Inclusion Desk

Cell Phone Inventor at U of R's Hajim Design Day

Apr 28, 2016
Alex Crichton

The man who invented the cell phone says he expected his idea would catch on someday, but he never expected to see what's happening now.

Martin Cooper visited the University of Rochester during the annual Hajim Design Day, where senior engineering students put their inventions and devices on display.

Cooper says the fundamental idea behind cellular telephony came from Bell Laboratories in 1947. 

And its parent company AT&T decided to make car telephones. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York State has made $3 million available to help people with disabilities get air conditioning. 

To qualify, households must meet income guidelines and include someone who suffers from a health problem that gets worse with heat

Applicants must submit written and signed medical documents saying they need air conditioning. 

More than 4,100 households received assistance for air conditioning last summer. Western New York had the majority of those households: 1,782. 

The Board of Trustees of the Al Sigl Community of Agencies has named a new president. Thomas O'Connor will fill that role, effective in June, replacing Dan Meyers who is retiring after 30 years with the organization.

O'Connor is a Rochester native who joined Al Sigl in 2008 and was promoted to Vice President of Operations in 2011. He recently led a number of modernization projects for the agencies.


College students at Nazareth involved in the LifePrep@Naz program are getting a thank you from the program's partners.

LifePrep@Naz is a collaboration between the Arc of Monroe, Nazareth, and Victor Central School District. It was designed to give individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities a college experience, complete with classes and internships.

Barbara Wales is CEO and President of the Arc.

Alex Crichton

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says he's leading the way in supporting a bill that would allow members of the disability community who are eligible for institutional care, to receive services at home or in a setting of their choosing.

That's the idea behind the Disability Integration Act.

He spoke at the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester, which helped craft the legislation, introduced last year.

Stephanie Woodward, director of advocacy for CDR, says the bill would allow people with disabilities the absolute right to live in a community.

Martin Kaufman / WXXI News

Republican Presidential Candidate John Kasich may be behind in the polls compared to the top candidates, but he was still able to attract a very large crowd to the Town of Greece on Saturday.

The crowd at the town's community and senior center was estimated at more than 3,000, including an overflow room, and people who they had to turn away because of space limitations.

Karen DeWitt

People with developmental disabilities and their caretakers held a rally at the State Capitol Wednesday to ask Governor Cuomo for financial help if he’s successful in pushing through a $15 minimum wage.

Providers to people with developmental disabilities say they want their employees to earn more money. Steve Kroll, with  NYSARC,  says many staffers earn less than $15 an hour right now.

“We support giving them pay hikes, because their work is incredibly  important,” said Kroll.

Rally for Direct Care Workers

Mar 11, 2016

Rallies were held Friday to remind lawmakers that while increasing the minimum wage is laudable, there also needs to be more money for state agencies so they can increase the wages of those who work with people with developmental disabilities.

At Pieters Family Life Center, Patrick McGrath, the executive director of Grace Community Center, relayed that message.

He says the front-line workers who serve those with developmental disabilities -- direct support professionals -- should also receive the $15-an-hour wage that's being proposed for minimum wage workers.

Andy Laub/As it Happens Creative

SUNY Geneseo is hosting a presentation Wednesday afternoon on how to be an agent of change in your own life and channel your greatest strengths.

The speaker is Juli Windsor.

Juli knows something about perseverance and resilience. When she was 15, she set a goal of becoming the first runner with dwarfism to complete the Boston Marathon.


Barry Culhane is counting the days until he can finally walk unassisted again.

“I walked into a herniated disc surgery and woke up paralyzed, never expecting that,” says Culhane, who has only gained back some feeling in his legs since then.

Given his positive outlook over the last three years adjusting to life mostly in a wheelchair and decades-long involvement with the Al Sigl Community of Agencies, it comes as no surprise to his peers that Culhane has handled the physical setback so well.