the work experiences of people like Fred LeBlanc and remind everyone that blind workers can thrive in whatever career they desire — when employers give them the chance.

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.


The actual event occurred in a nano second, but the camera has the ability to slow it down to twenty seconds.

time, science, frames per second, bounced light

The amazing camera.

Photo from YouTube video.

For some perspective, according to New York Times writer, John Markoff, "If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years."


In the video below, you'll see experimental footage of light photons traveling 600-million-miles-per-hour through water.

It's impossible to directly record light so the camera takes millions of scans to recreate each image. The process has been called femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project, "There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

(H/T Curiosity)


This article originally appeared on 09.08.17

Joy

Crayola is reuniting adults with their childhood artwork and it's surprisingly moving

The crayon company started collecting children's art 40 years ago. Now it's opening its 1,000-piece archive archive to return the art to grateful grown-ups.

Crayola

Adults are getting their art creations back after decades of not seeing them.

Anyone who has spent time around children knows that kids are naturally creative. Unfortunately, the free artistic expression we enjoy when we're young often gets squashed by self-consciousness, comparison or unrealistic expectations somewhere along the way, which is why we all need reminders that creativity can—and should—be carried into adulthood.

There's nothing more iconically symbolic of childhood art than a crayon, so it's fitting that the folks at Crayola would be the ones to provide this reminder—and in the sweetest way.

Forty years ago, Crayola began collecting the artwork kids made as part of a long-term Crayola art program. The artwork was showcased in museums and galleries, then archived in a time capsule of childhood creativity, becoming the largest collection of children's artwork in the world.

Now, those 1,000 unique pieces of art are being returned to their creators, and the grown-up reunions with their childhood creations is genuinely heartwarming.


For instance, as a kindergartener, Caleb drew a picture called “The Happy Doctor” as a part of the Dream Makers program. Now he actually is a doctor (though not quite as colorful as he envisioned in kindergarten.) Talk about a full-circle moment.

doctor holding up a drawing he did as a child

Caleb, now a doctor, drew "The Happy Doctor" in kindergarten.

Crayola

For some people, being reunited with their art has been a surprisingly emotional experience. Creativity is often a shared endeavor, and some of these now-adults have fond memories of working on their creations with their parents. And seeing how much they've grown and changed since they made their artwork touches them in a profound way.

Crayola's "Stay Creative" video highlights three of the adults seeing their art for the first time in decades. What's even better is that all of them are parents themselves now, passing the appreciation of creativity down to their own kids.

Watch the moving reunions:

People are loving to see it:

"WOW! Legit colorful memories. Love it," wrote one commenter.

"Marvelous! Who doesn't remember getting a new box of crayons!! Creativity in a single box...love it and love you," wrote another.

"Such a beautiful story. Going to go hug my kids," shared another.

Of course, decades later, it's not always easy to find the original creators, especially since people often change names in adulthood. That's where the rest of us come in. Crayola will be releasing artwork images on its social channels in the hopes that the public can help reunite 50 additional pieces of artwork with their creators this year.

This is just the first wave of art being returned, with the ultimate goal being the return of all 1,000 pieces of art remaining in its archives.

Crayola hopes the art reunions will prompt conversations about creativity between parents and kids and spark more creative moments at home.

"These films capture just a few of the stories we've encountered that bring to life the enduring value of childhood creativity. They also illustrate the pivotal role parents have in helping their children develop lifelong creative mindsets essential for whatever path they take in life," said Victoria Lozano, EVP Marketing at Crayola. "Through the Campaign for Creativity, Crayola not only hopes to encourage and help facilitate this dialogue, but also assist in providing the right creative resources and inspiration parents need to help all children reach their full potential."

You can find out more about Crayola's Campaign for Creativity here.

Representative image from Canva

Because who can keep up with which laundry settings is for which item, anyway?

Once upon a time, our only option for getting clothes clean was to get out a bucket of soapy water and start scrubbing. Nowadays, we use fancy machines that not only do the labor for us, but give us free reign to choose between endless water temperature, wash duration, and spin speed combinations.

Of course, here’s where the paradox of choice comes in. Suddenly you’re second guessing whether that lace item needs to use the “delicates” cycle, or the “hand wash” one, or what exactly merits a “permanent press” cycle. And now, you’re wishing for that bygone bucket just to take away the mental rigamarole.

Well, you’re in luck. Turns out there’s only one setting you actually need. At least according to one laundry expert.

While appearing on HuffPost’s “Am I Doing It Wrong?” podcast, Patric Richardson, aka The Laundry Evangelist, said he swears by the “express” cycle, as “it’s long enough to get your clothes clean but it’s short enough not to cause any damage.”

Richardson’s reasoning is founded in research done while writing his book, “Laundry Love,” which showed that even the dirtiest items would be cleaned in the “express” cycle, aka the “quick wash” or “30 minute setting.”


Furthermore the laundry expert, who’s also the host of HGTV’s “Laundry Guy,” warned that longer wash settings only cause more wear and tear, plus use up more water and power, making express wash a much more sustainable choice.

Really, the multiple settings washing machines have more to do with people being creatures of habit, and less to do with efficiency, Richardson explained.

“All of those cycles [on the washing machine] exist because they used to exist,” he told co-hosts Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson. “We didn’t have the technology in the fabric, in the machine, in the detergent [that we do now], and we needed those cycles. In the ’70s, you needed the ‘bulky bedding’ cycle and the ‘sanitary’ cycle ... it was a legit thing. You don’t need them anymore, but too many people want to buy a machine and they’re like, ‘My mom’s machine has “whitest whites.”’ If I could build a washing machine, it would just have one button — you’d just push it, and it’d be warm water and ‘express’ cycle and that’s it.”
washing machine

When was the last time you washed you washing machine? "Never" is a valid answer.

Canva

According to Good Housekeeping, there are some things to keep in mind if you plan to go strictly express from now on.

For one thing, the outlet recommends only filling the machine halfway and using a half dose of liquid, not powder detergent, since express cycles use less water. Second, using the setting regularly can develop a “musty” smell, due to the constant low-temperature water causing a buildup of mold or bacteria. To prevent this, running an empty wash on a hot setting, sans the detergent, is recommended every few weeks, along with regularly scrubbing the detergent drawer and door seal.

Still, even with those additional caveats, it might be worth it just to knock out multiple washes in one day. Cause let’s be honest—a day of laundry and television binging sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

To catch even more of Richardson’s tips, find the full podcast episode here.


This article originally appeared on 2.4.24

Joy

Woman adopts a blind senior dog and spoils him for 28 days before putting him to sleep

“I fell so in love. He is just one of the most beautiful dogs I've ever seen, inside and out.”

Representative image of a senior dog.

A TikTok video by Kate Schakols has been seen over 100 million times because it is a touching example of empathy and human kindness. It also shows that a dog who’s lived a life of hardship can find joy and peace when given a loving home.

Schakols and her family fell in love with Rooster, a dog that was estimated to be between 10 to 12 years old, at the Gulf Coast STARS rescue in 2020 and adopted him. Rooster was blind in one eye, had benign lumps and most of his elbow pads and teeth were worn down from digging in concrete for food.

"The bond I had with Rooster was unreal," she told People. "I'd never felt that specific type of connection before, and it was obvious to everyone that he had chosen me to be his person."


Sadly, after 28 days, Rooster developed dog bloat and had to be humanely euthanized. Even though their time together was far too short, Schakols was happy to have comforted Rooster in his final days. She told their brief but touching story in a slideshow video from Rooster’s perspective.

TikTok · Millie_Archie

TikTok · Millie_Archie

www.tiktok.com

By telling the story from Rooster’s point of view, Schakols shows the incredible empathy and understanding she shared with the dog. It also gives people who may not be considering adopting a senior dog, an idea of what it means for an older dog to live in comfort in their final days.

"There’s so many stories of dogs being adopted but passing soon after and I think they finally felt peace and comfort and safe to let themselves go," BekahjO2 wrote in the comments. "It’s like he held on until he could feel love and joy. When he did he was finally at peace and able to cross the rainbow bridge," Mickey added.


@thehalfdeaddad/TikTok

Dad on TikTok shared how he addressed his son's bullying.

What do you do when you find out your kid bullied someone? For many parents, the first step is forcing an apology. While this response is of course warranted, is it really effective? Some might argue that there are more constructive ways of handling the situation that teach a kid not only what they did wrong, but how to make things right again.

Single dad Patrick Forseth recently shared how he made a truly teachable moment out of his son, Lincoln, getting into trouble for bullying. Rather than forcing an apology, Forseth made sure his son was actively part of a solution.


The thought process behind his decision, which he explained in a now-viral TikTok video, is both simple and somewhat racial compared to how many parents have been encouraged to handle similar situations.

“I got an email a few days ago from my 9-year-old son's teacher that he had done a ‘prank’ to a fellow classmate and it ended up embarrassing the classmate and hurt his feelings,” the video begins.

At this point, Forseth doesn’t split hairs. “I don't care who you are, that's bullying,” he said. “If you do something to somebody that you know has the potential end result of them being embarrassed in front of a class or hurt—you’re bullying.”

So, Forseth and Lincoln sat down for a long talk (a talk, not a lecture) about appropriate punishment and how it would have felt to be on the receiving end of such a prank.

From there, Forseth told his son that he would decide how to make things right, making it a masterclass in taking true accountability.

“I demanded nothing out of him. I demanded no apology, I demanded no apology to the teacher,” he continued, adding, “I told him that we have the opportunity to go back and make things right. We can't take things back, but we can try to correct things and look for forgiveness.”

@thehalfdeaddad Replying to @sunshinyday1227 And then it’s my kid 🤦‍♂️😡 #endbullyingnow #talktoyourkidsmore #dadlifebestlife #singledadsover40 #teachyourchildren #ReadySetLift ♬ Get You The Moon - Kina

So what did Lincoln do? He went back to his school and actually talked to the other boy he pranked. After learning that they shared a love of Pokémon, he then went home to retrieve two of his favorite Pokémon cards as a peace offering, complete with a freshly cleaned case.

Lincoln would end up sharing with his dad that the other boy was so moved by the gesture that he would end up hugging him.

“I just want to encourage all parents to talk to your kids,” Forseth concluded. “Let's try to avoid just the swat on the butt [and] send them to their room. Doesn't teach them anything.”

In Forseth’s opinion, kids get far more insight by figuring out how to resolve a problem themselves. “That's what they're actually going to face in the real world once they move out of our nests.”

He certainly has a point. A slap on the wrist followed by being marched down somewhere to say, “I’m sorry,” only further humiliates kids most of the time. With this gentler approach, kids are taught the intrinsic value of making amends after wrongdoing, not to mention the power of their own autonomy. Imagine that—blips in judgment can end up being major character-building moments.

Kudos to this dad and his very smart parenting strategy.


This article originally appeared on 3.24.23