Inclusion Desk


Nazareth College announced today it has received the largest single gift in the school's history, $7.5 million from philanthropist and Paychex founder Tom Golisano.

It will go toward the construction of a new athletic training facility that school officials say will bring together the strengths of the college, Special Olympics and the Golisano Foundation.

Nazareth College President Daan Braveman says the Golisano Training Center will serve three purposes: it will provide an indoor track, fields, fitness areas, and training facilities.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's agency responsible for protecting the state's disabled told county prosecutors last fall that it would begin sending referrals of abuse cases to them, a move that came more than two years after it was created to fill a chronic gap in enforcement.

The Justice Center, whose suburban Albany office receives thousands of reports of alleged abuse and neglect, has its own prosecutors who have jurisdiction along with the counties' 62 district attorneys.

Special Olympics is launching a worldwide award program called the Golisano Global Health Leadership Awards. The idea is to recognize the work of individuals and organizations who are improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities.

Ann Costello is executive director of the Golisano Foundation.  She says it's important to recognize health professionals and other people who are helping serve what is an underserved population.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Among the many activities going on in this area Sunday to mark the 15th anniversary of 9/11 was a motorcycle ride sponsored by the Laddermen Firefighter Motorcycle Club.

The Laddermen's club is a collection of current and retired Rochester firefighters, and they work every 9/11 anniversary to raise money for a local charity; this year, it was for Miracle Field in Webster, an athletic field being developed for people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities has launched a multimedia campaign to encourage people to welcome individuals of all abilities.

Visitors to the agency's display in the Science and Industry Building at the State Fair near Syracuse will get a seed packet -- symbolism for planting the seeds of community inclusion.  They'll also be asked to write a welcoming message on a postcard that will be shared on social media.


A new type of baseball field broke ground Saturday afternoon in Webster.

Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester will be a multi-use field, specifically designed for individuals with physical or cognitive challenges. Amenities will include cushioned, rubber surfaces in the field, wheelchair accessible dugouts, and completely flat surfaces to eliminate any barriers in participation.

Ron Kampff, President of the Board of Directors for Challenger Baseball has been involved with the organization since 2001, and said it was about time they did something for their players.

Parents of children with autism have expressed their shock and concern after North Miami police shot a caregiver of a man with autism. Police have said that when Charles Kinsey was shot, they were trying to shoot the man with autism next to him. The officers mistook a toy truck for a gun, despite Kinsey's insistence that the man was frightened and not armed.

For parents, this is an extreme example of what happens when authorities are not trained to understand how to interact with people who have autism. From schools to police, parents want to know if proper training is happening. Our guests will discuss it:

  • Chief Michael Ciminelli, Rochester Police Department
  • Deputy Brian McCoy, Monroe County Sheriff's Department
  • Rachel Rosner, director of education and support services for AutismUp
  • Dave Whalen, director of first responder disability awareness training at Niagara University

UR Taking Dental Care on the Road

Aug 2, 2016

UR Medicine's Eastman Institute for Oral Health has unveiled its new SMILEmobile, which will bring oral care services to patients with special needs.

University of Rochester President Joel Seligman cut the ribbon on the new mobile dental unit, SMILEmobile, which unlike its three predecessors, it can be driven to those patients.

He says it will serve older adults, people with developmental disabilities and other medically complex conditions, and it will go where the needs require, as far as Watertown.

"We anticipate as many as 35 hundred visits per year," he said.

Bike Ride Emphasizes Workplace Inclusion

Jun 30, 2016
Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Riders on the 4th day of the annual Journey Along The Erie Canal Bike ride made a stop in Fairport Wednesday afternoon.

OurAbility is an organization that works to advocate for employment and workplace accessibility for those with disabilities, and has been hosting the ride for 4 years. The goal of the ride is to emphasize the ability inside everyone, from riding the Erie Canal, to finding meaningful employment.

stock photo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York is changing the high school graduation requirements for some students with disabilities. 

The policy-making Board of Regents adopted rules Tuesday that will let students earn a local diploma even if they don't pass five state Regents exams. 

The rules become effective on June 20, in time for this year's seniors. They apply to students with IEPs, or Individualized Education Programs. Disabilities covered by such programs include physical, intellectual and emotional impairments.