mother of son with ASD hosting live weekly radio show on disabilities every Sunday 5-6PM
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 5, 2004
Disability News & Views Radio Show
Host, Monica Moshenko
Sundays 5-6 PM
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Contact Ms. Moshenko
Mother of son with autism making a difference on the airwaves for all people with disabilities
BUFFALO, NY- The dream has finally become a reality for Monica Moshenko, host of the only live talk radio show focusing on disabilities every Sunday 5-6 PM on WXRL 1300 AM. For the past five years, Monica, a single parent of three children (24 year old twins, and ten year old son) has been raising awareness for autism and is regarded as an advocate for families and children of special needs but wanted to reach more people with disabilities, families and professionals.
From Ms. Moshenko's own experiences in the special education system and through ongoing advocacy training, she has been providing parents across Western New York advice and assistance through an agency she created out of need called Power Advocates. "What I found out is that when many parents find out their child has a disability or suspect they have one, the parents are unaware of their rights under federal and state laws. While the parent struggles with a myriad of challenges medically, financially and emotionally, they are not prepared to effectively advocate for their child's disability when they don't know their rights." For the last five years Moshenko has been providing advice and support to families who contact her online or by word of mouth, volunteering her time to help families. In 2001, she was on a local radio show to answer questions from many listeners along with two respected and nationally known special education attorneys, Reed Martin and Gary Mayerson. The three-hour live radio show was a huge hit. Monica realized the power which radio had to reach so many. While the idea of hosting a radio show was birthed, it would take a few years before the realization of this dream would happen.
While Moshenko has worked as a Staff Assistant at the University at Buffalo for the last 15 years, there is no denying her passion to bring more awareness and education for autism in the community is a personal one. Her ten-year old son, Alex was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when he was six. Because of the early and intensive therapies which Alex received in school and at home (speech, occupational therapy, social skills training), he is thought of as a "typical" kid. Ms. Moshenko wanted to make a difference for the thousands diagnosed with autism and initiated plans for the first walk for autism in Buffalo, NY in 2001, called Buffalo Walk FAR for NAAR (National Alliance for Autism Research). The inaugural walk for autism was held on September 29, 2002 raising $100,000 for autism research and NAAR. Over 3,300 people attended the first walk. Honorary Co-chairs included "Baby" Joe Mesi, Assemblyman Sam Hoyt along with Dan Marino, legendary quarterback of the Miami Dolphins as National Honorary Co-Chair. Again in 2003, Moshenko co-chaired the second walk for autism on September 14, 2003. Over 2000 people attended and together with corporate sponsors such as WKBW-TV, Wegmans Food Markets, Adelphia, Buca di Beppo, The Buffalo Bills, Snapple, Mayer Brothers, Future Horizons, Inc. raised $90,000 for NAAR and autism research. Ms. Moshenko appeared on local TV and radio shows numerous times during the past few years, along with her son Alex. They became the real faces and spokespeople for autism as well as advocates for parents and children.
Monica and Alex were huge fans of last year's American Idol "runner-up", Clay Aiken. She knew that Clay had a special education background and in fact, worked with children that were autistic. Moshenko learned that Clay would be performing in Buffalo on July 19, which was Alex's tenth birthday. After many phone calls, the connection was made and Clay met with Alex backstage, a huge treat for both of them. Alex had photos taken with his "American Idol" and Clay gave them special seats to watch the American Idol show. It was a special night that won't be forgotten by Alex.
Last December Ms. Moshenko found out that she was selected by the Buffalo Bills as one of the top ten finalists for the Parade/NFL Community Quarterback Award. The Buffalo Bills awarded her with a plaque and $1000 donation to NAAR at the Bills-Miami game on December 21, 2003. Monica was thrilled to receive the recognition, as many people in the community were nominated. She humbly accepted the award on behalf of the planning committee, volunteers and many businesses that contributed to the success of the walk.
Just a few months ago, Ms. Moshenko decided to revive her dream of hosting a live weekly radio show that would benefit all people with disabilities, families, and professionals in the community. "I figure that we are all here to make a difference where we can, and I don't want to leave this earth without trying to do what I can for people with disabilities." She began checking out the local radio market and found a locally owned station, WXRL Radio, which suited the needs to broadcast a live show. Unfortunately, Ms. Moshenko suffered a TIA, or mini-stroke, at the end of April, which kept her from work, as her health needed serious attention. Under the supervision of well-known neurologist, Dr. Vernice Bates, Ms. Moshenko underwent many tests, and tried various medications to help remedy the cause of the stroke. Thankfully, she is fully recovered and takes her own health very seriously now. She said, "I started to question if I was going to be able to make the radio show happen, but it all came together a few weeks ago. As they say, "the show must go on," because thankfully my life goes on. I have two national sponsors who believe in my mission to help educate the community about disabilities: Future Horizons, from Arlington, Texas, a world leader in autism education providing national conferences with acclaimed speakers and timely publications, and Laureate Learning Systems of Winooski, Vermont which provides thousands of speech language pathologists, special educators and parents research-based language software to effectively deliver high quality intervention services. These two well known companies didn't have to be sold on the benefits of sponsoring this radio show.. they knew."
The radio show has unique guests and topics each Sunday from 5-6 PM on WXRL 1300 AM. Several past radio shows included Dee Alpert a retired special education attorney from NYC; Joseph Valenzano, Jr., CEO/Publisher of "Exceptional Parent Magazine", and Dr. Delia Pope, Director of Hope and Homes for Children-Romania along with Veronica Federiconi, Executive Director of Autistic Services to share information about the collaborative work they are doing for children there.
Ms. Moshenko may not be a trained broadcaster but her passion to provide timely information, education and disability awareness to listeners makes her a person you actually want to hear each week. Her radio show provides news items most people don't hear of in the media, along with touching selections of music used to open and close the radio show each week. The show can be heard from northern Pennsylvania, across western New York and Toronto, but Moshenko wants to make the radio show more accessible to those on the Internet, so audio files of past shows are online to listen too as well at http://www.poweradvocates.org The most important reason for Disability News & Views Radio Show to be heard, is to educate/inform people who are affected by disabilities, their families and friends, professionals and the general community. While she hopes that the radio show will one day be syndicated in other markets, she is happy with the realization that at the right time, with lots of hard work, dedication and the faith to believe, you can make dreams come true!
Upcoming guests include Rosemarie Rosetti, Ms. Wheelchair of Ohio and author of Take Back Your Life; Dr. Doris Rapp, a board certified environmental medical specialist, author of Our Toxic World ; A Wake Up Call and Is This Your Child's World; Al Condelucci, Executive Director of UCP Pittsburgh. Mr. Condelucci is one of America's leading consultants on human services and community issues; and Dick Gehring, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels in western New York will share the outreach which they provide to thousands of people.
Future topics include Dyslexia, Bipolar Disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disorders, Mental Retardation, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, Alzheimers, Diet and vitamin interventions, Sensory Integration, Reflexology and many other. To give children with disabilities an opportunity to share on the radio, Alex will host a special show dedicated for kids in the fall. Since there are one in five people (54 Million) in our country with a disability, Monica is looking for "partners" who share her vision to make a difference to the "invisible army" and become a sponsor of Disability News & Views Radio Show. Monica knows she has to put extraordinary efforts to ensure the radio show will be heard, so listeners will become better educated about disabilities and for all to realize that "people with disabilities are people too!"
To learn more about Disability News & Views Radio Show, call Monica at 716-522-9185 http://www.poweradvocates.org or email monica@poweradvocates.
Empowering parents of children with special needs!
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and discovery." Martin Luther King Jr.
I know there is a God and that He hates injustice. I see the storm
coming and I see His hand in it. If He has a place and part for me, I am
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]