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Andrea Francis

A 24-hour helpline for Rochester-area families with children on the autism spectrum will be place by July 1. It's one of the responses advocates say is needed after the death of Trevyan Rowe.

The 14-year-old, whose family said he had autism, died in the Genesee River after walking away from School 12 in March.

“As the parent of children with autism, that story really hit home hard,” said Andrea Francis of Farmington. “I think the community is still shaken up over it.”

arcmonroe.org

The Arc of Monroe County is accepting applications for its Adult Project SEARCH program, which prepares adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for employment.

Kayt Davidson is director of transition services with Job Path at the Arc of Monroe.

She says the program focuses on employment readiness.

Provided

Editor's note: Parents are outraged at the apparent mismanagement of special education in the Rochester City School District. In the second of two stories about the district's special education program, the recent budget proposal aims to address some of parents' concerns, but some worry it doesn't go far enough.

In a lot of ways, this year’s school budget is like any other year. Almost $1 billion spread out across 53 schools and almost 30,000 kids. Positions added, positions cut, a deficit that needs balancing.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Editor's note: The tragic death of a Rochester School District special education student who wandered away from his school unnoticed stunned and outraged the community. In the first of two stories about the district's special education program, parents of students with disabilities are calling for changes.

The Rev. Marilyn Cunningham is pastor of Graves Memorial CME Church in Rochester. She’s also a mother and grandmother.

Tianna Manon/WXXI News

Staff at the Mary Cariola Children’s Center school say emergencies can be particularly scary for young people with autism. The center specializes in working with young people who have disabilities and on Thursday, teacher Denina Williams Goings organized a Sensory Friendly First Responders Event to help the students get more comfortable with emergency responders and their equipment. 

The Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester has received a significant grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation.

Just over $487,000 will go towards the construction and operation of their inclusive complex in Webster, which makes sports more accessible for children with disabilities.

President of the Board of Directors for Challenger Miracle Field, Ron Kampff says part of that money will go towards phase two of the field’s buildout.

AutismUp.org

April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. A local advocate says most people are aware of the condition, with one in 68 children getting the diagnosis.

But Rachel Rosner, director of education for AutismUp, says there's still room for improvement on the acceptance part.

Rosner hopes people can move closer to understanding and respecting the rights of those on the autism spectrum to live and thrive in their communities.

For 10 years Rochester has joined communities around the country to help do one thing: put an end to a word individuals with disabilities call offensive and derogatory - the R-word - meaning “retard” or “retarded.” It’s all part of an initiative spearheaded by the Golisano Foundation called: Spread the Word to End the Word. It’s linked to a national campaign launched by Special Olympics and Best Buddies. On this edition of Need to Know, we discuss the damaging impact of a word gone wrong.

Annual campaign to end the "R-Word" underway

Mar 7, 2018
Alex Crichton

Monroe County, the town of Irondequoit, the city of Rochester and the state of New York all marked Wednesday, March 7, as “Spread the Word to End the R-Word," day, an effort led locally by the Golisano Foundation.

That R-Word is "retard" or "retarded," considered offensive and derogatory to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to Evalyn Gleason, grants coordinator for the Golisano Foundation.

WXXI News

Thousands of athletes participated in the Special Olympics New York State Winter Games Saturday.

The second floor of the convention center was packed with volunteer’s coaches and athletes getting ready for a full day of floor hockey.

Teams from all around the state made the trip to participate. Andy Watson was with his team from Brooklyn, he’s been coaching for over 30 years. He talked about what being a part of the Special Olympics means to him.

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