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Thanks For a Great Movie Screening

Last weekend, UCP’s Family Support Department hosted a free screening of the movie Including Samuel. This documentary was created by photojournalist Dan Habib, and is about the fight for "inclusion" experienced by his son, Samuel, who has cerebral palsy. More than 75 people attended the event, and told us that they found the presentation very moving.

Attendee Kris Haines found it particularly moving when Mr. Habib interviews some of Samuel’s classmates and discovers that they (in Kris' words) "understand the intrinsic normalcy of Samuel and his presence in the classroom far better than some adults". Kris also found it extremely interesting that the brief from the landmark case of Brown v. Board (which overturned the doctrine of “separate but equal") predicted that the next people who would be seeking civil rights would be people who experience disabilities.

After the movie, attendees enjoyed a short presentation by local Canby High School student, Carleigh Dewald. Carleigh spoke about how inclusion has worked for her, her role in the world of wheelchair racing, and her involvement in the Pan American games.  Carleigh is currently working hard with the goal of making the team for the 2012 Paralympic games, which will be held in London.

So, thanks to everyone who participated! And thanks to local coffee shop, Papaccino’s, for donating free coffee, and to Trader Joe's for the free cookies and juice!

If you haven’t seen Including Samuel, you can find out more here.

DD Week of Advocacy

Did you know that this is the "Week of DD Advocacy"? It's a week-long virtual DD advocacy rally. The goal of the week is for as many people as possible to send a message to Oregon Legislators.

Here's a link that will help you to find your state legislators: 

And to make it even easier, below is a message you can use when contacting your legislator:


"Oregonians with developmental disabilities and their families can't move backward, we need to move forward! Don't take away our ability to continue responding to the needs of thousands of people with developmental disabilities and their families with a sustainable, flexible, cost-effective supports and services."


You can make a difference! Here's a message from Cheryl Cisneros, GO! Project Coordinator, about how you can participate.


1. CALL OR EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATOR with this message.


  • Always introduce yourself as their "constituent"



  •  Post this message on your Facebook wall and on your legislator's Facebook wall;
  •  If you use Twitter, tweet this message;
  • And lastly, the Coalition will be posting on Facebook all week so" like" and "share" our advocacy posts. 

3. JOIN US AT THE CAPITOL - Thursday, February 16.

  • Make an appointment to talk with your legislators and/or their staff about not cutting services to people with developmental disabilities and their families. We will be wearing yellow and have yellow buttons available for DD advocates to wear.


  • For those who want to participate in the DD Advocacy Day at the Capitol on Feb 16 but can’t make it to Salem, just take photos of yourself and others holding a Print & GO Rally Sign then post it to your Facebook page and tag your legislator & the Oregon DD Coalition!
  • Use the Print & GO Talking Points tri-fold brochure for more information for specific budget cuts proposed and our message of advocacy for each. 
  • Encourage your family and friends to get involved in DD Advocacy on Feb 16.


Tags: advocacy, news

Movie Screening on Saturday!

Are you planning to attend UCP’s complimentary screening of the movie Including Samuel? It will be held Saturday, February 11th, from 2pm to 4pm, and is hosted by UCP's Family Support Department.

This 58-minute video is riveting, thought-provoking, and is changing the way people think about disability. 

A discussion will follow for those interested and able to take part.

This event is open to the community, so share this with friends, family, educators and anyone else you might think of!

Find out more here.

Start Training and Help UCP, Too!

 If you've ever wanted to start running, now is the time. One of UCP's sponsors, Foot Traffic, is running Foot Traffic University, a series of classes designed to help runners and walkers of all ability levels. When you register, if you mention UCP, Foot Traffic will donate a portion of your entry fee to UCP!

    • Foot Traffic
Tags: fundraisers, news

An Announcement

United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon & SW Washington has long been a leader in the area of community-based employment for people who experience developmental disabilities.

Around the state today, however, a high number of people who experience developmental disabilities work in “sheltered workshops” where they are often paid less than the minimum wage and are segregated from the community. Some workshop participants have asked for numerous years to leave the workshop setting in order to pursue community-based employment opportunity, without success or support from their teams.

At a press conference today, United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon & SW Washington announced that it will act as an organization plaintiff in a Class Action Lawsuit filed against the State of Oregon and other identified leaders within related program areas. Joining us in this lawsuit are individual plaintiffs who experience developmental disabilities who wish to seek community-based employment, but feel that they have not received the support they need to leave sheltered workshops.

If you’d like to learn more about this issue, please visit these links:


Questions about the lawsuit should be directed towards our Executive Director, Ann Coffey, at 503-777-4166 or by .

Sam's New Job


As you may know, UCP has an employment division, Employment Solutions, that supports adults with disabilities to find and keep their dream jobs.

Here is one of Employment Solutions' newest success stories. Congratulations, Sam!

  • New Employee: Sam Vranizan
  • Employer: Roots Toddler Community
  • First Day of Work: January 9, 2012
  • Job Duties: Monitor children while they sleep, alert teacher when they awake, transition children from nap to snack and help children get ready to go.
  • Most Extraordinary Aspect of Sam’s Job:  Sam uses a computer (called an Echo) to communicate with the children. The children listen to him, respect him and treat him like a friend.

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2012 Family Support Conference Keynote Speaker Announced

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    • Gregg Mozgala
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We’ve been fortunate that every time we put on a Family Conference, we have an exciting Keynote to share with everyone.  This year is no different.  Gregg Mozgala will be the Keynote Speaker at the 2012 UCP Family Support Conference, which will be held November 2-3, 2012 at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel.

Gregg has cerebral palsy, and is an actor and writer. He's made national press recently because of his work with Tamar Rogoff, a dance choreographer. Tamar first saw him acting in a production of “Romeo & Juliet," Tamar wanted to work with him, even though she knew nothing about cerebral palsy.

Ten months later, Gregg’s posture and walking had changed, and Tamar put him in a 90 minute dance production. Learn about Gregg and Tamar’s work together and see a clip from the performance here.

While working with Tamar, Gregg felt his Achilles tendon for the first time. He also discovered that his old "pigeon toe" walk was now a thing of the past. His feet straightened and, today, he walks upright and straight. 

Gregg and Tamar have raised funding to put the 300 hours of film of their work together into a movie for therapists, families, and adults to learn from their experiences.

All we’ve ever heard is that CP cannot be changed, but here we have a young man who experiences cerebral palsy, in his 30’s, whose body and gait have been changed through work with someone who knew nothing about CP. 

We hope you will save the date and plan to join us.

For more information about the Conference, please contact Susan at 503-777-4166 x332 or send an .

UCP To Host a Movie Screening

UCP’s Family Support Department  will be hosting a complimentary screening of the movie Including Samuel on Saturday, February 11th, from 2pm to 4pm.

This 58-minute video is riveting, thought-provoking, and is changing the way people think about disability. 

A discussion will follow for those interested and able to take part.

This event is open to the community, so share this with friends, family, educators and anyone else you might think of!

Find out more here.


UCP Announces Employee of the Year

It is our pleasure and honor to announce this year’s UCP Employee of the Year. 

The award was presented today to Mackenzie Fowler, Administrative Specialist.  

Many people will know Mackenzie for her work at the Front Desk, but you may not know that she has been instrumental in rolling out UCP’s new computers this year, and that she also handled many details of UCP’s move.  For all these things and more, she was the overwhelming nominee for Employee of the Year.

Congratulations, Mackenzie!

    • Mackenzie Fowler

Our New Location

On Monday, December 12th, UCP opening in its new location.

Everyone is very much enjoying our new "digs". The people we support in our Community Inclusion program are discovering that the mass transit here is fantastic, and that there are all sorts of fun things to do nearby. Staff are enjoying their shortened commutes--our new location is just moments away from 84 and 205. We're also excited that UCP's brokerage, UCP Connections, has joined us in our new location.

Our new address is:

305 NE 102nd, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97220

NOTE: Our main phone line and fax will stay the same, but all extensions will change.



Tags: news

Derek Celebrates 90 Days on the Job

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Derek Schutt, who is supported by UCP's supported employment department (Employment Solutions), is celebrating 90 days on the job! Congratulations, Derek.

He is in janatorial services at All About Automotive. Derek says,“I really like my job, and I love cars. Yeah, it’s really nice here.”

Connections Turns One!

“Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects.” – Charles Eames

UCP excels at getting people connected to the things that matter to them—-nowhere more than our brokerage, which just turned one year old. What an exciting year it’s been. As Sarah Knight, Brokerage Director says, “From the very beginning everything felt right, and things snapped right into place. So, here we are one year later, thanks to the vision of UCP, the support of community partners, the dedication of our Personal Agents, and the dreams and commitment of the people we support – our customers. I am proud to be a part of the brokerage that UCP Connections is today, complete with all of our challenges, frustrations, and wins.”

Connections now supports over one hundred people, all of whom are taking steps towards achieving their goals and creating the life that they envision for themselves. 

Just in time for its birthday, Connections has a newly developed mission: To provide individualized planning and resources to adults with developmental disabilities that promotes independence, personal success, and connection to community. We are fortunate to be instrumental in that journey and look forward to our collective personal and professional growth.

Congratulations, Connections!

UCP Is Moving!

UCP is excited to announce that we are moving offices. The office will be closed Friday, December 9th, and will be reopening at our new location on Monday, December 12th.

Our new address is:

305 NE 102nd, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97220


NOTE: Our main phone line and fax will stay the same, but all extensions will change.


It's a great move for us. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • better mass transit options
  • more space for our growing programs
  • easy freeway access
Tags: news

Louis "Topspeed" Albornoz Is a UCP Celebrity Ambassador

Did you know that UCP has national Celebrity Ambassadors? These are people who have committed to help UCP raise awareness about issues related to people with a spectrum of disabilities.

Over the next few months, we plan to post information about each Celebrity Ambassador. Today, we'll talk about Celebrity Ambassador Louis "Topspeed" Albornoz.

Albornoz grew up in New York City, where he discovered the joys of drag racing, driving a 1969 Chevy Nova SS street-legal drag car he built himself. He found easy success in drag racing on and off the track.

But he knew he needed a bigger challenge, so he worked a second job as an overnight garage attendant (grabbing just a couple of hours of sleep each night in a chair!), and used his earnings to enter a few formula races. He did very well, not surprisingly, and since then, he has been competing primarily in Formula Dodge.

Recently, Albornoz was invited to participate in the INDY 500, the oldest and most well-known motorsport event in the world.

Albornoz advocates for United Cerebral Palsy through endorsements on his race car and his website,  www.topspeedracer.com. He also is donating 10% of the proceeds from apparel sales on his website. To find out more about his charitable efforts, click here.

Employment Solutions Event a Great Success

Employment Solutions, UCP's supported employment program, recently hosted the first annual AbilityAware event. The purpose of the event was to honor employers who have hired individuals with disabilities. Twenty-four local employers were invited to receive an award!

Everyone gathered at The Cleaners (owned by the Ace Hotel) in Downtown Portland. Four employed individuals (Renea Azeltine, Phillip Klover, Dan Waugh and Jacque Straub) and their managers told their employment stories, talking about what it's like to work together at Supportland, Whole Foods, Sugar Wheel Works and Hippocrate's Secrets. Renea, Phillip, Dan and Jacque did an amazing job delivering their speeches.

UCP's Executive Director, Bud Thoune, was a featured speaker. As he later said, "It was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past concept of supported employment, and to envision an even better future." Forty years ago when Bud first started at UCP, if people with disabilities were employed, they were often employed in "enclaves" or "sheltered workshops". In other words: places that were segregated from the community. This event highlighted how far society (and UCP) has come--supported employment can and should look radically different than a workshop or enclave.

After the speeches were delivered, a video of three job-seekers was shown. The video production was donated by Grandient Productions, and featured Valentino Guerrero, Rachel Black and Tyler Chism. Rachel was present at the event, and was approached by an employer and offered an interview! Here's a link to the video on YouTube.

During the award ceremony, all the employers came to the front of the room to be honored. A standing ovation erupted from the crowd. Everyone in the room felt the power of employment! The event got such positive reviews that we plan to do it annually.

UCP would like to thank the hardworking members of Employment Solutions who made this event possible: Melissa Miller, Sheila Forget, Nicholas Von Pless, and Xochil Springer. All of them managed to provide excellent services to their customers while simultaneously planning a huge event that totally rocked! Thank you all! 

UCP Announces New Community Services Director

After a very thorough recruitment process, we are pleased to announce that we have selected Michelle Douglas as UCP’s next Community Services Director. This vacancy was created last month, when the current Community Services Director, Ann Coffey, was selected to be UCP’s future Executive Director.

As is typical at UCP when hiring upper-level management, both employees and the people we support played a significant role in the hiring process. Everyone was invited to share what they thought was important for the position before recruiting began, and a cross-department group of employees and people we support participated in panel interviews and then shared their thoughts about the applicants.

Michelle Douglas was one of several phenomenal internal applicants. Michelle has been UCP’s Community Services Supports Manager for almost a year. As CSSM, Michelle has been a member of the Community Services management team. She has been responsible for supervising UCP’s pool of on-call caregivers, as well as coordinating the department’s record keeping processes, medication administration support, and 24 hour emergency response service.

For those of you who may not know Michelle, she has a bachelor’s degree in Human Communication and is fluent in Spanish. Her professional experience includes teaching, administration, direct support, and management.

As Community Services Director, Michelle will provide leadership for the development of agency policy and supervise all Community Services managers. She will create the department budget and monitor monthly financial performance, and will lead the department to ensure compliance with federal, state, and county regulations. She will facilitate a collaborative working relationship between UCP constituents, including UCP employees, people we support, families, other service providers, vendors, employers, etc. Michelle will also develop new customer service contracts, ensuring a customer-driven approach, excellent customer service, and quality deliverables.

Please join us in congratulating Michelle on her promotion. We are very excited for the next chapter here at UCP.

Tags: news, staff news

UCP Announces New Executive Director

Ann Coffey has been selected as the next Executive Director of United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon & SW Washington, following a national search.

“Ann is the perfect person for the position,” said current (and soon to be retiring) Executive Director, Bud Thoune. “As UCP's Community Services Director, she has been responsible for driving our values for nearly a decade and has great business sense. I look forward to working with Ann in a new venture, that of transitioning her in and myself out of this position I have enjoyed since 1978. Please join me in congratulating and supporting her.”

As Community Services Director, Ann Coffey has gained the respect of the DD Community. She has doubled our business, reinvigorated Supported Employment, and established our Brokerage. Now she will bring that same energy to the position of Executive Director.

UCP Connections Is Growing!

UCP Connections, UCP's brokerage, is pleased to announce that we have hired Jess Cline to be our Fiscal and Data Manager. As FDM, Jess will provide administrative support to the brokerage including data management, processing payments to providers, fiscal reconciliation, technology support, and most other general clerical support. 

All of us here at Connections are really excited to work with him. Welcome, Jess!

William Macy Is a UCP Celebrity Ambassador

Did you know that UCP has national Celebrity Ambassadors? These are people who have committed to help UCP raise awareness about issues related to people with a spectrum of disabilities.

Over the next few months, we plan to post information about each Celebrity Ambassador. Today, we'll talk about Celebrity Ambassador William H. Macy.

Macy is an Oscar-nominated actor. You'll know him from "Fargo", "Magnolia" and "Pleasantville". He's also a tireless supporter of United Cerebral Palsy, and has been a member of UCP's National Board of Trustees since 2004.

Macy became interested in UCP while working on the film "Door to Door", which he co-wrote, and starred in. The movie tells the true story of Bill Porter, an award-winning door-to-door salesman with cerebral palsy. Porter grew up in Portland, and did all of his door-to-door work here, so the story is doubly interesting to Oregonians!

As Macy says, “The Bill Porter story inspired me to get more involved with UCP and its mission to ensure people with disabilities are included in all facets of society. Walking in Bill Porter’s shoes taught me to see the person first, not the disability.” Watch a clip from the movie here.

John Gets Hired!

We are excited to announce that John, who is supported by UCP's Supported Employment Department, was just hired as a dishwasher at The Highcliffe restaurant in Oregon City.

John has been job-hunting for 1.5 years, and this will be John’s first paid job. Over 120 people applied for positions at the Highcliffe--way to go, John, for getting one of these coveted positions!  And way to go Xochil Springer, John's UCP Job Developer!

The Highcliffe is a new high-end bistro in the heart of Oregon City.  Make sure to stop by and admire some sparkling dishware, courtesy of John.