Celebrating the ADA: Sign the “Proclamation of Recommitment”

June 28, 2010 by cpehrson

The ADA was crafted to reduce barriers, change perceptions and more fully include people with disabilities in their communities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is having its 20th birthday on July 26,   2010!

In recognition of the passage of this landmark civil rights legislation,  the National ADA Symposium invites state and local governments, schools, colleges, businesses, organizations, service providers,  and  advocates to join their “Proclamation of Recommitment” to the spirit of the ADA campaign.

In the words from the proclamation,”The ADA has expanded opportunities for Americans with disabilities by reducing barriers and changing perceptions, increasing full participation in community life. However, the full promise of the ADA will only be reached if public entities remain committed in their efforts to fully implement the ADA.”

This is an opportunity for this nation to celebrate the freedom brought about by the passing of the ADA and to publicly reaffirm their support of an inclusive society.

You can become one of the “2010 by 2010” by signing the Proclamation online, by email, or by fax.

Happy Birthday, ADA!

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Developmental Playground construction has officially started

June 23, 2010 by JoLynne Lyon

The new developmental playground comes one step closer to reality today, as excavation begins on the site.

A backhoe dumps a shovelful of dirt as it begins excavating the site.

When it’s finished, young children who receive services from the CPD will have a place to play, designed especially for them. It will be more than fun, it will stimulate development in an accessible environment.

We’d like to thank everyone who has donated to make this dream come true. If you’d still like to contribute it’s not too late; just go to the developmental playground page.


BRASC “gardeners” hard at work

June 23, 2010 by cpehrson

The Bear River Activity Center (BRASC) participants have been busy in between rainstorms this spring planting vegetables and flowers in their new raised garden bed.

Raised garden bed built by Armenian students

The raised bed was built by USU students who belong to the Armenian Student Association as a follow up to a service project they started last fall when they spent an afternoon cleaning up the overgrowth of vegetation and weeds behind the BRASC building.  The students secured donations for the building materials needed to build the large raised garden bed that is now filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, and flowers.

The BRASC participants spent some therapeutic hours putting the soil in the bed and getting their fingers dirty planting the seeds and flowers.  They will continue to roll up their sleeves this summer, as they keep the plants watered and weeded.

BRASC gardeners

Not only will the raised bed provide something beautiful for them to look at, but the vegetables will provide some delicious additions to their lunches throughout the summer.

A big thank you from the BRASC participants goes out to the Armenian students who helped to make all of this possible!


USU and CPD officials examine possibilities in Peru

June 22, 2010 by JoLynne Lyon

Dr. Fifield and his wife, Lori, with First Lady Pilar Nores de Garcia and Dr. DeeVon Bailey, USU's Associate Vice President for International Research.

A delegation from the CPD visited with government officials in Peru earlier this month, in an effort to see if CPD services could be a good match with Peruvian needs.

“We’re in the stage right now of formulating ideas,” said Dr. Bryce Fifield, the CPD director. People from the CPD and the Peruvian government will identify common goals, then look for funding sources.

Among the dignitaries they met were First Lady Pilar Nores de Garcia, Women and Social Development Minister Navidia Vilchez Yucra and Michael Urtecho Medina, an elected member of the national congress. Urtecho uses a wheelchair—and he told his visitors that when he was elected, he was unable to enter the nation’s capitol building. Since then ramps have been built, attitudes have begun to change and Urtecho has become one of the vice presidents of the national congress.

When it comes to including people with disabilities in Peru, the officials are taking a thoughtful, measured approach, Dr. Fifield said. They are interested not only in increasing the visibility and value of people with disabilities, but they are also looking to bolster education, support and training of educators and other service providers.

The delegation also met with Dr. Guillermo Vega Espejo, president of CONADIS, the national committee working on inclusion as it’s laid out by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Peru ratified the convention in January 2008.

Take a Break: 30 seconds to a more relaxed you

June 21, 2010 by JoLynne Lyon

Think of a place where you feel happy and secure.

In 30 seconds you can:

Lean back, take slow deep breaths, close your eyes and think of a place where you feel peaceful and secure. Remember this place in great detail and continue taking slow deep breaths.


Lean back, take slow deep breaths, close your eyes, tighten all the muscles in your body and hold this tension for 10 seconds.  Let go, breathe out, and shake out the tension in your body.


Sit down with both feet on the ground, hands on your lap.  Breathe slowly in through your nose, out through your mouth. Focus on your breathing for 10
seconds. Repeat.

We’d like to thank Jeanie Peck for these snippets of wisdom. She provides mental health therapy for parents involved with the Up to 3 Early Intervention Program.

This is the last post in our “Take a Break” series. In July, a new “Celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act” series will run every Monday, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the ground-breaking ADA law.

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