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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: 18 min 56 sec ago

Connections: Oscar Merulla-Bonn on disability rights

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 2:27pm
A local sixth grader is going viral in our community. At the age of 14 months, Oscar Merulla-Bonn was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. He's been driving a power wheelchair for years. Oscar recently gave a presentation to his school faculty about disability rights. He joins us this hour to share his research and experience, and to discuss how to create more inclusive spaces. In studio: Oscar Merulla-Bonn , sixth grader at Twelve Corners Middle School Sally Bittner Bonn , Oscar's mother David Merulla, Oscar's father Catherine Liebel, school counselor at Twelve Corners Middle School This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk .

Lisa Hoffman leaves legacy of activism and inspiration

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 2:41pm
Lisa Hoffman lost her eyes to a rare form of cancer when she was 14 months old. That shaped her life in many ways, and for the better. "She lived life to the fullest from the day she was born," said Susan Hoffman, Lisa's older sister. "She never let her blindness stop her at all." It was cancer which ultimately ended Lisa's remarkable life on Monday. She was 54 years old. Lisa's parents, according to Susan, wanted to make sure her sister had every experience a child should have and Lisa dove right in. She had a passion for theater, art, and music. She studied the violin, country dancing, and learned to hone her extra sensory perception. "You always hear that individuals who lose a sense, pick up another sense," Susan said. "Her hearing was just incredible, and with her touch, she could tell the difference between light colors and dark colors." When she was in high school, Lisa demonstrated her ESP skills on a national television show called "That's Incredible." Susan said Lisa "mind

Gillibrand visits Rochester to learn more about issues impacting people with disabilities

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:05pm
Fresh from the campaign trail, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made an appearance in Rochester Friday. The New York Democrat held a roundtable discussion at the Center for Disability Rights. Gillibrand was looking to find out more about issues that are important to people with disabilities. She said conversations with activists when she was on the presidential campaign trail inspired her to take action. “I had the privilege of meeting with people in the disability community in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire and those advocates were so strong and made such an impression on me it inspired me that I knew as soon as I got back to that I wanted to speak to our disability community to see where New York is falling short,” said Gillibrand. Willie Jean Arnold uses a wheelchair and is active with School 17 and Charles Settlement House in the Lyell Avenue area. She used her opportunity to speak to the senator to address access to mental health care and self-medication. “I want to talk about

WXXI leads national Move to Include project to promote inclusion

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 2:57pm
WXXI-TV announced Friday that it will lead a pilot project to expand its Move to Include project to promote inclusion in five new communities across the country. Funded by a $645,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, this 16-month project will scale up the multimedia initiative, developed by WXXI and the Golisano Foundation, that combines content production, curation, and engagement to encourage dialogue about disability issues. “People with disabilities make up our single largest minority in this country,” explains WXXI President and CEO Norm Silverstein. “Now we’re proud to pilot Move to Include in five additional communities, using public media’s many platforms to promote equity and inclusion. Through Move to Include, we hope to build more inclusive communities by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life.” WXXI will lead a collaboration of partner stations: WFYI (Indianapolis), OPB

New autism center promises ‘one-stop hub’ for services

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 6:10pm
A new center for people with autism and their families has opened in Rochester. The Golisano Autism Center is a “one-stop hub” for services and support for people with autism, said Ann Costello, director of the Golisano Foundation. Putting services like speech and occupational therapy, employment training and fitness activities under one roof will be a big help to families who often find themselves driving across town for those appointments, said Daniele Rostan, an occupational therapist with the Mary Cariola Children’s Center. Rostan moved into her new office at the autism center earlier this month, and she was already working with a patient as the center’s opening ceremony got underway Thursday. Across the hall from her office, a darkened “sensory room” provided a space for people to gain respite from overstimulation of their senses. Spots of dully colored light played slowly across the ceiling as a bubble-filled water tank droned quietly. “It’s calm. It’s focused. It’s quiet,”

Connections: adaptive sports for kids with disabilities

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 3:27pm
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.