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.

(This is Part 2 of a two-part report. Read the full piece here.)

On the surface, the PS 177 Technology Band looks like a typical high school orchestra. But there are two big differences. First, while they use traditional instruments, they also play iPads. And all of the band members have disabilities. Some have autism spectrum disorders.

"I'm Tobi Lakes. I'm 15 years old. I'm in ninth grade. I'm four grades away from college."

There's a steady stream of hype surrounding the pluses and pitfalls of classroom tablet computers. But for a growing number of special education students tablets and their apps are proving transformative. The tablets aren't merely novel and fun. With guidance from creative teachers, they are helping to deepen engagement, communication, and creativity.

Sterz: Sound is always something I’m working with, whether it be a vacuum, or a bird’s nest, or anything like that.

That’s the artist who goes by the name of Sterz, and the reason he’s speaking in this halting way is…

Sterz: In 1998, I had a stroke. And I just didn’t get upset about it. It’s what it is.  And I’ve carried (?) on from there until now.

Since then, Sterz has spent a lot of time getting checkups via Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI. After 15 years of undergoing these very loud tests, he asked to record one:

urmc.rochester.edu

New research from the University of Rochester Medical Center describes how exposure to air pollution early in life produces harmful changes in the brains of mice, including an enlargement of part of the brain that is seen in humans who have autism and schizophrenia.  

The changes occurred predominately in males.  The mice also performed poorly in tests of short-term memory, learning ability, and impulsivity.

The second annual Effective Access Technology Conference will bring together experts to share ideas and innovative solutions to the challenges in applying technology to improve access for people with a variety of disabilities. From injured veterans to the elderly to people with other challenges, there are a wide range of applications. We talk about this with our guests:

homesteadsforhope.org

As she tries to get help for her autistic brother, a Rochester area woman is working on a plan she hopes will eventually help other people with intellectual disabilities as well as area veterans.

24 year old Jennyrae Brongo says the idea happened when she had to take over a family contracting business after her dad died. At the same time, Brongo was looking for a way to help her 23 year old brother Chucky, whose autism has involved episodes where he injures himself.

Nazareth College

Nazareth College is getting a gift of $100,000 from the Golisano Foundation to support the construction of the new Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute at Nazareth.

Golisano Foundation Director Ann Costello said that the foundation cannot fulfill its mission to improve care and supportive services for people with intellectual disabilities unless they have organizations that can partner with them to impact change.

bbc.co.uk

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would change the traditional picture on "handicapped accessible" signs and remove the word "handicapped."

The new symbol shows a person in a wheelchair in forward motion.

Nancy Steinkamp, director of physical rehabilitation for Rochester Rehabilitation, an Al Sigl agency, says the change is a good idea, as long as people get the message the sign is trying to send. “That people who have disabilities are very active and involved and want to be portrayed as such. In many settings, they are beginning to be portrayed as such."

Special Olympics, the Golisano Foundation and dentists from The Eastman Institute for Oral Health are teaming up on Saturday to help people with intellectual disabilities. It's only the second time in the nation that a program like this has been done.

It's called "A Day for Special Smiles" and more than 20 Special Olympics athletes will get dental treatment, free of charge. It will take place at an Eastman Dental facility in the Sibley building in Rochester on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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