WXXI AM News

Inclusion Desk

Reports of sexual abuse of individuals with disabilities in New York State funded and licensed facilities will now be investigated by a newly created response team.

The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs says the establishment of the specially trained team comes at a critical time.

National Beep Baseball Association

The largest "Beep Baseball" tournament in the Northeast is being held in Rochester this weekend.

The Beast of the East tournament is for visually impaired or blind athletes, and features teams from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In Beep Baseball, the ball emits a repetitive beep as it's tossed over the plate and hit out into the field.

Matt Savage performs at Hatch Recital Hall during the first night of the 2018 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. Video by Martin Kaufman

Matt Savage is not just a musical prodigy who has become an international talent; he's one of the inspiring autism stories on the arts scene.

Savage will play two shows at the opening night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival; then he's heading off on a kind of world tour.

He joins us to discuss his talent, and how to learned to cultivate it, despite growing up without much music in the house in his early childhood. Our guests:

New look, mission for Arc of Monroe County

Jun 19, 2018
Alex Crichton

The Arc of Monroe County is announcing a rebranding initiative that involves a new mission, vision and purpose.

The organization, which supports people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, is unveiling a new logo and a new mission to create an inclusive society where the people they support may truly live integrated lives and reach their full potential.

And a new vision to provide a progressive community that welcomes diversity.

President and CEO Barbara Wale spoke at the Arc of Monroe's Lambert Campus on West Henrietta in Brighton .

Tianna Mañón/ WXXI news

Nazareth College is building a new state-of-the-art sports facility on campus that will also help promote inclusivity.

Tim Shriver, the chair of the Special Olympics, attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the event. It was a windy day on campus, which Shriver took as a good sign.

“In this country right now, the winds of change are blowing," he said. "They’re blowing here for us to remind us that we have to be the agents of that change.”

Construction has already begun on the Golisano Training Center at Nazareth College, which will host regional Special Olympics events and be used to help athletes.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Special Olympics, and Rochester’s own history with the event goes back almost as long.


John Robinson and Doug Hamlin are in the midst of what has become an annual endeavor. Partners in the firm Our Ability, they are undertaking their "Journey Along the Erie Canal." For John and Doug, who have little or no use of their legs, the 12-day, 350-mile ride is an "opportunity" to display how people with disabilities can adapt to any circumstance.


Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon brought her campaign to Rochester on Sunday, specifically to focus on the needs of the disability community.

Nixon met with a variety of  supporters, including those active in the disability community locally during her campaign stop at Ontario Beach Park.

The actress and activist who is hoping to face Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in a September primary keyed in on several points important to those with disabilities, including low wages for home health care aides.

The Reel Mind Theatre and Film Series is underway. It features films and performances that address the stigma attached to mental illness and behavior disorders, while providing messages of hope.

One of the films in this year's lineup is the documentary, Deej; it tells the story of David James Savarese, a non-speaking young man with autism. Savarese joins us in studio to share his remarkable journey and the challenges he has overcome. Plus, we get a look at what's next in the series. Our guests: 

  • Dr. Larry Guttmacher, M.D., clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and co-director of the Reel Mind Film series
  • David James Savarese, poet, co-producer of Deej, and advocate for people with autism 
  • Dr. Lori Jeanne Peloquin, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Lynne Fisher, education program administrator for NAMI-Rochester

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