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: 52 min 7 sec ago

Groups serving people with disabilities cope with state budget cuts

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 1:49pm
The state’s ongoing fiscal crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to temporary funding reductions for some cities and postponed planned pay raises for state workers. It’s also led to reductions to some smaller programs, including a key organization that has helped New Yorkers with intellectual disabilities navigate the pandemic. The program is slated for significant cuts this month. The seven care coordination organizations holistically manage the needs of more than 105,000 New Yorkers who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and chronic seizure disorders. Nick Cappoletti, the CEO of LIFEPlan NY, which administers the centers, said that in the height of the pandemic, the care coordinators personally contacted each of their clients and helped them navigate the shutdown and infection risks. “Some people, they didn’t even have a phone (with which) to contact them,” said Cappoletti, who added staff provided loaner cellphones

Disability community advocate: 'We can’t warehouse humans'

Mon, 06/22/2020 - 3:34pm
Monday marked the 21 st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that allowed people with disabilities the right to live in their community and not be subject to unjustified isolation. But advocates said much more must be done, especially in the age of COVID-19. The Center for Disability Rights hosted a webinar Monday that looked at the impact of the Olmstead v. L.C. decision, and attendees discussed ways to ensure that everyone has a right to live and participate in the community. Britney Wilson of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice said her aunt, who was in a nursing home, lost her life to the new coronavirus. She said this shows what happens when you lock people away and treat them like they don’t exist. “I think the crisis has illustrated everything that the disability community has been saying for decades,” she said. Gregg Beratan, CDR’s director of advocacy, said the impact of institutionalization is especially noteworthy during the coronavirus pandemic by the

Golisano Foundation awards $416,000 to help agencies deal with COVID-19

Mon, 06/22/2020 - 1:28pm
The Golisano Foundation has awarded $416,000 to 11 organizations in western New York and southwest Florida in another round of grants designed to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The foundation has now issued three rounds of grants to help agencies that have urgent needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That brings the total COVID-19 response grant funding to date to $1.1 million. Grants announced on Monday include those going to the Arc agencies in Ontario, Wayne, Genesee and Orleans counties. Other funds include grants for Lifespan and Lifetime Assistance. "The most recent round of applications has signaled a change from emergency preparedness to careful planning for reopening programs and services according to NYS guidelines," said Ann Costello, executive director of the Foundation. "As much as everyone would like things to get back to normal, agencies are proceeding with caution given the vulnerability of people with intellectual and developmental

Disability justice is part of the fight for racial equity, says advocate

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 6:08pm
When the pandemic reached Rochester, equity coordinator with the city government Luticha André Doucette says that she was concerned for her safety. Doucette has a disability and is immunocompromised. However, amid the pandemic there was a silver lining. Doucette along with so many others began working from home. Her cats have made regular appearances on ZOOM calls. She said that while it’s comfortable, it’s also brought up frustration. “This is a hypocrisy that when non-disabled people need accommodations the world kinda bends forward for them but for us, for years we've been asking for this,” said Doucette. Last year, Bloomberg Law reported that in 2017 and 2018, 21 out of 30 lawsuits over reasonable accommodation requests through the Americans with Disabilities Act sided with employers. While disability advocates fought for policies like the ADA, Doucette said that disability activism led by white people has largely left out people of color. “White disabled people have the same work

COVID-19 Infections And Deaths Are Higher Among Those With Intellectual Disabilities

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 5:00am
Loading... People with intellectual disabilities and autism who contract COVID-19 die at higher rates than the rest of the population, according to an analysis by NPR of numbers obtained from two states that collect data. They also contract the virus at a higher rate, according to research looking into group homes across the United States. In Pennsylvania, numbers obtained by NPR show that people with intellectual disabilities and autism who test positive for COVID-19 die at a rate about twice as high as other Pennsylvania residents who contract the illness. In New York, the state with the most deaths from COVID-19, people with developmental disabilities die at a rate 2.5 times the rate of others who contract the virus. The numbers in Pennsylvania are compiled by the Office of Developmental Programs of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and count people who get state services while living in group homes, state institutions or in their own homes. As of June 2, there were 801

Rotary Sunshine Camp won't operate this summer

Tue, 05/26/2020 - 5:21pm
There will be no Rotary Sunshine Camp this year. Officials with the Rochester Rotary say that it was an emotional decision, but with the concerns about the coronavirus they didn’t feel it was safe to hold the summer camp in the Town of Rush as it normally does. Tracey Dreisbach is the Executive Director for Rochester Rotary. She said it was an emotional decision to make, since so many people enjoy the camp which has a focus on providing fun for kids with disabilities. “After a long look at guidelines and our program and infrastructure, we just have come to the determination that we cannot provide a safe environment and a fun environment for our campers with the guidelines that would be in place.” Dreisbach said the decision not hold the regular camp is disappointing for the staffers as well as the campers. “It was a very heartfelt conversation and we really just wanted to put our campers and our staff. It not only means the world to our campers but our staff that come, and many of them

COVID-19 presents new challenges for people with hearing loss

Mon, 05/18/2020 - 4:36pm
It’s an average day in the age of COVID-19. You wake up and get ready for work, don your face mask, and head to your job as a supermarket cashier. You’re hard of hearing, and reading lips helps you pick up what your hearing device misses. But right now, the face masks that customers wear make it difficult to discern their muffled words or know whether they’re speaking at all. Maybe you’re a deaf person who enjoys theater and comedy shows. But few of the virtual performances provide an ASL interpreter, and even fewer offer live-captioning or use a closed-captioning add-on service . Physical distancing, masking, and other methods to slow the spread of the virus have created inconveniences for most people, but they have exposed and compounded existing accessibility issues for people with hearing problems. In few places is the impact as pronounced as Rochester, which as home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, has one of the highest per-capita populations of deaf and hard of

Golisano Foundation awards grants in response to pandemic

Thu, 05/14/2020 - 5:12pm
The Golisano Foundation announced Thursday that it is distributing $426,300 in a first round of COVID-19 response grants . Just over $400,000 will go to organizations serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with urgent needs resulting from the pandemic. Ann Costello, executive director of the Golisano Foundation, said funding is aimed at relieving the financial strain of adapting services so that agencies can continue safely serving people with disabilities. “People with disabilities are some of our most vulnerable citizens," Costello said. "They live in congregate settings, many of them in group homes, and they may have fragile health." The grants will help cover operating expenses for programs and the cost of supplies like personal protective equipment and disinfectant. Funds will also be used for technology needs for telemedicine and education and to help facilities improve social distancing capabilities. Costello said that agencies have managed well but have