Celebrate Labor Day

It will soon be the first Monday in September which means that it is also Labor Day. Generally, when you think about this holiday it comes with visions of family get-togethers, cooking out (or in), and for many a paid day off from work. This blog will look at a brief history about Labor Day followed by inside grilling tips for the visually impaired, as well as, some entertainment ideas to do this Labor Day (or any day).

A Brief History About Labor Day

According to History, in the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages.

People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

Labor Day, pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day weekend also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans. 

Inside Grilling Tips for the Visually Impaired

Cooking while blind or visually impaired can be challenging but with the right tools can become both routine and rewarding. In addition to the tools listed in this section other sites to find ideas, tips and tricks include Perkins School for the Blind, VisionAware, and wikiHow.

George Foreman Grill: The George Foreman Grill features a non-stick surface for cooking burgers, pork chops, and virtually any food fast and evenly. The simplicity of the design makes it an excellent cooking aid for visually impaired users. Cooking for yourself is easy with few hassles and pans. Grease will cook off the food and drip into a tray below for a healthier meal.

Talking Digital Cooking & All-Purpose Thermometer: This is a serious measurement tool that reads temperature with extreme speed and speaks the reading at the touch of its single, large button. Suitable for the sight impaired with partial or full vision loss. Simply push the “Talk” button to tell the temperature. Press it again and again to update the status of changing temperatures. The ThermoWorks Talking Thermometer is a tremendous aid in food preparation and general household use with even scientific and industrial applications.

17″ Flame Retardant Oven Mitt: 17-inch elbow length fire retardant mitt offers maximum protection. Protect up to 425 degrees F. Can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Norpro GRIP-EZ 12 Inch Locking Spatula/Tongs Combo: Two tools in one, you can use the 12″ GRIP-EZ as tongs when you are gripping and lifting food and as a spatula when you are flipping and serving food. So convenient! The unit features a stainless steel frame with a nylon head that is heat resistant to 450°F/230°C. Simply push down to open and pull up to close. Dishwasher safe.

Entertainment Ideas

Labor Day is generally a fairly hot day temperature wise so persons who may be adversely affected by the heat will be wanting some fun activities to do inside. The following ideas are geared towards the blind or visually impaired but can be enjoyed by most anyone.

Board Games:  In addition to traditional card games, there are many different types of games that have been adapted or created solely for the visually impaired.  A few of these games include Tactile Connect Four, Rummikub the Original with Braille, and Jumbo Braille Dominoes.

Movies/TV Shows: The 2020 Guide to Watching TV and Movies with Vision Loss (beginning link) provides a detailed list of options currently available including links for audio descriptions provided by Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes.

Video Games: The National Library Service for the Blind (NLS) has put together a page of resources to assist the visually impaired gamer locate information needed to continue enjoying a plethora of video games. Resources include everything from Apple games, PC games all the way to game box controllers including PlayStation and Xbox games.

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