It’s truly amazing, the wealth of information we all have at our fingertips — that is, of course, unless your fingertips are how you have to access that information. An innovative new tablet that uses magnetically configurable bumps may prove to be a powerful tool for translating information like maps and other imagery to a modality more easily accessed by the visually impaired.
The tablet, unnamed as yet, has evolved and improved over the past few years as part of Europe’s BlindPAD project, which aims to create a cheap, portable alternative to touchscreen devices. It’s developed by researchers at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne.
The latest prototype is about the size of a thick iPad mini, and it uses a clever mechanism to raise and lower the bumps that form images, letters or Braille (although they’re rather large for it). Each little bump is attached to a magnet; the magnet is always attached to one of two steel layers, and can be switched by running a current briefly through an adjacent coil. Like an e-paper screen, no power is required to keep it in its current position, making it very efficient.
The process is quick enough, though, that the dots can animate or vibrate for feedback, and could detect being pressed or glided over by a hand.
The idea isn’t to create a Kindle for the blind, however; Braille displays must be much higher density. That usually requires a different type of haptic display, such as the one used by Blitab. The BlindPAD tablet has 12 rows and 16 columns, for a total of 192 potential bumps, “taxels” as some have called them. That’s much better suited to things better shown than described.
“People can read with a Braille display, and detect nearby obstacles with a white cane,” said EPFL’s Herbert Shea in a news release. “Our tablet, which will not cost much to produce, will provide graphic information in real time, so the user can check out the layout of a room or street before venturing into it.”
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The first Barbie doll representing a person with Down syndrome was released by Mattel “to allow even more children to see themselves in Barbie,” the company said.
“We are proud to introduce a Barbie doll with Down syndrome to better reflect the world around us and further our commitment to celebrating inclusion through play,” Lisa McKnight, the executive vice president and global head of Barbie & dolls at Mattel, said in a statement.
In the past, Mattel’s Barbie has been criticized for spreading unrealistic beauty standards for the children who play with the doll. In recent years, the company has moved to deviate from that reputation by offering more diverse dolls. It started making Barbie and Ken dolls with wheelchairs, vitiligo, hearing aids, and prosthetic limbs. The company unveiled its “most diverse doll line” in its 2023 Fashionistas lineup, which includes the doll with Down syndrome.
“Our goal is to enable all children to see themselves in Barbie, while also encouraging children to play with dolls who do not look like themselves. Doll play outside of a child’s own lived experience can teach understanding and build a greater sense of empathy, leading to a more accepting world,” McKnight said.
Barbie worked with the National Down Syndrome Society in order to accurately represent a person with Down syndrome. That included shaping the doll’s body to include a shorter frame and longer torso and a round face that features smaller ears and almond-shaped, slanted eyes, the NDSS said in their announcement.
The doll wears a yellow and blue dress with butterflies, all symbols associated with Down syndrome awareness, according to NDSS.
Even the doll’s pink necklace has special meaning. Its three upward chevrons are meant to represent “the three copies of the 21st chromosome, which is the genetic material that causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome,” according to the organization.
NDSS President and CEO Kandi Pickard said in the group’s statement, “This Barbie serves as a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of representation. It is a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment that we are celebrating.”
Ellie Goldstein, a British model with Down Syndrome, took to Instagram in a partnership with Mattel to share how important seeing the doll was to her.
“When I saw the doll I felt so emotional, and proud. It means a lot to me that children will be able to play with the doll and learn that everyone is different. I am proud that Barbie chose me to show the dolls to the world,” she wrote on Instagram. “Diversity is important as people need to see more people like me out there in the world and not be hidden away, Barbie will help make this happen.”
The Barbie doll with Down syndrome will be available at major retailers this summer and fall for $10.99.
GUIDE Beauty, a collection of makeup tools and products that has reimagined the way we apply makeup, is thrilled to announce Selma Blair as their Chief Creative Officer.
Internationally acclaimed actress, author, advocate, style and beauty icon, Blair will join GUIDE as a partner and take a leadership role in product and brand development for the multi-award-winning company. Combining forces with GUIDE’s Founder Terri Bryant, Blair will help the brand to accelerate its mission to expand inclusivity in the world of beauty through thoughtful, universally-designed products for everyone.
“We are proud to welcome Selma to the family,” says Bryant, founder of GUIDE Beauty. “Her devotion to creative expression and advocacy for all people fits perfectly with GUIDE Beauty’s mission and practice of Universal Design – when we design with all people in mind, we create the best products for everyone. From the novice to somebody who has challenges with movement or strength and even the professional makeup artist on set, GUIDE’s products enhance the lives of makeup users everywhere.”
In the prime of her career as a makeup artist and beauty educator, Bryant started to notice stiffness in her shoulder and a loss of dexterity in her hands. Makeup artistry that had been second nature was becoming a real struggle due to the inaccessibility of products that suited her needs. She was eventually diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Empowered by knowledge and a life-long love of makeup, she partnered with human factors designers and clean chemists to create a better, easier way and a new, more inclusive approach for the beauty industry with products designed for the broadest universe of makeup users.
“As a professional makeup artist, I felt a natural ability that most of my friends, family, and clients did not share,” continues Bryant. “When that ability shifted due to the onset of Parkinson’s Disease, it became so clear that my needs, like so many, had not been considered in the design and development of the products I had always used, so I decided it was time to create them.”
“When I first held the GUIDE Wand, I immediately felt more confident than I ever had with a traditional pencil liner and found myself looking forward to doing my own makeup for the first time in a long time,” says Blair, who revealed her diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in 2018. “Upon meeting Terri, we bonded instantly over our mutual love of makeup and its ability to transform a face and a day. I’m thrilled to join her and GUIDE to create and advocate for a more inclusive world of beauty.”
GUIDE Beauty today also introduces its new makeup brush collection utilizing its patented GUIDE Ring to steady the hand and make application smooth and easy as well as its first eyeshadow palette that has been designed with Blair to showcase beautiful, easy-to-wear neutrals for everyday or a special red-carpet moment.
In addition to the new launches, GUIDE’s debut collection, which launched in early 2020 and revolutionized ability-inclusivity in beauty, includes Lash Wrap Mascara and Brow Moment Brow Gel, both featuring the GUIDE Ring, and the award-winning GUIDE Eyeliner Duo. The Eyeliner Duo has become the hero SKU among customers, influencers, and media, receiving Allure’s Best of Beauty Breakthrough, ELLE’s Future of Beauty, O, The Oprah Magazine’s O-Ward, and Essence’s Best in Black Beauty, among other prestigious awards.
The GUIDE Wand eyeliner applicator is celebrated for its unique, forward-thinking, ergonomically and universally-designed shape, paired with the GUIDE Line pressed-cream eyeliner to make looks like tightlining, waterline application, and even winged liner a cinch. All GUIDE Beauty formulas are cruelty-free, 100 percent vegan, and formulated without known toxins or harsh ingredients.
Blair, Bryant, and the GUIDE Beauty team are currently developing additional universally-designed makeup products to improve the lives of makeup users and are committed to advocating for inclusive and empowering beauty for all.
Netflix is partnering with Formation to build a world where people from every walk of life have a seat at the table in tech.
Our program will be completely free of charge for students accepted. It is designed to unlock your engineering potential with personalized training and world-class mentorship from the best engineers across the tech industry.
The below information will be required, and adding why you want to land a New Grad Engineering role at Netflix.
The application requires:
Info about your experience, education, and background
Odd couple Benton the Great Pyrenees and Boone the disabled raccoon are best friends helping each other make it through life with a positive attitude.
The duo lives at Nolin River Wildlife Sanctuary in Glendale, Kentucky — a sanctuary dedicated to nursing wild animals back to full health.
“Boone was diagnosed with a rare disorder, cerebral hypoplasia, that makes it very difficult for him to get around,” Mary Key, Nolin River’s founder, tells PEOPLE. “He came to us as a baby, and when it was time for him to start walking, I noticed there was a problem.”
Hoping to help Boone with his walking skills, Key looked up wheelchairs for animals on the internet but found that the nonprofit couldn’t afford the options available. So she reached out to a friend at nearby Central Hardin High to see if the school’s engineering students could help. The engineering teacher, Russ Pike, replied it was the perfect real-world project for his students.
“From the first time they brought Boone to class for the kids to meet him, they were fully on board. It’s pretty neat. Most of the time, you’re trying to get kids involved and engaged. Well, we had to reign them in because they were so excited,” Key says of the enthusiasm for the project.
Over the past few months, Boone regularly visited the high school so the engineering students could measure the raccoon for fittings and make adjustments to their prototypes. After a bit of tinkering, the students came up with a wheelchair — their third prototype — that worked for Boone.
“It’s amazing! The look on Boone’s face when we first put him in it … I was crying. He gets really engaged and gets a very purposeful look, and when he first moved in the chair, you could see him looking like this is different, and this is good,” Key says of Boone’s reaction to the custom creation. “He is absolutely adorable and unbelievably sweet, and now he can get around on his own.”
To create products that serve increasingly diverse customers and solve a wider range of social problems, technology companies need women engineers. However, only 25 percent of math and computer science jobs in the United States are filled by women, and one-third of women in the U.S. and China quit these jobs mid-career due to factors like social isolation, a lack of access to creative technical roles and difficulty advancing to leadership positions.
At Bloomberg, we’ve established a company culture that supports gender equality in a multitude of ways – from company-wide Diversity & Inclusion business plans to a newly expanded family leave policy. But we know that’s not enough. In recent years, we’ve adopted a system-wide approach to increasing the number of women in technical roles, taking steps to remove barriers to advancement both inside our organization and beyond Bloomberg, supporting female talent from middle school through mid-career.
While the number of women in technical jobs at Bloomberg is growing, we’re committed to making progress faster and completing all the steps needed to solve the equation. Here are some of the ways we’re tackling this important deficit – and making quantifiable change.
Bloomberg supports organizations that help increase women’s participation in STEM and financial technology, exposing students to various career options through Bloomberg Startup and encouraging our female engineers to engage with the next generation of talent.
Collaboration, creativity, and a love of problem-solving drew Chelsea Ohh to the field of engineering. Now she works at Bloomberg as a software engineer team lead, helping to provide critical information to financial decision makers across the globe.
Women engineers can sharpen their technical skills through open courses, on-site training sessions, and business hackathons held throughout the year. Bloomberg is committed to inspiring our female employees, eliminating barriers like impostor syndrome, and encouraging them to pursue opportunities in engineering.
Community & allies
To strengthen its network of female engineers, global BWIT (Bloomberg Women in Technology) chapters organize more than 150 events, mentoring sessions, and meet-ups a year. The community also engages male allies and advocates, sharing strategies to help them support their female colleagues.
The United States is currently experiencing a massive demographic shift, led in large part by the nation’s Latinx population. This group is growing rapidly, quickly becoming the most culturally and economically influential community in the country.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the country’s Hispanic or Latinx population grew from 50.5 million in 2010 (16.3% of the U.S. population) to 62.1 million in 2020 (18.7%). That’s an increase of 23 percent. In fact, slightly more than half (51.1%) of the total U.S. population growth between 2010 and 2020 came from growth in the country’s Latinx population.
It is no surprise then, that Latinx people have a massive effect on the U.S. economy. Their buying power is expected to reach $1.9 trillion by 2023, according to a report from Nielsen. This is up from $213 billion in 1990, marking an over 200% growth rate, more than double the growth in buying power of non-Latinx consumers.
This community’s economic influence reaches all industries, and it is critical that businesses gain a deeper understanding of Latinx culture. Doing so will allow business leadership to both better support employees and more effectively appeal to customers.
Hypercultural Latinx people are often first-generation Americans who straddle both U.S. culture and their parents’ native Hispanic cultures. This group feels deeply connected to both aspects of their identities and has, in a sense, created their own blended, hybrid culture. As Ilse Calderon, an investor at OVO Fund, wrote on TechCrunch, a Hypercultural Latinx person is “100% Hispanic and 100% American.”
So, what do they want to buy? While Latinx people are clearly not a monolith, there are a few key trends across the community. According to research in the PwC Consumer
Intelligence Series, the Latinx population is especially enticed by new tech products. They are active on TikTok and exceedingly more likely to use WhatsApp and other social media platforms than other groups.
Nielsen also found that 45% of Latinx consumers buy from brands whose social values and causes align with theirs. This is 17% higher than the general population. Latinx people also share strong family values, as well as pride in their distinct cultural heritages. That is why organizations must engage the Latinx community and invite Latinx people to share their experiences.
It is pivotal that business leaders understand that “Latinx” is not a single streamlined culture. Rather, it is a diverse mix of traditions, nationalities, and values.
Embracing these cultural nuances is a key to understanding Latinx audiences. Organizations must consider methods to appeal to distinct Latinx groups, rather than marketing to the group as a whole.
Cultivating and advancing Latinx talent in the workplace
It isn’t only consumers that businesses should be thinking about. Latinx talent has also accounted for a massive 75% of U.S. labor force growth over the past six years, according to Nielsen. Nevertheless, only 3.8% of executive positions are held by Latinx men, and only 1.5% of are held by Latinx women.
Clearly, companies have a lot of work to do to attract and cultivate Latinx talent—and it all starts with recruitment. To ensure a diverse work force, companies must utilize culturally competent recruitment strategies that not only make new positions appealing to a variety of job seekers, but also give every applicant a fair chance.
According to an article in Hispanic Executive, understanding cultural differences can help recruiters create job descriptions that more effectively appeal to different communities. For example, the Latinx community feels a more communal sense of identity, compared to the more individualistic sense of identity in European-American culture. Recruiters should keep this in mind when thinking about what necessary skills they are highlighting for available roles.
Click here to read the complete article on Bloomberg.
“You have to work hard on being your true self, and believe in the brands you promote.”
Words of advice from 32-year-old disabled influencer Tess Daly from Sheffield, who uses her 200,000-plus followers on Instagram to promote her beauty tutorials and advertise beauty brands.
Electric wheelchair-user Tess, who has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), has worked on social marketing campaigns for the likes of Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing, as well as various make-up brands.
She still cringes at the term “social influencer”, but says that she wishes there were more people like her when she was growing up.
“So many people with disabilities have told me that I’ve given them the confidence, not only to embrace their disability, but to also pursue their own love of make-up,” she says.
Tess is one of a growing number of disabled influencers who work with Martyn Sibley and his digital marketing agency Purple Goat, which he launched at the beginning of lockdown last year.
Martyn, who was also born with SMA, started the agency as part of his mission for a fully inclusive world.
“I believe by helping big businesses make more profit through including disabled consumers via disabled influencers, we’ll get true inclusion quicker,” he says. “With this model it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Purple Goat has worked with more than 75 influencers so far, but Martyn is keen to point out that they’re not a talent agency with people on their books.
“We work for the client and find the right influencer for each campaign,” he explains.
Taking the plunge
Around 14.1 million people in the UK have some sort of disability, and with those sorts of numbers comes serious spending power. According to disability charity Scope, the so-called “purple pound” is worth approximately £273bn every year.
But while disabled people make up around 22% of the UK population, this is not reflected when it comes to advertising. Up-to-date figures are hard to come by, but research from Lloyds Banking Group in 2016 showed that disabled people featured in just 0.06% of advertising.
This was the main driver behind Martyn launching Purple Goat. He thinks the world of marketing and advertising is now becoming a lot more socially aware, and is ready for disruption.
“I believe it’s partly the way public opinion has improved around diversity and inclusion,” he says. “Brands have been fearful of getting disability wrong, but they’re now fearful of being called out for doing nothing.”
Tess has certainly seen a pick-up in social media work. Up until last year, it was something she did as a sideline, but towards the end of 2020 she took the plunge to become a full-time influencer, and now works with an agent to manage her workload.
It wasn’t as easy as people may think, she says. “You can’t just wake up one day and decide you want to become a social influencer.”
‘Demanding to be seen’
Last year London-based luxury shoe brand Kurt Geiger started working with Northern Irish amputee model and influencer Bernadette Hagans.
The company’s chief executive, Neil Clifford, thinks that the rise in disabled influencers is down to the public’s change of mood.
“The boom in social media has given a voice to those who have previously been under-represented in the public eye and they are, quite rightly, demanding to be seen and heard,” he says. “People expect businesses to utilize their influence to counter inequality and many brands are reacting to this need.”
Twenty-six-year-old Pippa Stacey from York works in the charity sector, and blogs about living with chronic illness. Pippa, who lives with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, has also worked with Purple Goat doing social media campaigns for brands such as Tesco.
“Influencer marketing is about so much more than just the hard sell. It’s about supporting a positive image of the brand and their values, of which inclusivity should be central in this day and age,” she says.
Inclusivity on the part of big brands shouldn’t just be a tick box exercise, something they feel compelled to do to avoid criticism, she says.
“Having an ongoing relationship with disabled influencers, and taking the time to understand their platform. and their audience can help brands construct the most effective campaigns in a socially conscious way.”
Hollywood plays a massive part in shaping our understanding of different groups and helps us gain insight into worlds and cultures we may never have been able to on our own. The movies and TV series that flood our screens are more than just entertainment; they’re education. But with great power and influence comes great responsibility as there’s always the danger of misrepresentation.
Over the years, Hollywood has faced backlash from several communities and social movements about the issue of misrepresentation and underrepresentation. Groups identifying with Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ, the MeToo Movement, and protests like the OscarsSoWhite campaign come to mind.
People with disabilities, moreover racialized groups with disabilities, should also be at the forefront of this conversation, but they aren’t. This is a huge problem, especially considering that about a billion people live with some form of disability. In the U.S., one in five people have a disability, and for adults specifically, the disability count is about 26 percent, according to the CDC—roughly one in four adults.
“It’s almost impossible not to find people living with disabilities in any of these communities that feel let down by the entertainment industry’s depiction of their reality,” he said. “The discussion about proper inclusion and authentic depictions of a disabled person’s circumstances can only bode well for these groups and the entire industry as a whole.”
Disability isn’t new to the entertainment industry
Hollywood and the wider entertainment industry have many popular figures who are on the disability spectrum. Michael J. Fox has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Jim Carrey has talked about having ADHD, and Billie Eilish was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome as a child, to mention a few.
Many of Hollywood’s big names have also brought awareness to various disabilities by talking about their condition, advocating for better understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities, or donating to their cause. The industry has also taken steps to shine a light on disabilities by making movies and TV productions focused on varying disabilities, or casting lead characters as people with disabilities.
The problem here is that the bigger picture still tells a story of underrepresentation and a lack of inclusion with only 3.5 percent of series regular characters being disabled in 2020, according to GLAAD. Another study found that this number was reasonably higher in 2018—12 per cent higher in fact—but that the majority of these characters were portrayed negatively.
There have been reports over the years of actors, writers, and other workers in entertainment losing their jobs or not being considered for a position due to disability-related issues. So while some of the silver screen’s most loved names play the roles of disabled characters and win awards and recognitions, the disabled community isn’t seeing any reasonable increase in inclusion and accessibility in the industry. In fact, about 95 per cent of characters with disabilities in Hollywood’s top shows are played by able-bodied actors, and during the 2019 Oscars, only two out of the 61 nominees and 27 winners that played disabled characters were actually disabled.
This gives credence to the concern of inauthentic portrayals of any given disability or disabled person. “It has never made sense to me that disabled characters in our shows and movies are played by people who have no disability.” Musab opines, “You can’t give what you don’t have, not optimally anyway. The way I see it, it’s like getting Cameron Diaz to play Harriet Tubman. No matter how pure her intentions and commitment to deliver on the role, she simply won’t be able to do it justice. It is an indictment of the abilities of disabled artists.”
The real focus is not only on the disability of the Hollywood spectrum but on the lack of inclusivity for racialized groups within the disabled community. The stories of their lives may have been voiced on several platforms but never from the eyes of the Hollywood industry. This is an important recognition for racialized groups within the disabled community, to not only be recognized but seen through a macro spectrum of representations.
On the outside, it looks like your typical Lakewood apartment.
Fourteen units close to shopping and restaurants, right in the heart of the city.
But on the inside, four apartments have been in the works for nearly two years.
They’re called TryTech – short for “try technology.”
A partnership between the nonprofit North Coast Community Homes and the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Kelly Petty is the CEO at CCBDD.
“We might see people with cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, a whole variety of disabilities that qualify for our services,” she explained.
And TryTech is the first of its kind in the country.
Smart apartments tricked out with the latest in technology to make independent living for those with developmental disabilities attainable.
Voice activated tech, smart fridges and doorbells, an iPad with access to a virtual support person at the touch of a button, just to name a few things.
Being in an integrated building sets it apart even more.
“People who come to live in the TryTech apartments will be living in the same building as people without disabilities and that is unique and very exciting,” Petty said.
Chris West is the CEO of North Coast Community Homes, which has helped build and design hundreds of homes for those with disabilities in Northeast Ohio. Their partnership with CCBDD stretches nearly four decades.
“This really allows them to be in a community that’s inclusive,” West said.
The apartments will be available to four individuals at a time, on a trial basis —they can test it out for a weekend or even up to a few weeks.
From there, they can decide which parts of the technology are most helpful, so that can be integrated in a more permanent home for them.
Grace Gorton was one of the first to test it out.
“It feels very empowering as a deaf person and deaf single woman,” Gorton said, adding that she’s proud of herself for getting out of her comfort zone. “I want to work on my self confidence and my ability to live on my own.”
“It really allow them to show everybody they can live on their own. We know that they can,” West said.
And this project lets them prove it — to themselves, to their families, and to their support systems.
Click here to read the full article on News 5 Cleveland.
Quaden Bayles, an indigenous Australian boy who won the support of celebrities and well-wishers around the globe after being bullied because of his disability, has landed a role in the new “Mad Max” movie.Oscar-winning director George Miller has cast the now 11-year-old in a small role in the movie “Furiosa,” a prequel to his 2015 post-apocalyptic blockbuster “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Miller revealed in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine, published Saturday, that he was moved to put Bayles on the big screen after watching the distressing video his mother shared of him in February 2020.
The Queensland boy, born with a type of dwarfism known as achondroplasia, is already scheduled to appear alongside Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton in Miller’s next film, “Three Thousand Years of Longing.” “It was good for us and it was good for him,” Miller told the Sydney Morning Herald. “And he did such a good job that he’s got a small role in Furiosa.”
In the 2020 viral video clip, Bayles is shown crying uncontrollably in the back of his mother’s car as he asks for a knife to kill himself.”This is what bullying does,” his mother, Yarraka Bayles, said in the video, livestreamed on Facebook to raise awareness of the impact of bullying. “Can you please educate your children, your families, your friends?”