Changing places and faces at the CPD

August 31, 2011 by cpehrson

You may notice a few changes around the CPD when you walk through the halls this fall.

There will be a new face in the front office area- Charlee Nealy will be taking over as Administrative staff assistant, replacing our beloved Diane Green, who is retiring soon.

Charlee has been working as the Up to 3 Early Intervention staff assistant for the past few years.  Moving to the front office has been a bit daunting, but exciting for Charlee, who said after her first day here, “Diane is not allowed to leave!”  But, after thinking about it a minute, she declared, “I think it’s going to be awesome!”

Taking Charlee’s place in the Up to 3 program is Miriam Williams, a newly graduated USU student who has been working part time for the past five years as the Up to 3 data manager.  “I love working for the Up to 3 program.  Everyone here is so great!”  She is a little nervous about taking over Charlee’s position, because,  in her words, “Charlee’s shoes will be hard to fill!”

Miriam graduated in English Education, with the goal of finding a job in secondary education.  After being surrounded by the excellent Up to 3 staff and seeing what an impact they are having on young children with disabilities, it has made her rethink what her future plans may be.  She is considering continuing her education and getting a Special Education degree.

She says, “I had never thought about it before, but I am now more aware of people with disabilities out in the the community and feel very comfortable interacting with them.”  She shared that recently she was near a young teenager who had some significant disabilities and his family.  Others were staring at him and appeared uncomfortable and awkward around him, but Miriam just wanted to go over and talk to him and spend more  time with him.

That is something that seems to happen to people who work at the CPD.  They learn to respect people who have disabilities and begin to see them as wonderful people who are more like them than different from them.

We welcome the changes that are happening at the CPD, and wish them all well in their new endeavors.



Finding out about guardianship in Utah

August 30, 2011 by cpehrson

At some point, parents of children with significant developmental disabilities will have to face the issue of guardianship for their child.

When a child turns 18 years of age, the decision-making about the child’s educational services and health care goes to the child, rather than the parent.  In some cases, the child would not be able to make these decisions and the issue of guardianship must be addressed.

The Guardianship Associates of Utah is offering a free presentation about the process of becoming a guardian, designed for parents, families, and professionals working with  families.  The training will be presented on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at the Logan City Library, in the Bonneville Room, at 6:30 p.m.

This is a two-part training-the first part explaining guardianship, what it entails, and who needs a guardian; the second part explaining how to become a guardian, how to keep the costs down, and a discussion about creating a special needs trust fund.

This training is sponsored by the Aspen Grove Advocacy, LLC group.



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CPD staff member sits on national AT board

August 29, 2011 by JoLynne Lyon

Sachin Pavithran

Sachin Pavithran is a new member of the Association of Assistive Technology Act Program Board. He will continue with his duties at the CPD in addition to serving with ATAP.

The association is a membership organization for Technology Act programs funded by the US Department of Education. Every state has its own AT program that exists to put assistive technology into the hands of people who need it. Assistive technology is any device—low- or high-tech—that makes independence easier.

Sachin has been heavily involved in assistive technology at the Center for Persons with Disabilities. He is the Assistive Technology Specialist and the Disability Law and Policy Coordinator at the CPD.

His term begins on October 1. He was elected by representatives of the assistive technology programs around the United States. One of his duties will be to do some legislative work to prepare for the reauthorization of the Assistive Technology Act.

The board also works to help programs share information, enter partnerships and keep abreast of issues related to assistive technology.


Advocacy opportunity in Utah

August 25, 2011 by cpehrson

Utahans have an opportunity to voice their opinion about current issues impacting people with disabilities at the next meeting of the Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities to be held on Thursday, September 1, 2011, from 12:30-2:00 p.m.
The LCPD advocates for public policies that affect all people in Utah who have disabilities. It is made up of individuals with disabilities, their families, advocacy groups, providers, professionals, and agencies. The Coalition helps to develop strong advocates by providing support, experience, and training.
The LCPD meeting agenda includes a mini advocacy training along with an open discussion of issues that can be addressed through legislative action.
Visit the LCPD web site for more information about the Coalition and how you can become an advocate for people with disabilities.

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Another year, another Day on the Quad

August 24, 2011 by JoLynne Lyon

From left to right: Kelly Smith, Storee Powell and Jeff Sheen. Watch for them on the quad at Utah State University on August 31.

The Center for Persons with Disabilities will have representatives out on the Quad on August 31, ready to answer your questions about who we are, what we do and what study and volunteer opportunities are available to students. Look for our canopy on August 31 from 10:30 to 2.

Our representatives will be on hand to give you more information on our undergraduate research program, which allows participants to gain real-world experience while confronting problems in our society. Graduates and upperclassmen, our Interdisciplinary Awareness and Service Learning class will increases your understanding of people with disabilities and their families, provide plenty of service opportunities and help you find ways to better include people with disabilities into your work, home and business.

Volunteer opportunities are also available. We are looking for groups who could assist in improvement projects, music therapy or a day of games at the Disability Skills Laboratory, as well as individuals willing to work with young adults to help with social skills and tutoring. People with a strong interest in working with adults with developmental disabilities are especially encouraged to talk to our volunteer coordinator, Jeff Sheen.

While we’re only on the quad for one day, we’re on Facebook and Twitter 24/7. Visit anytime!