Have you heard of “This Is Our Voice”?
UCP Oregon launched this project in 2019 to talk about the workforce crisis in the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) arena.
The platform was designed to ensure that all the voices within the disability community were heard, including those from customers, families and employees.
A UCP customer and advocate, John Griffiths, was instrumental in getting the project going.
Fast forward into a pandemic context, and alas the workforce crisis has increased as solutions have waned. The “This is Our Voice” project is therefore receiving increased attention.
We’re asking you to once again share YOUR voice and YOUR experiences. We want to hear from UCP Oregon’s customers, families, employees—or anyone anywhere in the state who is affected by the I/DD workforce crisis.
Our Executive Director, Ann Coffey, is primed to assist to share your stories, explain avenues of advocacy, and guide you in the appropriate direction for more formal complaint and grievances processes.
The project webpage allows you to: (1) email us directly, (2) get easy links for being a self-advocate through the Go!Project, or (3) file a direct complaint and/or grievance with the State of Oregon or local case management entity.
Today is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day 2022!
What are you doing to celebrate?
This week, a group of parent and adult advocates, clinicians and researchers celebrated CP Awareness Day by travelling to Washington DC, to give a briefing to Congress about CP!
The trip was organized by the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (which is not part of UCP), and was supported by Senator Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire) and Congressman Steve Cohen (Tennessee).
Way to go, advocates!
And, speaking of advocates, did you know that National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day in the United States was created by two moms? They felt it was vital to increase awareness of cerebral palsy, and to improve quality of care and research across the lifespan.
As you may already know, our Executive Director (Ann Coffey) contributes to statewide disability projects all the time.
What you might not know is that Ann was on the steering committee for a national policy project.
The 2021 “Case For Inclusion” was created through a partnership between the national UCP organization, and ANCOR (The American Network of Community Options and Resources).
The report details some of the extreme difficulties faced by groups like UCP Oregon, as they dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report also lists specific actions that the White House and Congress can take to ensure the sustainability of community-based supports.
Way to go, Ann and everyone else who worked on the project!
As you're probably aware, UCP Oregon is an affiliate of a national organization, which is called United Cerebral Palsy. That group partnered with several other organizations* to create a "policy guide" about the changes we'd like to see nationwide!
Read it here.
*American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; American Network of Community Options and Resources; Autism Society of America; National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities; and The Arc).