WXXI AM News

Connections: Deaf culture in Rochester

Apr 12, 2017

Rochester is home to the nation's largest deaf population per capita, and throughout the years, the city has been praised for its efforts to promote accessibility and inclusivity among the deaf community. Kodak and Xerox provided jobs for deaf people, local hospitals led the way in staffing interpreters, and this year, NTID is teaming up with the University of Rochester to offer training and resources for deaf scientists. In 2006, the New York Times said, “It is here that the world of the deaf intersects the world of the hearing as in no other city.”

Despite all of this, there are still misconceptions among the hearing community that impede further progress. This hour, we talk to members of the Deaf community about Deaf culture, the challenges they face, and what they hope to see for a more inclusive future. Our guests:

  • Matthew S. Moore, president of MSM Productions, Ltd, author of For Hearing People Only, and publisher of Deaf Life Magazine
  • Matthew J. Schwartz, ASL teacher at Rush Henrietta High School, ASL coach, and performer
  • Darcy O'Dell, interpreter
  • Anthony Bizzarro, interpreter

This conversation is part of WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, spotlighting issues related to disabilities. The WXXI Inclusion Desk is part of Move to Include — a partnership to encourage thoughtful discussion about issues of inclusion and the differently-abled. You can watch this conversation, with captions, on City 12 or at: