Bleats

Why Are We So Surprised To See A Bridal Store Feature A Wheelchair In A Window Display?

This news story shouldn't be newsworthy, but it is.

A bridal store in Bristol, England has gone viral after a Twitter user posted a photo of their unique window display online.

The window display was unique was because it featured a mannequin in a wedding dress sitting in a wheelchair.

Beth Wilson, the user who tweeted the photo, complimented the display, writing:

“The new wedding shop in town has a wheelchair using mannequin and it shouldn’t be exciting but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen disability portrayed in a shop window.”

And about the way the wheelchair was displayed, added:

“It’s great that they decorated the chair rather than hiding it away. Mobility aids are often portrayed as negative things that people want to hide when actually mobility aids like wheelchairs give us freedom.”

The owners of the store, The White Collection in Portishead, told Sky News that they didn’t think much about it when they installed the display.

The owners said that the positive response was great, but that it was “sad people have done a double-take” because it highlights how rare the display is.

“It would be nice one day for people to double-take just because they like the dress.”

The fact is, a store using a wheelchair in a display is a newsworthy thing. I’ve certainly never seen it done before, and I’m always on the lookout for positive representation of underrepresented groups.

But the fact that one store has done it proves it can be done (not like we needed proof, though, since common sense would suggest it can be done), and hopefully others will follow suit. The way the wheelchair was incorporated and decorated, as it might be on a wedding day, is a lovely touch.

Inclusiveness in things like shop displays or marketing campaigns may seem like a small thing to those who’ve always been included, but to those who haven’t been, it can be incredibly affirming to see someone who looks like you depicted positively, even if it’s just to advertise someone’s products. And hey, all this attention can’t be bad for The White Collection’s business, right?

Pour One Out For This Guy Who Dropped His Engagement Ring Down A New York City Sewer Grate As He Was Proposing

Not sure any amount of cleaning could get me to wear the ring after that.

Some poor bloke has gone viral after the New York City Police Department tweeted about him dropping his engagement ring down a sewer grate while trying to propose. Yikes.

The man was proposing outside an Olive Garden restaurant in Times Square when, according to the NYPD, he got so excited he dropped his ring down the grate. A normal reaction, to be sure.

The couple spoke to the police at the time, but didn’t leave their names or contact details. So naturally, the NYPD turned to Twitter to help find the couple, as they successfully fished the ring out of the sewer and gave it a good clean.

Fortunately, through the magic of the internet, the couple was located and reunited with their ring.

She’s a braver woman than I am to be wearing that ring after its journey through New York City’s sewer system. The things you do for love!

Starbucks Is Opening A Store Designed Specifically For Deaf Customers In Washington DC

The store will be staffed entirely by employees fluent in American Sign Language, and is the first of its kind in the US.

Starbucks has announced the establishment of a new ‘Signing Store’ in Washington DC, the first of its kind in the US. The first Signing Store in the world opened in Malaysia in 2016, and the DC store will follow a similar model.

The store is located near Gallaudet University, which was the first university for deaf students in the world, and remains the only university where all programs are specifically designed to accommodate deaf students.

They are looking to hire 20-25 deaf and hard of hearing people who are fluent in American Sign Language, and will also have employees who aren’t deaf but can still speak ASL. Deaf baristas will have ASL aprons, and hearing baristas who sign will sport an “I Sign” pin.

While Signing Stores are new, Starbucks has had a reputation for inclusivity on this front for a while now.

Many stores across the US have employees who are either deaf or hearing and know basic ASL, enough to assist deaf customers with their orders, either in person or using ‘evolution screens’ in the drive-thru, like in the video below.

Accessible features at this Starbucks will include a visual display that will walk customers through their orders, and a similar display that will show them that their orders are ready, instead of calling out their name.

Changes like this honestly sound so simple that it’s perplexing they aren’t more widespread.

Many McDonald’s restaurants around the world now allow you to order using a screen, and show your order number on a display when it’s ready (this system has been very useful in countries where I don’t speak the language).

But the changes on the customer’s end aren’t the only great thing about this initiative, it’s the fact that the store will employ baristas who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. Inclusive hiring practices and workplaces are so important, especially when you consider the fact that the participation rate for people with disabilities in the workforce was 52.8% in Australia, compared with 82.5% for those without a disability.

Fingers crossed that this compels other corporations to reflect on their own issues with accessibility, and that initiatives like this only continue to grow in popularity as a result.

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