WXXI AM News

Inclusion Desk

Hélène Biandudi Hofer, host and producer of WXXI’s weekly news and public affairs program Need to Know, was honored at the Center for Disability Rights’ (CDR) Annual Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Gala Fundraiser at the Rochester Museum and Science Center Thursday night.

Hofer received the Adele Carlson Advocacy Award in recognition of her extensive coverage on disability issues. Her coverage is part of WXXI’s on-going Move to Include initiative in partnership with the Golisano Foundation.

www2.monroecounty.gov/clerk-auto.php

It has become easier for Monroe County residents who have disabilities to navigate the sometimes frustrating process at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Reasonable accommodations can be requested when people make an online reservation for a DMV appointment at the Greece, Henrietta, and Irondequoit locations.  There is now also an option on the DMV's recorded message at (585) 753-1604 to request special accommodations for people with disabilities at another location when possible.

An international disability rights activist known for his work in native Saudi Arabia is in Rochester. Mohammed Saad joins us to talk about his work to make a variety of every day life experiences more accessible for the visually impaired, including cooking, using technology, and event photography. He's our guest for the hour. 

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Two area lawmakers brought a number of service providers and other agencies together Friday in an effort to help the families impacted by the sudden closure of a local daycare operation.

It’s now estimated that more than 150 families were affected by last week’s closing of the Stepping Stones Learning Center, an Irondequoit daycare that provided daycare and classroom instruction for a number of children, many of them with developmental disabilities.

Denise Young/WXXI News

Like most teenage boys, Johnny Berg loves music and electronics of all types.

But every year, as summer nears, Johnny straps on a helmet and becomes a Super Kid.

Johnny is among the young competitors in the Greater Rochester Soap Box Derby who love getting in their cars every year and letting gravity speed them down the hill on Lakeshore Boulevard.

Tammi and John Berg decided to get their 17-year-old son involved in the derby’s Super Kids program in 2014.

Scott Pitoniak

Children from across the greater Rochester area poured onto Frontier Field Saturday for the 25th annual Challenger Baseball Little League World Series.

The league enables kids ages 6 to 18 who have mental and physical disabilities to play the game with the help of on-field buddies – other children and adults who guide them at bat, around the bases, and in the outfield.

Click on the LISTEN link above to learn more about how the league and World Series were started and about the players who look forward to participating every summer.

Colleen Flanagan

About 20 Rochester area disability rights activists were arrested in Washington, D.C. Thursday as they protested the U.S. Senate's health care bill.

The disability organization ADAPT staged a "die-in" at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office to protest proposed cuts to Medicaid.

Stephanie Woodward, director of advocacy for the Center for Disability Rights, said she and 19 other Rochester protesters were removed from the Senate Office Building and held by Capitol police for about nine hours.

There's a lot going on in the local autism community: The U of R has the brand-new Levine Autism Clinic. On South Avenue, there are plans for the new Golisano Autism Center. And this weekend, national experts will be in town to give talks, run workshops, and help lead a conference on autism. So what does the latest research tell us? Our guests:

  • Suzannah Iadarola, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital
  • Chris Hilton, mother, and finance and operations director for AutismUp
  • Terrie Meyn, COO of CP Rochester

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.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Area law enforcement agencies joined dozens of Special Olympics athletes on Friday for a torch run from Gates Town Hall to Downtown Rochester.

The event raises money for Special Olympics, and that’s something that participants like Kenny Moriarty of Rochester really appreciate.

“It’s incredible, the flames and the running, you’re doing the exercise.” Moriarty also told WXXI News he really appreciates “the sponsors and all the thanks and all the help we get.”

The repeal of the Affordable Care Act could have some unintended consequences on the most vulnerable: children with disabilities. On this special Move to Include edition of Need to Know we’ll learn how special education in our public schools may see unbearable funding cuts.

Also on the show, some local disability rights advocates were recently detained outside the White House. We’ll discuss what they’re calling on President Trump to do and if he’s responded.

And a complex journey for a local artist unfolds on canvas. How local talent is awakening our understanding of deaf culture through art.

Move to Include and the Inclusion Desk is a partnership between WXXI and the Golisano Foundation designed to promote inclusion for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

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