In the Spotlight – Disability Awareness Training Program

April 16th, 2014 by Emily Hastings

“Is it rude for me to say ‘see you later’ to someone with a visual impairment?”

“Should I hold the door for someone who is in a wheelchair or using a walker? I don’t want to offend them by assuming they can’t do it themselves.”

“What if I don’t understand someone when they speak to me? How should I handle that?”

“My employer just hired someone with a disability. Does that mean more work for me?”

These are common questions people have when they encounter a person with a disability. Most people want to do the right thing, but they are unsure what proper etiquette is.

UCP of Greater Cleveland offers Disability Awareness Training to companies, schools and groups in Northeast Ohio for this very reason. The goal is to help people understand and explore their own thoughts and feelings about people with disabilities. The overarching message of the program is to treat people like people, regardless of whether or not they have a disability.

For the past decade, staff from UCP of Greater Cleveland have gone out to speak with employers at current agency partners including Jones Lang LaSalle (both locally and regionally), Oatey Company and Cleveland Metroparks. This is geared toward providing their staff with facts, dispelling common misperceptions about working with people who have disabilities, and the importance of inclusion.

In 2011, UCP of Greater Cleveland looked to expand the program to outside companies. “We really saw the need for businesses to have a better understanding of how to work with people with disabilities and the value of employing people with disabilities, especially with the Employment First initiative,” said Paul Soprano, Director of Vocational Services at UCP of Greater Cleveland. “We want this to impact people personally and professionally – for people to be more thoughtful, considerate and patient.”

As part of this goal of expansion, UCP of Greater Cleveland was selected as a Leadership Action Project (LAP) of the Cleveland Leadership Center. The LAP team helped the agency revise, refine and strengthen the Disability Awareness Training program, which was adapted from AbilityOne. The main focus is using “person first” language, meaning people are not defined by their disability. With their updated program in place, UCP entered into a yearlong contract with RTA to provide training to all their new operators.

The agency staff will tailor the program to meet the needs of each company’s industry and audience. For example, the presentation for a service industry like RTA will be different from a presentation to a company looking to include people with disabilities in their workforce; and a presentation at a school will be much different than a presentation at a corporation. The program can last anywhere from a half hour to four hours depending on the party’s time constraints.

The sessions can be highly interactive with Q&A and hands-on activities, or have very limited interaction with a PowerPoint and videos. Some of the hands-on activities include putting gloves on and trying to build with Legos, trying to use a wheelchair or walker, or getting together in groups to try lip reading. The point made in these activities is that anyone at any time can acquire a disability. One in five Americans has a disability, and it is the only minority group everyone can become part of.

If your organization would like to learn more about the Disability Awareness Training program and costs associated with the training, please contact Paul Soprano at (216) 791-8363 ext. 1258 or psoprano@ucpcleveland.org.

April 24 – Director’s Task Force on Oral Health and Access to Dental Care

April 15th, 2014 by Emily Hastings

Mr. Lance D. Himes, Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), has convened the 2014 Task Force on Oral Health and Access to Dental Care and they want to hear from YOU!

The Northeast Ohio regional meeting will be held on Thursday, April 24 at:

Kent Library
312 West Main Street
Kent, OH 44240

There will be two sessions, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. The morning session (9:30am – 12:00pm) will focus on the needs and challenges facing patients/consumers of dental services. The afternoon session (1:30pm – 4:00pm) will focus on the needs and challenges of providers, such as dentists, physicians and nurses. Participants may attend one or both sessions.

A facilitator will lead each group through a series of questions and an open discussion. There will be a focus on learning about the barriers that keep people from getting the dental care they need and ideas on how to improve access to dental care in Ohio. Affordable access to dental care has been a big concern for people with disabilities, and we strongly encourage people to attend this meeting so they can voice their thoughts and opinions.

For more information, please download the flyer here.

 

 

Fundraise to Win Indians Tickets!

April 11th, 2014 by Emily Hastings

It’s Tribe Time and Race to Empower fundraising is in full swing! Everyone who raises over $500 for the Race to Empower by next Friday, April 18th, will be entered into a drawing to win four tickets to the Indians vs. Tigers game on June 20th, which is a fireworks and Dollar Dog Night! (Please note: an individual fundraiser must raise over $500, not the team as a whole)

We would like to give a special thanks to Bricker & Eckler LLP for donating these wonderful tickets.

In order to set up a fundraising page without registering for the race, or to donate to your favorite racer, please visit: https://fundraising.active.com/event/RacetoEmpower. Becoming a fundraiser only takes five minutes and it is completely free!

To set up a fundraising page:

1) Click “Become a Fundraiser – Register Now” in the upper right hand corner.

2) This will take you to a new page. Scroll down and click on “Fundraising ONLY (You will not be registered for the race) – Individual.”

3) This will bring you to another page. This time select the bubble next to “Individual” under “Fundraising ONLY.”

4) This will bring you to the sign-in page. If you have an Active.com login, you can log in now. Otherwise, just enter your email address under “NEW USER” and click continue.

5) This will bring you to the Registration page. Select the bubble next to “Yourself.”

6) Fill in all of the necessary Participant Information (you still have to do this even if you are just creating a fundraising page and not racing).

7) If you would like to create a fundraising team, select the bubble next to “Create a Team.” You do not have to prepay for members. We also do not recommend making the team private because then you have to distribute the password to everyone.

8 ) The fundraising bubble will already be checked.

9) Agree to the waivers, sign your name at the bottom and select “Continue.”

Congratulations! You are now officially a fundraiser for the Race to Empower!

Team Sankovic at the Race to Empower

April 11th, 2014 by Guest Contributor

This week’s blog post was written by Alexandra Sankovic, the sister of Julia, one of our Children’s Services clients. Read below as Alexandra shares her experience about completing last year’s Race to Empower with Julia.

I’ve never seen anybody work as hard as my sister, Julia. Julia is such a fighter. She wants to do everything imaginable, even run in races. Last year, the Race to Empower allowed her to do just that. My brother, Peter, and I ran in the race with Julia, taking turns pushing her in her wheelchair throughout the 5 kilometer path. When we got close to the finish line of the race, we took Julia out of her chair and together, as siblings, ran across the finish line. Experiencing something as inspirational as finishing a race with my sister was truly a life changing experience. Julia’s giant smile as she crossed the finish line was contagious, spreading to everyone cheering for her at the end of the race.

UCP of Greater Cleveland is such a wonderful organization and has provided Julia with therapy services for almost her entire life. I have spent some of my summers volunteering there and helping out with a few of the other children receiving services. Not only was it inspiring to see Julia in the race, but also the other children running with their families, some running with walkers and some in wheelchairs, like Julia. Because of the Race to Empower, everyone was able to participate in the race and run together, cheering each other on and inspiring each other to do the best they could. The Race to Empower was a motivational and meaningful experience and I can’t wait to participate again.

 

I’ve never seen anybody work as hard as my sister, Julia. Julia is such a fighter. She wants to do everything imaginable, even run in races. Last year, the Race to Empower allowed her to do just that. My brother, Peter, and I ran in the race with Julia, taking turns pushing her in her wheelchair throughout the 5 kilometer path. When we got close to the finish line of the race, we took Julia out of her chair and together, as siblings, ran across the finish line. Experiencing something as inspirational as finishing a race with my sister was truly a life changing experience. Julia’s giant smile as she crossed the finish line was contagious, spreading to everyone cheering for her at the end of the race.

Get Involved in the Race to Empower!

April 4th, 2014 by Emily Hastings

Are you looking to participate in the Race to Empower on May 4th? Whether or not you are an athlete, there are plenty of ways to be involved! You can…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RACE: We strive for this race to be all inclusive, which is why we offer both a 5k and one mile option. Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome on the course. If you would like to participate in either race, general information and the link to register can be found here: http://www.hermescleveland.com/roadracing/events/empower.asp. Everyone who registers by April 18th will receive a customized tech shirt as well as a goody bag!

VOLUNTEER: We need  at least 35 volunteers on race day for the following:

  • Sunday, May 4th from 7:00 am – 12:00 noon (shifts may vary slightly)
    • Packet Pick-Up and Registration: sign in pre-registered participants; register people on-site; hand out t-shirts and goody bags
    • Timers: call out times to participants at mile markers on the course
    • Course Marshals: point racers in the right direction (we will have two courses this year – one for the 5k and one for the 1 Mile)
    • Water Station: fill cups with water and distribute to participants; clean up during and after race
    • Finish Line: assist with set-up of finish line; pass out food and drinks; hand out ribbons to children as they cross the finish line; act as general cheering section
    • Miscellaneous: assist with parking direction; help keep lines orderly; provide general support and direction to racers in the festival/finish line area

You can sign up to volunteer by contacting Emily at (216) 453-4944 or ehastings@ucpcleveland.org.  All volunteers will receive a festive volunteer t-shirt.

DONATE: Even if you cannot make it to the race, you can still support the cause by donating to the Race to Empower fundraising page at https://fundraising.active.com/event/RacetoEmpower. Every little bit helps us to reach out ultimate goal of $20,000!

  • Upcoming Events

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    Events on April 23, 2014

    • Finance Committee Meeting

      Starts: 8:30 am, April 23, 2014

      Ends: 10:00 am, April 23, 2014

      Location: UCP of Greater Cleveland

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