Minnesotans to spend spring break at the CPD

February 28, 2014 by Sue Reeves

Image of students painting the bull.

Students from the College of St. Benedict give Lil’ Marv a fresh coat of Aggie blue paint in this file photo from March 2013.

Nine young men and women from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in central Minnesota will spend next week at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities for an Alternative Break Experience. This will be the third year in a row that students from CSB/SJU have trekked to the CPD.

The group will arrive in Logan on Sunday, March 2 and leave again on Saturday, March 8. They will stay with Cache Valley host families for the week.

The CPD will host a welcome lunch for the students on Monday, March 3 in Room 173. Come and enjoy sandwiches, chips and cookies while visiting with the students and your colleagues.

During their week at USU, the group will engage in activities with participants at the Developmental Skills Laboratory and Project PEER; receive training from Arts Access on leading museum tours for children with disabilities at a USU art museum; meet and share a meal with Aggie Advocates; attend a USU basketball game; visit the Interdisciplinary Disability Awareness and Service Learning class; and spend a couple of days with Common Ground participants at Beaver Mountain.


It’s Nacho Week!

February 26, 2014 by Sue Reeves

Image of candy in a jar.

Guess how many Hot Tamales are in the jar and win a prize!

It’s Nacho Week at the CPD, so even if that wind outside is a little chilly, it’s hot hot hot inside!

There will be prizes: Visit the main office this week to enter your guess of how many Hot Tamales are in the jar. Watch your e-mail for “Name That Pepper” word games. Register for door prizes. And once again, the division with the most attendees at Friday’s Nacho Party will win a prize!

There will be food: The Nacho Party will be Friday, Feb. 28 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in CPD 151. The CPD will supply the chips and cheese … you bring the heat! Peppers, onions, salsa, beans, spicy meats, guacamole, sour cream, olives, or any of your other favorite toppings.


Vazquez expands multicultural awareness

February 24, 2014 by Sue Reeves

Image of JC Vazquez

JC Vazquez

Juan Carlos Vazquez, the multicultural coordinator at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities, will present multicultural diversity training to the Bear River Health Department Hispanic Coalition’s monthly meeting. The coalition is made up of representatives from a variety of agencies involved in education, employment, medical care and service organizations. This training will approach diversity from the perspective of different ethnic groups.

“We’ll talk about how we can better understand our differences when it comes to things like personal space, disability and education,” he said. “It will help people have a broader perspective on interaction with the community.”

In the past, Vazquez presented similar training specific to the Hispanic population.

“It was very successful,” he said. “People didn’t realize that in different Spanish-speaking countries, the cultural perspectives of health, education and disabilities can be very different.”

Vazquez will also attend an event at the Salt Lake Council on Diversity Affairs, which is part of the mayor’s office, later this month.

“There will be a lot more agencies, a lot more resources that deal with issues of diversity,” he said. Collaboration and participation in future trainings with the council may result, he said.


Heidi’s Happenings: Busy start to the new year!

February 20, 2014 by Sue Reeves

Heidi Hill is a guest blogger for the CPD’s Developmental Skills Laboratory (DSL), a day program for adults with disabilities. Heidi loves to type and each month she’ll be sharing the fun activities that she and her “buds” are doing at DSL.

Image of Heidi with a pan of green milk.

Heidi makes tie-died milk on Science Day at the DSL.

In January, Heid and her buds were very busy starting the New Year off right!  We had three special activities.  We had Science Day, where we learned about surface tension with corn starch and water.  We also made a volcano that really erupted.  We also made tie-dyed milk with food coloring and dish soap.  Drake even blew up a balloon on a pop bottle filled with hot water.  Talia made a rainbow in a jar.

We also celebrated the birthday of one A.. Milne by having Winnie the Pooh Day.  We made Pooh hats.  Heidi Sue remembered to grab Pooh from her bed before coming to DSL. We made a Pooh treat and watched Pooh movies.

We also celebrated Chinese New Year. We made yummy fried rice, edamame, egg rolls, and Chinese green beans. We were all excited to also have fortune cookies. Heid brought a big red Chinese wall hanging that everyone got their picture taken with. We also received a special orange for good luck for the New Year which is a Chinese tradition. We were very busy in January!

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CAC plans fundraisers across the state

February 18, 2014 by Sue Reeves

Image of hamburger.The Consumer Advisory Council at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities meets regularly to discuss the CPD’s impact on systems change, advocacy and capacity building. The CAC also grants an annual Community Investment Award to a Utah non-profit providing exemplary services to people with disabilities.

In past years, the CPD has provided the funds for the award. Now, the CAC will be holding fundraisers across the state to raise money for the award.

Shane Johnson, associate director of development at the CPD, suggested the CAC start with a restaurant fundraiser in their communities.

“It’s a very simple fundraiser, and a lot of them have never done fundraising,” he said. “It gives them a high chance of success and it’s easy to duplicate.”

CAC members will approach restaurants in their communities to offer special deals in which the proceeds from sales during a certain time or with a certain coupon will be given to the CAC.

“It’s done here in the valley quite a bit,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t raise a lot, but if we do it around the state, it adds up.”

CAC members nominate Utah non-profits for the Community Investment Award, and then work together to choose a winner. It is a way for self-advocates to learn to work together and to advocate for others.

CPD consumer liaison Gordon Richins said the fundraising process will be a good learning experience.

“It provides self-advocates with hands-on knowledge and experience in fundraising within their community,” Richins said. “The exercise provides a great educational process for self-advocates through the solicitation of funding that is awarded by the CAC self-advocates to a Utah non-profit.”

All the funding raised during the fundraising portion goes directly to the Utah non-profit to support their programs.

Past winners of the Community Investment Award have been Active Re-entry Centers for Independent Living in Price and the Utah Parent Center in Salt Lake City.


About the CAC: The Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) is composed of individuals with disabilities, family members, representatives of government entities and local agencies who work with people with disabilities, and staff liaisons who advise the CPD director about the Center’s impact on systems change, advocacy, and capacity building. The CAC is one of the primary advising and guiding bodies for the CPD.  The CAC members work with CPD staff to develop and approve the CPD’s annual goals and regularly reviews progress towards their accomplishment. Members bring many different perspectives, ideas, and views to the council.  They represent the varied geographical areas and disability issues within Utah.