July 26th is the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
We're proud to celebrate this important civil rights law, which works to ensure that all people who experience disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
Did you know that July is "Disability Pride Month"?
Although Disability Pride Month isn't a nationally-recognized event, parades are held in a number of cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and San Antonio.
Tiffany Yu, who has a paralyzed arm, says that, "this month is about people with disabilities like me falling in love with themselves."
Learn more about Tiffany, and the history of Disability Pride month, here.
Did you Know that, circa this week, June 19th has become a federal holiday known as Juneteenth?
This holiday was named in honor of June 19th, 1865--the day that enslaved persons were finally freed in Texas (months after the Civil War has ended).
Hi! This is Corrie from UCP.
I just got notified that UCP has received $132.18 from AmazonSmile this quarter. Woo hoo! That's free money for UCP!
Are YOU set up for Amazon Smile?
All you have to do is pick UCP Oregon as your charity of choice, and a portion of your purchases will go to UCP--for free!
Hi! I'm Sally Lee, a Personal Assistant and the Chair of UCP's Diversity Committee.
Did you know that May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month?
As an Asian American, this month has personal meaning for me.
Asian hate crimes have increased over 100% during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many folks, I've personally encountered more racism, especially while commuting to work.
But when I think about racism, I also think about the resilience of the AAPI community--and our sense of alliance.
I also think about those in the AAPI community who experience both racism and ableism in their everyday lives.
As a community, may we celebrate and acknowledge ALL!
PS: You can learn more about the intersection of disabilities and Asian heritage here.
We are sad to announce the passing of Kathryn Weit.
Kathryn served as a Policy Analyst for the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities, and spent many years working on disability related issues in the Oregon Legislature.
Kathryn passed peacefully away last night, at home with her family.
Kathryn meant so much to Oregon, and to so many of us at UCP. She will be missed.
FROM THE DESK OF ANN COFFEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
It’s March of 2021. This means that COVID-19 has been with us for a year.
What a year it’s been; exhausting, terrifying, and traumatic come to mind.
It's also been a time full of gratitude. The UCP community has come together and stood strong in our resiliency.
It’s been a time for growth and streamlining, as we seek new ways to complete our work; new ways to connect; new ways to find balance and purpose.
The COVID-19 vaccine is here, although not all of us are currently eligible or will choose to receive it. Scheduling has proven difficult. Inequity has been highlighted. Nevertheless, there is a light at the end of this tunnel … and I can finally say … the light is not coming from a train. It’s sunlight.
Change—good change—is on the horizon. We’re starting to envision a new future.
Folks are wondering when we’ll reopen the UCP Oregon office. I don’t have firm dates yet, or any concrete answers.
But I can tell you that we’ll base our decision (s) on:
Whew! That’s a lot to consider. We are committed to maintaining the health and safety of UCP customers and employees, to the very best of our ability.
So, I suppose I am saying: hang on. Clarity is forming. Mask up. Remain socially distanced. Assist customers to gain vaccinations if they choose to. Stay healthy and safe—we’re not at the finish line yet.
Thank you to everyone involved in keeping UCP safe. We will look back on this and feel proud. Proud to rise to the occasion among all the variables that have made this a most complex and unique year.
Did you know that March is Women’s History Month?
Join us in celebrating 14 Black, disabled women who have had a powerful impact on American history.
As Stephanie Mullen (a Personal Agent at UCP Connections) says, “Their work has left a legacy of bridge-building, radical self-love and advocacy.”
They include the famous poet Maya Angelou, who experienced a disability called “selective mutism."
They also include Claudia Gordon (the first Black deaf lawyer in America), and Lois Curtis—the woman behind the L.C. v. Olmstead case.
Learn more about them here.
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.
Join us in celebrating and defending the inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in all areas of community life.
PS: If you’d like to be part of a larger community this month, you might want to share photos and stories with the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities. You can simply use their campaign hashtag: #BetterTogether21. Or you can share via their Facebook page.
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!