Young People with Autism Get To Be WCBS 880 Reporters For A Day
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — As part of Autism Awareness Month, and in partnership with Koeppel Auto Group, WCBS Newsradio 880 presented a program on news and weather reporting for a class of autistic young people from the Quality Services for the Autism Community Day Habilitation program.
The young people came to the showroom of Koeppel Ford in Woodside, Queens to hear from WCBS 880 Reporter Marla Diamond and Chief Meteorologist Craig Allen.
Diamond explained how she works as a reporter – including her early alarm clock, her computer skills, how she works out of her vehicle, and how she travels the city covering all kinds of interesting stories.
She demonstrated how she uses as microphone, digital recorder and audio editing software on her laptop. She recorded QSAC visitors reading news scripts and weather forecasts.
The QSAC young people also got a lesson in weather from Allen, a veteran of both radio and TV. He also brought tools of his trade — including a barometer, a lightning detector, and something that created a tornado effect in a glass tube.
The session concluded with questions and answers from the young people about everything from covering snow storms to what makes a good news story.
“So when we talked to the guys who came today about this potential opportunity, they were incredibly excited to meet people in the community who they see as absolute superstars, and they really were excited to learn about what you guys do, and to be in a place with fancy cars, with everybody giving them tons of attention, so they’re really excited to be a part of this today,” said QSAC Senior Director of Day Services Lauren Maldonado.
QSAC President and Chief Operating Officer Cory Polshansky said many in the program are making leaps and bounds toward independence. He mentioned one young man who has been with the program since he was a teenager.
“Now it’s 15 years later, and he’s grown into a young adult, and he’s developing the skills and hopes to one day live in his own apartment. And that’s what he’s been talking about for a couple of years, and he’s working at it, and in a couple years, he’ll probably be ready to live independently with some supports from QSAC,” Polshansky said.
The session was held at the Koeppel showroom in Queens as part of the auto group’s strong support of the QSAC organization.
“We would like to give back what we get. I mean, it’s kind of selfish to keep getting and not giving back,” Koeppel said.
Neil A. Carousso produced WCBS Newsradio 880’s digital content at QSAC’s Day of Habilitation program at Koeppel Auto Group on Friday, April 13, 2018.