3-D Printed Superhero Prosthetics For Children

 

A lot of kids dream about being a superhero right? Well, a non-profit organization called E-Nabling The Future, which designs and prints prosthetic fingers and hands for people in need, is utilizing 3-D printing to get some children one step closer to that dream. The idea behind the project is simple enough: Why have a plain prosthetic arm when you can have Wolverine claws attached to them? At least that was how Aaron Brown felt.

Brown, a 3-D printing enthusiast in Michigan, volunteers for E-Nabling The Future alongside others volunteers including engineers, physical therapists, designers, and people who are simply interested in the development and creation of low-cost prosthetic limbs for children. Brown introduced the modified prosthetic during the Grand Rapids Maker Faire and (as expected) it was an absolute hit. As Huffington Post very correctly points out, “Just because you’re missing a hand, doesn’t mean you can’t be a superhero.”

“People’s faces just lit up!” Brown said in an interview. “The kids went crazy over it. And don’t worry … the claws aren’t sharp! They are rounded plastic and just stick on and off with velcro.”

14-0510_EDU_Multicultural_Parent_Banner_HS_AudreyMag_BD1

Recently, 3-year-old Rayden “Bubba” Kahae got to experience becoming a superhero (the E-Nabling way). Kahae was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, which caused his right hand to develop without fingers. Thanks to E-Nable, he now has an Iron Man prosthetic hand.

Best of all, the prosthetic was within the family’s budget. Other commercially-made prosthetic hands can cost upwards of $40,000, but Kahae’s 3-D printed Iron Man hand only cost $50 to build and was sent to him for free.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 3.23.53 PM

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 3.23.44 PM

 


New Restaurant Dedicated to Employing Deaf Waiters & Waitresses

 

If you walk into Toronto’s new restaurant, Signs, you’ll think it’s just like any other restaurant in town. But you’ll change your mind soon enough once you’re asked to use American Sign Language (ASL) and sign your order to your deaf waiter or waitress. Yup, you read that correctly. In an effort to help increase job opportunities for the deaf community and provide a learning experience for customers, Signs encourages non-deaf customers to adapt to a deaf environment.

Just yesterday, we came across a Chinese student who was denied entry into college because her disability prevented her from passing a physical exam. Unfortunately, this is just one of the few obstacles that a handicapped individual may face. Recognizing this, Indian Canadian restaurant owner Anjan Manikumar has decided to take action and provide opportunities that may otherwise be unavailable for handicapped communities such as the deaf community.

The restaurant,which opened just last month on July 31, emphasizes its fun and novel methods to order.Not fluent in sign language? Well, don’t worry. The restaurant offers a “cheat book” which contains popular phrases used in restaurants as well as instructions on how to sign menu options. Of course, you can always just point to what you want, but where’s the fun in that?

 

 

Anjan Manikumar got the idea while working as a manager at a Boston Pizza in Markham. He served a deaf customer who could only point to what he wanted on the menu.

“I felt he wasn’t getting the service he deserved,” Manikumar told The National. He wasn’t getting the personal touch.”

He decided to learn American Sign Language, much to the delight of his deaf customer who quickly became “a regular.” Manikumar was inspired by the experience and wanted a restaurant that not only encourages non-deaf customers to learn sign language, but also provides job opportunities to the deaf community in a workforce they wouldn’t otherwise be able to work in.

“Providing them an opportunity here is something that they deserve,” said Manikumar. “And they’re very talented, every one of them.”

The most recent data on deaf unemployment in Canada points out 37.5% of deaf Canadians are unemployed and the high number is mainly due to “insensitive work environments.”

Luckily, Signs has already hired 50 deaf employees less than a month after its grand opening.

Mehdi Safavi is one of the waiters at Signs who admits this job is his first full-time job. “It’s wonderful. I’m so excited to be here,” he told The National. “It’s a deaf environment where hearing people can come in and experience our world and our culture. It’s amazing.”

 

 

Chinese Student Rejected From College Because of Disability, Reminds Us Not To Take Education For Granted

 

As any high school senior would know, applying to college can be in itself a stressful situation. Just thinking about the application process, financial aid and, of course, waiting around for the letter that will ultimately determine your future, is enough to cause a whirlwind of unnerving emotions.

In the grand scheme of things however, it’s easy to forget that most of us are lucky to even have the option of going to college at all. Especially when we live in a world where girls in other countries, like activist Malala Yousafazi, are banned from going to school under the Taliban rule because of their gender.

 

 

Fujian student Liu Wanling, a bright girl who regularly achieved high grades in her classes, unfortunately faced a huge obstacle when she applied to Jiang Xia College. Though she had scored 549 on her gaokao (the national college and university entrance exam), she was denied admission due to failing a physical test, because she is handicapped. For those of you unfamiliar with the gaokao test, it is the ultimate test that determines a student’s placement into university. Unlike the SAT, the gaokao can only be taken once a year, which means it is the only shot that most Chinese students have at attending their dream schools.

 

sad

 

According to Shanghaiist, Liu received a phone call by the university, who asked her if she would be willing to change to a less popular major. Liu agreed, but after a meeting was held by the school, as well as a discussion with doctors, they came to the consensus that she would not be able to attend the university. Disheartened by the news, Liu told reporters, “I’ve already prepared myself for the worst, but even if I try again next year, will I still be denied admission?”

Liu’s story was later posted by a user on Weibo, and immediately attracted the attention of many Chinese users. As of today, there are over 600 comments from angry netizens on the trending topic, defending Liu and even calling China “an abyss that kills people’s hope.”

 

Disabled Chinese Woman Wins the Hearts of Netizens

 

As a girl with two perfectly usable legs, I still wobble in shoes that come with heels higher than two inches.

When pictures of 26-year-old Er Ma Ayie surfaced on social media in China, she put girls like me to deep, deep shame. The Sichuan-native not only has just one leg she manages to fiercely walk the streets of China, in a 7.8-inch heel on her left leg, no less. Quite fashionably too, might I add.

As her pictures began circulating around Weibo, she won over men and women in China everywhere and was quickly deemed the “Asian Venus” for her strength and beauty. But she’s not just known for her graceful looks — she also has an inspiring story.

Er Ma, as you can imagine, did not always walk so confidently. When Er Ma was only 3 years old, she was in a tragic car accident that left her with an amputated right leg. Due to the placement of the amputation, she wasn’t given the option of a prosthetic leg. Thus, Er Ma grew up insecure, forced to cope with the circumstances she was given.

Er Ma also grew up an aspiring singer and received much praise from her teachers. After graduating high school, she became a kindergarten teacher, specializing in teaching kids how to sing. Later, at the age of 19, she was recruited to sing for Chengdu Disabled Art Troupe. Though she admits she had “never been as happy as that day,” she remained apprehensive because of her leg. She believed that she needed to wear long gowns and high-heeled shoes in order to achieve the image of an elegant singer she always envisioned.

 

shoe

 

Despite her insecurities of not being able to wear high-heeled shoes like her fellow singers, she gave it a try anyway. She even recalls almost breaking her leg the first time she attempted it. But she never gave up, and eventually she trained herself to walk in the high heeled shoes pictured above. Now, with much more confidence, Er Ma recently told reporters, “Luckily I didn’t give up trying to wear it. Now I can wear a 20-centimeter-high heel very confidently. I feel I am no different from the other girls.”

When told that photos of her walking in heels had gone viral on social media, she said, “I am surprised to hear that … I am actually a common girl.” She added that she hopes that the photos perhaps “opened people’s hearts and helped them to cope with their own defects.”

Er Ma’s self-assurance continued to grow from there, and she even took up yoga and badminton, among other physical activities that she never thought she would be able to do. “We should never let our body defects affect our mental health,” she said. “As long as your heart beams, your outward appearance won’t dim.”

The Dedication of a Single Parent: Father Carries Disabled Son Everyday

Chinese netizens have been moved by the story of 40-year-old Yu Xukang and his 12-year-old son Qiang.

Yu is not only a single father living in the rural areas of Sichuan, he also happens to be the father of a disabled child. Qiang suffers from a severely curved spine and a bent hand and foot. Because the condition is so rare, doctors have been unable to treat the young boy.

Needless to say, the condition has made things very difficult for the father and son, but Yu is determined not to give up despite the difficult circumstances.

According to Shanghaiist, Qiang’s mother abandoned the family when her son was only 3-years-old. As a result, Yu took on the responsibility of raising the child on his own.

Of course, this is no easy task. The rural area lacks of transportation and Qiang’s school is a two-hour walk away. Qiang cannot physically handle the walk, so Yu carries his 12-year-old son all the way to and from school.

Lunar-New-Year-TableGame-ENG

In total Yu walks 28 kilometers a day (roughly 6 hours) just to make sure his son is educated. The walk to school is down a difficult and rugged mountain road which eats away at Yu’s rubber shoes.

Despite the difficult situation, Yu shows an undying amount of determination. “We are never late,” he said proudly.

 

(source)

Inspiring Story of The Day: 10-Yr-Old Petitions For A Disabled Doll

American Girl Dolls is a popular line of 18-inch dolls with accompanying books, clothes and accessories. First released in 1986, the dolls and their stories were originally intended to focus on various periods in American history.

In recent years, when the dolls began telling stories of modern and contemporary life, American Girl Dolls became known for even more than teaching history. The dolls have received much praise for the diversity within their products. They have not only introduced dolls of various ethnicities and religions, they’ve even introduced dolls without hair and a hearing aid accessory for the dolls.

American Girl Dolls believe that by having dolls that they can relate to, girls can feel more comfortable in their own skin and will have an easier time accepting themselves. But despite the diverse choices, 10-year-old Melissa Shang still could not relate to the dolls she loved. That is why she began a petition to release an American Doll with a disability.

Shang has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease which forces her to use a wheelchair. Shang is an avid fan of American Girl Dolls and wishes for nothing more than to find a doll she can relate to. More specifically, Shang enjoys the Girl of The Years. Every year, American Girl introduces a new character who faces common-day challenges.

Sheng’s goal is to have the next Girl of The Year have a disability as well. Her heartfelt petition states:

None of the American Girl Girls of the Year are like me. None of them have a disability.

Being a disabled girl is hard. Muscular Dystrophy prevents me from activities like running and ice-skating, and all the stuff that other girls take for granted. For once, I don’t want to be invisible or a side character that the main American Girl has to help: I want other girls to know what it’s like to be me, through a disabled American Girl’s story.

Disabled girls might be different from normal kids on the outside. They might sit in a wheelchair like I do, or have some other difficulty that other kids don’t have. However, we are the same as other girls on the inside, with the same thoughts and feelings. American Girls are supposed to represent all the girls that make up American history, past and present. That includes disabled girls.

 

Read her full petition here and watch her inspiring story below.