New toolkit brings young adults with disabilities into the conversation

July 30, 2009 by JoLynne Lyon

BLT Clip

A new training resource incorporates advice from young self-advocates on DVD. To view a few sample discussions  from the DVD, click on the image on the left.

Jeff Sheen, training coordinator for the Becoming Leaders for Tomorrow project, hopes the Youth Leadership Toolkit DVD will start conversations between service providers, parents and youth with disabilities who are making the transition to adulthood. The DVD includes 15 videos with young advocates speaking out on topics from leadership to medical care to social security benefits. An accompanying guidebook offers additional resources and tips on how to use the DVD.

To find out more about the toolkit or to obtain a free copy, contact Jeff Sheen.

The toolkit was produced through a partnership between Independent Living Research Utilization, the  Center for Persons with Disabilities under the direction of Judith Holt and Sue Olsen, and six other partners.

Disabilities among the pioneers

July 29, 2009 by JoLynne Lyon

Undergraduate student researcher Kimberli Harrison and CPD Director Bryce Fifield set out to find stories of pioneers with disabilities.

Undergraduate student researcher Kimberli Harrison and CPD Director Bryce Fifield set out to find stories of pioneers with disabilities.

This year, undergraduate researcher Kimberli Harrison took on a less-studied topic of the Mormon migration: disabilities among the Mormon pioneers. She worked with mentor and CPD Director Bryce Fifield to find out more about pioneers with disabilities.

There’s not a lot of published research out there on the topic, Fifield said in an interview broadcast on Utah Public Radio’s Access Utah. “We’ve been just having a very interesting trek of our own.”

Fifield and Harrison dug accounts from old journal entries. The stories do more than illustrate the experiences of individuals who crossed the plains with a disability; they also highlight fellow pioneers’ attitudes. You can hear some of the stories by listening to the podcast of the the  July 23 program.

New video calls for CPD volunteers

July 22, 2009 by JoLynne Lyon

Needles and Friends quilters made lap quilts for Bear River Activity and Skills Center participants.

Needles and Friends quilters made lap quilts for Bear River Activity and Skills Center participants.

Volunteers are always needed and always welcome at the CPD, where programs benefit greatly from the extra hands and extra talents of community members. Now a new video invites more participation from the community and explains the impact that donated time can have in the lives of people with disabilities and their families.  View it on the CPD’s volunteer page.

An Opportunity to Get Involved

July 10, 2009 by cpehrson

The Utah Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC), an agency member of the CPD Consumer Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the Family to Family Network, the Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities, Utah Independent Living Centers, and Utah Parent Center, recently formed the Grassroots Organizing Partnership.

This grassroots effort will help people tell their stories and educate policy makers and the community as a whole about the issues that impact the lives of people living with disabilities and the importance of funding supports so people can live their lives as independently as possible. 

The DDC is looking for strong voices in the disability community who will work hard for what they believe in and educate policy and decision makers about disability issues.  

If you are interested in learning more about the Grassroots Organizing Partnership, you can contact Marsha Honore-Jones at 801-533-3965 or 800-333-8824, or email her at

You can also watch Utah Developmental Disabilities Council Executive Director Claire Montoya discuss the Grassroots Organizing Partnership on an Access Utah Now broadcast.

Playing for good

July 10, 2009 by Bryce

Each summer, Utah State University is home to many refugees from the Arizona heat.  Participants in USU’s Summer Citizens program spend much of June,  July, and some of August in Cache Valley.  The campus provides a variety of educational, recreational and cultural events for these Summer Citizens, some of whom have been participating for over 20 years.

This year, a handful of Summer Citizens participated in a week-long seminar conducted by  CPD Director Dr. Bryce Fifield about online games supporting charitable efforts.  The CPD has developed an online game called Play for Good that provides players a chance to help raise funds for CPD programs and increase public awareness about disability issues.  Summer Citizens played the CPD game as well as other online games and sharpened their memories, vocabulary, math, and spelling skills.  They also field tested new questions in spelling, math, and analogies and developed geography questions that will be online in the next two weeks. 

You can visit the CPD’s Play for Good game and see what all the fun was about.