Need to Know

Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. & Sundays at 11:00 a.m. on WXXI-TV & on City 12

A living wage. That’s what a coalition of advocates and community agencies that support individuals with disabilities have been calling for in our state. The focus of that fight - the more than 120,000 New Yorkers who work with and care for individuals with disabilities. They’re called Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and according to the New York State Chapter of the Arc they’re in chronic short supply While the governor allocated $55 million in the budget this year to support a wage increase for these professionals working with nonprofits - is that enough to recruit, train and sustain employees? We examine the current state of DSPs and the challenges they’re continuing to face on this Move to Include edition of Need to Know.

A hard-fought wage increase battle saw some success this year. But workers who help those living with disabilities say they are still in need of support. On this edition of Need to Know we’ll discuss what a profession that some call underpaid and undervalued is looking for in an effort to help our most vulnerable and those trained to care for them.

Also on the show, a revolution in inclusion. We’re checking out a local group on a mission to get businesses and organizations equipped to offer recreational activities to people of all abilities.

Coming up on Need to Know, their role is crucial in supporting individuals with disabilities, but their profession is seeing high turnover rates and unfilled vacancies. Why direct support professionals are being called underpaid and undervalued and what’s being done to change that.

Also on the show – turning adaptive sports for individuals with disabilities into family adventures.  The new way to think about and participate in inclusive activities.

From the outside they may look like an unlikely pair. One is an 11-year-old with a passion for handball, skiing and accelerated math. The other is a resident at a senior living center with a love of music - she sings in two choruses and plays in a band. They first met through a letter. That’s right a letter they each received in the mail from the other as part of a pen pal project launched by the Hillside Family of Agencies. As we learn in this Need to Know segment, what started in the form of letter-writing has now developed into something much more.

Improving the education of kids isn’t just about academics. In the City of Rochester it’s also about issues of equity, cultural competency, poverty, communication and parental engagement. Rochester City School students interviewed for previous Need to Know segments have shared big dreams of not only excelling but also making a positive imprint on their community. So what ideas exist to help more students with similar stories and how does that happen in a district that maintains low academic standing and graduation rates along with many other challenges? On this edition of Need to Know, some of the “new” faces running in the Democratic Primary for Rochester City School Board help answer that question and address those issues.

​New faces and fresh perspectives prepare to take on decades-old challenges.  The fight to improve the education and lives of city school students continues as a new slate of candidates joins the race for Rochester City School Board. On this edition of Need to Know we’ll learn why they’re running and how they believe they can help.

Also on the show, it’s often referred to as “a lost art.” See how old-school letter writing is bringing together diverse demographics in our community. 

Coming up this week on Need to Know, meet the fresh and familiar faces seeking seats on the Rochester school board.  Hear what some candidates say they can bring to the table to help change schools and the lives of the students who attend them.

Also, learn how seniors and teens facing many challenges are developing a unique bond through old-school letter writing.

This summer, all the candidates in the race for Rochester mayor were invited to be a part of a special segment on Need to Know. The goal: to get to know the candidates as everyday people rather than politicians. How? By joining them as they participate in one of their favorite pastimes. First up was Democrat Rachel Barnhart followed by Green Party candidate Alex White. On this edition of Need to Know it’s Independent candidate Lori Thomas.

Here’s a stat that may surprise you. Only 12 percent of youth in Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes are getting daily physical activity. This means the majority of area youth are not getting 60 minutes a day of active time. That’s one of the stats released in a recent report by the Aspen Institute. The findings are being used by the Rochester Area Community Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to improve access to sports, among other things, for area kids. Why this matters to all area residents and what’s being done to address gaps that exist with youth sports and recreational activities on this edition of Need to Know.

Hirings and firings in the White House, continued outrage over ethics reform or a lack thereof in Albany, and a race for mayor that’s been making daily headlines as of late in Rochester. There’s no shortage of political news to discuss this week so we invited Assembly Majority Leader, Democrat Joe Morelle, to weigh in on this edition of Need to Know.