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MOVE TO INCLUDE is a partnership between WXXI and the Golisano Foundation designed to promote inclusion for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. 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. Share your thoughts with us here
Updated: 26 min 55 sec ago

Connections: The impact of New York State's special education crisis

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 3:57pm
Parents of hundreds of children with special needs in New York State say their kids are not receiving the services they need. A recent report in the Democrat & Chronicle stated that in the 2016-2017 school year "nearly 400 3- and 4-year-olds in Monroe County were not evaluated for developmental delays within 60 days of their referral as required by law, according to local school district records.” The delay in referrals puts children at a developmental disadvantage, and at risk for needing costlier services in the future. Local providers say the state’s reimbursement process is to blame: providers receive tardy and inadequate funding. Democrat & Chronicle reporter Justin Murphy explored this issue. He joins us in studio, and we’ll hear from local parents about the challenges they face. Our guests: Justin Murphy, education reporter at the Democrat & Chronicle Sharon Peck, parent Pat Graff, director of special education at Rochester Childfirst Network Cathy Rasmussen,

Brockport Teacher named NYS Teacher of the Year

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 2:10pm
A Brockport School District teacher has been named the New York State Teacher of the Year. The honor goes to Christopher Albrecht, a fourth-grade teacher at the Fred W. Hill School in Brockport, where he has taught for 20 years. He has spent the last 14 years teaching fourth grade. Brockport Schools Superintendent Lesli Myers says the district “couldn’t be prouder of his achievement,” and school principal Brandon Broughton says that Albrecht “is always accessible and takes great joy in celebrating his students’ successes with them.” In 2015, Albrecht began an afterschool running program for fourth- and fifth-grade students with a focus on building self-confidence in special needs children. Albrecht received his award in Albany from Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.

LISTEN: Temple Grandin, 2017 Women's Hall of Fame inductee

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 9:36am
A woman who helped shine the light on the unique abilities of an autistic mind will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls next week. Temple Grandin, an author, speaker, and champion of farm animal welfare said the honor means a lot to her. "Because when I first started in the seventies,” she said, “being a woman in a man's industry - the cattle industry - that was hard and I had to prove that I could do it. I was really motivated to make sure that my stuff was really good and that I wasn't stupid." Grandin, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as a young child, relied on her own sensitivities to environmental factors to understand the fears of livestock headed for slaughter. Her designs for livestock handling have transformed the industry worldwide. She said her childhood was full of adventure and discovery, but by contrast, Grandin believes some parents today have a tendency to be overprotective of their children. "I've seen fully verbal kids

WATCH: Rochester Accessible Adventures

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 5:00am When a member of your family is in a wheelchair you may not think taking off on a kayaking adventure together on the Erie Canal is possible. However, it is. On this Need to Know segment we join in on the experience with an area mother and son sharing this special moment together for the first time through Rochester Accessible Adventures. We also learn about the work being done by RAA in an effort to revolutionize inclusion when it comes to eliminating barriers to active lifestyles for individuals with disabilities and their families.

WATCH: Direct support professionals fight for living wage

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 12:00pm A living wage. That’s what a coalition of advocates and community agencies that support individuals with disabilities have been calling for in our state. The focus of that fight - the more than 120,000 New Yorkers who work with and care for individuals with disabilities. They’re called Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and according to the New York State Chapter of the Arc they’re in chronic short supply While the governor allocated $55 million in the budget this year to support a wage increase for these professionals working with nonprofits - is that enough to recruit, train and sustain employees? We examine the current state of DSPs and the challenges they’re continuing to face on this Move to Include edition of Need to Know .

WATCH: Direct support professionals fight for living wage; recreation for all abilities

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 8:00pm A hard-fought wage increase battle saw some success this year. But workers who help those living with disabilities say they are still in need of support. On this edition of Need to Know we’ll discuss what a profession that some call underpaid and undervalued is looking for in an effort to help our most vulnerable and those trained to care for them. Also on the show, a revolution in inclusion. We’re checking out a local group on a mission to get businesses and organizations equipped to offer recreational activities to people of all abilities.

Four guys on the autism spectrum have a mission: To make you laugh

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 11:44am
A group billing itself as the first comedy troupe consisting of people with Asperger's syndrome - a high-functioning form of autism - is performing in Rochester tonight. "Asperger's Are Us" is playing at Photo City Improv at 8 p.m. The four members of the troupe, Ethan Finlan, New Michael Ingemi, Jack Hanke, and Noah Britton started doing their quirky comedy sketches in small venues around Boston. They've since appeared in a Netflix documentary and have been touring throughout North America and Europe this summer. Click on the LISTEN link above to hear Ethan Finlan talk about how the group got its start, what their brand of comedy is, and what they hope audiences walk away with after seeing their show. This story is reported from WXXI's Inclusion Desk .

Connections: Social justice storytime

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 3:55pm
Librarians at the Irondequoit Public Library say they are in a unique position to help create a more inclusive community, and promoting diversity and understanding can start at a young age. That's why they've created the United Stories of America program. It's a pre-school storytime series with a social justice theme. Presenters include a female illusionist talking about gender identity, a disability rights activist, and more. We talk about the program and hear stories from two of its presenters. In studio: Matt Krueger, teen services librarian at the Irondequoit Public Library Amy Holland, children’s librarian at the Irondequoit Public Library Ed Popil (" Mrs. Kasha Davis "), local drag performer and performer from RuPaul's Drag Race, Season 7 Ericka Jones, systems advocate at the Center for Disability Rights

Coming up on NTK: Support professionals feel underpaid and undervalued

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 5:00am Coming up on Need to Know, their role is crucial in supporting individuals with disabilities, but their profession is seeing high turnover rates and unfilled vacancies. Why direct support professionals are being called underpaid and undervalued and what’s being done to change that. Also on the show – turning adaptive sports for individuals with disabilities into family adventures. The new way to think about and participate in inclusive activities.

Grand opening of Miracle Field is a home run

Sat, 08/26/2017 - 12:50pm
The weather was perfect for a ball game as Challenger Miracle Field in Webster celebrated it’s grand opening Saturday morning. The inclusive multi-use field is specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges. The cushioned, turf field has wheel chair accessible dugouts and a completely flat surface to eliminate any barriers. Barriers which Wendy McCarthy's son Liam had trouble with at other fields. “If it’s too dry its bumpy and it makes it difficult not only for Liam but for the caregiver that’s pushing them around, so to have this nice turf field is going to be fabulous." Over 400 athletes play on challenger teams around Rochester. Mike Kellogg hopes his son William gets to try out different ways of playing baseball now. "He also has an adaptive walker but you can’t use that on a regular baseball field. So here he might be able to use his walker rather than a wheelchair." The outfield fencing is portable, making the field available to other sports

Miracle Field opens the door to possibilities for all

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 11:59am
A dream that has been years in the making will become a reality Saturday for hundreds of local children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities as the ribbon is cut on the Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester. The Webster athletic and multi-use facility has wheelchair accessible dugouts and a rubberized field surface to prevent injuries. Seventeen-year old Niko Santiago, who has a neuromuscular disease, looks forward to playing Challenger Baseball this summer and flag football in the fall. "It's a place with no worries, basically,” he said. “I don't have to worry about getting into doorways. I don't have to worry about steps. I could call some of my friends and say, 'Hey, you want to play baseball today?' and we'd get a game started there. It makes it a lot easier to have fun, basically." Ron Kampff, president of Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester, says the opening of the facility is a momentous celebration for the entire community. "Down the road we

Connections: How Challenger Miracle Field and EquiCenter are helping people with disabilities

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 5:11pm
We learn about two local organizations that provide recreational activities for people with disabilities: the Challenger Miracle Field and EquiCenter . Our guests share their experiences and the impact these organizations have had on our community. In studio: Ron Kampff, president of Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester, and coach for the Webster Challenger Team and the Rochester BEEP Baseball Team (Rochester Pioneers) Nico Santiago, Challenger player Karen Werth, operations and therapeutic riding instructor for EquiCenter Barbara Stickney, veteran and participant at EquiCenter This conversation is part of WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, spotlighting issues related to disabilities. The WXXI Inclusion Desk is part of Move to Include, a partnership to encourage thoughtful discussion about issues of inclusion and the differently-abled.

AutismUp soars to new heights with KiteFlite

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 5:00pm
AutismUp celebrated its 5th KiteFlite celebration at Capelli Sport Stadium Sunday afternoon. The parent founded, parent lead organization provides programs to individuals in our community with autism. The KiteFlite parade/charity walk culminated on center field where participants formed a giant human kite for an aerial photograph illustrating the strength of the community rising up for autism. Director of Education and Training Rachel Rosner said the kite has been the organization's logo since day one. “It really gives the feel for soaring, for going up, up, up, and continuing to reach new heights." Over 100 families were preregistered for the event, raising over $100,000 this year already. Tina Nersinger is a mom and her family is part of the autism community, she said she wishes more programs were available for young adults. "There’s a lot that’s available when kids are young to do, but as they go into adulthood we need more services and support." Fellow mom Carly Cerone is part of

Seniors find community connections through Silver Linings program

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 1:00pm
Twenty Rochester area seniors with developmental and intellectual disabilities are taking part in a new program that helps them connect with their same-aged peers in the community. "They're checking out some of our different parks that they haven't been to before; I've got a group going bowling today, just a lot of fun stuff so people can really enjoy their retirement and also meet new people," said Dillon Hall, who runs the Silver Linings program at the Arc of Monroe County. The program is based on surveys of clients who said they want to participate in meaningful community activities. This morning, Robert Kleinhans went to an integrated exercise class for people with and without disabilities at the Maplewood YMCA. Before the class, he sat in the café where people were playing cards and chatting. "We met some people and now we're friends with them,” he said. “They're not from the Arc, but they loved being with us." Many seniors who are served by the Arc continue to work to stay active

iPads giving a voice to children at the Cantalician Center who cannot speak

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 5:05pm
iPads are giving a voice to children who cannot speak. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says students at the Cantalician Center are learning to communicate in a new way in the classroom and at home. WBFOs senior reporter Eileen Buckley says iPads are giving a voice to children who cannot speak.

Individuals with disabilities need friendships outside of family circle

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 8:39am
Relationships are one of the keys to a richer life for people with disabilities. That was the main message from an international speaker who visited Rochester today. Al Condeluci has traveled the world with this message; it's something that became clear to him years ago as he observed his cousin Carrie, who had Down syndrome. Carrie was a natural part of Condeluci's family, but she was not connected to her community at large. What she needed, he said, was more social capital. "Just like human capital or financial capital, social capital really suggests that we benefit greatly from the people we know and the people we connect with in our lives." One thing anyone can do, Condeluci said, is look for the similarities in those who appear to be different, and try to connect with them based on what you have in common. "We're all more similar than we are different,” he said. “We all have things that we care about and share that really blends us and connects us with each other." Condeluci, who

WATCH: Summer racing for these 'Super Kids'

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 4:37pm Soapbox racing started in the 1930s and in Rochester, there’s a pretty solid fan base among Rochester teens willing to ditch their smartphones, tablets and video games to get outside for a little healthy competition. WXXI’s Denise Young introduces you to these youngsters and explains why the real thrill of racing is the camaraderie built on the track by these ‘Super Kids’.