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Living Without Limits - Meet Kayden

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Anyone who has had the chance to visit United Cerebral Palsy's Preschool would have a hard time missing Kayden King's welcoming smile and cheerful personality. Kayden, a member of UCP Preschool's K4 class, is a joy to be around. "Kayden is a very fun, loving, dramatic and outgoing child. He's also very affectionate and sometimes a little selfish, but all in all he's one of the most mannerable kids you would want to meet. Family and friends are his everything," says Tora, Kayden's mother.

Kayden has been working with United Cerebral Palsy since the start, getting to know the organization through his time receiving therapy through UCP's Early Intervention program. When it was time to choose where Kayden would attend school for the first time, Tora says, "I could not turn down the opportunity, it just felt right." She was attracted by the fact that UCP's Preschool has a blended classroom, meaning that children with disabilities share the classroom with typical peers. Allowing typical peers in the classroom offers a model for behaviors such as speech and play. "He's getting the opportunity to interact with kids that are like him and others that are not, but still being treated normally," says his mother.

There is no question that Kayden loves his friends and his teachers. "I love the fact that my child gets excited when it's time for school. It lets me know that he is comfortable and being treated with love." He is also a very vocal support for his classmates in their triumphs. Kayden himself has had many personal triumphs during his time with UCP Preschool. "Kayden's first few years of schooling have been amazing. My son has learned things beyond my expectations. I'm impressed because on certain levels he knows more than some kids his age without a disability... Kayden is more a people person now, his vocabulary has grown and he is no longer afraid to explore and try different things that he would normally be afraid of. It makes me a proud parent," says Tora.

In cooperation with the Mobile County Public School System, United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile offers preschool classes to approximately 25 children with disabilities and their typical peers each year. UCP's preschool classes allow students to combine typical preschool activities such as story time and crafts with their individual regimen of speech, occupational and/or physical therapy.

Early Intervention Christmas

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In order to prepare for Christmas throughout the year, Early Intervention will be collecting specific donations each month. No donation is too big or too small! EI serves children from birth to three years of age. Toys should be unwrapped and age appropriate. We are so thankful for each and every donation and the generosity of our community.

April: baby toys and baby blankets (ages newborn to 12 months)
May: balls and dolls
June: coloring books, stickers, and crayons
July: lunch boxes and Barbie’s
August: toys that make noise 
September: blocks and shape sorters
October: backpacks and games 
November: large gift bags

If you are interested in sponsoring EI Christmas please contact Theresa Webb at twebb@ucpmobile.org or 251-479-4900.

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month Proclamation 2017

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Over the Edge 2017 - 74Club

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Camp SMILE will be participating in Over the Edge March 10th-11th, 2017 at the Mobile Marriott! Over the Edge sends participants rappelling down the side of a building as a headline-grabbing fundraiser for non-profit organizations. Camp Smile Director Matrisza Alvarez sat down with Uncle Henry and Mary Booth at iHeart Radio to talk more about the event with the 74Club.The 2017 Over the Edge goal is $150,000 or above! There are unique sponsorship opportunities available and many ways to get involved. Learn more by listening to the link below.

100th Day of School!

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Thank you to Cottage Hill Christian Academy SGA for helping us celebrate our 100th Day of School! Preschool had a great day enjoying activities centered around the number 100.

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Living Without Limits - Meet Clifton

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"We have a bond like no other. He's my angel. My gift from God!" says Tammy Watts of her son Clifton.

Clifton has been a member of United Cerebral Palsy's Adult Day Program (ADP) since August of 2008 and has been attending Camp SMILE since the summer of 2010. All who know and work with Clifton describe him as a complete and utter joy. "He sees the world as one big, happy, loving place," says Tammy.

For Clifton and his family, United Cerebral Palsy is a second home. When he first started within United Cerebral Palsy's ADP, Clifton kept to himself and experienced frequent mood swings. However, walking through the Adult Day Program facility now, one would never guess that this would have been the case. Clifton will greet anyone with a huge smile, a hug and maybe even a kiss! 

When asked about the effect of this program on Clifton and his family, his mother states, "Clifton is very smart though he can't communicate well. One thing he does know is when someone cares for him and loves him. He picks up on these feelings and thrives on them. As far as what UCP has done for our family, UCP has given us a peace of mind knowing that we are leaving him in good hands, with people who genuinely love Clifton. We don't have to worry during the day if he's being taken care of, we know without a doubt [....] I can only speak for the Adult Day Program and when I do it comes from the heart. This is the best group of people and you couldn't ask for better."

Among a few of his favorite things, Clifton loves spending summer days with his family out on the boat or in the pool. So, it is no surprise that he loves Camp SMILE. This year will mark Clifton's 7th year at Camp. "Camp SMILE has been the most rewarding thing I think we've ever experienced. The first year was very hard on Clifton and myself because of the separation issue, but every year has gotten better. I can say that the directors/counselors have got to be angels sent from heaven. I have never seen such caring and understanding people. It's always the most heartfelt feeling to see how they interact with Clifton. When you walk up everyone yells out, 'Hey, Clifton!' If I'm not crying because of having to leave him (which no longer happens) then I'm shedding tears of joy! I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a child with disabilities. It is an amazing experience," says Tammy.

It is hard to believe that this joyful man was once so reserved and closed off. The folks at United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile are forever grateful to know Clifton and to share in this small part of his story!

UCP Mardi Gras Tees

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UCP Mardi Gras Tees are available to order until January 20th!
They are comfort colors and are available in butter and white.
Short Sleeve $20 - Long Sleeve $25
10 or more orders and yours is FREE!
For more information, or to place order, please call 251-479-4900.
Youth Medium - 3X
4X and 5X available in Gildan.

Press Release: Alabama Treasury to Launch ABLE Program for Alabamians with Disabilities

December 1, 2016Alabama Treasury to Launch ABLE Program for Alabamians with Disabilities

Montgomery – Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer and Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg today announced the signing of a contract between the two states, making the Enable Savings Plan for individuals with disabilities available to Alabama residents. The savings plan will be known as Enable Savings Plan Alabama. Interested Alabamians are encouraged to visit EnableAL.com for more information.

“We are excited to announce the prelaunch of Enable and the partnership with the Nebraska Treasurer’s Office. Enable will encourage and assist individuals and families to save private funds to support individuals with disabilities in order to maintain health, independence, and quality of life,” said Alabama Treasurer Young Boozer.

“As Trustee of Enable, I am optimistic about the future of the tax-advantaged Enable Savings Plan for children and adults with disabilities, and I am committed to making sure the Enable plan serves the needs of Alabama residents, just as it serves the needs of Nebraskans. I look forward to working with Treasurer Boozer to introduce Enable in Alabama and watch it grow,” Stenberg said.

Launched June 30 nationwide, the Enable Savings Plan came about as a result of the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act – known as ABLE – passed by Congress in 2014. The act was modeled after state-sponsored 529 college savings programs, like the CollegeCounts 529 Fund available in Alabama. The Alabama Legislature passed the Alabama ABLE Act in June 2015.

The Enable Savings Plan offers four investment options for savers - growth, moderate and conservative mutual funds, and a bank savings investment option. A checking account option is being developed for implementation at a later date.

“The Enable Savings Plan makes it possible for qualifying children and adults in Alabama to experience greater financial independence and security without jeopardizing the public benefits they already may receive through Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, or other needsbased programs,” said Treasurer Boozer.

Please visit EnableAL.com for more information and updates.

About Enable
Enable is a tax-advantaged savings plan to help make saving simple and affordable for individuals with disabilities. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Visit EnableSavings.com, EnableAL.com, and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.

Investments Are Not FDIC Insured* · No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee · May Lose Value *Except the Bank Savings Individual Investment Option

Tags: ABLE

Making Spirits Bright Local 15: United Cerebral Palsy

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United Cerebral Palsy would like to thank Titan Light Show for Making Spirits Bright here at UCP! Look for the Making Spirits Bright segment Monday on Local 15 with Darwin Singleton to learn more about UCP and how this kind gift will help UCP purchase Christmas presents for clients during the holiday season. UCP will be accepting unwrapped gift donations until December 14th. For more information please call 251-479-4900.

2016 Christmas Nights of Lights 5K and Fun Run Presented by the Orthopaedic Group

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United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile would like to thank each of you that came out to support our 2016 Christmas Nights of Lights 5K and Fun Run! We had an amazing time and are so blessed with immense support from Mobile and the surrounding area! Events like this one help us to continue our mission of helping those with disabilities in our community!

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2016

“This year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme focuses on the importance of inclusion, especially when it comes to business, opportunity, and innovation. When we diversify our workforce we create opportunities for growth and improvement – not just for those with disabilities, but for everyone.”
                             Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation
                             National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2016


     National Disability Employment Awareness Month is observed every October. NDEAM is a nationwide campaign celebrating the skills and talents workers with disabilities bring to our workplaces. To reflect the important role disability plays in workforce diversity, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy announced that the official theme of 2016’s campaign is “#InclusionWorks.” Here at United Cerebral Palsy, we represent the theme of #InclusionWorks through each of our programs, and highlight the skills and talents of workers with disabilities through our Supported Employment program.  

     United Cerebral Palsy’s Supported Employment (SE) team is dedicated to ensuring that individuals with all disabilities locate, obtain and maintain quality employment opportunities. SE recognizes the strengths of the individuals we represent and will only place our clients in an employment role that fits both the employee and employer. In order to ensure a proper job placement there are several steps taken. We partner with local businesses that allow our applicants to volunteer at a job site for a few hours in order to conduct a “Situational Assessment.” Situational Assessments are trial work experiences that give applicants an opportunity to complete a variety of job tasks. This assessment helps the individual decide what field(s) of employment interest them. Additionally, it allows the SE team to determine talents and abilities of that individual and what, if any, supports may be needed in employment. An employment specialist will assist in completing applications and the interview process, as well as advocating for the individual and negotiating with the employer in regards to the accommodations the individual may need. Following job placement, a job coach will accompany the individual, helping to understand job tasks until the individual feels comfortable working alone. An employment specialist will continue to support the individual through site checks and phone calls. UCP will continue with long term support as long as the individual remains employed.

 “Too often in our Nation’s history, individuals with disabilities have been eager to work but could not find a job, facing red tape, discrimination, or employers who assumed that disabled meant unable and refused to hire them.”
                             Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation
                             National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2016

     As mentioned above, there are often many misconceptions about hiring an individual with a disability. UCP is working to break the barriers caused by these misconceptions. Some common misconceptions include: People with disabilities do not want to work, Employees with disabilities are more likely to have accidents on the job, Employees with disabilities have a higher absentee rate and Persons with disabilities are unable to meet performance standards. Clients in our Supported Employment program are often eager to work and become a part of a team at a local business. Safety hazards and liability are common concerns when hiring an individual with a disability. UCP is dedicated to ensuring the safety of our clients. We will not place an individual in a workplace that we feel could be an unsafe environment for them. A study conducted by the DuPont Corporation revealed that the safety records of people with and without disabilities were identical. It is also important to note that insurance rates are solely based on the relative hazards of the operation and that organization’s accident experience, not on whether any workers have a disability. The same DuPont study showed that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities and 92% of 2,745 employees observed with disabilities rated average or better in job performance than employees without a disability. UCP wants employers to know that not only can individuals with disabilities complete job tasks; they are capable of being an elite employee. As an organization we strive to promote a life without limits every day.
                                                                                              - Shayna Sims

If your company is interested in hiring an individual or becoming an assessment site through our Supported Employment program, please contact Diana Pierce, Director of Adult Services at (251) 479-4900 or dpierce@ucpmobile.org.

For more information on the #InclusionWorks campaign visit the link below: https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/

                      Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation – National Disability
                                         Employment  Awareness Month, 2016
Equal to the Task II: 1990 DuPont Survey of Employment of People with Disabilities

2016 Food and Folly

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Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in our 2016 Food and Folly event!

This year we had a tie for our People's Choice Recipient:
Cammie's Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe
Creative Catering by Sean
Georgia Roussos Catering
Honey Baked Ham
Joe Cain Cafe - People's Choice Winner
Moe's Original BBQ
Mud Bugs at the Loop - People's Choice Winner
Naman's Catering
OK Bicycle Shop
Stevie's Kitchen
The Admiral
The Blind Mule

United Cerebral Palsy Golf Tournament Sponsored by Williams

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We would like to thank Williams and everyone who participated in the September 16th golf tournament for making it a success! 

2016 Celebration of Champions Award Winners

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Our Supported Employment Program is proud to announce the winners of Celebration of Champions Awards for 2016 at Alabama Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. It was an honor for our candidates Tucker and Justin to receive this achievement. Both young men have worked diligently on providing great job performance and personal growth. Unfortunately Justin was not present due to his work schedule, but is thrilled for the recognition of this award.


October is National Employment of People with Disabilities Month

MOBILE, AL - Throughout the month of October, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Mobile and Central Alabama has been honoring the contributions that people with disabilities make to the workforce and within our local business community.  In 2014, UCP's Supported Employment assisted more than 100 persons with a variety of disabilities (not just cerebral palsy) in finding competitive employment. United Cerebral Palsy also assists with job retention through job readiness, job coaching and long-term follow up services. 

The agency's Supported Employment and Steps programs serve individuals with disabilities not only in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, but throughout south and central Alabama, including: Montgomery, Bullock, Barbour, Pike, Butler, Autauga, Elmore, Crenshaw, Monroe, Conecuh, Escambia, Covington, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Houston, and Henry counties.

There are many benefits to employing people with disabilities, and this month our agency's focus is on highlighting those benefits and how the Supported Employment Program works. One primary advantage is that local employers gain a valuable employee who can effectively perform the job required, and another benefit is that persons with disabilities gain meaningful employment.  United Cerebral Palsy partners with community businesses that let applicants volunteer at their job site for Situational Assessments.  These are trial work experiences that give applicants an opportunity to sample a variety of job tasks, while providing UCP staff time to assess and evaluate real job skills of the applicants.

Once individuals with disabilities are hired, UCP staff provides job coaching (which is like on-the-job training) to ensure the new employees learn their job duties thoroughly and accurately while fulfilling the employer's job requirements. Many participating businesses receive a federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit for employers of up to 40% of the first $6000 or up to $2400 in wages paid during the first 12 months for each new hire.

United Cerebral Palsy also advocates for people with disabilities and helps dismiss myths concerning people with disabilities in the workforce. A study by DuPont Corporation dispelled major myths about people with disabilities and replaced them with the following facts:

No Greater Safety Risk in Hiring Persons with Disabilities*-  the study  for persons with and individuals without disabilities were identical in the study

Persons with disability do not have more Absenteeism*-the study showed that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities.

Persons with Disabilities are able to meet Job Performance Standards*- the study showed that 92% of employee with disabilities rated average or better in job performance than employees without disabilities.

Our agency continues to promote the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.  If you would like any information on how you get involved with UCP's Supported Employment, please contact Diana Pierce at 251-479-4900. 

Saenger Nite Live!

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Join us on July 19 for Saenger Nite Live benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile! For more information, please read…

From AL.com - “Saenger Nite Live,” will present shows on June 21, July 5, July 19 and Aug. 2. Dale Taylor of Mobile-based multimedia entertainment site www.jamsplus.com introduced the series, saying it’s designed to “give a platform” to a wide variety of community entertainers. “Saenger Nite Live” installments will begin with an early-evening street party in front of the Saenger, followed by an hour-long variety show that will feature various acts including skits from Joe Jefferson Players and other community theatre groups. Each installment will then be capped by a 90-minute concert by a band. Coastal bluegrass group Delta Reign will headline the first installment on June 21. Admission is $10.

United Way Day of Caring

United Way Day of Caring was a HUGE success thanks to the generous employees at Kimberly Clark.  We appreciate all of you joining us here at UCP to paint, clean, build, and more to help us better the facilities where we serve our clients with disabilities.  You helped us tremendously and we have loads of fun in the process.  We look forward to next year and want to thank Kimberly Clark for supporting UCP of Mobile!

Casual Day Was A Huge Success!

We would like to thank all of the businesses and individuals in our community who participated in UCP's Christmas Casual Day 2012.  It was a HUGE success and helped raised money for programs and services here at UCP.  Thank you to everyone!

3rd Annual Food & Folly

Please join us for the 3rd Annual Food & Folly being held Thursday September 20, 2012 at Ft. Whiting Armory.  This year promises to be better than ever with cuisine from over 20 local chefs, music, dancing, a silent auction, and more!  Tickets are on sale now so get your tickets while they last!  You may purchase your tickets here at UCP or any of our participating Regions Bank locations.  Tickets are $35 each or $60 per pair.  Join us for an evening of fun to benefit UCP of Mobile!

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DON'T FORGET! The holiday 5K has been changed to the ISLAND RUN to be held on January 14, 2012.  The race will still be held on Dauphin Island to begin at Ft. Gaines.  There is a race application under the events section and we look forward to seeing you there on January 14!