WXXI AM News

Inclusion Desk

The Inclusion Desk is a multi-platform reporting effort by WXXI News to inform and transform attitudes and behavior about inclusion. The Inclusion Desk grew from the Move to Include partnership between WXXI and the Golisano Foundation. Through programming and special events, WXXI and the Golisano Foundation look to build a more inclusive community by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life.

There are several unanswered questions about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act - including what it means for special education students. As the new health bill stands right now - it would cut assistance to children in special ed. We’ll break down the potential changes.

Plus, you'll experience a world unfamiliar to many through the lens of deaf artists. Learn how local talent is awakening our understanding of their lives through their work.

Area lawmakers gathered at the Gates Chili High School field house Thursday to announce $200,000 in state funds to help expand Unified Champion Schools.

That's a program that brings together students with and without intellectual disabilities through education, sports and youth leadership.

It promotes inclusion through shared sport training and competition experiences.

Neal Johnson is the president and CEO of Special Olympics-New York.   He says this program can help battle issues like bullying and harassment.

Golisano Autism Center to be built in Rochester

May 16, 2017

Several agencies are working together on a new facility to provide comprehensive services for the more than 10,000 people diagnosed with autism in the Greater Rochester and surrounding area.

The Al Sigl Community of Agencies, along with the Mary Cariola Center, AutismUp and CP Rochester are collaborating on the new Golisano Autism Center to serve the greater Rochester region.

gigisplayhouse.org/rochester

GiGi’s Playhouse, a nationwide network of Down syndrome achievement centers is opening its 32nd location in Rochester.

The concept was started in Chicago by Nancy Gianni who named the organization after her daughter who was born with Down syndrome in 2003.

Chris Tumminelli is on the board for the Rochester location, and said as a father of a son with Down syndrome, spaces like these are vital.

Dozens of people from Rochester took part in Monday’s Boston Marathon, but perhaps none were as thrilled to take part in the race as two women, Marie Boudreau-Ninkov  of Brighton and Onni Peck of Fairport.

Peck suffers from a progressive neuromuscular disease and she sat in a specially designed buggy pushed by Boudreau-Ninkov.

The Brighton woman has run several Boston Marathons, but she says nothing compares to this experience.

tippingpointmedia.com

The Arc of Monroe County held an annual event that celebrates people with developmental disabilities and their willingness and ability to get jobs within the community.

Around 100 business leaders and hiring managers attended the event, which is designed to cultivate a diverse workforce.

The Arc of Monroe's Job Path program is the region's oldest and largest training and placement service for individuals with disabilities, according to Arc CEO Barbara Wale.

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:

Karen Shakerdge/WXXI

One disability rights activist says that often people are too quick to assume someone with a disability can’t make their own decisions. Emily Ladau, a writer and editor in chief of the Rooted in Rights blog, visited Rochester recently to raise awareness about a different way of thinking called self-direction.

rochesteraccessibleadventures.org

An organization in Rochester is working to establish real time access to recreation and sports for people with disabilities.

Rochester Accessible Adventures is about a year old, and Executive Director Anita O’Brien says their mission is to train recreational businesses to offer their services to everyone.

"I love the idea of adventure and that each person is able to choose what that means to them in life. Particularly in RAA it really is focused on recreation, active healthy lifestyle opportunities."

Beth Adams/WXXI News

Starting last summer, law enforcement officers across Monroe County received special training to improve their communication and interactions with individuals who are on the autism spectrum.

Now, the Monroe County Association of Chiefs of Police is asking the public to help in this effort by making it easier for police to identify people who have autism.

Individuals with autism and families who have a member on the autism spectrum are asked to put an autism awareness magnet on the left rear side of their vehicle.

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