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Al Sigl Community of Agencies and WXXI Continue to Break the Stereotypes of Individuals with Disabilities with its Annual, Weeklong Programming Initiative

January 4, 2024

Rochester, New York (January 4, 2024) – Dialogue on Disability: The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series, an annual initiative hosted by Al Sigl Community of Agencies and WXXI Public Media, designed to create a community that is more inclusive for people of all abilities, kicks off Monday, January 22. The week-long initiative, which runs through January 28, presents special programs and events designed to encourage community discussion about the perspectives and abilities of people with physical, developmental, and intellectual disabilities. Since 2003 WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies have worked together to help break the ingrained stereotypes about individuals with disabilities.

Special programming includes:

PBS Kids Programming
The week of January 22 on WXXI-TV
WXXI-TV will air special PBS Kids programs with disability representation including Elinor Wonders Why (1/23 at 12pm), Hero Elementary (1/26 at 1pm), and A Wider World (1/27 at 9:30am).

Connections with Evan Dawson
Weekdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on WXXI News
Throughout the week, Evan Dawson will host several conversations with guests who provide expert and personal insights about policies, programs, and community issues related to disabilities.

Classical Musician & Composer Vignettes
January 22-28 l Times vary on WXXI Classical
Throughout the week, WXXI Classical will present vignettes that highlight musicians and composers with differing abilities on the air and online at

Inside Our Autistic Minds
Mondays, January 22 & January 29 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV
In this two-part series naturalist and presenter Chris Packham helps autistic people illustrate how their minds work, helping them connect with their friends and family in a new, more authentic way. Also airing on WXXI-WORLD on 1/23 & 1/30 at 8 p.m.

Wonders of the World I Can't See
Wednesday, January 24 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV
Comedian Chris McCausland, who is blind, travels the globe to explore some of the world’s most iconic, unforgettable world landmarks, but in a new and unique way that discovers things the ordinary traveler might miss.

Deconstructing Ableism: A Community Conversation
Thursday, January 25 at 3 p.m. on WXXI-TV
Disability rights activist Imani Barbarin is joined by moderator and disability advocate Jeiri Flores and a panel of local community members to discuss their lived experiences of ableism and address some of the issues raised in Imani’s keynote from a 2023 virtual event hosted by Starbridge. 

USA Wheelchair Football Buffalo Championship Game
Thursday, January 25 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV
The USA Wheelchair Football League Championship game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Kansas City Chiefs is the culmination of incredible competition and sportsmanship over the two-day tournament.

POV: Fire Through Dry Grass
Saturday, January 27 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV
This film uncovers in real-time the devastation experienced by residents of a New York City nursing home during the coronavirus pandemic. Co-Directors Alexis Neophytides and Andres “Jay” Molina take viewers inside Coler, on Roosevelt Island, where Jay lives with his fellow Reality Poets, a group of mostly gun violence survivors.

Dialogue on Disability is a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series. The initiative is supported by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation with additional support from The Golisano Foundation.

To learn more about the initiative and for a complete list of all the programming, visit



Al Sigl Community of Agencies is a collaborative community network that provides high-quality, cost-effective real estate and business services, while fostering community awareness and philanthropic support to a growing array of nonprofits that serve children and adults with special needs.

WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. WXXI also has a long-term affiliation with Little Theatre, which helps enhance the cultural life of the community and strengthens two of Rochester's most vital arts institutions. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.


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