CPD’s August newsletter features volunteers

August 31, 2009 by JoLynne Lyon

Bruce Simons is the CPD's 2009 Volunteer of the Year

Bruce Simons is the CPD's 2009 Volunteer of the Year

The CPD’s  August NewsFlash newsletter focuses on volunteers, including 2009 Volunteer of the Year  Bruce Simons and a flock of incoming freshmen who helped out the Up to 3 program. Read the newsletter and discover how Simons’ meticulous design and craftsmanship has helped many individuals with disabilities. You will also see how a little hot glue and duct tape can make books and toys a richer learning experience for young children.

AUCD Pays Tribute to Another Advocate for People with Disabilities

August 27, 2009 by cpehrson


On Tuesday, August 25, 2009, the world  lost another great advocate for people with disabilities in the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.  His passing follows on the footsteps of his sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a world advocate of those who have disabilities, who passed away on August 11, 2009.

In the words of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, (AUCD),  “Senator Kennedy was a hero to the disability community and to millions of others who needed a voice in the halls of power and influence.”  Having served for over 46 years in the U.S. Senate, “he played a key role in every major law that positively impacts people with developmental and other disabilities…These laws serve as the foundation of disability rights and national disability policy as we know it today.”

You can read the AUCD’s Tribute to Senator Edward M. Kennedy in its entirety on the AUCD website.

These two great people have shown us that advocacy is not just in the words that we use, but in the actions that we do.

BRASC Summer Program a Hit!

August 21, 2009 by cpehrson

The Bear River Activity and Skills Center (BRASC) at USU offers a variety of programs to individuals with disabilities to help enrich their lives, involve them in the community,  and support their families.

The 2009 BRASC Summer program for children ages 8-21 with disabilities has just finished for the year. This summer there were 15 participants who took part in many fun activities including art activities, swimming once a week, outdoor activities with Common Ground (a local adaptive recreational program), spending an afternoon going down a huge inflatable slide, and many other fun community outings. 
Summer BRASC participants enjoying the inflatable slide.

Summer BRASC participants enjoying the slide.

This recreational program allows parents to continue working during the summer when their child is on summer break from school and gives the children and youth an opportunity to be with their peers and participate in lots of fun activities.  The BRASC Summer program operates 5 days a week and offers transportation when needed.

Funding for the summer program and other BRASC services comes through the Department of Services for People with Disabilities, as well as through private pay.

If you are interested in more information about the other services provided by BRASC, you can contact Drake Rasmussen at (435)797-8528.

CPD project recognizes young advocate

August 19, 2009 by JoLynne Lyon

Micah has fought--and is still fighting--for full inclusion.

Micah has fought--and is still fighting--for full inclusion.

Micah, a young adult from Michigan who has a cognitive disability, is realizing his dream of attending college. His story is highlighted in the latest issue of the Champions for Inclusive Communities Newsletter, which details not only his successes but also the battles he has fought—and is still fighting—for full inclusion.

Champions for Inclusive Communities is a project of the Early Intervention Research Institute at the CPD. It is a national center designed to support communities in organizing services for families of children and youth with special health care needs. In addition to Micah’s story, the Champions InC newsletter also recognizes Dubuque, Iowa, a community that streamlined its services to provide a “single point of contact” for the families of children with disabilities. Check it out!

Open house introduces technology to people with disabilities

August 18, 2009 by heather

Emma Ward received a device from the CReATE program.

Emma Ward has received a device from CReATE.

An open house will introduce people with disabilities to technology that would help them use a computer, communicate with loved ones and get where they need to go. It’s put on by CReATE, a program dedicated to helping people access mobility devices, the Utah Center for Assistive Technology (UCAT) and the Computer Center for Citizens with Disabilities (CCCD).

The open house will be September 10, 2009, 3-7 p.m. at the Judy Ann Buffmire Rehab Service Center, 1595 West 500 South, Salt Lake City.

UCAT and the CCCD will provide demonstrations of assistive technology devices including keyboard and mouse alternatives, voice activation equipment, software programs to assist children and adults with disabilities, augmentative communication devices, wheelchair demonstrations, electronic aids to daily living, information about funding for assistive technology devices and technology and van vendors.

CReATE will offer a tour of their warehouse to see all of the newly refurbished wheelchairs and scooters as well as the ones waiting to be refurbished. And a drawing for a manual wheelchair give-away will be open to anyone.

CReATE (Citizens Reutilizing Assistive Technology Equipment) refurbishes donated mobility devices for a small fee for those who cannot otherwise acquire new and expensive devices. It is an initiative of the Utah Assistive Technology Program housed at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University.

Refurbishing mobility devices is such a big deal because price and availability are huge obstacles to people who need mobility devices, since manual wheelchairs can cost thousands of dollars, and motorized wheelchairs can run into tens of thousands, depending on the features needed.

In the past six months CReATE has saved individuals and organizations that have obtained devices over $92,000.

Flora Heap is in the process of acquiring a power wheelchair through CReATE. Heap has been walking with a cane for about three years to help alleviate severe back pain, but she still has not been able to enjoy the activities she used to do with her family, and often relies on their help.

“I thought a scooter would be best,” Heap said, “but the CReATE staff showed me that a power wheelchair would be better. After trying a power wheelchair, I agree with them.”

“The CReATE Program helps people help themselves,” Heap said. She is excited to become more independent and enjoy life the way she used to.

CReATE’s mission is not only to provide mobility equipment to individuals with disabilities but to also keep these expensive and complex devices from filling landfills. If a donated device is no longer useful, CReATE recycles as many parts as possible. Devices can be donated by anyone, including organizations, as well as individuals looking for a home for an unwanted device.

For more information about CReATE, visit www.uatpat.org or call 800-524-5152.