WATCH: Enabled engineering

Feb 15, 2016
Jim Day

Justin DeCross of Rochester was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at a young age.

Up until now, this diagnosis would have meant he would have little chance to live into adulthood.

But by combining physical therapies and medications, DeCross has become an exception to previous outlooks.

DeCross is now actively planning his life beyond his 20s and his career after college.

There’s some new technology available for those who are visually impaired.

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, or ABVI, hosted a technology fair on Thursday showcasing the latest advances in adaptive equipment. Nearly a dozen vendors from across New York, and the northeast, participated in the “What’s the Latest” event.

"I get a lot of phone calls on what kind of computer should I get? What kind of phone should I buy? ” says  Chris Frank who is the team leader of employment and technology services for ABVI.

The Rochester region has a long history of deaf education and culture, but highly trained members of the deaf community are moving out of the region due to a lack of jobs.

One firm that recently opened an office in the city is calling for companies to take advantage of the talent in their own backyard.

Zack Seward / WXXI

Angella Luyk, owner of Midnight Janitorial, runs a finger along a wooden banister.

"One of the hard things with an old mansion like this is dust," says Luyk, walking up an ornate stairway. "Dust, dust, dust and cobwebs."

And while Luyk says her cleaners have the dust under control, they joke that occasionally they're plagued by something beyond their expertise: ghosts.

"I don't believe in ghosts, but my hair would stand up like it was really somebody there!" laughs employee Jessica Perez, as she cleans a law office in the converted East Avenue mansion.

"When you walk in the day after we've cleaned, it smells clean, it feels clean," owner Luyk says. "And we're ghost hunters - just kidding about that part."

One thing Luyk isn't kidding about: giving people with disabilities a shot at steady employment.