Are you a member of UCP Family Support Department? Have you been eagerly awaiting our next OMSI Play Lab?
We're excited to announce our next Play Lab date:
The theme is "Be a Naturalist." Participants will be able to explore the natural world and the clues that animals leave behind. Participants will meet insects and practice skills like categorization and observations
Each Play Lab includes an hour-long, hands-on, family-centered STEM program, followed by unstructured play time at OMSI.
Every participating family will receive a free year-long family membership to OMSI!
Have you registered to attend UCP Oregon's 2023 Family Support Conference?
If so, you'll be excited to learn more about our Keynote Speaker, Lauren Lowery.
Lauren started her own journey as a special needs mom over 6 years ago when her son was diagnosed with Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome.
Fast forward a few years, Lauren is now an International Coaching Federation certified and trauma-informed life coach, here to help families of children experiencing disabilities and medical issues get out of survival mode and start living a life that is even better than they imagined.
She is also the host of the "Overcome the Overwhelm for Special Needs Moms" podcast.
Drawing from her personal experiences as a special needs mom herself, Lauren brings a unique understanding and empathy to her coaching practice, creating a safe and supportive space for her clients while also helping them make significant, lasting changes.
Lauren specializes in helping parents navigate the challenges of raising children with disabilities while juggling their own well-being. With a focus on burnout and stress management, she equips her clients with the tools and strategies needed to break free from survival mode and thrive in their roles as caregivers.
As an International Coaching Federation (ICF) certified professional, Lauren's coaching approach is rooted in evidence-based techniques and a deep commitment to her clients' growth and fulfillment. Through her guidance, parents discover that they may not be able to control or change their circumstances, but they can choose how they respond and show up to them.
Based in Oklahoma, Lauren finds inspiration from her close-knit family, which includes her two children, husband, and a menagerie of horses and cattle. She believes that by supporting mothers of children with special needs, she can create a positive ripple effect that extends far beyond individual families, fostering a community of resilience and hope.
We're excited to announce that registration is open for UCP Oregon’s 19th Family Support Conference!
It will be held November 3-4, 2023 in Wilsonville, Oregon.
The Family Support Conference has been bringing our community together since 1995. It's designed for:
Our 2023 theme is "REUNITED."
Worried about costs? Your County Caseworker or Personal Agent may be able to pay for your Conference registration.
UCP is also able to offer a limited number of scholarships, as well as a limited number of spots in our childcare room.
Find out more--and register to attend--on the event page link below. We can't wait to see you!
You know what that means. Crisp leaves. Pumpkin spice lattes.
And a gigantic “happy birthday” to UCP Mentors, which is turning two.
UCP Oregon has been offering brokerage services (as UCP Connections) since 2010.
In 2021, we added a second brokerage, which we named UCP Mentors. Our goal was to serve the 600+ brokerage customers who had been previously served by The Mentor Network.
And here we are—two years later. UCP Mentors is thriving. And we owe it all to our awesome customers and staff.
As Sarah Noack, Director of Brokerage Services says, “UCP Mentors would not be the honorable, big-hearted, tenacious group we are today without each and every single one of you. Thank you! Happy anniversary!”
Wow! What a fun weekend! Last weekend, several of the dads from UCP Oregon's Family Support Department attended our first ever “For Dads Only” Cabin Weekend!
This was a chance for UCP dads to have a weekend away to relax and regroup. They played disc golf, did a 2.5 mile hike, went for mountain bike rides, and sat by a campfire. UCP supplied tons of snacks and beverages.
There were a couple of wasp stings. Ouch! But they survived and connected, and, to quote one dad,
“It was honestly perfect for me! The park was GREAT! Thank you so much for making things like this happen for us! It’s something we would not have planned for ourselves. And thanks for the drinks and snacks!”
They spent two night at the beautiful L.L. Stub Stewart State Park. A gigantic thank you to the "Explore Cabins and Yurts program" at Oregon State Parks for gifting the cabin stays!
And another giant thank you to Katherine Ball, UCP's Family Support Director, for organizing the trip!
We’d like to share some great “behind-the-scenes” news.
UCP applied for—and received—funds via the federal government’s Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
After we received the funds, we asked all of our departments to create a “wish list” of wants and needs.
Below are some of the items from those wishlists that we’ll be funding in the coming months:
We’d like to thank Esther Large (UCP’s Finance Director) and John Hancock (a long-term member of UCP’s Board of Directors), for their work related to the ERC funds!
We’d also like to thank the entire UCP Board of Directors for their ongoing commitment to supporting UCP’s workforce and our delivery of quality services.
In Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refuses to sit at the back of the bus. Churchill resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The World Series features the Brooklyn Dodgers versus the New York Yankees.
And, a little closer to home, two different organizations begin operations: UCP of NW Oregon (in Astoria), and Double O Workshop (in Portland). Spoiler alert: these two groups will merge, and become what we know as UCP Oregon today!
Happy Birthday, UCP Oregon!
Do you remember what you were doing on July 26, 1990? Probably not. Maybe you weren’t even born yet!
But thirty-three years ago, something amazing happened. It was the day that the “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA) was finally passed.
The ADA bans discrimination on the basis of disability in the areas of employment, public services, public accommodation, transit, and telecommunications. Berkshire Associates describes the ADA as “the world’s first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities.”
As the ADA itself says,
“The ADA reflects a recognition that the surest path to America's continued vitality, strength and vibrancy is through the full realization of the contributions of all of its citizens.”
Happy Birthday, ADA!
This is so cool!
Last weekend, several UCP Oregon families were able to spend a weekend at an amazing campground in Yakima, Washington—for free!
Camp Prime Time is a nonprofit, and it focuses on children who experience disabilities or who are seriously ill.
UCP campers had their choice of activities, including an accessible pontoon boat ride, a ride on an antique wagon, accessible horseback riding, and an accessible bonfire with a marshmallow roast. There was even a wheelchair-accessible treehouse!
A gigantic thank you to Katherine Lee Ball, Director of UCP Oregon’s Family Support Department, for applying for UCP to attend and organizing the whole trip!
And thanks to a UCP Family Support member, Stephanie, for sharing many of these awesome photos!
Happy Disability Pride Month!
What does Disability Pride Month mean to you?
For some people, Disability Pride Month is a time to speak out and take action. Other folks may use it as a chance to seek community or share their story. And for some people, Disability Pride Month is a time for deep introspection.
Whatever this month means to you, UCP Oregon celebrates you and your story.