WXXI AM News

Inclusion Desk

Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester

A dream that has been years in the making will become a reality Saturday for hundreds of local children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities as the ribbon is cut on the Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester.

The Webster athletic and multi-use facility has wheelchair accessible dugouts and a rubberized field surface to prevent injuries. 

We learn about two local organizations that provide recreational activities for people with disabilities: the Challenger Miracle Field and EquiCenter. Our guests share their experiences and the impact these organizations have had on our community. In studio:

  • Ron Kampff, president of Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester, and coach for the Webster Challenger Team and the Rochester BEEP Baseball Team (Rochester Pioneers)
  • Nico Santiago, Challenger player
  • Karen Werth, operations and therapeutic riding instructor for EquiCenter
  • Barbara Stickney, veteran and participant at EquiCenter

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.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

AutismUp celebrated its 5th KiteFlite celebration at Capelli Sport Stadium Sunday afternoon.

The parent founded, parent lead organization provides programs to individuals in our community with autism.

The KiteFlite parade/charity walk culminated on center field where participants formed a giant human kite for an aerial photograph illustrating the strength of the community rising up for autism.

Director of Education and Training Rachel Rosner said the kite has been the organization's logo since day one.

Beth Adams/WXXI News

Twenty Rochester area seniors with developmental and intellectual disabilities are taking part in a new program that helps them connect with their same-aged peers in the community.

iPads are giving a voice to children who cannot speak.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says students at the Cantalician Center are learning to communicate in a new way in the classroom and at home.


Relationships are one of the keys to a richer life for people with disabilities.

That was the main message from an international speaker who visited Rochester today. 

Al Condeluci has traveled the world with this message; it's something that became clear to him years ago as he observed his cousin Carrie, who had Down syndrome.

Carrie was a natural part of Condeluci's family, but she was not connected to her community at large. What she needed, he said, was more social capital.

Our Move to Include conversation expands on the recent headline: Lifetime Assistance is Expanding Independent Housing Opportunities for People with Developmental Disabilities with New Approach that will Improve Quality of Life and Cost Less.

So what exactly is changing?

We'll meet the people involved:

-Cori Piels, moving into the Frances Apartment in August.

-Karalee Piels, Cori’s mother.

-Luther St. Joy, resident of the Frances Apartment.

Hélène Biandudi Hofer, host and producer of WXXI’s weekly news and public affairs program Need to Know, was honored at the Center for Disability Rights’ (CDR) Annual Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Gala Fundraiser at the Rochester Museum and Science Center Thursday night.

Hofer received the Adele Carlson Advocacy Award in recognition of her extensive coverage on disability issues. Her coverage is part of WXXI’s on-going Move to Include initiative in partnership with the Golisano Foundation.

www2.monroecounty.gov/clerk-auto.php

It has become easier for Monroe County residents who have disabilities to navigate the sometimes frustrating process at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Reasonable accommodations can be requested when people make an online reservation for a DMV appointment at the Greece, Henrietta, and Irondequoit locations.  There is now also an option on the DMV's recorded message at (585) 753-1604 to request special accommodations for people with disabilities at another location when possible.

An international disability rights activist known for his work in native Saudi Arabia is in Rochester. Mohammed Saad joins us to talk about his work to make a variety of every day life experiences more accessible for the visually impaired, including cooking, using technology, and event photography. He's our guest for the hour. 

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