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Festival of Inclusion Returns, Serving the Intellectual Developmental Disability Community

The Golisano Foundation, Special Olympics and Best Buddies are joining together to host the second annual

Festival of Inclusion on Saturday, March 4.

The event will have interactive fun, games and education is free and will be held at the Golisano Training Center at Nazareth, 4245 East Ave in Rochester from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Festival of Inclusion is part of the Spread the Word campaign started in 2009 to focused on ending the use of the word "retard(ed)" and creating a new reality of inclusion for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The campaign/organization is committed to empowering grassroots leaders to change their communities, schools, and workplaces, now through a call to their peers to take action for inclusion.

"We’re very excited to be bringing back the Festival of Inclusion for its second year,” said Ann Costello, Golisano Foundation Executive Director. “It’s a great opportunity to get to know the dozens of dedicated agencies in our region that will be showcasing their inclusive services and inspiring acceptance and advocating for respectful words and actions in all aspects of our lives."

Community inclusion stations featuring interactive and creative activities and demonstrations will take place inside the Center from the following regional organizations:

  • Abilities Movement, Inc

  • Aceing Autism

  • Al Sigl Community of Agencies

  • Alzheimer's Association

  • AutismUp

  • Bella's Bumbas LTD

  • Best Buddies Friendship Walk

  • Best Buddies WNY

  • BOCES Monroe One - Project LIFE

  • Catholic Charities Family and Community Services

  • Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester

  • CP Rochester-SportsNet

  • Dancing with Diverse Abilities

  • David's Refuge

  • Disability EmpowHer Network, Inc.

  • Disability Rights New York

  • EPI

  • EquiCenter, Inc.

  • Erie Canal Boat Company Inc

  • Genesee Valley Audubon Society

  • Golisano Institute for DD Nursing

  • Golisano Restorative Neurology & Rehabilitation Center/ Rochester Regional Health

  • Goodwill of the Finger Lakes

  • HealthPozitive

  • Heritage Christian Stables

  • Hillside

  • Homesteads for Hope

  • Irondequoit Public Library

  • Lifetime Assistance

  • Mary Cariola Center

  • Music Education Centers

  • No Lemons Equine Inc.

  • NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation

  • Parent to Parent of NYS

  • Parents Helping Parents Coalition of Monroe County

  • Person Centered Services

  • Pittsford Challenger Baseball

  • Princess of America

  • Project SEARCH

  • RIT LiveAbility Lab

  • Rochester Accessible Adventures

  • Rochester EOC

  • Rochester Hearing and Speech Center

  • Rochester Rookies

  • Rochester Special Hockey

  • SAGE Rochester

  • Special Olympics New York

  • Special Olympics Young Athletes

  • Starbridge

  • Tastefully Simple with Cathy White

  • The Arc GLOW

  • The Arc of Chemung-Schuyler

  • The Arc of Monroe

  • The Hochstein School

  • TIES (Together Including Every Student)

  • Town of Perinton Recreation

  • Town of Victor Dept. of Parks and Recreation

  • URMC Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

  • WXXI Public Media

More Festival of Inclusion Event Highlights

  • Sports activities

  • Adaptive equipment demonstrations

  • Virtual reality

  • Information resources

  • Free t-shirts and tote bags to the first 500 attendees

  • Games and prizes

  • DJ

  • A photo booth for fun photo ops

  • Food trucks located outside the Golisano Training Center entrance

This year's Spread the Word Day of activation is Wednesday, March 1. The campaign was created and reimagined by youth, and is intended to engage schools, organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support of inclusion and to promote respect and acceptance of people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For more information on the Festival of Inclusion and Spread the Word Inclusion Campaign or to make the pledge to Spread Inclusion, visit

For complete details of the event visit


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