The program is called Amazon Smiles. It's incredibly easy to set up.
Last week, UCP Oregon and the nation celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Did you know that an 8-year-old girl who experienced cerebral palsy helped get this bill passed?
Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins crawled up the 83 stone steps that lead to the U.S. Capitol. "I’ll take all night if I have to," she said.
Joining her on her journey were some 60 other activists who also cast aside their mobility devices, all with a goal of demonstrating the everyday barriers experienced by people with disabilities.
Jennifer is still a disability rights activist today. Learn more about her story here.
COVID-19 is certainly proving to be a marathon!
UCP Oregon is committed to responding to COVID-19 in a way that keeps customers, employees, and the community safe.
At this time, there are no plans in the works to change our current strategies (keeping the office closed and limiting face-to-face supports as possible).
If needed, we will make some adjustments in specific service areas to be responsive to customer needs. But, rest assured, that these adjustments will be made cautiously and thoughtfully.
As always, we thank our employees. All of them are working under unprecedented conditions, especially those that are providing in-person supports. Many folks have experienced changes to their roles and duties, and are having far less social interaction with team members. They are handling these changes with grace and grit.
A shout-out to our customers as well. Many folks have their supports changed or paused. We're grateful for their flexibility and resilience.
We'll get through this, together. One day and one step at a time.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, UCP has decided to postpone the Family Conference until 2021.
We look forward to seeing you then!
To UCP Employees, Customers, and Community Partners:
UCP stands against racism, and stands behind justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black women and men who have lost their lives.
UCP’s mission is to lift up, support and advocate for and with people with disabilities, who are among the most vulnerable in our community. Many of the people we support and employ are also Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), and as such at greater risk of violence and harm.
UCP believes all humans should feel safe and supported by our organization. We will not tolerate inequality, injustice, or exclusivity of any kind in our community. The time is now to assure that extends specifically to the Black people we support and work alongside.
There is so much more to say, so much more to do, individually and as a community.
As Adrienne Maree Brown says,
All the big things that we are longing for are made up of a lot of small, personal, radical, brave choices.
We can do it. Together.
Our customers are our best role models during this time of uncertainty. They're the real experts at navigating barriers, exceptions, and challenges. They already know how to wade deep into unknown waters, deal with uncertainty, and find coping mechanisms.
Our employees are, as always, rising to any challenge, whether it's finding personal protective gear and emergency supplies, or finding ways to help customers socialize at a distance. It is clear that we ALL take the business of providing human services seriously.
One day, one customer, one step at a time.
Ann Coffey, Executive Director
We have also partnered with a few local provider agencies to acquire a few deals. And, as needed, our Executive Director, Ann, makes weekly trips in her truck to pick up and distribute orders.
And we have, so far, been able to keep our employees "whole."
We still need your help, though... more than ever! Thanks for your support!
We want to share a wonderful story. Last Friday, our Family Support Director (Katherine) woke up to a frantic phone call from a mom who is raising a child with cerebral palsy. He has a trach and vent, but they didn't have enough supplies to get them through the weekend.
Katherine jumped into instant action. She was able to share a week's worth of medical supplies from her family's personal stash.
Then she connected the mom to a new supply company, a new nursing agency, several other resources... and, of course, to UCP's Family Support Department!
Now mom and son could have a stress-free weekend and look forward to more support, connection and supplies. As Katherine says, "I love my job! I love my life!"
An Exploration into Physical Activity Resources for Oregonians with Disabilities
Thursday May 7, 12-1pm PST
Adventure 1: National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability and Adaptive Sports NW
Monday May 11, 12-1pm PST
Adventure 2: Move it! Oregon’s Specialty Athletic Trainings and OSU Extensive Services
Wednesday May 13, 12-1pm PST
Adventure 3: Dance! Yoga! Something for everyone--plus, national and state online resources