WXXI AM News

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.

urmc.rochester.edu

New research from the University of Rochester Medical Center describes how exposure to air pollution early in life produces harmful changes in the brains of mice, including an enlargement of part of the brain that is seen in humans who have autism and schizophrenia.  

The changes occurred predominately in males.  The mice also performed poorly in tests of short-term memory, learning ability, and impulsivity.

The second annual Effective Access Technology Conference will bring together experts to share ideas and innovative solutions to the challenges in applying technology to improve access for people with a variety of disabilities. From injured veterans to the elderly to people with other challenges, there are a wide range of applications. We talk about this with our guests:

homesteadsforhope.org

As she tries to get help for her autistic brother, a Rochester area woman is working on a plan she hopes will eventually help other people with intellectual disabilities as well as area veterans.

24 year old Jennyrae Brongo says the idea happened when she had to take over a family contracting business after her dad died. At the same time, Brongo was looking for a way to help her 23 year old brother Chucky, whose autism has involved episodes where he injures himself.

Nazareth College

Nazareth College is getting a gift of $100,000 from the Golisano Foundation to support the construction of the new Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute at Nazareth.

Golisano Foundation Director Ann Costello said that the foundation cannot fulfill its mission to improve care and supportive services for people with intellectual disabilities unless they have organizations that can partner with them to impact change.

bbc.co.uk

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would change the traditional picture on "handicapped accessible" signs and remove the word "handicapped."

The new symbol shows a person in a wheelchair in forward motion.

Nancy Steinkamp, director of physical rehabilitation for Rochester Rehabilitation, an Al Sigl agency, says the change is a good idea, as long as people get the message the sign is trying to send. “That people who have disabilities are very active and involved and want to be portrayed as such. In many settings, they are beginning to be portrayed as such."

Special Olympics, the Golisano Foundation and dentists from The Eastman Institute for Oral Health are teaming up on Saturday to help people with intellectual disabilities. It's only the second time in the nation that a program like this has been done.

It's called "A Day for Special Smiles" and more than 20 Special Olympics athletes will get dental treatment, free of charge. It will take place at an Eastman Dental facility in the Sibley building in Rochester on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Damage to the brain and the nervous system, headaches, hearing loss and other illnesses can all be caused by lead poisoning. On this edition of Need to Know Rochester we look at new stats in the Greater Rochester community on this preventable disease. Also on the show – from a body bag to a stage sharing his story around the country. We’ll learn about local man Fantastic Frank Johnson’s journey to turn disability into ability and his hope of inspiring millions in the process. And NPR’s Michele Norris makes a stop in Rochester to give us a peek into America’s views about race through her Race Card Project.

Former Rochester Councilwoman Ruth Scott  talks about her memoir; 

In the second half-hour, AutisumUp is here to talk about new, higher autism prevalence rates. They preview their annual gala, and talk about new approaches.

Guests include:  Sarah Milko and Jennae Moran of AutisumUp, and Lynn Cole of the Kirch Center at Strong.  

The employment rate for people with disabilities is 20%. That's it. But for those who are part of Project SEARCH, it's 87%. How does it work? Who is benefiting? We'll meet some success stories and learn how local businesses can get involved. 

Guests include: 

·         Julie Christensen, director of employment programs at the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities at the University of Rochester Medical Center

·         Gabrielle Brandenberg, employment specialist (job coach) from Arc of Monroe

·         Sam Kastner, a Project SEARCH student who is seeking employment

·         Ernestine Garries, a former Project SEARCH student in the same class as Sam but who was snapped up by URMC’s Environmental Services department before graduating

·         Linda Schmitt, nurse manager for the 6-3400 at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital, with whom Sam is currently an intern.

A number of local organizations are trying to change the way that people with intellectual and physical disabilities are perceived. Officials with these groups realize there are some longstanding assumptions that have to be challenged.

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