WXXI AM News

Inclusion Desk

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.

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? 

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.

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.

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:

freeimages.com/Jos van Galen

Some 2,000 Rochester area residents with disabilities are in need of housing.

And that number only reflects individuals who get services through one state agency, the New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities.  The overall need for affordable, accessible housing is even greater.

This has always been an issue, but it's become a bigger problem in recent years, as more people are interested in living independently.

Pages