Jonathan and Shari Badger accepted the award, at the same time recognizing the late store founder Lee Badger for providing a good environment for workers and shoppers with varying abilities.

Lee's Marketplace honored for support of people with disabilities

Lee’s Marketplace provides a friendly place to work and shop to people with disabilities. “You see it in the front office, you see it in the aisles and you see it in the interactions in the store,” said CPD Director Bryce Fifield.

He thanked store officials for years of support earlier this week as he presented Lee’s with the Center for Persons with Disabilities’ Outstanding Community Organization award for 2009.

The store hires workers with disabilities and provides accommodations for customers who may have difficulties shopping. It has also helped the CPD with research, offering a real-world environment where cutting-edge assistive technology for the blind could be field-tested.

CPD by the numbers

During the past fiscal year, the Coordinated Family Support project provided 472 contacts  to 210 individuals, assisting them with issues involving a medical home.

Kids on The Move in Utah County works with the families of children with special needs and also low-income families. They serve children from birth to age three. All photos are courtesy of KOTM.

Star Communities shine across the nation

Sometimes it’s nice to know you’ve done a good job.

Now, thirteen communities from all over the country—including one in Utah—have discovered that their hard work making their cities and counties friendly to children with special health care needs has not gone unnoticed. Champions for Inclusive Communities has started a recognition program to honor “Star Communities”  from Florida to Oregon.

ChampionsInC is a national center of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Its mission is to support communities in organizing services for families of children and youth with special health care needs. It is a project of the Center for Persons with Disabilities’ Early Intervention Research Institute at Utah State University.

“It’s a real honor to receive that kind of recognition,” said Tracie Hoppis, the Parent to Parent coordinator for Yakima County, Washington. The city of Yakima  was recognized by the Star Communities program earlier this year.

So was Utah County, Utah. Scott Snow, the development director for Kids on the Move in Utah County, said the designation reinforces what he already knows:  He works for a great organization.

photo of a small boy holding a bookKids on the Move works with many other organizations in Utah County to provide integrated services to children with developmental delays or disabilities. Its work matters to Snow’s own children: a typically developing boy and girl who are better able to communicate with a friend whose speech was delayed. Their friend received services from Kids on the Move until he turned three years old.

Snow’s son and daughter are interacting with children who have special health care needs, he said. “It’s making their experience better and richer.”

For Hoppis in Yakima, “Champions for Inclusive Communities” sums up a mission that she clearly believes in—and talks enthusiastically about. In Yakima, medical homes have gone a long way toward integrating services for the families of children and youth with special health care needs.

A medical home is not necessarily a physical place; it is an approach to integrated, coordinated services. In Yakima, though, Children’s Village provides one location where specialists are available. (Though Children’s Village does not provide primary care, it does coordinate with primary care physicians.) Parents are happy that they can access many services through one door, and they’re especially glad to find the professionals they need in Yakima, without needing to drive over a mountain pass to Seattle. Instead, specialists from Seattle come to Yakima for more than 100 clinic days per year. In addition, Parent to Parent has an office at Children’s Village so that families will be able to find support as soon as a diagnosis is made.

The Parent to Parent network exists to support families of children with disabilities. “For me, raising my son with special needs, support has never been an extra,” Hoppis said. “It’s been really helpful to talk to another parent who’s been down a similar road.”

In selecting a Star Community, ChampionsInC looks for six indicators:

A woman holds a smiling boy•    Families are partners in decision making;
•    Medical homes work in coordination with other services ;
•    Children receive early and continuous developmental screening services;
•    Adequate financing ensures that families receive needed services;
•    Services and supports are easily accessed, coordinated, and culturally competent;
•    Transitions throughout life happen smoothly.
If you know of a community that that is meeting some, or even all, of these guidelines and you would like them to receive the recognition they deserve, contact Cora Price at ChampionsInC: 800-887-1699.

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