“A Christmas Carol” Sensory-Friendly Matinee – November 26, 2014

PlayhouseSquare and Great Lakes Theatre are providing a sensory-friendly performance of the classic tale “A Christmas Carol” at the Ohio Theatre on Wednesday, November 26 at 11:00am. For this special performance, accommodations will be made, including a supportive audience environment, designated quiet areas, adjustments to light and sound, and online resource materials. To purchase tickets, go to www.greatlakestheater.org/event/sensory. For more information about the performance, please click here.

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The Kohoen Social Community Service Group Site Visit – October 20, 2014

A group of 17 administrators of a social welfare facility in Japan are visiting Cleveland from October 20th -24th to learn about non-profit facilities who work with individuals who have disabilities in the United States. They expressed a particular interest in touring UCP of Greater Cleveland to learn about our adult day services, organizational employment and children’s services programs in addition to our transition program, Project SEARCH, specifically the site at the Cleveland Clinic. The group was referred by a former Social Work Field Instructor from Case Western Reserve Universe, Ms. Hikari Morikawa, who also served as their interpreter. The Chairman of the Kohoen Social Community Service group, Dr. Ko Hiroe assisted with arranging the tour. In addition, UCP was presented with a generous donation by the Kohoen Social Community Service group at the end of the tour.

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Advantages Of Hiring A Person With A Disability – UCP Site Supervisor Perspective

This week’s blog post was written by Mary Ellen Rhein, the Supported Employment Site Supervisor at PNC Bank. Mary Ellen shares her perspective on working with people with disabilities, and what they contribute to the company.

I began to work at UCP three and a half years ago at the Westlake Adult Day Service site. I started working as a classroom aide and then became classroom leader after a few months. I helped to provide support services, training and delegated nursing for adults with multiple disabilities. I enjoyed their smiles, jokes and the joy they had in sharing time with you. It was a blessing to learn so much from them.

Almost two years ago, I transferred to the position of Site Supervisor at PNC. I was motivated to take the position because it took me back to my roots. I am a retired special education teacher. For thirty-one years I taught Life Skills and Work Skills to high school students with special needs. The position at PNC gives me the opportunity to continue to teach job skills but in a real work environment. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of helping an individual transform from an untested, nervous person to a confident experienced worker. One of the best memories that I have is of a young man who started working one day a week, needed constant supervision while working and was afraid to go too far from his desk. He has transitioned to now working five days a week and works all over the building with minimal observation. He has truly blossomed because he was given a chance.

As a retired teacher, the most challenging aspect of my job is working during the summer. Seriously though, adapting to a business/bank culture has been the most difficult aspect. It is very different from the world of education. However, it has been heartwarming to see how open and welcoming the PNC employees and management are to the UCP workers. They are included in huddles (department meetings), parties, potlucks and building wide celebrations. In the offices, halls and cafeteria, you can’t help but notice the camaraderie as PNC people stop to talk to UCP workers about their weekend, football, family etc.

The managers at PNC often comment how happy they are with the work done by the UCP workers. The employees complete a wide variety of jobs in different parts of the building. Often the work that they do allows the PNC employees to complete other tasks.

An employer would be smart to look at the process of hiring from a different perspective. Many bright, intelligent people have difficulty with the interview process and are passed over because of it. The same can be said for bright, intelligent people with disabilities. Sometimes a person with a disability might not have the communication skills to make it past that first interview. But as the PNC managers found out, the UCP employees have many talents, are hard working, loyal and have outstanding attendance.

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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Warren Mitchell

DSCN5843_WEBWarren Mitchell’s career began within UCP’s Supported Employment Program. He started at the Cleveland Clinic/Lyndhurst Supported Employment Site in June of 2008, where he assisted in various clerical tasks. Warren later transferred to the Reese Pharmaceutical Site in April of 2009 and began packaging over-the-counter medications. He was later trained in shipping and custodial duties. In July of 2012, after showing much promise in both packaging and cleaning duties, Warren was requested by Reese management to transfer to their new E. 40th Street location. This move proved to be a significant one for Warren as he continued to work more independently and with less supervision.

Recently, in May of 2014, Warren successfully transitioned into competitive employment and started a full-time job with Standard Parking. Warren is currently in charge of the cleaning and general upkeep of two employee parking garages located on University Hospital’s main campus. Warren continues to work independently and is able to accomplish all of his duties in a timely manner. He is well liked and respected by his Standard Parking peers.

Warren is a great example of someone transferring their training, skill building and positive experiences from UCP’s Supported Employment Program into a competitive employment position.

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Sib-Shop Program – November 1, 2014

This November, The Center for Comprehensive Care and The Autism Center will begin a quarterly series called Sib-Shops. Sib-Shops are 4-hour long events designed specifically for the siblings of children with special needs. This is an opportunity for siblings to actively engage in recreational activities and make connections in the community with other siblings. During this event, lunch will be provided and members of University Hospital, Local Affiliates, and The Board of Developmental Disabilities will be present. The first Sib-Shop will be held on November 1st from 10:00am-2:00pm at the University Hospitals Landerbrook location: 5850 Landerbrook Drive, Cleveland, OH 44124.

At this time, they are reaching out to families to see who might be interested. These initial groups are ideally geared towards children between the ages of 8 and 13. If you think that any of your children might be interested in attending, please complete this form and return it to:

Mary Neff, MSW, LSW
Medical Social Worker
Rainbows & Babies: The Center for Comprehensive Care
34055 Solon Rd
Solon, Ohio 44139

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  • Upcoming Events

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    Events on October 5, 2014
    • Browns Tailgate Fundraiser

      Starts: 12:30 pm, October 5, 2014

      Ends: 2:30 pm, October 5, 2014

      Location: Harry Buffalo, 18605 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH, United States

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    Events on October 17, 2014
    • Fall Fling

      Starts: 6:00 pm, October 17, 2014

      Ends: 8:00 pm, October 17, 2014

      Location: Around the Corner Saloon & Cafe, 18616 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH, United States

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    Events on October 19, 2014
    • Team Niko Event

      Starts: 4:00 pm, October 19, 2014

      Ends: 7:00 pm, October 19, 2014

      Location: P.J. McIntyre's Irish Pub, 17119 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH 44111, United States

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    Events on October 29, 2014
    • BAC Cocktail Reception

      Starts: 5:30 pm, October 29, 2014

      Ends: 7:00 pm, October 29, 2014

      Location: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, 10011 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH, United States

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