Did you know you have the potential to change the world? It starts with finding your one, and I want to tell you about how I found my one and how that led me to create a not for profit called, Adapt the World Labs.
I am the dad of two beautiful children, one who was born with a rare disease known as Usher Syndrome, which is the leading cause of genetic deaf-blindness. When our now three year old, Rebecca, was born we discovered that she was profoundly deaf. We quickly realized that we would need to adapt to her needs, after all, being deaf was her normal.
We quickly became comfortable with raising a deaf child, our American Sign Language was coming along great, and Becca was getting everything she needed to thrive. And thrive she did, she was amazing us everyday with what she was learning, we really felt like we had a handle on things… Then there were signs that things may not be as great as we had thought. Becca’s balance was not developing as it should, so to the internet we went and we learned of a syndrome that affects hearing, balance and, gulp…… vision. But, we learned this syndrome is extremely rare, no way Becca could be one of the estimated 25,000 in the US that had this disease, right(?). Not a chance in my mind, but moms instinct kicked in and we were on our way to get genetic testing for Becca. A few short weeks later we got the call and it was confirmed that Becca had Usher Syndrome. Shit, now what? Things got pretty dark for a week or two, I took a few days off from work and just mourned, I really felt like I was losing her. I was pretty scared, we all were.
After a short time we were ready to fight, and we realized that simply adapting to her needs was not going to cut it, we were going to have to adapt the entire world to her needs. The world was not ready for her, one example was us wanting to expose her to braille only to find out that the braille devices available were over a thousand dollars and not in anyway made for children, this was absurd to us and it just wasn’t good enough. This is the point when Becca became my “one”. I realized that I could take my experiences in life and career and solve this problem, and by solving it, I could ultimately make an impact for every child with a visual impairment. So I got started and created the BecDot, a pre-braille toy for kids. Then, I crossed paths with Not Impossible, a company who develops technology for the sake of humanity, and at that time I truly started to understand what it meant to find your “one”. A couple years later, Adapt The World Labs was founded on some of the very same principles of Not Impossible’s, “help one, help many” and not knowing what the hell you are doing but doing it anyway.
Your “one” is out there somewhere and they are waiting for you to use your unique skill set to help them overcome an obstacle or challenge that they may be facing, you have the capacity to make a difference. Find your “one”.
If you want to learn more about Not Impossible and their mission to “help one help many”, on June 1st they are hosting their annual Not Impossible Awards to honor people who are developing technology for the sake of humanity. I was a past recipient of a not impossible award and it is the basis of what we are doing to Adapt the World. Be part of something big and join them for the event. Details for the event are here: 2019 Not Impossible Awards