Discover the Region Human Interest section will stimulate you to think, know and learn more.

noun
1. a quality of a story or report, as in a newspaper or on a newscast, that engages attention and sympathy by enabling one to identify readily with the people, problems, and situations described.
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Assistive Technology

Do you remember life before text messaging? Years ago, before texting became so popular, a co-worker of mine got this cool device called a Sidekick. She was Deaf and this allowed her to send messages back and forth to others. Over the years, these and other devices have made text messaging a way of life for many and have made communication much easier for those who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing. Click here for the full article.
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I Know I Can

We all remember the story of the “Little Engine that Could”. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” It inspired us to cheer for the Little Engine…for ourselves and for each other. Imagine that, instead of a world of “I CAN” or “You CAN”, you experience “YOU CAN’T” everyday. It can seem to be all around you…in words or phrases like “handicapped”, “disabled”, “crippled”, “suffers from”, “afflicted with”, etc. It can be experienced all around you in curbs, narrow parking spaces with not enough access aisles, entry steps, narrow doorways, inaccessible restrooms, small print, etc. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Celebrate Autumn

There are many simple ways to enjoy the season of autumn. Many of them are free or very inexpensive. Have fun together and delight in harvest time. Celebrate the beauty of the autumn season with autumn leaf projects. They are simple enough for children to enjoy and often produce crafts that provide kids with a real sense of accomplishment. You can press leaves and then use the dried leaves for decorating. Paint on the vein side of leaves and press that painted side on fabric to make placemats or on paper to make cards, stationery or party invitations. Make leaf rubbings by placing leaves, vein side up, under a piece of white paper and rubbing the paper which is over the leaf, with the side of a crayon. The pattern of the leaf will show up on the paper. For little kids, this is almost like the magic of making something appear that wasn’t there before. Click here for the full article.
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How do Blind People Dream

We all dream, whether we remember them or not, but the way a person who is blind dreams may be different, depending on if they’ve ever had sight, when they lost it and to what degree they lost it. Many seem most curious about how a person who had never had any vision dreams. So…relax, take a deep breath and……imagine for a moment you are at the beach. Think about the sound of the waves, seagulls, etc. Imagine the sand between your toes or the cold water splashing on your feet…maybe slimy seaweed getting caught around your ankles! Can you imagine the wind on your face…or the sun beating down on your cheeks? Can you smell and almost taste the salty air? Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Use Imaginative Play

Provide materials and tools to encourage creativity. There is a huge difference between electronic gadgets that do all the thinking, kits and projects that give instructions to make an item that looks just like the one on the cover, and truly imaginative play. Often, activities which stimulate brain activity require no materials or tools at all. Click here for the full article.
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Can Deaf People Drive

Did I peak your curiosity with this question…or get you enraged? I’m amazed at how many times I’ve been asked this question over the years but it’s from people who really just don’t know. So, let me answer by saying that hearing loss does not affect a person’s ability to drive. The next question I usually get is, “But how do they hear when a siren is coming?” I might ask us the same thing? How do we hear a siren coming when we have our stereos cranked up or are jabbering on our cell phones, etc.? Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Easy Ways to Teach Children

Reading is often thought of as something that is connected to school classes, but it can be taught and encouraged at home. When our children were young, we read EVERYTHING! That included street signs, cereal boxes, milk cartons, signs on buildings, words on packages in the grocery store, words on notes on the fridge, and more. Reading happened daily. If children can read and comprehend what they read, there is nothing they can't learn. Being a good reader is the first step to understanding every other class a child attends. Our daughter placed index cards all over the house to label everyday items and her children learned to read words like "clock," "window," and others long before they started school. Of course, reading books aloud with children and letting them become comfortable with words is a perfect way to build vocabulary, spend time together, make memories, and learn how to read. With older children, share books. Read what they are reading and discuss ideas. Have books and magazines available at home. Give magazine subscriptions to students. Let them see you read. Click here for the full article.

Universally Designed Customer Service

Have you ever NOT been able to get into a building or maybe been literally STUCK in a restroom? A lot of people don’t really think about the importance of accessibility…until it affects them or someone they love. If you’ve ever broken a limb or been in a wheelchair temporarily, then you got a small taste what some people experience every day. It's not that people with disabilities are asking for pity or special treatment…just equal access to the world that many of us take for granted. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Create Your Own Family Traditions

Most of the time “Family Traditions” just happen. They aren’t usually planned. Often we just repeat activities from our own families of origin, and that can be a very positive thing. We can also give deliberate thought to establishing some especially for our children and grandchildren. I was reminded of this recently when my daughter phoned to ask about words to a song we always sang in the car when she was a child. Her children were singing it and had a question about the lyrics. That call affirmed that those little things we did with our children made a difference. “In our family we always _____.” Fill in the blank. Hopefully, you will have traditions that make memories and help children feel like they belong. Many times we relate these to holiday celebrations. Your list might Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
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Make a Memory with a Child

Summer is traditionally vacation time and many families plan expensive travel to theme parks, resort areas and tourist locations. While these can certainly be enjoyable excursions, there are simple ways to make precious memories for everyone with a “stay-cation” that happens at home and needn’t cost anything at all. Click here for the full article.