For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253
Jay Quinn, Al Sigl Center, 585-442-4102, ext. 8945


January 5, 2004 (Rochester, NY) – WXXI Public Broadcasting Council and Al Sigl Center host the third annual Dialogue on Disability: The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series, an initiative designed to raise awareness about the abilities of people with disabilities. According to Daniel M. Meyers, president of Al Sigl Center, “Our collaboration with WXXI and the power of their programming and their airwaves has significantly raised awareness in our community regarding the important issues facing people with disabilities.”  The week-long initiative, which runs January 10 through January 16, includes special programming on WXXI-TV and AM 1370.

 “If our programs can shed light, educate and stimulate community discussion about the perspectives of people with disabilities, then we’re doing our job,” explains Norm Silverstein, president of WXXI. “Dialogue on Disability is a mission-driven outreach effort for both parties and we’re honored to collaborate with Al Sigl Center.”

AM 1370 kicks off the initiative with Gray Matters: Mapping the Brain, airing Monday, January 10 at 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. Brain imaging is helping scientists map the complex circuitry of the brain. On Tuesday, January 11 at 1 p.m. and again at 10 p.m., AM 1370 presents Humankind: Helen Keller, an audio biography of Helen Keller, featuring Academy Award-winning actress Anne Bancroft who recreates the stunning tale of how a deaf-blind child broke through the darkness and learned to communicate. At 9 p.m. on January 11, WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) broadcasts a POV special entitled Freedom Machines, which takes a look at disability through the lens of assistive technology. On Thursday, January 13 at 1 p.m. and 10 p.m., AM 1370 presents The Infinite Mind: Alzheimer's Research, an exploration of the latest research on Alzheimer's. Concluding the week is a special 1370 Connection program on Friday, January 14 at 12 Noon and 9 p.m. WXXI’s Elissa Orlando is joined by a panel of medical experts to look at medical issues for people with disabilities.

WXXI-TV’s Need to Know, which airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11), and Homework Hotline, which airs Monday through Thursday at 5:30 p.m on WXXI-TV (cable 11), will also feature special segments addressing the subject.

In November 2003 WXXI and Al Sigl Center joined forces to host a week-long initiative to stimulate community dialogue about the perspectives of people with disabilities. Dialogue on Disability: The Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series evolved from Al Sigl Center’s Herman H. Schwartz Lectures, which brings to Rochester nationally distinguished speakers in fields related to people with disabilities. The series is made possible through support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation and Bank of America. To learn even more, visit

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WXXI is an essential, lifelong educational resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI provides programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of the issues of our diverse community, nation and world. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

Al Sigl Center is a unique community partnership of eight caring agencies—each operating independently in program services, budget and staff—but passionately working together to improve the lives of over 60,000 kids and grownups with disabilities in and around Rochester.  The other agencies are; The Arc of Monroe County, CP Rochester, Epilepsy Foundation, Mary Cariola Children’s Center, Medical Motor Service, National Multiple Sclerosis Society Upstate New York Chapter, Rochester Hearing & Speech Center and Rochester Rehabilitation Center.

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