Sasha-Ann Simons/Innovation Trail

Between 60 – 70 percent of people living with autism in America are unemployed, And we’ll touch base with families who are working to support people with autism and look at local programs aimed at getting people on the spectrum into meaningful employment. We’ll also speak with a former director of the California State Labor Department, Michael Bernick about the Autism Job Club and six strategies that could reshape employment for adults with autism.  

(WATCH: Innovation Trail report below)

Coming Up On Connections: Innovation Friday, April 24th

Apr 24, 2015

Hour One: A slight departure from the usual Innovation Friday topics to acknowledge a major anniversary related to America’s involvement in the war in Vietnam.

In 1975, 2700 Vietnamese babies and children were evacuated to the US mainland in Operation Babylift. Another 1300 went to Canada, Australia and Europe.

40 years later we speak with some of those adoptees about their lives, and with adoptive parents and veterans who were involved in this major turning point.

The co-directors of Nazareth College’s Specialty Program in Autism have some new approaches to helping people.

Associate Professor Shanna Jamanis and Assistant Professor Dawn Vogler-Elias were guests Wednesday on Connections with Evan Dawson.

Among the practices Jamanis says are occurring, is how people will describe themselves as “living with autism,” rather than saying they are “autistic.”

In this hour, we talk with Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini. He'll talk about his surprise surge against Louise Slaughter, the status of the ballot counting, and what this means for his political future if he can't make up the difference.

Hosted today by Matthew Leonard and Michelle Faust.


Update on New York Ebola case with Dr Peter Salgo, host of Second Opinion and practicing physician at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC

Jeanne Pinder, ex New York Times journalist and founder of Clear Health Costs, a startup that is compiling some revealing data about the real costs of healthcare. Share your story.


Last Wednesday on Connections, the supervisor of the drug section in the Monroe County Crime Laboratory warned about a new drug trend. Jim Wesley told us that heroin is back in big numbers, but perhaps even more concerning is the new composition of heroin. 

His warning came just four days before actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead with a needle in his arm and bags of heroin on the floor.

Monday on Connections, we discussed the suicide of inventor Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt and the ramifications for the transgender community.

ESPN’s Grantland.com ran a story about Dr. V earlier this month; she committed suicide after the ESPN writer uncovered her transgender status and said he would write about it.

Connections host Evan Dawson said it was the most powerful moment of the week.

A woman who identified herself as "Janet" broke down during a call to Connections on Wednesday while describing the shame she feels simply for being on Medicaid. She called the show to ask about transportation options available for her son and for herself, because she is physically disabled and her son is also dealing with disabilities. In discussing her background, she said she feels shame, and then became emotional as she said, "It's like you don't feel right out there, because people look at you as wanting a handout. It does not feel right when you feel yourself that way. It's just not right." Later she explained, "You feel like you're worthless."

Listen to the call between Janet and host Evan Dawson here: 

Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, January 22nd

Jan 22, 2014
University of Rochester

12 Noon: The future of corrective eye surgery: Fixing our eyes without cutting the cornea

1pm: Livable communities: Where we're succeeding, and where we're failing.

Connections starts at Noon on AM 1370 and streamed online by clicking the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page. Be part of the show by calling 585-263-WXXI (9994), or sending a message via FacebookTwitter, or email.

12 Noon: We'll discuss minimum wage: where is it headed? New York recently raised the minimum wage to $8/hr; federal Democrats want $10.10/hr with the wage linked to inflation.

We will have two guests in studio: State Senator Ted O’Brien, who favors an even more aggressive schedule in raising the minimum wage, and Kent Gardner, Chief Economist with the Center for Governmental Research, who will provide evidence that there are negative consequences linked to Senator O’Brien’s proposals. Gardner will also offer  alternative ways to impact workers near the poverty level.

1 p.m.: Dialogue on Disability week kicks off with a look at new hiring rules that are coming in 2015. What do employers need to know? How should businesses go about interviewing job candidates who are blind, deaf, or have other limitations? How can job applicants with such limitations overcome the stigmas that abound?

We will have two guests in studio: Marie MacGregor, director of human resources for Rochester Rehabilitation, and Sara Taylor, director of employment services at Rochester Rehabilitation.