WXXI AM News

Inclusion Desk

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The state Assembly plans to hold a public hearing to examine the adequacy of support and services for disabled New Yorkers.

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, who chairs the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, says they'll take testimony Tuesday on how effective New York's efforts have been at ensuring people with disabilities are effectively integrated into society and their needs met.

In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead decision called for integration appropriate with individual needs, followed by New York's implementation plan.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Jerremy Lorch was flying to Vancouver to present a paper at a conference. When he was turned away from his flight, he called his wife to come pick him up.

"When I got to the airport, and he got to the car, he explained that, there was no problem with the planes, they just wouldn't let me on the plane. And I went through a mix of emotions, first, my heart just broke for him."

Lorch is a wheelchair user, and his lawyer says when he told the staff he would need assistance boarding the plane, they did not know how to accommodate him.

The Golisano Foundation

The Golisano Foundation Thursday night presented its first-ever Move to Include Awards at the George Eastman Museum.

It's appropriate the awards handed out to six people happened at that venue, because that is where a new exhibit by photographer Rick Guidotti is going on right now. It's called Positive Exposure, and it features portraits of people with intellectual disabilities.

At Monroe Community College, a conference called Safe at Home aims to help reduce injuries for people with developmental disabilities.

Molly Clifford is the executive director of Community Health Strategies. She says, more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are moving out on their own.

"The trend in the disabilities community now is for people to live in the most integrated setting possible, so there has been a huge sea change in the way people with disabilities are living."

The Golisano Foundation will present its first-ever Move to Include Awards next week.

The foundation is dedicated to helping people with intellectual disabilities, and officials say the awards are being given in the hope that the understanding of "include" can be demonstrated at the highest levels of human behavior.

Rick Guidotti | Positive Exposure

A human movement to see beauty in human diversity. That’s how internationally renowned photographer Rick Guidotti describes the work of a photo exhibition at Rochester’s George Eastman Museum. It’s called Positive Exposure and it includes fifty portraits of individuals with genetic, physical, cognitive, and behavioral differences. Visitors may even recognize some of the faces. Twenty portraits are of Rochester area residents with intellectual disabilities. On this edition of Need to Know we learn more about the exhibit, commissioned by the Golisano Foundation, which is focused on celebrating differences and changing perspectives.

Ana Casserly

On this edition of Need to Know we examine autism spectrum disorder which affects one in 68 children with boys being five times more likely to have the disorder. African-American and Latino children with autism tend to be diagnosed later in life than Caucasian kids.  The difference can be as great as two or three years which can cause them to miss out on important early intervention. Nationally, researchers are looking at ways to offer better care in under-served communities. One proposed project is trying to reduce that disparity by providing support services for families when the first signs of autism are recognized. Need to Know’s Sasha-Ann Simons reports.

The leading braille authority in the country has voted to adopt a new braille code, the first change to braille in the US in decades, but the New York State Education department has yet to develop a plan to implement it. As a result, instructors are bearing the brunt of the responsibility to teach their blind students.

The Arc-Catalyst Awards

A national organization that advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has honored Rochester entrepreneur and philanthropist  Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation with its first-ever “Catalyst” award.  It was one of 7 awards given out by The Arc in Indianapolis on Monday.

ANA CASSERLY

Autism spectrum disorder, better known as autism, is a condition where an individual struggles to engage in two-way communication, especially in social situations. 

There is no "cure" for autism, and the cause may come down to hundreds of interacting factors, but we do know it is critical for people with autism to get the earliest possible diagnosis and get access to appropriate educational and medical resources.

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