CPD partners with local cafe on fundraiser

June 26, 2015 by Sue Reeves

Get an Iconic burger and fries plus reserved seating at Morty's for the Freedom Fire show on July 3 for only $20! Proceeds benefit the CAC's Community Investment Award.

Get an Iconic burger and fries plus reserved seating at Morty’s for the Freedom Fire show on July 3 for only $20! Proceeds benefit the CAC’s Community Investment Award.

Morty’s, a popular restaurant located adjacent to Utah State University, has partnered with the Center for Persons with Disabilities for an event that hopes to fund the Consumer Advisory Council’s Community Investment Award.

On July 3, Morty’s is offering an Iconic burger and fries, plus reserved outdoor seating and a parking token, for a great view of the Freedom Fire fireworks show, for only $20 (or gather some friends and get 6 for $100). Reserved seating begins at 9 p.m. on July 3. If you aren’t planning to view the fireworks that evening, Morty’s will donate 10 percent of any purchase made on July 3 to the CAC.

“This is a great way for people to get some delicious food from Morty’s, watch the Freedom Fire show from a fantastic vantage point, and help fund the Community Investment Award, which gives $500 twice a year to a non-profit agency in Utah that provides services for people with disabilities,” said Shane Johnson, associate director of development at the CPD.

Tickets are available at Morty’s or at the CPD Main Office.

For more information on the Community Investment Award, click here, here and here.

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Up to 3 plans information fair July 18

June 24, 2015 by Sue Reeves

Upto3_PostcardThe Up to 3 Early Intervention program at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities will present an Early Childhood Information Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 18 at Elk Ridge Park (1100 East 2500 North Meadow View in North Logan). The fair is presented in conjunction with North Logan Parks and Recreation.

The fair will feature information on early childhood community resources for children from birth to age 5 and lots of activities for kids and families, said Sue Olsen, director of Exemplary Services at the CPD. All of the information and many activities are free. Food will be available for purchase. Donations will be accepted to help support the construction of an accessible splash table at the North Logan Splash Pad.

There will be a bounce house and hourly raffles and silent auctions of products and services from local vendors and people from around the community.

DLC produces transition report

June 19, 2015 by Sue Reeves

Image of three students walking, and pushing one in a wheelchair.

Project PEER students at USU.

The Disability Law Center, a Salt Lake City-based non-profit organization that is Utah’s designated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agency, has produced a report on transition in the state of Utah. In the report, the DLC explores opportunities and barriers to the success of students with disabilities in competitive and integrated employment. It also provides insights from students, parents, rural communities, agencies, higher education, employers, and academics. Promising practices, challenges, and recommendations are provided in each area.

The DLC report recognized successes in school districts and programs that recognized and worked with student strengths and interests during transition planning, worked to increase parent involvement, generated positive employment experiences, utilized the support of state agencies, and programs located at universities, colleges and technical schools. The report mentioned two programs located at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities: Project PEER (Post-secondary education, employment and research) and Aggies Elevated.

The report also made recommendations for improvements throughout the state.

To download an electronic version of the report, click here.

To visit the Disability Law Center web site, click here.


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Utah Autism Give receives Community Investment Award

June 17, 2015 by Sue Reeves

Image of check presentation.

Left to right: Gordon Richins, Shane Johnson, Leeann Whiffen, Megan Nickel and Sean Whiffen.

Utah Autism Give, an American Fork-area non-profit, has received the Community Investment Award from the Consumer Advisory Council at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities. The $500 award was presented by Gordon Richins, the CPD’s Consumer Advocate, and Shane Johnson, Associate Director of Development at the CPD.

The CAC, which is comprised of five self-advocates, five parents and five non-profit agency representatives, gives the award twice a year. CAC members nominate, advocate and vote for the recipients.

Utah Autism Give was nominated by Laura Anderson, a parent CAC member. UAG is a parent-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit organization giving hope to individuals with autism and their families through programs designed to offset treatment costs and strengthen family relationships.

“The focus is to help pay for services to improve the lives of those affected with autism, and/or their family members,” Anderson wrote in her nomination. “For example, paying for the initial consultation expense to start an in-home behavior analysis program. Or, providing an Apple iPad and language program built to improve those who are non-verbal or struggling with communication. The funds are paid directly to the service providers, or directly towards purchasing the products or services, rather than simply giving any money to families themselves, to ensure effective usage of the funds.”

UAG was started in 2009 by Leeann and Sean Whiffen and Megan Nickel, parents of children with autism who understood the difficulty and expense of finding appropriate therapies and supports for their children. UAG achieved 501(c)(3) non-profit status in 2011.

UAG has no marketing, advertising or employee expenses and very few basic operating expenses, so nearly all donations are directed towards the families who need the help. No funds are distributed outside the state of Utah.

Since most funds that are awarded to families are in the $500 to $2,000 range, “This donation is important. It makes a big difference,” said Leeann Whiffen.

Visit the Utah Autism Give web site here at its Facebook page here.

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Changes coming to CPD

June 12, 2015 by Sue Reeves

Image of orange road closed sign.

Orange construction signs such as this will be common around the CPD site by the end of fall semester.

Dr. Bryce Fifield has announced his resignation as director of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. Fifield will become a faculty member in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation, housed in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.

Dr. Judith Holt has been named interim director and will lead the CPD in the transition to a new, as-yet-unnamed building that will house all of the College’s clinical services. The $30 million clinical services building will be constructed at the site of the current CPD.

During a meeting with CPD staff on June 5, Dr. Beth Foley, dean of the College, said the current CPD building will need to be vacated by the end of the Fall 2015 semester so asbestos abatement can begin in January 2016 prior to demolition. The target date for the opening of the new building is August 2017.

The four-story, 100,000-square-foot building will house more than 30 clinics and service providers that are currently spread out across campus in 10 buildings. The primary focus will be on interdisciplinary training opportunities for USU students, with the added benefit of easier access to services for clients.

“I think we have the opportunity to do something really special,” Foley said. “I have travelled around the country and looked at other, similar centers, and I haven’t found one that has the breadth of programs that we do in the College, plus a UCEDD as strong as this one.”

Sue Olsen, the CPD’s director of exemplary services, has been tasked with determining space allocation needs and temporary housing for CPD programs and projects during the construction process. Beginning later this month, the process of allocating space in the new building will begin.

“I think we can do some really amazing things,” Foley said, “But the downside is we only get to do this once, and we want to do it right as much as possible.”

Foley acknowledged that the process of tearing down one building and putting up another in its place will be a painful process.

“If we look to the future and we see the possibilities, and see something good at the end, we can be willing to put up with the disruption,” she said.

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