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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: 5 min 56 sec ago

Young Kim loves her job and it shows

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 11:56am
In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a local nonprofit is recognizing a long-time employee. Young Kim is 37 years old. She's been working at Unistel Industries on Blossom Road in Rochester since 2002. Unistel is a nonprofit that provides job training and placement for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Young and her colleagues work on assembly lines at the company, which is the country's number one supplier of spices for the U.S. military. "I label bottles, weigh spices, box the bottles, and ship them out and make sure they have the right label on them," Young said. At a ceremony on Tuesday morning, with her co-workers cheering, Young was among a handful of people around the state nominated for the William B. Joslin Outstanding Performer Award. It's an honor for individuals who have exceptional job performance. "I was shocked and kind of excited and I was happy...I'm just happy I got chosen,” she said. With the skills she's

Viral haircut sparks conversation about disabilities in the media

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 10:41am
You may have seen pictures of two local men go viral: a barber giving a man a haircut on the sidewalk because the shop wasn’t accessible by wheelchair. But since the story went national, it’s raised questions about how people with disabilities are covered in the media. Devin Hamilton is 30 years old. He's an engineer working in Webster, and he has cerebral palsy. He says one day, he decided to get a haircut at Joe's Upscale Barbershop, a few blocks from where he works. But when he rode his wheelchair over there, he didn't see a ramp. "So I called and I said, 'Do you take walk-ins?' " The shop does take walk-ins, but only if you can make it up the four steps from the sidewalk. "So I asked if he could give me a haircut outside," he says. "That's how it happened." One thing to know about Devin: This is not his first outdoor haircut. Devin grew up on a farm, getting his hair cut outside because it was easier to clean up afterward. When he got to the shop that day, Devin happened to meet

Connections: Former Senator Tom Harkin and the ROC EmployABILITY Conference

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 3:50pm
We're joined by former Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, who authored the Americans with Disabilities Act. Research shows that among similarly sized cities, Rochester is the single worst in the country when it comes to employment and poverty for people with disabilities. Harkin is the keynote speaker for the upcoming ROC EmployABILITY conference, which is focused on increasing employment opportunities and reducing poverty among people with disabilities. We preview that conference. In studio: Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa, retired) Susan Hetherington, director of the University of Rochester’s Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities Jeiri “J.D.” Flores, member of the planning committee for the ROC EmployABILITY Conference Stephanie Woodward , director of advocacy for the Center for Disability Rights

Intelligent Lives: young adults with disabilities shift paradigms, challenge stereotypes

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 6:13am
In Rochester, the graduation rate for students with disabilities is 22 percent* compared to 40 percent nationally. The median individual earnings for those with disabilities is $14,450. This is $4,000 below the national median. That means Rochester’s disabled community is the poorest in the nation when compared to the 75 largest metropolitan areas. Despite the systemic challenges of educational segregation and stereotypes, adults with intellectual disabilities are challenging the perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. In the documentary Intelligent Lives , filmmaker Dan Habib tells the stories of three pioneering individuals with intellectual disabilities who have found ways to meaningfully contribute to the world. Habib calls them paradigm shifters. 32 year old Micah Fialka-Feldman of Syracuse is one of them. He recently completed his Certificate in Disability Studies at Syracuse University and now has a job co-teaching university classes

Internship program helps individuals with disabilities find employment

Sun, 09/30/2018 - 10:05am
Young adults with disabilities now have a new internship opportunity to join in Rochester. Two organizations, Jewish Senior Life and Heritage Christian Services will offer Project SEARCH - a nationally recognized work prep program for people 18 to 35 who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. Mike King is the president and CEO of Jewish Senior Life and says as a parent of an individual with disabilities, this age can be a scary time. "We call it "the cliff." Your individual can be in school until age 21, but then after age 21 there’s not a lot of support, resources available to transition your loved one into something besides just sitting at home playing video games, right?" Interns will benefit from classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands on learning with mentors. King says we all want to feel productive and making a contribution, and this program is focused on doing just that. 10 interns will be selected and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. For

Lifetime Assistance marks 40 years of providing services for people with disabilities

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 10:44pm
An organization which tries to break down barriers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Several hundred people gathered Friday night at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center to mark the accomplishments of Lifetime Assistance and the staff and partners of that organization which began four decades ago in the Brockport area.

Using Deaf Awareness Week in Rochester to educate and advocate

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 4:51pm
This is Deaf Awareness Week, a time that is set aside worldwide each year to increase public awareness of deaf issues, people and culture. Officials raised the International Deaf Awareness Flag outside City Hall in Rochester on Monday, and among those speaking was the Chairperson of Deaf Awareness Week locally, Fred Beam. Through an interpreter, he talked about the need to educate hearing people about the capabilities of those who are deaf. “Deaf and hearing people are the same. We want to let you know that we can do anything except hear. Don’t let people stop us from becoming full persons, that’s what Deaf Awareness Week is all about." Beam says it’s important for deaf people to let everyone know that a lack of hearing ability does not stop them from accomplishing great things. “…and teach hearing people about us, in the fields of art, education, the fields of social justice, many ways we want to show that our deaf pride exists because we’ve been here for a long, long, time.” Beam

Deaf-Owned Eateries Forge Path To Fight Joblessness Among Those With Hearing Loss

Thu, 09/06/2018 - 8:02am
I can feel the warmth from the wood-burning oven just over my shoulder and catch myself intermittently gazing off into a heat-induced trance from the blaze. Despite the place feeling crowded (probably another reason for the heat), it's eerily quiet inside: My table of five occasionally lowers our voices as if we were in the library. But a library this is not: Mozzeria is one of the most talked-about pizzerias in the heart of a vibrant San Francisco neighborhood, where wait times on Saturday nights can extend as long as two hours. The reason for the unnaturally reserved ambiance might be because every staff member employed at Mozzeria identifies as deaf or partially deaf. For the roughly 95 percent of hearing guests who aren't fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), putting in an order means either pointing to the pizza of choice from the menu or writing it down on a piece of paper. Melody and Russ Stein, owners and founders of the 50-seat restaurant, have done more than open an

Wegmans provides a new app to help shoppers who are blind or have low-vision

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 2:10pm
Wegmans is partnering with a high-tech company to offer a new option for people who are blind or have low-vision. The Rochester supermarket chain is working with a California-based tech company called Aira , a firm that uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality to remotely assist people who are blind or have low vision with a variety of tasks.

New center helps adults, children who have autism

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 4:54pm
The old Gates police substation in Westgate Plaza has sat empty for roughly a decade. But on Thursday, the Autism Council cut the ribbon for the station’s new life as the Autism Family Information and Referral Services Center. The center is a one-stop shop for families, educators and people with autism who need help with education, employment or wellness. It doesn’t provide specific services, but staff there meet with drop-in visitors to send them where they need to go. “This location is strictly just for information and referrals,” said Lawana Jones, executive director of the Autism Council. “For example, a family has a child you think may be autistic. We have a list of providers in the area ... that does an evaluation for them.” Jones says when a family has the diagnosis, they can come back and get help on meetings, programs and other community resources that can help them and their child. Jones says they’ll also help adults with autism find work or otherwise navigate life. The town

ID cards coming for people with developmental disabilities

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 5:58pm
People with special needs will have access to new ID cards that state Sen. Pam Helming says will help them communicate with emergency responders.