Inclusion Desk


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.

Rick Guidotti | Positive Exposure

From school boards to legislative seats, on this edition of Need to Know we’re talking about the races Monroe County residents should be watching and why they matter this election season.

Also on the show, studies find that African American and Latino children are underrepresented when identifying young people with autism. We’ll learn why minority kids may be under-diagnosed and how the Rochester area is responding.

And changing societal attitudes about the image of beauty. A new photo exhibit featuring Monroe County residents with intellectual disabilities is focused on doing just that.

This is the story of a high-end fashion photographer whose life changed when, by chance, he bumped into a girl with albinism in Manhattan.

That moment changed Rick Guidotti, who went home and thought about people with genetic differences. He felt that too often, people with differences were dehumanized, treated as a disease in medical textbooks -- not as people. So he quit the fashion industry and created a new organization designed to honor beauty in all people. It's called Positive Exposure.

Starbridge Opens to the Public

Sep 30, 2015

An organization that helps people with disabilities and their families realize their goals has opened its doors to the public.

A ceremony was held this morning at Starbridge, located at the Al Sigl Community of Agencies.

The non-profit organization was formed with the merger of the Advocacy Center and LDA Life and Learning Services.

Its president and CEO, Colin Garwood, says they have a federal department of education grant to train parents on how to engage in the special education process and system, and how to be part of their child's education planning.

Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation will be honored next month with The Arc's inaugural Catalyst Awards that will be presented during The Arc's national convention in Indianapolis on October 3. 

Tom Dooley / WXXI

Before Madeline Stuart's modeling career took off, years ago when she was still a baby, her mother Roseanne says she felt really isolated.

"I didn't have any friends with disabilities. There was no one in my family that had children with disabilities. It was just her and I. And there was no information, or the information out there was quite negative."

Temple Grandin, renowned for her work in animal husbandry and in the autism community, is coming to the Finger Lakes this week. We'll talk briefly with her about her career and her desire to see teachers more engaged with how to connect to children with autism. Then we'll talk more broadly about autism, resources, and reaching kids. Our guests:

Cheryl Coppola, Vice President of Foundation and Development for CP Rochester

Lynn D'Amico, Vice President of Children's Services

Katie McGowen, Autism Coordinator

Mary Kelly, Associate Professor of Education at Hobart & William Smith

Diana Baker, Assistant Professor of Education at Hobart & William Smith


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Board of Trustees for New York's state universities has adopted a diversity policy calling for a chief diversity officer on every campus.

The new policy defines diversity to include race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, age, socio-economic status, status as a veteran, status as a student with a disability, first-generation students, international students or those transferring between colleges.

The Eastman Institute for Oral Health has been awarded $3.5 million. Sean McLaren is the Resident Director of Pediatric Dentistry at the institute. He says the money will be used to establish a special training program to bridge a critical gap between specialists.

On the one hand, pediatricians that deal with kids with developmental and intellectual disabilities are particularly good with behavior management. But as their patients get older, and their permanent teeth grow in, they have more advanced dental health needs that maybe pediatricians can't address.


It’s something many of us take for granted - easily getting around in the physical world. Access to everything from sidewalks and stairs to public transportation and local businesses can pose several barriers for individuals with disabilities. On this edition of Need to Know, host Hélène Biandudi Hofer examines these challenges for local residents and how the City of Rochester is addressing them.