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Inventions to Overcome Disabilities



Inventions to Overcome Disabilities
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.4

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    birthmark, finding, reading, writing, makeup, pursue, accessible, text, software, difficulty, attempt, chemist, various, impossible, ordinary, electronic
     content words:    Lydia O'Leary, Ray Kurzweil, Stevie Wonder, Matt Capozzi, Nathan Connolly, Krista Morlan


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Inventions to Overcome Disabilities
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Some of the most amazing inventions designed recently are inventions that help people with disabilities. People in many different fields have used their creativity to make products for people with all types of difficulties. These inventions help men, women, and children with disabilities work and play. They make it possible for them to do activities that used to be impossible.
 
2     People don't usually think of makeup as either an invention or a product to help people with disabilities, but the makeup invented by Lydia O'Leary was both. Lydia had a large red birthmark on her face. Even though she had graduated from college, the only job she could find was painting cards in the back room of a large department store. One day, as she was painting over a part that was the wrong color, she had the idea to create a make-up that would paint over birthmarks such as hers. She worked with a chemist and tried various mixtures until she had one that covered well. However, she soon found out that she couldn't even smile because the make-up would crack. So, she went back to the drawing board and tried again. Finally, she came up with a flexible makeup that made life easier for people with birthmarks or scars.
 
3     Ray Kurzweil invented products that helped people with disabilities in other ways. His electronic and computer inventions help people who have difficulty reading and writing as well as people who cannot see. He invented print-to-speech software that can scan and read almost any text aloud. Students who have trouble reading can use it to read their textbooks, and those who have trouble spelling can use it to find the correct spelling of a word.

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