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Inclusion Desk

www.sunshinecampus.org

There will be no Rotary Sunshine Camp this year. Officials with the Rochester Rotary say that it was an emotional decision, but with the concerns about the coronavirus they didn’t feel it was safe to hold the summer camp in the Town of Rush as it normally does.

Tracey Dreisbach is the Executive Director for Rochester Rotary. She said it was an emotional decision to make, since so many people enjoy the camp which has a focus on providing fun for kids with disabilities.

Provided

It’s an average day in the age of COVID-19. You wake up and get ready for work, don your face mask, and head to your job as a supermarket cashier. You’re hard of hearing, and reading lips helps you pick up what your hearing device misses. But right now, the face masks that customers wear make it difficult to discern their muffled words or know whether they’re speaking at all.

the Golisano Foundation

The Golisano Foundation announced Thursday that it is distributing $426,300 in a first round of COVID-19 response grants

Just over $400,000 will go to organizations serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with urgent needs resulting from the pandemic. 

Center for Disability Rights

Many people with disabilities have been left behind during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester. 

Some senators have some ideas on how to change that. 

Gregg Beratan, the center's director of development, said that an institutional bias in funding for home- and community-based services has forced more people with disabilities into nursing facilities because certain services are only available to them there. 

File photo

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has co-written a letter to Congress calling for more protections for people with disabilities in the next coronavirus relief package.

The letter, signed by 20 senators, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, says that the public health emergency from COVID-19 has exposed a “pre-existing scarcity” of medical treatment, and available resources for those with disabilities.

The senators say people with disabilities make up about 25 percent of adults in the U.S., and are half of all Americans living in long-term poverty.

Spring is usually a time of intense training for New York's Special Olympics Summer Games in June. This year was to be particularly special, as the largest sports organization for people with intellectual and physical differences celebrates its 50th anniversary. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, Special Olympics had to get creative.


freeimages.com/ Julia Freeman-Woolpert

Imagine you’re in a busy hospital to be treated for COVID-19. The medical staff is overwhelmed, and things are happening quickly.

You are deaf or hard of hearing, there is no interpreter on hand, and your nurse or doctor is wearing a mask, so you can’t read their lips.

“You don’t want to be nodding your head about whether or not you have any allergies or something like that when you really don’t understand. You don’t want to be playing that guessing game,” said Gerard Buckley, president of RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

WXXI News and Step by Step Developmental Services

 

India Hedman’s daughter, Kaia, is sleeping. It’s Wednesday afternoon, and the 14-month-old is down for a nap.

Hedman picks her up out of her crib. Kaia’s head lolls against her mom’s shoulder. Her eyes stay closed.

“When she sleeps, she sleeps,” Hedman said.

Gabriel Ponte-Fleary/RIT

According to a national registry, only 13 percent of the more than 10,000 sign-language interpreters in the U.S. identify as people of color.

RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf is trying to change that.

About a year ago, NTID established a two-year preceptorship called the Randleman Program, which specifically addresses the need for diversity in the interpreting field. 

The program was named for Valerie Randleman, the first black interpreter in RIT's Department of Access Services.

April Franklin

Over the weekend, The Golisano Foundation, Special Olympics, and Best Buddies hosted the first-ever Festival of Inclusion at Nazareth College.

Hundreds of families attended the event to kick off this year's regional Spread the Word Inclusion campaign.

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