UCP's Employment Solutions program assists qualified job seekers who experience a disability to connect with employers who value what they bring to the workplace. Since the department's inception in 2006, Employment Solutions has supported over 100 individuals in their job search journey. Our goal is to help them find, secure, and keep employment.
One of our current job seekers is named Brock, and he would love to get a job. Below, in Brock's own words, is what Brock wants you to know...
Hi! My name is Brock L. Turner and I have been working with Job Developer Nicholas Von Pless for the past 3 months. I am a soon-to-be 33 years old (birthday on January 27th!) adult with Asperger’s Syndrome/High Functioning Autism, and currently serving as a member of the Adults Subcommittee on the Governors’ Task Force on Autism. I have a two-year Associate’s of Arts Oregon Transfer (A.A.O.T.) degree from Portland Community College and have also completed a two-year Work Force Career Pathways Pharmacy Technician Training Program, also from PCC.
I am currently seeking employment in the greater Portland/Vancouver metro area. I am an Oregon State Licensed Pharmacy Technician, and I also possess national certification. Part of my two-year training for a Pharmacy Technician Career included a three-month full-time, forty hours per week onsite externship working at Walgreens Pharmacy as a Pharmacy Tech. In addition to my education and training for pharmacy work, I also have a history of clerical/administrative and customer service work.
I spent approximately three and a half years from September 2004 to January 2008 working as a Customer Service Representative at the Affiliated Computer Services (A.C.S.), Inc. Call Center off NE Sandy Blvd & NE 181st Ave in Gresham, OR. I also worked doing various temporary staffing duties including data entry, filing, telephone reception, and other clerical tasks. My primary career goal is to work in a pharmacy, but I am in a place of keeping an open mind to possible job opportunities.
My long term goals include finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at PSU (in conjunction with working full time), and am currently the elected Vice Chair of the Multnomah County Young Democrats.
Some other clerical/administrative work experience I have as working as a volunteer, intern and occasional paid employee for a variety of political campaigns. Work with these campaigns includes multi-line telephone experience, fundraising and sales, writing, composing and editing Letters to the Editor and Opinion/Editorial work for various newspapers, filing and stuffing envelopes, phone polling, data entry, and direct face-to-face canvassing and assisting to register new voters and assist registered voters to cast their ballots.
I pride myself on being a good proponent and advocate for persons with Asperger’s/Autism and feel I can help promote a diverse and harmonious work environment. Please feel free to view my resume at any time!
UCP’s Family Support Department currently supports over 800 families of children who experience cerebral palsy, or a closely-related disability.
The parents in the program have a very active Facebook page. Recently, a parent posted this question: How affected will my son be in the future?
The comments that were posted in response were so helpful that we have collected them into one document, which you can view here.
What a great 15th UCP Family Conference! Participants reported feeling a sense of connection and community, and said that they learned a great deal as well.
Our keynote speaker, Gregg Mozgala, set the tone for "community". If you have yet to learn about Gregg Mozgala and his work with Tamar Rogoff, watch the Today Show story here.
During their work together, Gregg and Tamar shot over 300 hours of film, and then obtained funding through Kickstarter to turn the footage into a movie. We were fortunate that Gregg was able to bring a rough cut of the movie to the conference, which we showed on Friday night.
The conference also featured 15 workshops with interesting and informative topics, such as spasticity management, healthy sexuality, blended diets, employment, transition to adulthood, music therapy, and much, much more.
UCP Connections is UCP's support services brokerage. We provide person-centered planning, case management, fiscal intermediary services, and resource referral.
Recently, Connections welcomed Matthew Baxter as our newest Personal Agent. We feel very lucky to have found Matthew; he brings years of Personal Agent experience and a real dedication and passion to this kind of work.
Now close to capacity, Connections has nearly 180 customers enrolled and our Personal Agents have nearly 45 people on each of their caseloads. So, what are the Personal Agents and customers working on? Well, many of our customers have housing, employment, and social goals. Many of their families are receiving respite care and assistance with daily care. But, no matter what they are working on, our customers always take the lead in determining their supports and services.
To find out more about Connections, click here.
Today is "Giving Tuesday," and so we felt it very fitting that we received a check in the amount of $226 today from Tony Bradfield, a high school student in Vale, Oregon.
As part of his senior year requirements, Tony had to do a senior project. He chose to raffle off a Honda 200S that he had purchased and donate the proceeds to his chosen charity, United Cerebral Palsy.
First though, he had to put in many hours of work to get the car running. Then he sold the raffle tickets, which involved attended all of his school's football and volleyball games.
When asked why he chose UCP, Tony said the answer was simple. His mother has cerebral palsy and a UCP affiliate in Idaho (sadly, no longer in existence) helped her to walk by assisting her to buy her first leg brace.
As Tony says, “This was my way of saying thank you." He says it's too easy to "take for granted the act of simply walking."
Thank you, Tony, for thinking of UCP, and congratulations on completion of your senior project!
UCP believes that everyone has the right to live in their own house or apartment, so we provide supported living services to over eighty adults who experience disabilities. Meet one of the people we support: Karen.
Karen loves her independence and she loves living in her own apartment. But she finds it tough to make plans or cook meals, and she becomes disoriented easily. So she is partnering with UCP's employees to learn new skills to increase her independence. She's also learning to make and follow a weekly schedule.
Another of Karen's big goals is to make new friends in her apartment building--a tricky task for her, since she is naturally shy. With a little encouragement from UCP, Karen found the courage to begin attending a weekly exercise class that takes place in her apartment building. At first, Karen relied on her staff to facilitate her interactions at the class, but as time went on Karen took the lead, and now she has several friends.
Her new-found confidence is also helping her feel comfortable leaving the apartment building. Once upon a time, Karen was afraid to leave the building--she was worried that someone might take it away if she said or did the wrong thing. Today, Karen ventures out all the time. She's making new friends and learning new skills and loving her life.
Did you know?
President Obama proclaimed November 2012 as National Family Caregivers Month in honor of all the caregivers who care for their families, friends, and neighbors. Some of the people UCP supports receive care from parents, husbands and wives, and other family members.
Read the Presidential Proclamation on National Family Caregivers Month here.
Below, you will find the results of the 2012 UCP Recognition Awards. The awards were presented at the Annual Meeting Luncheon at the Family Conference on November 2nd
Congratulations to all of the 2012 honorees!
What does “community” mean? And where do you find it? These were some of the questions posed by Gregg Mozgala, the keynote speaker at our 15th UCP Family Conference, which was held on November 2nd in Portland.
As someone who has been fully included throughout his life, Gregg pondered where he would find the “disabled community” of which he is ostensibly a part. He found it within the conference setting, where parents, self-advocates and professionals came together for two days to connect, learn and be inspired.
Gregg started a production company a few months ago dedicated to “producing full-length plays about the disabled experience” in New York City, where he lives. The name of the company, The Apothetae, was also the name of a place in ancient Greece where children born with disabilities or deformities were left to die – left to be exposed to the elements. Gregg chose this name for his company with the intention of exposing the world to the experiences of the disabled.
Want to find out more about Gregg and his vision? Visit the "NEWS" section of Gregg’s website here, where you can read a story about community that he did not have time to share at the conference.
At the conference, Gregg and the other participants were able to make new connections and find hope and possibilities for the future. Now that the conference is over, you can still make connections through parent support groups, family outings, and email and Facebook exchanges. Find out more about UCP's family support services here.
What does community mean to you and your family? Let’s keep talking…
In Employment Solutions, UCP's supported employment division, we support adults with disabilities so that they can find and keep their dream jobs. Employment Solutions is pleased to announce that one of our customers, Max, has successfully completed 90 days working as a Service Agent at Enterprise Rent a Car!
Max has made a plethora of new friends at work and Max's supervisor, Allison, says that Max is an “easy-going, dedicated hard worker." Congrats to Max on a stellar 90 days! Keep up the good work!
To find out more about Employment Solutions, click here.
We are pleased to announce that UCP ranked as #31 among large employers on the 2012 list of the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon. The study was coordinated by Oregon Business.
Are you planning a fundraiser? Maybe a wedding? Perhaps a concert, reception, banquet, ball, or zumba class? Consider booking your next event at The Village Ballroom in Northeast Portland. Owner Ryan Saari partnered with UCP’s supported employment program (Employment Solutions) and recently hired Travis to keep this historic landmark in pristine condition.
Travis cleans the picturesque ballroom that once hosted a nationally famous pool hall frequented by the infamous Fats Domino. Travis also washes the huge windows that look over Dekum Street, where the Dekum Streetcar ran back in the early 1900s. Today, there is no streetcar or Fats Domino, but The Village Ballroom is extremely busy. Luckily, Travis is there Monday through Thursday mornings to make sure everyone can fully enjoy the space.
Later this year, owner Ryan Saari will be opening the downstairs portion of the ballroom as The Oregon Public House, purported to be the world’s first non-profit brewpub. Every quarter, Saari will select up to five local non-profits, and equally donate all the net proceeds. Travis will be working down there, too.
Please support employers who value a diverse workplace. Visit The Village Ballroom’s website here.
Jace is supported in UCP's Community Inclusion program, and is a vibrant and determined young man.
Jace has been the leading force in jumpstarting UCP's community garden plot. He has brainstormed and collaborated to find a place for everyone, whether it be figuring out accessibility for someone who uses a power wheelchair or finding a way for someone to get involved without getting dirty.
Jace is extremely creative, bright and inventive. These qualities are expressed often in his innovative forms of communication. Jace uses a brilliant mix of spoken words, ASL, his Dynavox communication device, body language, and contagious bursts of joy. He enthusiastically introduces himself and reaches out to new people wherever he goes. He is tenacious in explaining to others what he means, and revels when the communication is successful.
Gregarious Jace recently befriended a family from Laos at UCP's community garden plot. Their interactions were full of warmth and generosity and very few words. Lu loaned Jace a Laotion garden tool, and graciously proceeded to help weed UCP's plot. Jace shared his gratitude and made sure to remind Lu that whenever she needs a hand in return, he is ready and willing to assist.
Thanks to hard work from Jace and everyone else involved in the garden project, lettuce, kale, potatoes, berries and tomatoes have been planted; compost has been started; all paths to the garden have been made accessible; rocks have been painted to decorate the space; and composting will soon begin at the UCP offices as well.
Jace lives his life knowing not only that he is part of his community, but that he creates a sense of community wherever he goes. Thanks, Jace!
To find out more about Community Inclusion at UCP, click here.
Fishing can be a challenge for people with disabilities. There are rocky or hilly shores and inaccessible boats. Luckily, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is constantly seeking opportunities to improve accessibility so that people with all abilities and needs visit and enjoy their facilities.
Recently, Fish & Wildlife invited some of the people supported by UCP to try out a brand new accessible fishing platform. It was a day filled with fun, laughter—and, of course, fishing!
Read more about it at Fish & Wildlife’s blog.
A fantastic day was had by all at this year's Walk, Roll 'n' Run, which was held September 8th. Thanks to everyone who participated and volunteered! We'll be posting more information soon.
Do you want to join UCP for our largest special event of the year--the 8th annual Walk, Roll 'n' Run which will be held this Saturday, September 8th? If so,
you should know that today is your last chance to register online, as online registration closes tonight (September 6th) at midnight.
You are welcome to register at the event itself, but day-of-event registration will cost $30 instead of $25.
In other WRR news, we are pleased to report that we have raised $62,000 so far--we are so close to our goal of $80,000!
If you'd like to find out more about the event, sign up to participate, or start a team, visit the event website.
We are getting excited to see you all on September 8th at this year's Walk, Roll 'n' Run--UCP's biggest special event of the year! We've already raised almost $45,000, which means we're halfway to our goal.
If you'd like to find out more about the event, sign up to participate, or start a team, visit the event website.
And don't forget: the top fundraisers will receive wonderful donated prizes. Here are the prizes for people who raise funds as indivudals:
SEE YOU ON SEPTEMBER 8th!
Congratulations to Tino and Tyler, who have recently completed their first ninety days of employment at Lowe’s in Wood Village.
One of UCP’s Employment Specialists, Nicholas Von Pless, worked with Lowe’s HR Manager, Mary Walker, to secure positions as Loaders for both Tino and Tyler. Their positions involve loading large parcels into customers’ vehicles, spotting for forklifts, and assisting customers to locate different items while delivering a high level of customer service. Without fail, Tyler always thanks his customers with a firm handshake. Tino responds to calls on his walkie-talkie with the speed of a cheetah.
Tino feels such a sense of pride and independence working at Lowe’s that he is now making the transition from foster care to his own apartment. Tyler has exceeded the expectations on every shift, and his manager is currently pressing to make him a full-time staff member. Stop in on the weekends and say hi!
Please support employers who value a diverse workplace. Visit this Lowe location at 1000 Wood Village Boulevard, Wood Village, OR 97060
Want to eat great food and raise money for UCP at the same time? Well, then you need to attend our next UCP Dine Out fundraiser!
The event will be held at at Good Neighbor Pizzeria 800 NE Dekum Street on September the 11th from 3pm to midnight. 10% of all proceeds will go to UCP, and we'll be using the money to fund parties, potlucks and prizes.
Please encourage your families and friends to stop by!
If you've attended UCP's Walk, Roll 'n' Run, then you have seen the Rose City Rollers in action.
Since then, our partnership has only grown. Their founder and Executive Director, Kim Stegeman (aka Rocket Mean), spoke this year at our annual "Friends Breakfast". She talked about how excited she was to find an event that has the word "roll" in the title, and how much she enjoys being part of the UCP community.
The Rose City Rollers will be rolling along with participants at this year's Walk, Roll 'n' Run. They are also working with us to put together a "Family Skate Night" outing in the near future, so stayed tuned for details on that.
Find out more about the Rose City Rollers here.