Inclusion Desk


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An ex-lawmaker has established a foundation building a software application for families and caregivers with information about rights and resources for developmentally disabled New Yorkers.

Retired Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, whose disabled son Ricky lives in a state-supported residence, says he still hears from people seeking information.

The nonprofit Harvey and Ellen Weisenberg Special Needs Resource Corp. is accepting tax-deductible donations to build it.

If you use hearing aids or have cochlear implants equipped with what's called a "T" coil, you can now use them at Wegmans.

Induction hearing loops have been in performance halls, churches and movie theatres for years, but Wegmans spokesperson Jo Natale told WXXI they haven't been used much in stores yet.

"You have hearing loss, and you're wearing a hearing aid that has a tele-coil, you can hear the cashier speaking to you much more clearly, if there's a hearing induction loop installed at that location,” said Natale.


If you remember J-Mac's big basketball game at Greece Athena, do you realize it's been ten years?

"I've gone from somebody that's an ordinary autistic kid to somebody who's inspired others."

On Tuesday, Jason MacElwain and his coach Jim Johnson announced a February 11 fundraiser for the growing local support group Autism Up.

"It's just been a wonderful, wonderful ten years and it's just unbelievable," said MacElwain.

The Al Sigl Community of Agencies is going to receive a $3 million gift from local philanthropist and entrepreneur Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation. That is the largest gift Al Sigl has ever received from a living donor.

Al Sigl is a network of organizations that serves more than 55,000 children and adults with special needs. Officials say that $3 million commitment will fund improvements to the Al Sigl campus on Elmwood Avenue.


Jon Schull is transforming lives for young people in need of limbs. The RIT research scientist is the founder of e-NABLE, an organization that uses 3-D printing to create limbs for children at no cost. While kids would outgrow traditional prosthetic arms that cost around $40,000, e-NABLE can make them for less than $20 each. Watch Schull’s Innovation Trail story from PBS NewsHour.

(Video after the jump)


ALBANY (AP) Several New York state lawmakers raised concerns Tuesday about federal and state policies to move more disabled people from institutions to community residences and managed care for medical treatment.

The state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities currently supports 38,000 New Yorkers in residences and 80,000 with day services. It has about 400 people in institutional settings, a total the agency plans to reduce to 150, Deputy Commissioner Helen DeSanto told lawmakers.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Jerremy Lorch was flying to Vancouver to present a paper at a conference. When he was turned away from his flight, he called his wife to come pick him up.

"When I got to the airport, and he got to the car, he explained that, there was no problem with the planes, they just wouldn't let me on the plane. And I went through a mix of emotions, first, my heart just broke for him."

Lorch is a wheelchair user, and his lawyer says when he told the staff he would need assistance boarding the plane, they did not know how to accommodate him.

The Golisano Foundation

The Golisano Foundation Thursday night presented its first-ever Move to Include Awards at the George Eastman Museum.

It's appropriate the awards handed out to six people happened at that venue, because that is where a new exhibit by photographer Rick Guidotti is going on right now. It's called Positive Exposure, and it features portraits of people with intellectual disabilities.

At Monroe Community College, a conference called Safe at Home aims to help reduce injuries for people with developmental disabilities.

Molly Clifford is the executive director of Community Health Strategies. She says, more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are moving out on their own.

"The trend in the disabilities community now is for people to live in the most integrated setting possible, so there has been a huge sea change in the way people with disabilities are living."

The Golisano Foundation will present its first-ever Move to Include Awards next week.

The foundation is dedicated to helping people with intellectual disabilities, and officials say the awards are being given in the hope that the understanding of "include" can be demonstrated at the highest levels of human behavior.