By Melissa Wuske
Museum Paintings Accessible to Visually Impaired
Most art museums have placards that chide visitors: “Don’t touch the art.” But an exhibit called “Touching the Prado” at Spain’s Prado museum took a different route. It recreated famous paintings with raised, textured pigments and encouraged people, especially those who are blind and visually impaired, to touch the art. Visitors who aren’t visually impaired were given dark glasses to experience the exhibit.
Guadelupe Iglesias lost her vision as a result of retinal disease. “Since I went blind, I’ve been to museums maybe twice. I can listen to the audio guide, but I have to imagine—remember—what the paintings look like.” But at the Prado exhibit, Iglesias ran her fingers over the crown of laurels in Velazquez’s “Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan.”
It’s the first exhibit to use both texture and color, which is perfect for those whose vision is impaired or those, like Ana Rosa Argente, whose vision is deteriorating. “I can see light and some colors,” said Argente, “but the rest, I use the texture to complete the picture in my mind.”
Lessons from the Ebola Outbreak
“Logistics is always a problem in any outbreak response,” said Dr. Margaret Harris, the World Health Organization spokesperson for the Ebola team in West Africa. World Health faced challenges in the Ebola epidemic, from medical workers waiting for visas to supplies stuck awaiting clearance; but now the organization is planning for more swift responses in the future.
The plan includes a response team—trained doctors and nurses around the world who are able to drop what they’re doing and be on-site at an outbreak—and an emergency fund of $100 million. The plan still has many logistical hurdles before it’s operational. “What we’ve got today is very much an outline. It needs to be fleshed out,” Harris said. “We are still struggling with our current Ebola outbreak to get the funding to continue the work we need to do now.”
Depression in the Workplace
Bensinger, DuPont, & Associates (BDA) found that Millennials face depression in the workplace at higher rates than other generations: 20 percent of Millennials that sought BDA for work/life assistance were depressed—4 percent more than those of Gen X or Baby Boomer generations. Millennials facing depression also had the highest rate (70 percent) of presenteeism—showing up to work but feeling unable to function at full capacity.
New Home for Persecuted Christians
Fifteen families in Chiapas, Mexico told the Zapatistas guerilla leaders that they wanted to seek God—they wanted more than their traditional beliefs, a blend of Mayan rituals and Catholic practices. So the Zapatistas drove them from the village. For over a year, the families lived in a stable without their belongings, and the Zapatistas cut off outside help.
A woman known as Ruth, who partners with Voice of the Martyrs, heard about the families and prayed and fasted for them. She brought food and water, despite the guerilla leaders’ prohibition, then shared the story of Christ. The families accepted Christ immediately. Ruth and her church continued to care for the families. After several months, the Mexican government offered them about seven acres of land and most of the funding needed to purchase it.
Now the families have small but not fully stable homes. The families, along with Ruth and her church, continue to pray for more sturdy homes and a stable water supply.
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).