WXXI AM News

Inclusion Desk

We talk about adaptive sports for kids with disabilities. It's in advance of the Little League World Series Challenger Exhibition Game, which will air on WXXI-TV this weekend.

The Challenger division includes children with physical and intellectual disabilities, and we have a Challenger program here in Rochester.

We'll talk to an organizer and a player with the Webster Challenger program, and we'll talk to an organizer and camper at Camp Abilities -- a camp for kids with visual impairments. It's a conversation about inclusion and more. 

Guests are:

  • Ron Kampff, organizer of the Webster Challenger Baseball League
  • Anthony Vignare, member of the Webster Challenger Baseball Team
  • Matthew Farwell, Camp Abilities graduate assistant
  • Chris Smoker, camper at Camp Abilities   

This story was produced by WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, focusing on disabilities and inclusion.

www.wegmans.com

Wegmans is offering families who have young children with mobility restrictions a new way to help their kids shop with their parents or other adult relatives.

It’s a specially adapted shopping cart, called ‘Go to Shop,‘ that Wegmans is getting through a company called Firefly.

Linda Lovejoy is a community relations manager for Wegmans. She said this shopping cart is different from other carts that Wegmans already makes available for kids or adults with disabilities.

Noelle Evans

  

The American Council of the Blind, an advocacy group for the rights of visually impaired and blind people, elected new leadership at the organization’s 58th Annual Conference and Convention in Rochester.

Around 1,200 people attended, along with roughly 300 guide dogs at the Riverside Convention Center for the week-long event, which wrapped up Friday.

Beth Adams

Rocco Rodrigues was diagnosed with autism at age 2.  Now 9 years old, Rocco has spent the past four days at the "iCan Bike" camp at the Gordon Field House at RIT learning to ride a bike, something that AutismUp says over 80 percent of people with autism never learn to do.  

On Thursday morning, he was riding at a pretty good speed around the track with two volunteer spotters running alongside him.

"It's a little bit...I'm not gonna say scary, but startling," he said. "You want to know why? Because you feel like you're gonna fall over."

April Franklin

Nonprofit organization Rochester Accessible Adventures and charitable foundation Endless Highway are bringing wheelchair basketball to young people in Rochester.

Both organizations help provide more accessible activities for people with disabilities. The new team, called the Rochester Rockets, is the only youth wheelchair basketball team in the area, and it is bringing the game to athletes of all abilities.

Alex Crichton

The Strong Museum is partnering with several other organizations to offer working internships at the museum for 16 people on the autism spectrum.

Museum President and CEO Steve Dubnik said the program, called Strong Employment and Life Foundations, or SELF, gets to the core of the Strong’s educational mission.

“We are an educational institution, so we continue to educate these young adults … as they have gone beyond high school or into young adulthood,” Dubnik said.

freeimages.com/Jos van Galen

As the town of Irondequoit gets ready for a possible new community center, it's also taking a look at how inclusive its recreation programs and policies are.

The Town Board recently approved a contract with Rochester Accessible Adventures. The organization will review Irondequoit's town-sponsored programs and facilities.

The local Alzheimer’s Association is involved in a pilot program designed to better serve people with developmental disabilities.

The Golisano Foundation is providing a $100,000 grant that will be used by Alzheimer’s Association chapters in the Rochester and Buffalo areas to help train providers who are serving older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Step-by-Step Developmental Services

Even as preschool special education providers began inking contracts with Monroe County this week, the county has continued to clarify what those contracts mean.

The new agreements, set to take effect July 1, laid out new reimbursement rates for preschool special education services. The county sets these rates, and pays the providers, to ensure that children receive the services they’re entitled to under the law.

Alex Crichton

Nina Daut is blind and is accustomed to receiving assistance when she's at the airport.

But a partnership between the Greater Rochester International Airport and the Aira Airport Network could help change that.

Daut can now use a smartphone app from Aira, a company that connects her with a trained professional agent who can provide visual information.

This gives her a new sense of independence when traveling.

"Because if I ask them what am I facing, and which street is behind me, they would tell me," she said.

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