BJ Miller speaking at TED. Bret Hartman/TED hide caption

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The Hammetts smooth out stray strands of hair on Francis' head. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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Cheryl Woolnough, director of training at Patriot PAWS in Rockwall, Texas, works with Papi, a Labrador retriever. Lauren Silverman/KERA News hide caption

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When Mary asked Helen what she wants for Christmas, Helen said: "All I ask is to be in good spirits and in good health so I can come and show myself off when we have the party." Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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A hearing test you take on your phone provides immediate, private feedback. George Doyle/Ocean/Corbis hide caption

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Be My Eyes pairs blind people with sighted volunteers who help them identify objects using a smartphone app and camera. Be My Eyes hide caption

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Michael Palone, 26, who has mild autism, originally diagnosed as Asperger's syndrome, is paid to assemble packages through a program run by The Arc in Union City, Calif. The program may close soon due to budget problems. Melissa Hellmann for KQED hide caption

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Bryan Bashin, CEO of the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, in San Francisco, started losing his sight in his teens. "Don't just hide," he advises others. "This is not some kind of deep loss. This is just another side of being human." Jeremy Raff/KQED hide caption

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Kate Teague, a registered nurse at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, in Palo Alto, Calif., holds a premature baby's hand. Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Omar looks through Kai's photo book. The charges for the infant's six months of care in the neonatal intensive care unit totaled about $11 million, according to the family, though their insurer very likely negotiated a lower rate. Heidi de Marco/KHN hide caption

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