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.

Special Olympics

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is facing sharp pushback over a proposal to cut federal funding to the Special Olympics.

Celebrities, politicians and activists have taken to social media to rebuke DeVos for her plan to cut funding for the group as part of $7 billion in reductions in 2020. The organization received $17.6 million from the Education Department this year, but DeVos says it should be supported through philanthropy.

House Democrats grilled DeVos in a budget hearing Tuesday, with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., calling the cut "appalling."

New York Association on Independent Living

A task force in New York has released a report recommending ways ride-hailing services could improve access for people with wheelchairs or other mobility devices.

When legislation was authorized allowing Uber and Lyft to operate statewide, it included the Transportation Network Company (TNC) Accessibility Task Force to improve the services for people with disabilities.

ntid.rit.edu

Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf is receiving a $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

It will use the grant to transform its DeafTEC Technical Education Center for deaf and hard-of-hearing students program into a resource center with a goal of placing deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in highly skilled jobs in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

The deaf and hard-of-hearing are underrepresented in those fields, according to NTID president Gerry Buckley.

RTS

As the ReImagine RTS project moves forward, changing the way buses move through Rochester, different communities are worried how the changes will affect them.

People with disabilities say many are concerned about fixed routes and paratransit.

Fixed routes are the big buses you see out on the roads, following a single route. And under the Americans with Disabilities Act, paratransit has to exist as a supplement to this service. Within three-quarters of a mile around a fixed route, riders with disabilities can access door-to-door transportation.

Golisano Foundation

The Golisano Foundation and Special Olympics on Wednesday honored seven health care organizations and professionals who are working to bring health care services to individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo proposed an increase in pay Tuesday for special education providers who haven’t seen one in almost a decade.

Dinolfo, a Republican, said the 15 percent increase is the right amount to stave off an impending shortage of speech therapists, child psychologists, counselors for parents, and other people who work in preschool special education.

“The reason we’re being so proactive is we want to make sure that we don’t put ourselves, the county, our children, in a crisis situation,” Dinolfo said.

Autism testing now available at Arc of Monroe

Mar 11, 2019
Arc of Monroe

Autism testing is now available through the Arc of Monroe.

The testing is required for those seeking eligibility for services through the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

Jennifer Parks is a clinical assessment specialist at the Arc and one of two staff members now available for the assessment. She said the testing helps families get started on the right foot as early as possible.

We get an update on the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign, which seeks to eliminate the use of the "r" word and end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. The campaign has evolved to become "Spread the Word: Inclusion." 

Local organizers share their perspectives on the campaign's success, and discuss efforts to promote inclusion in our community. In studio:

  • Lindsay Jewett, area director for Best Buddies Rochester
  • Amy Cawley, sophomore at Webster Thomas High School and Best Buddies Chapter President
  • Rebecca Ritter, Best Buddies Global Ambassador, and student at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Jaxon Smith, senior at Nazareth College and Best Buddies Chapter President

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk

Red Wings to celebrate Deaf Culture Day in April

Mar 6, 2019
Rochester Red Wings

The Rochester Red Wings are teaming up with Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the Rochester School for the Deaf to celebrate deaf culture in April.

The Red Wings will wear specialty jerseys and caps to celebrate the day. The jerseys will feature "Red Wings" in American Sign Language across the chest, and the cap will have a hand signing an "R" on the front.

New York State has launched new, optional ID cards for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The goal is to help law enforcement and first responders better interact with people who may not be able to effectively explain the situations they are in.

The cards come with mixed reviews, especially on how effective they may be. We explore the issue with our guests. In studio:

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