Move to Include coverage on WXXINews.org

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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: 13 min 19 sec ago

Nazareth breaks ground on new Special Olympics facility

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 5:14pm
Nazareth College is building a new state-of-the-art sports facility on campus that will also help promote inclusivity. Tim Shriver, the chair of the Special Olympics, attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the event. It was a windy day on campus, which Shriver took as a good sign. “In this country right now, the winds of change are blowing," he said. "They’re blowing here for us to remind us that we have to be the agents of that change.” Shriver is the son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who founded the Special Olympics. The Golisano Training Center will be a huge indoor sports facility with track, field and courts. It's named for Tom Golisano, who contributed a third of the money for the project. When complete, the center will be able to host Special Olympics events. The initiative is also intended to connect Special Olympics athletes with health and human services students on campus. Special Olympian Amanda Vito attended the groundbreaking. She runs track, but says Special Olympics also

New facility continues Rochester’s connection to Special Olympics

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 5:07pm
Construction has already begun on the Golisano Training Center at Nazareth College, which will host regional Special Olympics events and be used to help athletes. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Special Olympics, and Rochester’s own history with the event goes back almost as long.

Erie Canal journey highlights potential of people with disabilities

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 3:32pm
John Robinson and Doug Hamlin are in the midst of what has become an annual endeavor. Partners in the firm Our Ability , they are undertaking their "Journey Along the Erie Canal." For John and Doug, who have little or no use of their legs, the 12-day, 350-mile ride is an "opportunity" to display how people with disabilities can adapt to any circumstance. John Robinson discusses the "Journey Along the Erie Canal" with WBFO.

Pittsford Schools create Inclusivity Advisory Committee

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 2:45pm
A new Inclusivity Advisory Committee is coming to the Pittsford Central School District. Superintendent Michael Pero says they received around 70 applications for the all-volunteer committee. "What a better way to approach it than have a group of caring people come together that have expertise in certain areas, and help guide us with recommendations relative to bringing that diverse population together." Pero says public schools deal with a range of inclusivity issues, and although the mission for the committee is still forming, he has a few hopes of what the group might focus on. "I think about this group being one that’s able to look at certainly systems and structures, a group that’s able to provide guidance relative to board of education policy or regulations or procedures, potentially professional development." Pero says he would like the committee to look at current demographic data around trends that are specific to Pittsford Schools. The Inclusivity Committee is a follow up to

Cynthia Nixon makes a campaign stop in Rochester

Sun, 06/10/2018 - 4:38pm
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon brought her campaign to Rochester on Sunday, specifically to focus on the needs of the disability community. Nixon met with a variety of supporters, including those active in the disability community locally during her campaign stop at Ontario Beach Park. The actress and activist who is hoping to face Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in a September primary keyed in on several points important to those with disabilities, including low wages for home health care aides. Nixon says those wages need to be raised to help people with disabilities stay in their homes and be contributing members of their community. “We don’t want a state government that will prioritize hospitals and incentivize getting people out of their homes, to pay, by the way, much more for care than we could if we allowed new Yorkers to stay in their homes.” Nixon says she is fighting for basic needs that all New Yorkers, not just those with disabilities, have a right to.

Lifetime Assistance Airport Games celebrates 19 years

Sat, 06/09/2018 - 10:14am
Lifetime Assistance's annual fundraiser brought people out to the airport runway in Rochester on Saturday. The Airport Games are the largest fundraiser for the organization that helped adults and children with developmental disabilities. Jamie Rada is the Director of Development at the nonprofit. "Lifetime Assistance I think is more than just a part of the community; the community has become a part of us, and really embrace Lifetime and what we stand for." Rada says a lot of the money raised today goes towards helping the people they serve with costs that aren’t Medicaid funded. She said they work a lot with technology as well as mobility and accessibility; things that aren’t funded but that people still need. Rada says they are currently serving 1,800 people with about 1,500 staff. "We really pride ourselves on making sure that each person we supprt and serve understands their full potential, and becomes the best possible person that they can be." Last year the event raised record

Connections: Discussing the Reel Mind Theatre and Film Series

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 3:05pm
The Reel Mind Theatre and Film Series is underway. It features films and performances that address the stigma attached to mental illness and behavior disorders, while providing messages of hope. One of the films in this year's lineup is the documentary, Deej ; it tells the story of David James Savarese, a non-speaking young man with autism. Savarese joins us in studio to share his remarkable journey and the challenges he has overcome. Plus, we get a look at what's next in the series. Our guests: Dr. Larry Guttmacher , M.D., clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and co-director of the Reel Mind Film series David James Savarese , poet, co-producer of Deej , and advocate for people with autism Dr. Lori Jeanne Peloquin , Ph.D., clinical psychologist in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center Lynne Fisher, education program administrator for NAMI-Rochester

How music creates comfort, acceptance, and individuality

Sat, 05/12/2018 - 8:38am
Familiar sounds and movements can make difficult tasks seem easier because they are comforting. Through those associations, music can connect the mind to the soul. Take Jason King, for example. “Jason has always been a handful,” said Marsha King about her 16-year-old son. “He was diagnosed with bipolar/ADHD when he was about 9.” Jason has a 134 IQ and is as mature as a 10-12 year old. When Jason was 15, he was stabilized with medication and diagnosed with high functioning autism. “One of the biggest issues he experiences is the ability to be flexible and follow direction to do things when he should,” his mother said. However, Jason moves to the beat of Artists Unlimited . There, Jason can express himself because it gives him the opportunity to perform on stage, just like he does at home.

Crisis support for individuals with autism is planned in response to death of Trevyan Rowe

Wed, 05/09/2018 - 12:39pm
A 24-hour helpline for Rochester-area families with children on the autism spectrum will be place by July 1. It's one of the responses advocates say is needed after the death of Trevyan Rowe. The 14-year-old, whose family said he had autism, died in the Genesee River after walking away from School 12 in March. “As the parent of children with autism, that story really hit home hard,” said Andrea Francis of Farmington. “I think the community is still shaken up over it.” Francis’ 5-year-old twin sons, Keegan and Aiden, were diagnosed with autism when they were 3-and-a-half. Aiden has a mild form of autism and Keegan falls on the moderate to severe end of the spectrum. Francis can envision taking advantage of the helpline once it’s operating. It will be staffed by trained information and referral specialists who can connect families with the right services. In a true emergency, callers will be directed to 911. "With children on the spectrum, as much as they love routine and they thrive

Arc of Monroe accepting applications for its employment training program

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 2:02pm
The Arc of Monroe County is accepting applications for its Adult Project SEARCH program, which prepares adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for employment. Kayt Davidson is director of transition services with Job Path at the Arc of Monroe. She says the program focuses on employment readiness. "It takes place right in a business and we partner with the Del Monte hotel group for that, so we have internships throughout the four Del Monte hotels," she said. "We partner with OPWDD and ACCESS-VR, those are our funders for this program. Really, it's work, work, work, that’s what we focus on." Davidson says the internship program in the hotels amounts to much more than housekeeping and cleaning. “We’re working on transferable work skills. We do internships in culinary, we do internships in guest services," she said. "We do so some cleaning, but that’s not what the program is based on, so we have a lot of opportunities for people.” To take part in one of the internships,

In turbulent year for special ed, city district's budget under scrutiny

Thu, 05/03/2018 - 10:07am
Editor's note: Parents are outraged at the apparent mismanagement of special education in the Rochester City School District. In the second of two stories about the district's special education program, the recent budget proposal aims to address some of parents' concerns, but some worry it doesn't go far enough. In a lot of ways, this year’s school budget is like any other year. Almost $1 billion spread out across 53 schools and almost 30,000 kids. Positions added, positions cut, a deficit that needs balancing. But in the wake of a tumultuous year for special education, the budget is under particularly intense scrutiny by parents and other advocates. “Budgets are moral documents. Budgets are statements of priority.” Bridget Hurley is the director of advocacy with the Children’s Agenda. This was the youth advocacy group’s first year analyzing the district’s budget. “They’re numbers, but they’re much, much more. They are the public communication to the community that this is what the

Parents of city students in special ed call for action

Thu, 05/03/2018 - 9:51am
Editor's note: The tragic death of a Rochester School District special education student who wandered away from his school unnoticed stunned and outraged the community. In the first of two stories about the district's special education program, parents of students with disabilities are calling for changes. The Rev. Marilyn Cunningham is pastor of Graves Memorial CME Church in Rochester. She’s also a mother and grandmother. Cunningham said her experience with the Rochester City School District special education spans decades. She had children in the system, and now she has grandchildren with special needs as well. “Special needs. It says something. It’s just not a word -- it says, ‘I need special attention.” Overall, she said, her experience has mostly been good, but over the last few school years, she has seen special education classrooms understaffed and students underserved. Specifically last year, the district eliminated 11 coordinating administrators of special education, or CASEs,