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The Olympics in Pyeongchang aren’t the only ones to look out for this weekend.

The New York State Special Olympics will take place all day Saturday in venues across Rochester. Nearly 1,000 athletes and coaches will be in town to compete.

As an Honorary Chair of the winter games, Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo hosted some of the athletes in the legislature chambers Wednesday morning.

A recently passed House bill has many in the disability community speaking out.

Advocates say that the ADA Education and Reform Act would gut many provisions under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Ericka Jones is a Systems Advocate with the  Center for Disability Rights says now, when a person files a complaint about a business not being accessible, it’s reviewed and resolved fairly soon.

But this new bill would give businesses 180 days to act.

AutismUp and the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester are combining forces to provide support for families of individuals with autism or other developmental and intellectual disabilities.

The two organizations are launching a service to connect families with the support and services they will need following a diagnosis.

Malinda Ruit/WXXI News

People like Jonathan Jackson tend to have an entourage. An entourage can consist of professionals and family members who support someone with disabilities in all kinds of ways.

Often, family members do the bulk of caregiving, and as children grow up, questions arise: What will adulthood look like for them? Who will lead their future entourage? 

We’re following the adventures of composer Glenn McClure, who journeyed to Antarctica in late 2016. During an epic journey funded by the National Science Foundation, the SUNY Geneseo and Eastman professor lived in a tent on an ice shelf and worked with scientists to collect data. He is now using that data as inspiration for new music.

Take a listen:

The composer writes:

Veronica Volk/WXXI News

When Akin Johnson was nearing the end of high school, he was clear about what he wanted to do next. He wanted to get a job.

In recent years, there has been a push to get people with disabilities into the general workforce. But despite these initiatives, some students like Akin who aspire to work are running into a problem. They’re being told they’re not independent enough to make it in a work environment.

School dances, football games, scouts, and gymnastics. These are just a few noteworthy childhood memories for many. They’re also the types of activities that are more enjoyable with a friend by your side. That’s where Rochester’s Starbridge comes in.

The organization offers varied activities in school districts throughout the Rochester region through its TIES program (Together Including Every Student). TIES pairs students with developmental disabilities with peer volunteers who learn how to support participants and positively impact the lives of others. On this edition of Need to Know we learn what makes the program work from the participants themselves.

Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea has been immersed in music since her childhood. While she says her primary focus in life is on her career as a musician, it was her rise to fame after winning the 2016 NPR Tiny Desk contest when she also took on a new role - that of a disability advocate and public speaker.  During a recent concert in Rochester at Nazareth College, Lea told Need to Know that the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in the arts has given her a new stage to share a powerful message.

A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. That’s how Oxford Dictionaries defines “stigma.” And it’s that word, stigma, that continues to generate stereotypes and myths about the developmental disease, autism. According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. There are people right here in our community working daily to educate, enlighten and destigmatize autism and a few of them join us on this edition of Need to Know.

We conclude our Dialogue on Disability Week with a conversation about "invisible" disabilities. Our guests share the challenges they face living with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. In studio:

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