WXXI AM News

disabilities

Logo

UPDATE: Early Monday evening, the New York State Office of Children & Family Services and the NYS Health Department issued a statement rolling back the mandate for young children to wear masks. The joint statement said in part:

When COVID-19 vaccines first became available, a local doctor noticed a gap in access when it came to people with disabilities. Dr. Tiffany Pulcino and her team work with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and complex medical conditions. They set up mobile vaccine clinics throughout Rochester for their patients. So far, they have helped more than 2,000 patients receive vaccines.

This hour, we discuss the challenges the pandemic has presented for people with disabilities – from access to health care and vaccines, issues related to isolation from support systems, and more. Our guests: 

  • Tiffany Pulcino, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and medical director of the UR Medicine Complex Care Center 
  • Michelle Labossiere-Hall, associate vice president of customized support at Heritage Christian Services 
  • Stephanie Ramos, advocate and patient of Dr. Pulcino

This story is produced by WXXI's Inclusion Desk, focusing on disabilities and inclusion.

Research finds that girls with disabilities have significantly lower high school graduation rates and higher unemployment rates than their nondisabled peers. An organization called the Disability EmpowHer Network aims to provide mentoring and guidance to girls with disabilities. The goal is to "empower disabled young women to live to their fullest potential and have the confidence to lead."

Our guests share their stories of mentoring and overcoming the various obstacles facing young women with disabilities:

  • Stephanie Woodward, co-founder of the Disability EmpowHer Network
  • Jill Moore White, inclusive play specialist
  • Maddie Kasten, 14-year-old mentee

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk

We have a conversation about a number of subjects related to autism. Our guests help us understand a new screening process, how to help families navigate pandemic challenges, and how to improve police interactions with people who have autism.

Our guests:

*Dr. Hyman recommends these resources for families affected by the pandemic. More information can be found here. People interested in volunteering for URMC research related to auditory processing can email developmental_research@urmc.rochester.edu.

This conversation is part of Dialogue on Disability Week, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies, in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series.

More than 30 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), finding accessible housing remains a challenge for people with disabilities. As WXXI host and reporter April Franklin reports, many of the regulations that fall under the ADA do not apply to residential housing. That leaves the number of accessible and affordable units limited. This hour, we explore the state of accessible housing with our guests:

  • April Franklin, "Weekend Edition" host and reporter for WXXI News
  • Catherine Lewis, director of the Disability Services Office in the Department of Student Affairs at RIT
  • Stephen Beard, realtor and accessibility specialist at Keller Williams Realty in California 
  • Ericka Jones, disabled community member

This story is part of Dialogue on Disability Week, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series.

We talk with Rochester City School District Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small and Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski about the latest news from the district.

Myers-Small announced Thursday that RCSD students with disabilities who are in specialized programs will have the option of returning to the classroom in-person four days a week, beginning in January.

We discuss the plan, the surveys the district and the RTA sent to teachers, students, and families to help make the decision, and what they expect in the months ahead. Our guests:

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Until recently, Sherrodney Fulmore rode a bus to get to and from his job at Wegmans.

From his home in Rochester’s 19th Ward to the Holt Road Wegmans in Webster, the trip usually took about an hour, he said.

Fulmore rode on the Regional Transit Service’s Access buses -- the smaller shuttle-size buses that offer curb-to-curb service for people with disabilities.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Rochester area, Fulmore stopped riding the bus.

“We wanted to cut the chance of him getting sick,” said his father, Frank Fulmore.

As we've explored in recent conversations, the pandemic has posed unique challenges for people with disabilities. For adults and children with autism, stay-at-home orders and the closure of schools and support programs has led to isolation and gaps in social support.

This hour, our guests explore how caregivers and parents can help bridge those gaps, especially with the uncertainty over whether schools will reopen in the fall. Our guests: 

  • Jacob Collier, self advocate
  • Rachel Rosner, director of education and support services for AutismUp
  • Alison Steixner, parent and educator

This story is part of Move to Include, an initiative that uses the power of public media to inform and transform attitudes and behaviors about inclusion. Move to Include was founded by WXXI and the Golisano Foundation and expanded with a grant by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

WXXI News covers Governor Cuomo’s press briefing from Albany. Following that, we have a discussion about issues affecting people with disabilities – especially those pertaining to the pandemic. This week, the WXXI News team has presented a series of pieces about disparities and inclusion. It’s part of the Move to Include project, a partnership between WXXI and the Golisano Foundation.

This hour, our colleagues highlight different issues affecting people with disabilities in our community. Our guests:

  • Erin McCormack, executive producer for WXXI Public Media
  • James Brown, reporter for WXXI News

Philipe Rivera is sitting in his powered wheelchair on the Monroe County Department of Human Services campus.
Max Schulte / WXXI News

Philipe Rivera goes by "Flip." He's 34 years old and has cerebral palsy. He has a tattoo on his arm, uses a wheelchair, and communicates through a device called a DynaVox. 

"I also use a head pointer for my personal PC," Rivera said. "I cannot use my hands. I rely on people to help me with getting dressed, feeding, bathing, etc."

He's been at Monroe Community Hospital since he was 20. Before that, he lived with his mom who was struggling with substance abuse. She couldn't care for him, so he was placed in the nursing facility owned by Monroe County. He said it's never felt like a home. For 10 years, he's been trying to get out. 

Here's something you may not know: People with disabilities are not guaranteed the right to live in the community.

Pages