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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.

freeimages.com/Anissa Thompson

It won't be a holiday weekend of rest or relaxation for many local parents of children who have disabilities.

Nearly 200 families with special needs kids are working quickly with state agencies and local  providers to find daycare, preschool, and after school programs for their children following the abrupt closure of Stepping Stones Learning Center on Thursday.

Spectrum News

The sudden closing  of a daycare and classroom operation in Irondequoit is causing concern for hundreds of local families.

Parents with children who attend Stepping Stones Learning Center learned on Wednesday that the Irondequoit facility will close on Friday. But then on Thursday,  the facility reportedly told parents the daycare would close Thursday and would not be available on Friday.

There was a meeting for staff and families on Thursday evening.

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.

Eastman Dental celebrating 100 years

Jun 9, 2017
urmc.rochester.edu/dentistry/centennial.aspx

The Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health is celebrating 100 years since George Eastman opened his first dental dispensary in the city of Rochester.

"Rochester was the first place, but then he opened additional dispensaries in Europe, in London, in Rome, in Brussels, in Stockholm and in Paris," said Dr. Eli Eliav, director of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health.

Eliav says there weren't many philanthropists that supported dentistry the way Eastman did.

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.”

Artist Laural Hartman recently invited WXXI into her studio. As we know with art, there’s generally a deeper meaning behind a painting, drawing or sculpture. With Hartman’s work, we’re awakened to a life experience with several layers - some of which resonate with many of us and others we’ve never encountered until now.

Hartman, also a faculty member at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf joins Tabitha Jacques, Director of the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center at RIT to explain what mainstream museums may not understand about the specialty of deaf art.

While the American Health Care Act is being considered by Congress, local disability rights advocates are taking action. They’re calling on President Trump to support the Disability Integration Act (DIA). They’re also calling for people with disabilities to have a voice in the health care reform debate. One of those advocates who recently traveled to Washington is Ericka Jones of the Center for Disability Rights.

Jones joined a demonstration outside the White House which led to more than 80 arrests according to the disability rights group ADAPT. She explains the potential impact of the DIA on all sectors of the community.

School districts throughout Rochester are battling a storm of unknowns. The federal health care bill which is a repeal of the Affordable Care Act is calling for $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next ten years. Why does that matter to public school districts? It ultimately affects services delivered to some of their most vulnerable students - those in special education.

Susan Hetherington – director of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities at the University of Rochester - explains some of the potential implications of the health care bill for students.

This story is from WXXI's  Inclusion Desk, part of our Move to Include partnership between WXXI and the Golisano Foundation designed to promote inclusion for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

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