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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: 12 min 12 sec ago

WXXI's Helene Biandudi Hofer honored for coverage of disability issues

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 11:10am
Hélène Biandudi Hofer, host and producer of WXXI’s weekly news and public affairs program Need to Know , was honored at the Center for Disability Rights’ (CDR) Annual Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Gala Fundraiser at the Rochester Museum and Science Center Thursday night. Hofer received the Adele Carlson Advocacy Award in recognition of her extensive coverage on disability issues. Her coverage is part of WXXI’s on-going Move to Include initiative in partnership with the Golisano Foundation. Move to Include is designed to promote inclusion for people with intellectual and physical disabilities through programming, special events, and news coverage. Hofer has covered the Disability Integration Act, how the Affordable Care Act will affect special education, sub-minimum wages, issues of access, and on Thursday, July 27 on Need to Know , she’ll cover a new approach to independent housing for individuals with developmental disabilities. Need to Know airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. and

Monroe County DMV makes changes to accommodate people with disabilities

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 10:58am
It has become easier for Monroe County residents who have disabilities to navigate the sometimes frustrating process at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Reasonable accommodations can be requested when people make an online reservation for a DMV appointment at the Greece, Henrietta, and Irondequoit locations. There is now also an option on the DMV's recorded message at (585) 753-1604 to request special accommodations for people with disabilities at another location when possible. "If a deaf person would need to interact with someone at the DMV, they are now able to not only make an appointment online, but also online they can state online that they're going to need an interpreter, so they don't have to figure 'who do I have to call to get an interpreter'; they can just write it online,” said Stephanie Woodward, director of advocacy at the Center for Disability Rights. Other requests might include the reading of forms for people who have impaired vision or other disabilities that make

Connections: Saudi disability rights activist Mohammed Saad

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 2:57pm
An international disability rights activist known for his work in native Saudi Arabia is in Rochester. Mohammed Saad joins us to talk about his work to make a variety of every day life experiences more accessible for the visually impaired, including cooking, using technology, and event photography. He's our guest for the hour.

Lawmakers organize meeting to address concerns over Stepping Stones closure

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 5:12pm
Two area lawmakers brought a number of service providers and other agencies together Friday in an effort to help the families impacted by the sudden closure of a local daycare operation. It’s now estimated that more than 150 families were affected by last week’s closing of the Stepping Stones Learning Center, an Irondequoit daycare that provided daycare and classroom instruction for a number of children, many of them with developmental disabilities. State Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle and State Senator Rich Funke met with various agencies at the Irondequoit Town Hall to talk about how to help these families going forward. Funke is hopeful space will be found for the children who were affected. “Many of these young people have been placed in programs already and we are gathering information now as to how we can secure their information and make certain that going forward they will all find programs, and they will all find the help that they need,” Funke told reporters. Morelle

'Super Kids' find fun, camaraderie on the track

Tue, 07/04/2017 - 5:00am
Like most teenage boys, Johnny Berg loves music and electronics of all types. But every year, as summer nears, Johnny straps on a helmet and becomes a Super Kid. Johnny is among the young competitors in the Greater Rochester Soap Box Derby who love getting in their cars every year and letting gravity speed them down the hill on Lakeshore Boulevard. Tammi and John Berg decided to get their 17-year-old son involved in the derby’s Super Kids program in 2014. “We tried it out, and he became the champion, and won one of the first trophies, the big trophies!” Tammi Berg said. In the traditional derby, kids build and drive their own cars in races. In the Super Kids program, young people with special needs are paired with other kids who drive the two-person cars. In both programs, winners in the timed races can qualify for the national competition in Akron, Ohio. But Mike Turco, who directs the local Super Kids program, said the experience goes beyond what happens on the track. “It’s not only

What's next for Stepping Stones families? State agencies, local providers rush to find solutions

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 11:44am
It won't be a holiday weekend of rest or relaxation for many local parents of children who have disabilities. Nearly 200 families with special needs kids are working quickly with state agencies and local providers to find daycare, preschool, and after school programs for their children following the abrupt closure of Stepping Stones Learning Center on Thursday. "It was heartbreaking to hear some of the families talk about the disruption, the suddenness of it. It's traumatic,” said Donna Dedee, president and CEO of Holy Childhood, one of the organizations working quickly to find space for some of the displaced children. “When you think about these particular students, they require consistency and they require the opportunity to transition. It's going to be a difficult transition for many of them." Dedee and representatives of other local providers of services for children with disabilities were at last night’s closed door meeting between Stepping Stones leaders and families affected by

Stepping Stones closure catches many off guard

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:28am
The sudden closing of a daycare and classroom operation in Irondequoit is causing concern for hundreds of local families. Parents with children who attend Stepping Stones Learning Center learned on Wednesday that the Irondequoit facility will close on Friday. But then on Thursday, the facility reportedly told parents the daycare would close Thursday and would not be available on Friday. There was a meeting for staff and families on Thursday evening. The board chair, Gregory George, released a statement saying that Stepping Stones closed, “as a result of financial necessity,” and that happened after “considering the findings of an operations assessment.” George says that the board determined “the best course of action is to help families we serve understand their options and to help them transition to other supports available in the community for the care and services they need." Stepping Stones is a not-for-profit which provides services for children from birth to 21 years of age, both

Challenger baseball brings the game to life for kids with disabilities

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 1:53pm
Children from across the greater Rochester area poured onto Frontier Field Saturday for the 25 th annual Challenger Baseball Little League World Series. The league enables kids ages 6 to 18 who have mental and physical disabilities to play the game with the help of on-field buddies – other children and adults who guide them at bat, around the bases, and in the outfield. Click on the LISTEN link above to learn more about how the league and World Series were started and about the players who look forward to participating every summer.

Medicaid cuts would be devastating to people with disabilities, local activists say

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:34am
About 20 Rochester area disability rights activists were arrested in Washington, D.C. Thursday as they protested the U.S. Senate's health care bill. The disability organization ADAPT staged a "die-in" at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office to protest proposed cuts to Medicaid. Stephanie Woodward, director of advocacy for the Center for Disability Rights, said she and 19 other Rochester protesters were removed from the Senate Office Building and held by Capitol police for about nine hours. Woodward said the deep Medicaid cuts proposed in the Senate measure would be devastating to people with disabilities who rely on the funding to lead independent and active lives. "And for me, it means a lot because I grew up on Medicaid. My parents couldn't afford to insure their disabled daughter. I wouldn't be a lawyer today if I didn't have Medicaid covering me for the first 25 years of my life; covering all my surgeries and wheelchairs and everything else." The protesters were headed

Eastman Dental celebrating 100 years

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 2:24pm
The Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health is celebrating 100 years since George Eastman opened his first dental dispensary in the city of Rochester. "Rochester was the first place, but then he opened additional dispensaries in Europe, in London, in Rome, in Brussels, in Stockholm and in Paris," said Dr. Eli Eliav, director of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health. Eliav says there weren't many philanthropists that supported dentistry the way Eastman did. He says they are training the next generation of specialists in dentistry at the Institute, and their focus is on treating patients with special needs. "Patients with intellectual, developmental disabilities, older adults, and patients with complex diseases need an interdisciplinary and inter professional approach in order to treat them," he said. "We would like to provide care without any compromise. Patients with special needs and complex diseases should get the highest end treatment in dentistry like everyone else." A scientific

Connections: News from the autism community

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 4:16pm
There's a lot going on in the local autism community: The U of R has the brand-new Levine Autism Clinic . On South Avenue, there are plans for the new Golisano Autism Center . And this weekend, national experts will be in town to give talks, run workshops, and help lead a conference on autism . So what does the latest research tell us? Our guests: Suzannah Iadarola , Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital Chris Hilton, mother, and finance and operations director for AutismUp Terrie Meyn, COO of CP Rochester 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.

Special Olympics Athletes bring attention to upcoming games

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 5:39pm
Area law enforcement agencies joined dozens of Special Olympics athletes on Friday for a torch run from Gates Town Hall to Downtown Rochester. The event raises money for Special Olympics, and that’s something that participants like Kenny Moriarty of Rochester really appreciate. “It’s incredible, the flames and the running, you’re doing the exercise.” Moriarty also told WXXI News he really appreciates “the sponsors and all the thanks and all the help we get.” Also running was Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini. He says just being at an event with these athletes is inspiring. “They have so much energy and so much passion about what they do, their enthusiasm is contagious; it’s beautiful to participate, beautiful to be next to them and just proud to be able to be able to participate and raise some funding for a great cause.” Area law enforcement have been joining this torch run for some time now, and Monroe County Undersheriff Drew Forsythe says it is inspiring for them to be able to take