When was the last time you worked with someone who had a developmental disability?

Most of us haven’t. Some employers have an implicit assumption that people with those disabilities can’t work. But those same employers are being proved wrong by a small but growing workforce that just needed opportunities.

Image by the
U.S. Department of Labor.

Businesses that hire people with developmental disabilities are saying it’s a great business decision.

Among them are organizations like
Smile Farms in Garden City, New York. They put people with disabilities to work in local agriculture, doing everything from farming to sales.


There’s also
Hugs Caf, a Dallas area restaurant that provides cooking classes and dignified jobs for special-needs workers.

Workers at Hugs Caf in McKinney, Texas, receive cooking lessons as part of their job training. Image via
Hugs Caf/YouTube.

People with disabilities are also starting to find jobs at big companies like
Walgreens. The company’s plan is to fill at least a quarter of their positions with disabled workers.

Since they prioritized hiring disabled workers in their distribution centers, they’ve seen rises in productivity and safety. At the same time, they’ve had drops in absenteeism and turnover.


Photo by Phillip Pessar/Flickr.

And a 2014
report by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (I4CP), a research group that “discovers the people practices that drive high performance,” found that among 200 companies surveyed, employers rated workers with disabilities as “good to very good” on indicators including dependability, motivation, adaptability, integration with coworkers, and quality of work.

When we drill down to the statistics, it’s clear that employers need to do a lot more.

In 2015, 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, the employment situation for disabled adults leaves plenty to be desired.

The last census counted 1.2 million working-age people in the U.S. with intellectual disabilities. According to I4CP, 85% of them don’t have paying jobs.

That’s a lot of folks being denied a fair chance to earn a living and to enjoy the independence and sense of purpose that comes with having a job.

But change is starting to seem inevitable for developmentally disabled workers.

There aren’t many workers’ causes that draw the kind of diverse (and powerful) support this one is receiving.


Proponents of disability employment include business leaders, the
National Governors Association, millions of people in the disabled community, and their non-disabled allies. They want employers to hire based on people’s abilities, not their disabilities.

This year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month just came to a close. With all of these signs, I’m hopeful that by next year’s we’ll have more reasons to celebrate.

Watch a video from Smile Farms and see the business in action:

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/this-business-made-hiring-disabled-workers-a-priority-the-result-a-thriving-workplace?c=tpstream

The quicker you learn about it, the more likely you are to have a good sex life and the respect of your peers.

Consent is hard enough in private. Getting people to talk about consent in public is even harder. Which is why I’d really appreciate it if you shared this. And maybe Liked Dr. Doe on Facebook so she can keep talking about the hard subjects?

Read more: http://upworthy.com/often-totally-overlooked

In a symbolic gesture to show just how dirty Beijing’s skies have become, one man decided to make the problem a bit more … tangible.

Wang Renzheng, whose artistic name is Jianguo Xiongdi, or “Nut Brother,” walked around Beijing with a vacuum cleaner a few hours every day literally sucking the smog out of the city’s air.

His goal? To make a brick out of his collection.

And he succeeded.


There it is. The brick. Photo by
Dong Dalu/CFP, used in a video by Wochit News/YouTube.

On Nov. 30, 2015, after 100 days of collecting smog,
the 34-year-old took the gunk that built up in his vacuum, mixed it with some clay, and baked it into a brick, The Huffington Post reported.

“I want to show this absurdity to more people,” Renzheng explained, according to
The Guardian. And while it’s not clear exactly how much clay coagulant went into the final product, we do know that the air around Beijing contains 20 to 40 times more pollutants than the recommended “safe” amount of carbon, dust, and gunk so take that as you will.

GIF via Wochit News/YouTube.

Renzheng’s work certainly isn’t the first time Beijing’s pollution problem has been thrown into the spotlight.

Just this past September,
the Internet’s jaw dropped after seeing before-and-afters like this one.

The city had banned cars for two weeks ahead of a big celebratory parade, and the results were seriously incredible.

Or, take the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, when American athletes were spotted arriving at the capital’s airport
wearing face masks in preparation for the city’s poor air quality. The story blew up and China was certainly embarrassed.

Keeping the Earth green and the skies blue has been a tricky feat in China.

Economic growth has meant more and more cars on the road, which, coupled with an over-dependence on coal and lax environmental laws, has routinely buried Beijing’s skyline (and iconic monuments) in a haze of gray.

It’s safe to say the Chinese capital has a major smog problem … especially lately.

In recent days coincidentally, right as leaders from around the world (including China) have convened in Paris to strategize a global approach to fight climate change air pollution levels in the city are the worst they’ve been since February 2014.

That’s why Renzheng’s brick-gone-viral is gaining traction at the perfect time and you can add to the discussion, too.

With the UN climate talks happening in Paris right now, Renzheng’s successful callout of Beijing’s smog crisis is the perfect symbol of the dire need to slash global carbon emissions now.

One way you can help? Sign this petition from the League of Conservation Voters to support America’s Clean Power Plan the “first-ever common sense limits on the amount of carbon pollution power plants can spew into our air.”

Bold legislation like the Clean Power Plan can make a (literal) world of difference.

Don’t believe it? Check out Renzheng’s story here:

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/the-bright-side-of-beijings-pollution-you-can-make-actual-bricks-out-of-smog-and-clay?c=tpstream

The presidential candidates had me totally freaked out about America’s economic future … until I saw this. 

Jump to 2:28 to find out why running the country like a business is actually NOT a terrible idea and skip to 5:40 to hear why neither candidate’s economic plan is really worth crying over. 

Read more: http://upworthy.com/a-6-minute-video-that-explains-the-us-economy-better-than-the-presidential-candi

Nobody likes to wait at traffic lights. Stopping at lights can be dangerous for impatient pedestrians willing to risk their lives just to cross the street a few seconds earlier.

The folks at Smart created The Dancing Traffic Light, a concept providing a fun and safe way to keep people from venturing too early into the street. They started by placing a dance room on a square in Lisbon, Portugal and invited random pedestrians to go into the box and dance. Their movements were then displayed on a few traffic lights in real time. This resulted in 81% more people stopping and waiting at those red lights.

(Source: smart)

What an awesome idea! Let’s hope no one ever does the moonwalk and on accident makes people at the light think that is the animation to walk out into traffic.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/dancing-traffic-light/

Here’s a short list of things I don’t know: why we can’t vote on weekends, how TLC can feature Honey Boo Boo Child and still call itself The Learning Channel, and why nap time has to go away after kindergarten.

John Lloyd radically expands my list and does it with an undeniably charming English accent. At  3:12 he basically ends the endless “Is God real?” conversation and at 6:08 he makes a liar out of every electrician in America. 

Read more: http://upworthy.com/why-every-electrician-youve-ever-met-is-a-liar

My wife and I have a light-hearted back-and-forth about just how much we can do to help the Earth. I suspect industry and big business dwarf (like, wayyyy dwarf) anything that we can do as humans, so let’s focus on that. She says that if we each do something small, it adds up.

Amazingly, we’re both kinda right. It all matters. Bonus: We save on that monthly electric bill. Win/win, right?

Read more: http://upworthy.com/heres-something-very-simple-that-actually-uses-more-energy-than-i-thought

Sometimes what you think sounds like a compliment is really a big ol’ insult. Once, in college, my best friend accidentally told a girl she liked the pattern of her coat because she liked tacky things.

I know, Nene. That girl gave us side-eye the rest of the semester.

But sometimes offensive comments can pertain to something much deeper than our clothing. Here’s some advice: Try this instead.

Share this by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons below. And why not Like “Try This Instead” on Facebook?

Read more: http://upworthy.com/ever-heard-someone-say-this-offensive-phrase-to-a-black-person-tell-them-to-try-this-instead

There are a few negative stereotypes that are often, and erroneously, associated with people who are homeless.

These stereotypes aren’t always accurate and sometimes are even rarely so and, unsurprisingly, do further harm to the very people most in need of a hand up.

So why do we keep telling ourselves these blanket overgeneralizations can be trusted?

All GIFs via BuzzFeed Video.

BuzzFeed Video hit the streets to chat with real homeless people and get to the bottom of all these terrible stigmas. And, as it turns out, you can learn a lot by actually talking with people instead of trusting what’s been said about them.

Here are five myths about homeless people, debunked by real homeless people.

Myth #1: Homeless people are lazy. Plain and simple.

If you think homelessness is innately connected with laziness, you shouldn’t. There are plenty of hardworking folks who can’t find permanent shelter, possibly due to a lack of affordable housing in their area or maybe because they’re working a job that pays a stubbornly low and stagnant wage.

In fact, the National Coalition for the Homeless estimated back in 2009 that roughly 44% of homeless people (nearly half!) do have jobs.

Myth #2: Homeless people have all made terrible decisions that led them to be homeless.

Speaking of 44%, it’s also the portion of Americans who, in 2013, didn’t have enough financial security to survive past three months if they lost their job, according to the Corporation for Economic Development.

That’s about 132 million people in the U.S. living a few paychecks away from having (essentially) nothing. Almost half of America would be in dire circumstances if they got, say, laid off or injured in a natural disaster. So when you hear “anybody can be homeless,” it’s really not that far-fetched.

Myth #3: Every homeless person has a drug problem.

Yes, homeless people are more likely than non-homeless people to abuse alcohol and drugs. But, as is the case with any stereotype, you shouldn’t immediately jump to any conclusions. According to estimates taken in 2003 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, only about 38% of homeless people were dependent on alcohol, and about a quarter of homeless people abused other drugs.

So when you assume that that person on the sidewalk just wants your cash for booze, well you’re making an a-s-s out of you and … you get the drift.

Myth #4: All homeless people are criminals. (Watch out!)

Don’t believe the hype. Crime and homelessness don’t go hand in hand. There’s no shortage of research that’s found homeless people are actually less likely than housed people to commit violent crimes.

And due to nationwide increases in local ordinances that target homeless people like bans on sleeping in public or panhandling in certain spots many times, the crimes homeless people commit are due to their circumstances, not because they’re naturally more dangerous.

Myth #5: Homeless people just want your money. That’s it.

Just like many of us appreciate a friendly hello from a stranger, so do homeless people (and maybe even more so). Even if you can’t spare some change, a smile and a nod might make someone’s day.

The folks in BuzzFeed’s video said, “I’m homeless, but I’m still a human being.” Let’s all keep that in mind during our next stroll down the street.

Check out the video by BuzzFeed below:

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/watch-homeless-people-shatter-stereotypes-about-those-who-live-on-the-street?c=tpstream

I always thought I was pretty good at carving pumpkins. Then, this squirrel came along and showed me how it’s supposed to be done. He carved a face into a pumpkin sitting out on a garden table.

What makes this the perfect Halloween pumpkin is how horrific the smile looks. It’s a much better pumpkin carving than those regular smiley faces. This squirrel clearly knows scary.

(Source: Richard Mangan)

Now I know what you’re thinking: “How did that man convince the animal to eat in the shape of a face?” Clearly it recognized that all other pumpkins in the neighborhood had faces on them, and did it to be a part of the cool kids. Or you know, the peanut butter the man put on there. Either way, that’s one cool squirrel.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/pumpkin-squirrel/

It’s a positively heartbreaking situation: Syrian refugees are arriving in Greece by the boatload quite literally. If they survive the first part of the journey, they can then face hundreds of miles of walking to reach their next destination.

If you watch the news footage, you may notice something:

There are lots of Syrian moms, dads, and caregivers with babies.

After crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey, a Syrian couple holds their twin babies on the Greek island of Lesbos. Photo by Iakovos Hatzistavrou/AFP/Getty Images.

Babies too young to walk.

A Syrian mother, holding her one-month-old son after arriving in Lesbos from Turkey. Photo by Iakovos Hatzistavrou/AFP/Getty Images.

Babies that must be carried…

Remaining images in this article are via “Today.”

…and carried. Despite cold and exhaustion.

California mom Cristal Logothetis noticed. After she saw the viral photo of the young
Syrian boy who drowned as his family was trying to reach safety, she like so many of us was deeply moved.

“When I saw that picture, I didn’t just see a little boy face-down on the sand,” Logothetis told “Today.” “I saw what could have been my son.”

Logothetis and her son.

When we’re so overwhelmed with emotion, it’s easy to feel paralyzed.
What can I possibly do in the face of so much tragedy?

So much! We can do so much.

Logothetis wasn’t just moved emotionally; she was moved to
do something. “It compelled me into action,” she said. And action is what she took.

Logothetis started to collect baby carriers* to deliver to the Syrian families arriving in Greece with babies and young children.

*You know, those things we Americans like to use for convenience to keep our hands free or bonding with our babies, often referring to the practice as baby-wearing.

At first, she didn’t think her plans would go very far. But she was wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

Tons of people were more than happy to help. In fact, they were honored to do so, with many attaching notes of encouragement and love to the donated carriers.

In addition to receiving donated carriers, Logothetis collected tens of thousands of dollars to purchase them.

After Logothetis had collected enough carriers to make a difference, she and 10 other moms headed to Greece.

There, they met families coming off boats and taught the moms and dads how to use the donated carriers.

One of the volunteers helping a family learn to use their new carrier. GIF by “Today.”

Perhaps nearly as significant to the refugee families as the actual physical help is the simple knowledge that people care.

“All they’re trying to do is get to a better place and protect their family,” Logothetis said. “Not only do they have a problem solved for them by receiving a carrier, but they realize that people care about them, that people want to help.

One thing is for sure: A whole lot of people want to help.

“People out there, they really care. They do. They just need the right opportunity to get involved,” Logothetis said. “If everybody does something, no matter how small or big, there will always be a positive impact on this planet.”

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in moments of crisis. Sometimes, though, it’s just a matter of looking in the right place.

As beloved TV personality
Mister Rogers said: “Whenever there would be any catastrophe … [my mom] would say, ‘Always look for the helpers. There will always be helpers.’ … Because if you look for the helpers, you’ll know that there’s hope.”

Well, we’re looking at the helpers. And that means there’s hope.

If you’re interested in helping supply carriers for Syrian refugee families, you can visit the
Carry the Future Facebook page to learn more about where to send your gently used carrier (or where to donate money).

And there are so many other easy ways to help! You can visit this page to find other organizations who are helping refugees and need support.

Watch the helpers from Carry the Future in this wonderful “Today” feature:

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-california-mom-saw-syrian-refugees-struggling-to-carry-their-babies-so-she-did-something?c=tpstream

For some people around the world, a flooded river is serious business. It’s not just what you talk about at the water cooler that day. Take the Sam Lang village in Vietnam, for example. When the local river was flooded, the nearby suspension bridge was rendered useless. Travel was impossible and the village’s children couldn’t get to school. But that’s when one heroic father stepped up and did the unthinkable: he put those kids in plastic bags.

As you can see here, this father is putting a child into a plastic bag…

Daily Mail

But it’s not a crime.

Daily Mail

In fact, he is trying to help.

Daily Mail

This caring citizen is attempting to help children at a Vietnamese primary school get to class during extreme flooding.

Daily Mail

A nearby suspension bridge was broken, so the dad put the kids in bags to keep them dry.

Daily Mail

Then, he crossed the river with them.

Daily Mail

His devotion to these kids was filmed by their teacher Tong Thi Minh.

Daily Mail

The teacher told the newspapers, “It’s normal. That’s the only way to cross the stream because no bridge can stand floodwater.”

Daily Mail

It’s incredible that THIS is how the children stayed safe!

Daily Mail

It seems unorthodox and unsafe, but swimming across was the only way to get to the school. The current was too strong to use the bridge. The caring father didn’t mind slogging across the swollen river. He just wanted these kids to get an education that day. Now that’s inspiring. Here’s the unbelievable act on video:

Source: Daily Mail Share his heroism with others. Click the Share button below.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/child-in-plastic-bag/

With Valentine’s Day upon us, it’s hard not to get into the spirit of love. Whether or not you’ll have that special someone by your side when the big day rolls around, you can still get in on the action. Valentine’s Day gives us the perfect opportunity to tell everyone we love — romantically or otherwise — how much we care.

Still not feeling all warm and fuzzy? Give this love-filled compilation a try. This footage could melt the coldest of hearts.

Love is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Now get out there and tell everyone you adore exactly how you feel!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/celebrate-valentines-day/

Sometimes the Internet depresses the heck out of me. And sometimes it warms my heart. This is one of them.

A young man named Daniel Ashley Pierce, 20 years old and living at home with his parents in Georgia, came out to his parents in October 2013. Not much was said at the time, but his parents and grandparents staged a belated “intervention,” and he sensed it was going to end badly, so he hit the “record” button on his phone.

What he captured is painful to watch and hear, but it’s all too real for hundreds of thousands of gays who are kicked out of their homes (by parents who, in my opinion, need to lose their right to even call themselves parents).

The numbers are staggering. While the totals are very difficult to nail down, according to newspapers such as Orlando Weekly, 20% of homeless people are gay. 42% of homeless youth are gay. And 26% of LGBTQ youth who come out to parents while they are living at home are kicked out of the house. That’s a staggering number by any count.

What really turns this story into something beautiful, though, is that a friend of Daniel’s put the video on YouTube, and it got so much attention that the same friend started a GoFundMe campaign for the soon-to-be homeless Daniel. Within three days, it had reached a staggering $50,000. Many of the donations are attached to notes of love from people all over the world with phrases like “Broke my heart, but now look at all of your supporters!” “My door’s always open if you ever need a place to stay!” and “I would be proud to have you as my son.”

Here’s a picture of the GoFundMe page early in the day Aug. 29, 2014; it’s going up, up, and up. And that’s great for Daniel.

His story is a painful reminder of the bigotry that some people practice in their own homes. What we all need to know is that there are hundreds of thousands of Daniels out there who also need our help. There are some resources below that help people like him; check them out if you’re so inclined.

And, because it’s the Internet, there will be people speculating that it was all fake. If that’s you, I suggest you check out the link below from The New Civil Rights Movement for more information. Daniel is real, and this happened.

Lastly, if you want to see the original video that started all of this, it’s embedded below.

TRIGGER WARNING: parental abuse, hate speech.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/the-parents-of-this-gay-man-reacted-horribly-to-his-coming-out-the-internet-responded-with-love