What has UCP of Greater Cleveland done for you? – Michelle

This week’s blog is from Michelle, who has been a resident of UCP’s Edendale Group Home since 1999. Michelle enjoys Edendale’s Friday afternoon cocktail hour (where they serve sparkling grape juice), watching TV with her roommate and playing games on the Wii console. She also likes dressing up for special occasions. Read on to hear how UCP has helped Michelle be more independent.


I lived with my mother and brother before moving to Edendale House. I decided to move to the house because I took a look at it and I liked it. It was accessible which was good. I was excited to live with other people. I get along with my housemates. I have a roommate too. I decorated our room beautifully. (The staff make it very homey for the clients. They make everyday life special for them by hanging the housemates’ art on the walls, decorating for holidays and helping to display their personal items.) I like to play with my (stuffed) animals in my room. They’re my babies. I love them with all my heart.

The UCP staff help me. They are there for me when I need them. I learned that they love me and respect me. They help me to the bathroom when I need it, treat me with respect and love me.

They also help me go shopping. They help me with all kinds of things actually. There is always someone to help me. I like to go to shopping at Bath and Body, Avon and a boutique. I like to buy perfumes. My favorite staff person there is Michelle (click here to read a separate blog about UCP staff member Michelle). She helps me with everything. She is very nice.

I like living at this home because it’s way out there in the open (in the community) where I can be. I also like their food. My favorite is chicken and spaghetti and meatballs. It is possible that I might move to another house. I would be excited to move.

To learn more about UCP of Greater Cleveland’s two Group Homes, please contact Eula Ott, Group Home Program Manager, at (216) 299-3881 or eott@ucpcleveland.org. Or visit our website at http://www.ucpcleveland.org/services-for-adults/group-homes.

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Upcoming Events at UCP

UCP of Greater Cleveland has many upcoming fall community fundraising and awareness events, all great ways to become more involved with the agency and support the children and adults served by UCP’s programs. Whether you are interested in poker, running, football or eating delicious food, there is something for everyone. Please consider attending one or more of the following events.

Texas For Tyler Hold ‘Em Tournament – Saturday, September 20, 2014:
Join Team Tyler for the Texas for Tyler Hold ‘Em Tournament on Saturday, September 20th at Regovich’s Catering Center beginning at 5:00pm. This event is limited to 125 people, so make sure to reserve your spot early! The cost is $75, which includes the tournament fee, food and pop. For more information or to reserve a seat, please contact Chris Spicuzza at chris.spicuzza@att.net or (216) 870-1640. You can download the flyer here.

Elm Trail Race – Sunday, September 28, 2014:
The 3rd Annual Elm Trail Race will take place on Sunday, September 28th at 2:00pm at Tallmadge High School (140 North Munroe Road). There is a one mile and a half mile option. Race entry fees are $3 for children 10 and under and $5 for 11 and over. There will also be door prizes and basket raffles. For more information, please download the flyer here.

Browns Tailgate Party – Sunday, October 5, 2014:
The Browns Tailgate Party, hosted by UCP of Greater Cleveland’s young professionals group (Friends Committee), is back for its third year! Join us on October 5th at Harry Buffalo Lakewood to cheer on the Cleveland Browns as they take on the Tennessee Titans! Tickets are $20 per person. Ticket price includes draft beer, well drinks and an appetizer buffet from 12:30pm – 2:30pm. There will also be football squares and a Chinese auction. To purchase tickets, visit www.ucpcleveland.org/donate. Enter “Tailgate” in the additional information section. You can also call Emily at 216-791-8363 ext. 1232 to purchase tickets over the phone. For more information, download the flyer here.

Elks Annual Northeast District Charity Ball – Saturday, October 11, 2014:
The Elks Annual Northeast District Charity Ball to benefit UCP of Greater Cleveland will take place on Saturday, October 11th at 6:00pm at Lakewood Elks Lodge No. 1350 (24530 Center Ridge Road in Westlake). The cost is $50 per person, which includes dinner and an open bar. There will also be a Chinese Raffle. Download the flyer here.

Fall Fling for UCP – Friday, October 17, 2014:
Join UCP of Greater Cleveland for our Fall Fling fundraiser, hosted by the Children’s Services Department, at Around the Corner in Lakewood on Friday, October 17th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Tickets are $25 per person and include pizza, wings, veggie trays and beer. There will also be a basket raffle and children’s art auction. To purchase tickets, please go to www.ucpcleveland.org/donate . Enter “Fall Fling” in the additional information section. You can also call Emily at 216-791-8363 ext. 1232 to purchase tickets over the phone. You can download the flyer here.

Team Niko Event – Sunday, October 19, 2014:
Save the Date! PJ McIntyre’s Irish Pub (17119 Lorain Avenue) from 4:00pm – 7:00pm. More information on the event and tickets to come.

Businesses Advancing Connections Cocktail Reception – Wednesday, October 29, 2014:
The 3rd Annual BAC Cocktail Reception, hosted by UCP’s Business Advisory Committee, is on Wednesday, October 29th from 5:30pm – 7:00pm at UCP of Greater Cleveland Headquarters (10011 Euclid Avenue). Learn about UCP of Greater Cleveland’s comprehensive employment services that assist businesses in meeting their diversity workforce goals. Meet employees with abilities of all levels and network with current employment partners. This event is free due to the generous provision of food and drink by Aramark at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Team Scott Clam Bake – Saturday, November 1, 2014:
Join Team Scott, one of our amazing triathlon families, for their clambake fundraiser on Saturday, November 1st from 4:00pm – 9:00pm at The West Park Knights of Columbus (3556 West 130th Street). Tickets are $40 and include one dozen clams, half a fresh chicken, an ear of sweet corn, sweet potato, coleslaw, dinner roll, draft beer, pop, coffee and desserts. There will also be basket raffles and a 50/50 raffle. To purchase tickets, please contact Lisa Sweany at lsweany@ymail.com or (440) 915-6146.

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What has UCP of Greater Cleveland done for you? – Sofia Biondi

This week’s blog post was written by Michelle Biondi, the mother of Sofia, a child who has made significant progress receiving therapy services at UCP of Greater Cleveland.

IMG_1851Sofia started coming to UCP in October of 2008 when she was 3 years old after her original therapy facility shut down. She had been receiving physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy from infancy and we wanted to continue that for her.

We live in Lake County and there is very little as far as children’s therapy services and no organization that Sofia can have all of her therapy services done at one place like UCP. Not being able to find a place near where we live that can offer all therapy services was challenging and frustrating. I placed a call to UCP back in 2008 and was told Sofia could receive any type of therapy she needed and we could get in immediately!

Sofia has made such gains since starting therapy services at UCP. When she first started therapy she was not able to walk without continually falling down, she could not feed herself and do a lot of independent life skills on her own. Sofia’s speech has been the most affected by her disability and that has just blossomed over time. We have been very fortunate to have Rebecca as our Speech Language Pathologist for the six years that Sofia has been coming to UCP. How Rebecca has helped Sofia’s speech is amazing!

IMG_1849My husband and I know that we can talk to Sofia’s therapists if we have a concern and they help us to resolve the issue. The therapists give us carry over to do at home which helps to reinforce what they are working on with Sofia every week. The administrative staff has helped us out with navigating the wonderful world of health insurance! Intesar and Donna have been able to work miracles with giving us a weekly therapy schedule that works for our busy family life, which has helped out tremendously.

UCP has been a godsend in helping us deal with having a child with Cerebral Palsy. We have been fortunate to have amazing therapists over the years that really care about what is best for Sofia and how they can help us out as a family. These therapists show dedication and support that goes beyond what we could have ever expected form a therapy facility. We can never thank the UCP staff enough for what they have done for Sofia all these years!

For more information about UCP of Greater Cleveland’s Children’s Services Department, please call (216) 791-8362 ext. 1250 or email childrens@ucpcleveland.org. Or visit our website at http://www.ucpcleveland.org/services-for-children.

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Nearly 8 In 10 Kids Don’t Get Developmental Screenings

The vast majority of American children may not be receiving recommended screenings for developmental delay, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

In a government survey, parents of 79 percent of young children reported that they had not been asked to participate in screening efforts in the previous year. This, despite recommendations that children are routinely checked at pediatrician visits for signs of developmental issues.

The findings come from an analysis of data collected in 2007 and 2008 through the National Survey of Children’s Health published this week in a supplement to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The issue includes a broad review of preventive care services recommended for children and adolescents ranging from newborn hearing tests to hypertension screening.

Parents of children ages 10 to 47 months were asked if their child’s health care provider had them complete a developmental questionnaire within the previous year. The surveys, which ask about development, communication and social behaviors, are part of the recommended screening procedures for young children.

Though most said they did not participate in screening, parents of slightly more than half of children did say that their doctor asked about whether they had concerns with their child’s learning, development or behavior, suggesting that physicians are relying on more informal conversations to assess their patients. These conversations, however, did not appear to prompt additional screening in cases where parents expressed concerns.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors use a developmental screening tool to assess all children at ages 9, 18 and either 24 or 30 months. Developmental screenings are significant, the report said, because children who are at risk for delays are more likely to receive early intervention if they participate in such efforts.

“We must protect the health of all children and ensure that they receive recommended screenings and services,” said Stuart K. Shapira, chief medical officer and associate director for science at the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “Increased use of clinical preventive services could improve the health of infants, children and teens and promote healthy lifestyles that will enable them to achieve their full potential.”

The report did note that data was collected prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Under that law, most insurance plans must cover developmental screening at no cost to patients.

Copyright © 2014 Disability Scoop, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This article was shared from Disability Scoop
by Shaun Heasley posted on September 11, 2014

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What has UCP of Greater Cleveland done for you? – Kelly Alexander

This week’s blog post is from Kelly Alexander, a Vocational Services client who works at the Oatey Company. Kelly is responsible for counting product, placing the appropriate amount in shipping boxes, packaging and labeling. She also assists clients at times. Kelly’s supervisor, Ed, says, “Kelly always comes in with a positive attitude and is willing to help others. She’s someone we can really count on when we’re behind and to give assistance when needed.”

Kelly 1_croppedI started coming to UCP in November 2013. Before then I used to work at River Copy and Mail. I decided to come to UCP because there is more work at Oatey than I had at my other job. I like to keep busy.

One of my favorite things about working at Oatey is my supervisor Ed. He is very fun and has a good personality. He is a wonderful supervisor. He likes to joke around and make our work day fun all at the same time. I am happier working at Oatey.

I also love all the jobs there. I have a lot of work and jobs to do. I count pieces and sort them. Ed taught me how to do that. I also help people out at work by cleaning stuff and putting things away. Ed has a really hard job and I try to make it easy by helping with whatever I can.

Kelly 2_croppedThe hardest part of the job for me is counting, but Ed helps me with that. He developed a counting board to help me. If there is something I don’t understand I go to him. I feel comfortable going to Ed and asking him questions. He is easy to talk to. And if he doesn’t know the answer, he will go to someone else to get the answer for me. His boss Katie (Adkins) is great too.

My favorite memory is the special lunches we do every month. We also went to Cedar Point and the zoo for an outing. I love it at Oatey so much! I am so glad I got there. I bettered myself to get the job. It’s a regular job too – there’s regular people and people with disabilities.


For more information about UCP of Greater Cleveland’s Community Employment program, please contact Kate Adkins, Community Employment Manager, at (216) 791-8362 ext. 1252 or kadkins@ucpcleveland.org. Or visit our website at http://www.ucpcleveland.org/services-for-adults/community-employment.

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  • Upcoming Events

       September  2014 »
    Events on September 5, 2014
    • Executive Committee Meeting

      Starts: 8:00 am, September 5, 2014

      Ends: 9:30 am, September 5, 2014

      Location: UCP of Greater Cleveland

    Events on September 12, 2014
    • Governance/ Nominating Committee

      Starts: 8:00 am, September 12, 2014

      Ends: 9:30 am, September 12, 2014

      Location: UCP of Greater Cleveland

    Events on September 20, 2014
    • Texas For Tyler Hold ‘Em Tournament

      Starts: 5:00 pm, September 20, 2014

      Ends: 9:00 pm, September 20, 2014

      Location: Regovich’s Catering Center

    Events on September 22, 2014
    • Development Committee Meeting

      Starts: 2:30 pm, September 22, 2014

      Ends: 4:00 pm, September 22, 2014

      Location: UCP of Greater Cleveland

    • Board of Directors Meeting

      Starts: 4:00 pm, September 22, 2014

      Ends: 6:00 pm, September 22, 2014

      Location: UCP of Greater Cleveland