Happy Valentine’s Day from UCP!















Our donors are at the heart of what helps UCP of Greater Cleveland empower children and adults with disabilities to meet their goals. Your dollars support kids like Santana to sit up independently, and adults like Christian to find meaningful employment in the community.

Instead of the usual flowers and candy, you can show your love today by making a donation in honor of that special someone. Donate securely through the UCP of Greater Cleveland website:


Thank you for your support and Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Have You Heard? We Have New Program Names!

Throughout the history of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland we have had many conversations regarding whether or not our agency name is a true reflection of whom we serve and what we do. We have always served individuals that have had many different kinds of disabilities through a wide variety of programs. But we also know that our agency name has history and a positive reputation in our community. Through a recent rebranding process, we have chosen new names for our two distinct branches of programming. Our agency name will stay the same, but with new program names that better communicate whom we serve and the role we have in empowering them to become more independent, productive and included in the community. What also remains constant will be our high quality services that focus on the individual and family.

We are very excited to announce our two new Centers of Excellence for our distinct branches of programming:


LeafBridge: Inspiration is a canopy bridge, providing a pathway through the trees. It is also a moving bridge, which extends to the opposite shore, providing a way to cross obstacles.

“LeafBridge fosters the physical, mental and emotional development of children with disabilities. LeafBridge reaches out to families of children with disabilities, providing a bridge to independence through comprehensive therapy services and support.”



OakLeaf : Inspiration comes from qualities associated with an oak tree: strength, courage, tenacity and endurance. The leaf is where photosynthesis takes place, where trees are nourished and gets its strength.

Oakleaf brings strength, courage, tenacity and endurance to support adults with disabilities in reaching their full potential in the community and in meaningful employment. Oakleaf Partners also joins business in building a diverse workforce with quality candidates that promotes positive outcomes for the business and employee.”

Over the next five months, we will be doing a soft release of the new names and logos. You will begin to see new materials, posters, brochures and banners.  These activities will culminate at a celebration for the new names during our Annual Meeting on June 16, 2016.

All of us at UCP of Greater Cleveland are excited to continue our journey under our new programming names, and look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve our clients and families.

If you have any questions about our two new Centers of Excellence, please contact Tammy Willet, Director of Development, at 216-791-8363 ext. 1228 or twillet@ucpcleveland.org.


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Job Training Classes

UCP of Greater Cleveland is currently offering four classes for our Organizational Employment** (OE) clients that will help them identify their best path to employment, with the goal of furthering their productivity, independence and inclusion in the community.

1. Career Exploration

  • This curriculum was developed by our Activities and Training Manager Amy Vedova and inspired by the Employment First initiative.
  • This is a two-month course designed for clients who have the desire to work in the community, but who need help discovering what type of job they want. This class helps them determine their interests and identify possible career paths.
  • The ultimate goal of this class is for the client to have a couple ideas about what type of work he or she would like to do, and a starting point of how to get there.
  • The clients participate in small groups to discuss their likes and interests, which often helps to spark new job ideas. They also have homework after each class that goes along with that week’s topic.
  • Once a client identifies a possible career path, the UCP staff help them determine the steps they would have to take to obtain that job, and the hard and soft job skills they would need for that specific career.
  • The curriculum is customized and individualized to each client’s needs and interests. For example, a couple of clients showed interest in becoming chefs, so they took a field trip to the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center to see first-hand what that career entails.

2. Skills to Pay the Bills

  • This curriculum was put together by the United States Department of Labor.
  • During this class, a trained UCP of Greater Cleveland staff member provides instruction on soft skills for employment such as communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism
  • The only portion of the pre-designed curriculum that UCP does not cover is networking.
  • To find out more about this curriculum, click here: www.dol.gov/dol/media/webcast/20121015-softskills

3. “Next Generation Personal Finance” Budgeting Class

  • This course is about understanding how to budget money.
  • It is taught using a web-based program called Guru.
  • Clients watch videos on various topics, then participate in activities as a group.
  • Each class covers topics such as:
    • Alternative ways of managing money for people who can’t physically write (i.e. getting text messages every time something is taken out of the person’s bank account)
    • Balancing a checkbook
    • Prioritizing what should be paid first; for example,  a person should make sure to pay his or her mortgage before paying the cable bill

4. Job Club

  • The overall purpose of Job Club is to prepare individuals who are planning to enter into the workforce.
  • This group meets weekly to discuss career exploration, career advancement and techniques for job searching.
  • The clients focus on the reality of working in a job setting, which can include problem solving skills to maintain employment, and building self-motivation and self-esteem
  • Job Club also provides support for clients to actively network with others who are currently employed.

**UCP of Greater Cleveland’s Organizational Employment Program is designed to foster personal financial independence for adults with moderate to severe disabilities. Individuals are encouraged to accept vocational and social challenges within an integrated setting with the least restrictions possible. UCP’s Wolstein Center houses an on-site workshop and computer lab to offer individuals the opportunity to learn and practice work skills with necessary supports.

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Save the Date: Ohio Developmental Disability Awareness & Advocacy Day

Save the date for the Ohio Developmental Disability Awareness &  Advocacy Day! This year’s conference will take place on March 8, 2016 at The Ohio State House. Registration and agenda coming soon.

Ohio DD Awareness


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UCP Client Art Journal

UCP of Greater Cleveland’s Organizational Employment clients created a special Art Journal which showcases their various works of art and poetry. Click the cover page below to open the journal and see all of their amazing work! If you would like to order a hard copy, please contact Emily Hastings at ehastings@ucpcleveland.org or (216) 791-8363 ext. 1232. The journals sell for $5.00 a piece.

Fall2015 ArtJournal ForWeb Withbios 1

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