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.

Rochester's autism support organization AutismUp is collaborating with Darkness to Light.

Darkness to Light, or D2L, has already partnered with multiple organizations throughout Monroe County, like Bivona Child Advocacy Center, to bring child sexual abuse prevention training to parents and people who work with children.

Autism Awareness Month

Apr 2, 2015
Alex Crichton

Autism spectrum disorder affects about 1 in 68 children now, but health officials are emphasizing that while there's no one known cause, it can be diagnosed and treated.

Dr. Susan Hyman is professor of pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital and Division Chief of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

She and staff members were answering questions about autism at an information table set up at the hospital.

Dr. Hyman says they've been working hard to make parents, teachers and other health care professionals aware of the warning signs.

Ryan Delaney/WRVO

It takes several tries for the medical transport van to back up the snow-covered driveway and onto the frozen front yard. The tires spin in the snow, which crunches in the cold air. The van has to get close enough for the ramp that slides out the back to bridge the gap from the van to the porch, rising over the three steps to the door.

Sasha-Ann Simons / The Innovation Trail

Jensen Caraballo has spinal muscular atrophy type 2, and he's used a wheelchair since he was a kid. He's also on a fixed income.

Though Rochester, New York often ranks high on lists of cities with the most affordable housing in the United States, for Caraballo, affordability isn't his only criteria.

"You know, if they're accessible there just not affordable and if they're affordable there just not integrated with everyone else.”

Ryan Delaney/WRVO

Maureen MacGregor / WXXI

Outside Michelle Fridley's apartment building, mounds of snow line the perimeter of the parking lot. At least the curb ramp on her sidewalk is clear today, though that’s not always the case.

"For a week I was having a really hard time being about to leave here. It wasn't even just the snow. It was -- someone parked in my curb cut."

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI

“There aren’t many accessible homes for people with disabilities. And when they are accessible, they’re usually too expensive or segregated,” says 24-year-old wheelchair user, Jensen Caraballo.

It’s been 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act established a mandate that five percent of all federally assisted housing developments must be accessible for persons with mobility disabilities.

Reporting in upstate New York from Innovation Trail reporters indicates that many New Yorkers living with disabilities still face challenges accessing services and difficult choices balancing quality of life and affordability.

(Videos after the jump)

Illusionist Adds Magic to Physical Therapy

Mar 19, 2015
spencersmagic.com

Kevin Spencer is an illusionist who has performed on stages across the world.

Following a serious car crash years ago, he woke from a coma and began a long, arduous process of physical therapy. Spencer was bored with the process and didn’t understand how it was helping him get better.

That’s when he developed the Healing of Magic program, which incorporates magic tricks into traditional occupational and physical therapy.

Click on the audio link above to hear Kevin Spencer describe how this works.

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