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Inclusion Desk

The Inclusion Desk is a multi-platform reporting effort by WXXI News to inform and transform attitudes and behavior about inclusion. The Inclusion Desk grew from the Move to Include partnership between WXXI and the Golisano Foundation. Through programming and special events, WXXI and the Golisano Foundation look to build a more inclusive community by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life.

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.

Musician redefines herself after hearing loss

Apr 4, 2018
Photo Credit: Eastman School of Music

Gaelen McCormick has been losing her hearing, to varying degrees over several years as a result of Ménière’s disease – a condition that also causes vertigo and tinnitus.

"My husband and I have a morning ritual. Wake up, and the first thing he says, is “I love you” and the next thing I can say is “I can hear you” or “I can’t hear you” – and that’s how we start our day." 

The loss of hearing was a particular challenge for McCormick because of her profession: she is a musician.

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.

WXXI News

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.

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