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Shannon Taber Accepts New Position

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We are very pleased to announce that Shannon Taber has accepted the position of the Disability Support Coordinator at UCP of Eastern Connecticut, Inc.  She has already begun taking inquiries, providng case management etc.  Shannon is a natural fit for this program because she has years of experience navigating the complex system of community-based services and supports for adults and children with disabilities and being an excellent advocate for the people she supports.  She will officially begin on May 1, but over the next couple of months Shannon will be transitioning from her current role as a client service manager in UCP's Residential In Home Supports (IHS) program to her new position.  Going forward, she will continue to manage a small client case load in IHS as well as a case load in the Disability Support Program.  Best Wishes!!


UCP Participates in New I/DD Caucus at State Capitol

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Today, February 7th, marks the first meeting for the I/DD Caucus at the State Capitol.  It was a day for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and advocates to have a voice with legislators.  The turn-out was overwhelming!  Supporters packed two rooms, which Senator Beth Bye said was the first time she had seen in 8 years!  Senator Bye heads the caucus, along with a number of other legislators.  The I/DD Caucus was spearheaded by the ARC, who had been meeting with legislators in their homes over the last year to educate them about lack of funding and difficulties families face.  Once legislators understood the concerns of families, they wanted to help.  Thus, the I/DD Caucus was born to listen to the needs of those in the intellectual and developmental disabilities community and develop solutions.  UCP clients submitted written testimony on the importance of UCP services to increasing their independence and full citizenship and how critical it is to maintain these supports.  Want to get involved?  Contact your local Senator and Representative to see if they are on the I/DD Caucus.  If not, ask them to join.  You can find your local representatives here: http://votesmart.org/

Want to know more about legislative advocacy?  Read this simple step by step guide to contacting legislators written by UCP's Disability Support Coordinator, Michelle Bussolotti: 


From Point A to B -UCP Support Group Learns About Transportation

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On Thursday, January 30th, UCP's support group learned about what transportation options may be available to them.  Shirley Zaccheo, Mobility Information Specialist, from Eastern Connecticut Transportation Consortium joined the group to share her knowledge.  The group learned, town by town, how to get transportation for medical, jobs, and recreational purposes.  The group even had one member join by Skype!  Want to learn what's available in your area?  Check-out Eastern Connecticut Transportation Consortium's Getting Around Eastern Connecticut Guide: http://www.ectcinc.com/gettingaroundect2013.pdf

This transportation meeting is part of a new initiative of the support group.  While the group meets monthly to participate in recreational activities of their choosing, the group will now also meet bimonthly for dinner and invite professionals from local agencies to discuss topics of choice.  Want to join us?  Contact Michelle Bussolotti, Disability Support Coordinator, at (860) 443-3800 x11 or mbussolotti@ucpect.org for more information.

The Disability Support Program is Supported by:

AT&T Employee Community Services Fund, Bellows Fund, Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Buscetto Family & Friends Fund, Charter Oak Credit Union, Chelsea Groton Foundation, CohnReznick, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Connecticut  Elks, Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Dime Bank Foundation, Electric Boat Employees Community Services Fund, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America and Alan S. Parker, Trustees, Harold and Rebecca Gross Foundation, Mystic Rotary Club, Niantic Lions, People’s United Community Foundation, Pfizer's United Way contributions, RS Gernon Fund, Travelers, United Way, UCP fundraisers and individual contributions, and individual contributions, and golfers and the following sponsor's of UCP's Golf Tournament on May 6, 2013: http://www.ucpect.org/uploads/media_items/tournament-program-2013.original.pdf 

Thank you! 


  


Support Group Takes Step Back in Time

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On Saturday, January 18th, UCP's support group visited the Real Pirates Exhibit at Foxwoods.  The group had the opportunity to discover artifacts from a real pirate shipwreck, the Whydah.  The Whydah sunk just off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts in April 1717 due to a fierce storm.  The ship was found in 1984 and has been excavated ever since.  Besides learning about the life of real pirates, the group enjoyed lunch together and celebrated the birthday of one of the members, Michael Loper.  

What's next for the group?  Learning about transportation options available to people with disabilities.  On January 30th, UCP will host a dinner from 6-8pm while members share their experiences with transportation and learn about new resources from Eastern Connecticut Transportation Consortium.  Like to join us?  Contact Michelle Bussolotti, Disability Support Coordinator at (860) 443-3800 x11 or mbussolotti@ucpect.org.

The Disability Support Program is Supported by:

AT&T Employee Community Services Fund, Bellows Fund, Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Buscetto Family & Friends Fund, Charter Oak Credit Union, Chelsea Groton Foundation, CohnReznick, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Connecticut  Elks, Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Dime Bank Foundation, Electric Boat Employees Community Services Fund, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America and Alan S. Parker, Trustees, Harold and Rebecca Gross Foundation, Mystic Rotary Club, Niantic Lions, People’s United Community Foundation, Pfizer's United Way contributions, RS Gernon Fund, Travelers, United Way, UCP fundraisers and individual contributions, and individual contributions, and golfers and the following sponsor's of UCP's Golf Tournament on May 6, 2013: http://www.ucpect.org/uploads/media_items/tournament-program-2013.original.pdf 

Thank you!     


Governor Malloy Creates New Cabinet Level Position of Liaison to the Disability Community

 January 8, 2014

 

GOV. MALLOY APPOINTS JONATHAN SLIFKA TO CABINET-LEVEL POSITION ADVOCATING ON BEHALF OF THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY

 

 

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he is appointing Jonathan Slifka of West Hartford to a newly-created cabinet-level position within his administration, specifically advocating on behalf of the state’s disability community.

 

In the role of Governor’s Liaison to the Disability Community, Slifka will be responsible for increasing outreach on behalf of the Governor and executive branch agencies to people with disabilities in order to provide policy and practical recommendations for advocacy, employment, programs and services, as well as serving as an ombudsperson.

 

“We have a resilient safety net of community providers in our state, but there are still ways that state government can be a better partner to ensure that we are providing adequate services, while doing so in the most efficient way possible,” Governor Malloy said. “I’m excited to have Jonathan on my team, and look forward to working with him to improve how the disability community interacts with both state government and nonprofit providers.”

 

Slifka most recently served at Goodwin College in East Hartford, where he worked on behalf of the admissions department.  He serves on a number of volunteer positions in his community, including as a commissioner on the West Hartford Advisory Commission for Persons with Disabilities; as a member on the Miracle League of Connecticut’s Board of Directors; and as a counselor and tennis coach with the Ivan Lendl Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp, where he teaches sports skills to campers with disabilities and serves as a mentor on numerous developmental and life-skill areas.

 

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be chosen to serve in the Governor’s administration,” Slifka said.  “I am so proud to be able to go to work every day and advocate for all persons with disabilities across the state.”

 

Throughout his life, Slifka, who was born with spina bifida and is unable to walk, routinely broke barriers.  He was the first student with a disability mainstreamed through the West Hartford Public School System, the first athlete with a disability to play little league baseball in West Hartford, and the first athlete in a wheelchair to play on a high school tennis team in the state.  He was also the March of Dimes Poster Child from 1985 to 1988, which inspired his mother to start the wheelchair sports camp where Slifka currently serves as a mentor and coach.

 

In addition to serving as a liaison between the state and residents with disabilities, he will evaluate and recommend improvements in the way the state provides information and access for people with disabilities.  He will also develop, in consultation with the Governor and the Office of Policy and Management, an action plan with varying areas of focus.

 

While the Governor’s Liaison to the Disability Community is a cabinet-level position, it will be administratively held within the state Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), where Slifka will work alongside the department’s staff to improve services to Connecticut citizens with disabilities.

 

“We are very excited to have a cabinet-level position specifically targeted to advocating on behalf of Connecticut’s residents with disabilities,” DORS Commissioner Amy Porter said.  “Jon’s focus on outreach will better connect people with disabilities to our existing programs, while helping us identify areas where we might be able to strengthen access and services.”

 

Slifka will begin the position on Friday, January 10, 2014.

 

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For Immediate Release: January 8, 2014

Contact: David Bednarz

860-524-7315 (office)
860-770-9792 (cell)

 

Twitter: @GovMalloyOffice

Facebook: Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy


Thank You Harold and Rebecca Gross Foundation!

UCP is grateful to announce the Harold and Rebecca Gross Foundation has awarded a $15,000 grant to support the Disability Support Program.  The Disability Support Program was designed to support under-served children and adults with diverse disabilities who otherwise would receive little to no assistance.  The program is offered free of charge and provides: case management, information and referral services, financial assistance to purchase disability related equipment or housing, monthly support groups for adults 16 and over with physical disabilities, volunteer coordination, and the Tech Tot Toy Library to help children with disabilities develop vital skills.  More information on the Disability Support Program can be found here: http://www.ucpect.org/services/community-services  

Thank you Harold and Rebecca Gross Foundation!


UCP Support Group Celebrates the Holiday Season

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On Saturday, December 21st, UCP's Support Group got together to celebrate the holiday season at a fellow members condo, Michael Loper.  UCP had posted a story about Loper on our website in July 2012.  At the time, UCP's Disability Support Coordinator, Michelle Bussolotti, had been working with Loper for about 6 months to help find an accessible living solution.  Mike was a 37 year-old man with Cerebral Palsy who was living in an inaccessible home.  He required the assistance of 2-3 people just to use the bathroom or take a shower.  Mike had a dream of having an accessible home and would often say, "When I need something or I want something, I don't usually give up until I get it."  Well Mike never gave-up and last summer, his dream became a reality when he moved into a condo he purchased and renovated to make accessible.

Bussolotti and Loper worked together as a team until Michael's dream came true.  Originally, the duo had looked into renovating the family's house to add on an accessible addition, only to get quotes in the tens of thousands of dollars range.  Then, in the fall of 2012, Loper and Bussolotti decided to pursue other options and Loper began working with a realtor to find his own place.  Loper found a condo that already had a front ramp and accessible entrance and hired Dependable Contracting to renovate the inside.  Loper paid for the condo and renovations with a combo of fundraising, which UCP assisted with, savings, and a loan.  Michael hopes that by sharing his story, it can serve an inspiration to others who hope to live in an accessible home of their own someday.  

After a year and a half of hard work, Loper was able to share his success with the rest of UCP's disability support group.  Loper had decorated for the holiday party and members participated in a potluck and yankee swap.  The group also celebrated the birthdays of two members, Katie and Jeffrey.  A good time was had by all.


The Disability Support Program is Supported by:

AT&T Employee Community Services Fund, Bellows Fund, Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Buscetto Family & Friends Fund, Charter Oak Credit Union, Chelsea Groton Foundation, CohnReznick, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Connecticut  Elks, Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Dime Bank Foundation, Electric Boat Employees Community Services Fund, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America and Alan S. Parker, Trustees, Harold and Rebecca Gross Foundation, Mystic Rotary Club, Niantic Lions, People’s United Community Foundation, Pfizer's United Way contributions, RS Gernon Fund, Travelers, United Way, UCP fundraisers and individual contributions, and individual contributions, and golfers and the following sponsor's of UCP's Golf Tournament on May 6, 2013: http://www.ucpect.org/uploads/media_items/tournament-program-2013.original.pdf 

 

Thank you! 


They're Back! Will and Dylan Bring Holiday Spirit to UCP

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Pictured above is Will Gibson, left, and Dylan Sevey, right

The Kings and Queens of Rock & Roll spread the holiday spirit in Old Saybrook today.  Clients and staff from Quaker Hill also visited to join-in on the festivities.  Will and Dylan played classic holiday music and also played a new song for the first time, The CP River.  At UCP's annual meeting last month, Will and Dylan promised to make a song for UCP.  True to their word, they did just that.  The CP River talks about what it is like to have Cerebral Palsy and the main chorus provides positive encouragement, "I know I can get over these things with hard work and some help.  I can take a ferry, get over the CP River."  UCP is grateful to have the support of Will and Dylan!  The duo plan to return next month to celebrate Will's Birthday at UCP and, of course, play more music!   


Thank You UCP Staff!

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Last week (November 25-27), UCP celebrated staff appreciation week at our Quaker Hill, Old Saybrook, and Groton offices.  Pictured above is UCP senior staff making apple and pumpkin pies for each UCP staff member.  All week, staff were appreciated in many ways.  To start, each staff member received a UCP shirt with the names of all of the staff members on the back.  Trees, made by managers, were put up at each location with the names of staff members and their positive attributes as leaves.  Staff were also encouraged to add leaves with positive traits about their co-workers.  Staff also participated in a scavenger hunt throughout the week where they teamed-up with co-workers and clients to find 10 items that start with each initial for UCP.  The winners were presented with Dunkin Donuts gift cards!  Throughout the week, there was lots of food served by UCP board members, directors, and managers.  On Monday, staff were treated with breakfast, Tuesday, lunch, and Wednesday, dessert where each person received their own homemade pie.

UCP would not be able to fulfill our mission to advance the independence and full citizenship of people with disabilities if it weren't for our dedicated, talented, and caring staff.  Each day you come to work, you make the lives of people with disabilities better.  You really do make a difference and are appreciated!


Thank You Big Night Entertainment Group!

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On Saturday, November 23rd, UCP's disability support group enjoyed an afternoon living the high life at Big Night Entertainment Group's High Rollers bowling alley located in Foxwoods Resort and Casino.  Big Night Entertainment Group was generous enough to donate two lanes for two hours to our group.  High Rollers provides a luxury experience where bowlers lounge on comfy couches and are waited on by a personal waitress while they play using state of the art bowling technology.  Each alley has a wide-screen TV just above the pins where bowlers may watch sports and music videos.  The alley is also lit by several chandeliers providing for an extravagant, once in a lifetime experience.  

UCP and its clients and staff would like to thank Big Night Entertainment Group for their generous donation to our support group members.  All who participated in High Rollers bowling are appreciative of your support and had a fabulous time.  It is an experience we will all remember and cherish for years to come.  


The Disability Support Group meets monthly and is a part of UCP's Disability Support Program.  Members participate in activities of their choosing such as art projects, bowling, sailing, baseball games, dining out, games, and movies.  For more information about the support group, or to become a member, please contact Michelle Bussolotti, Disability Support Coordinator at (860) 443-3800 ext.11 or email at mbussolotti@ucpect.org.

The Disability Support Program is Supported by:

AT&T Employee Community Services Fund, Bellows Fund, Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Buscetto Family & Friends Fund, Charter Oak Credit Union, Chelsea Groton Foundation, CohnReznick, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Connecticut  Elks, Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Dime Bank Foundation, Electric Boat Employees Community Services Fund, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America and Alan S. Parker, Trustees, Mystic Rotary Club, Niantic Lions, People’s United Community Foundation, Pfizer's United Way contributions, RS Gernon Fund, Travelers, United Way, UCP fundraisers and individual contributions, and individual contributions, and golfers and the following sponsor's of UCP's Golf Tournament on May 6, 2013: http://www.ucpect.org/uploads/media_items/tournament-program-2013.original.pdf 

 

Thank you! 


Thank You Chelsea Groton Foundation!

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Pictured above, left to right, is Harry Colonis, from Chelsea Groton and UCP Board Member, Peg Morrison, UCP's Executive Director, and Michelle Bussolotti, UCP's Disability Support Coordinator.

UCP is happy to announce that the Chelsea Groton Foundation has awarded a $1,000 grant this month to support the Disability Support Program.  The Disability Support Program was designed to support under-served children and adults with diverse disabilities who otherwise would receive little to no assistance.  The program is offered free of charge and provides: case management, information and referral services, financial assistance to purchase disability related equipment, monthly support groups for adults 16 and over with physical disabilities, volunteer coordination, and the Tech Tot Toy Library to help children with disabilities develop vital skills.  More information on the Disability Support Program can be found here: http://www.ucpect.org/services/community-services  

Thank you Chelsea Groton Foundation!


Congratulations Savannah, Thanks Will and Dylan, We'll Miss You Peg -UCP's Annual Meeting

On Monday, November 4th UCP of Eastern Connecticut held our Annual Meeting at Quaker Hill.  It was a time to honor staff, clients, board members, and community supporters, as well as highlight the agency's accomplishments throughout the year.   

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Pictured above is Savannah Simon (center), the recipient of this year's Nathaniel Bennett Award, with Brenda Sullivan (left), mother of Nathaniel Bennett and UCP Board Member, along with Peggy Nelson (right), UCP's Nurse who nominated Savannah for the award.  The Nathaniel Bennett Award is given each year at our annual meeting to an individual with a disability living in New London County who serves as a significant role model to individuals with or without a disability.  At just 20 years old, Savannah has already done so much!  Born with Treacher-Collins Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects the bones and tissues of the face, Savannah's mother was told she would never see, walk, hear, or eat on her own.  In fact, Savannah was not even expected to live.  Not only did Savannah survive, but she also did everything the doctors said she would not do -showing the Nathaniel Bennett spirit right from the start!  At the age of 13, after having 69 surgeries, Savannah said that she had enough and that she accepted who she was, even further showing the spirit!  Today, Savannah is known as Southeastern Connecticut's very own "puppy whisperer."    Savannah trains puppies for North Star Foundation, which places service dogs with children who have autism or who are coping with serious illness or loss.  Savannah has been described as having an uncanny ability to understand and relate to dogs intuitively and is renowned for her dog training abilities.   The Southeastern Connecticut region is lucky to have such a talented, spited individual like Savannah Simon living in our community!

 

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UCP was also regaled by the Kings and Queens of Rock & Roll (Will Gibson on washboard and Dylan Sevey on guitar) for the evening’s entertainment.  Will lives in Lyme, CT and Dylan in Rhode Island.  They work together at Resources for Human Development in RI.  Dylan played the guitar and Will the washboard as they both sang songs during the dinner and meeting, such as Bruce Springsteen.  UCP was first introduced to Will and Dylan when the stumbled upon our Old Saybrook office.  They offered to volunteer and provide music for staff and clients there.  They were so well received that they were invited to our annual meeting.  They will continue to volunteer in Old Saybook and promised to come back with more music for our next annual meeting.  Thank you Dylan and Will!  

 

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UCP also announced the retirement of Peg Morrison, our current Executive Director.  Peg will be retiring in June, after 27 years of service.  Steven Smigiel, UCP's Finance Manager, who has worked with Peg for 22 years, gave a moving speech about the leadership Peg has provided UCP through the years.  Having helped grow UCP from the days of the Little White School House to the agency it is today, providing day services in two locations, in-home supports, a residential program, and social work outreach services -is a legacy to be admired.  The contributions Peg has made to make UCP a solid agency, providing vital services to promote independence and full citizenship for people with disabilities, will not be forgotten.  We will miss you Peg!   

 


Things Get Spooky at UCP!

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On Saturday, October 26th, UCP's Disability Support Group haunted the halls of UCP.  The group organized a Halloween Party and dressed-up as their favorite characters.  Some costumes were scary and spooky, while others were funny or enchanting.  The group also carved pumpkins, made lollipop ghosts, decorated cupcakes, and played a game of Werewolf.  Werewolf is a game where there are townspeople and werewolves and the townspeople have to figure-out who the werewolves are in the group before the werewolves take them all out.  Much fun was had by all!  


The Disability Support Group meets monthly and is a part of UCP's Disability Support Program.  Members participate in activities of their choosing such as art projects, bowling, sailing, baseball games, dining out, games, and movies.  For more information about the support group, or to become a member, please contact Michelle Bussolotti, Disability Support Coordinator at (860) 443-3800 ext.11 or email at mbussolotti@ucpect.org.

The Disability Support Program is Supported by:

AT&T Employee Community Services Fund, Bellows Fund, Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Buscetto Family & Friends Fund, Charter Oak Credit Union, Chelsea Groton Foundation, CohnReznick, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Connecticut  Elks, Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Dime Bank Foundation, Electric Boat Employees Community Services Fund, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America and Alan S. Parker, Trustees, Mystic Rotary Club, Niantic Lions, People’s United Community Foundation, Pfizer's United Way contributions, RS Gernon Fund, Travelers, United Way, UCP fundraisers and individual contributions, and individual contributions, and golfers and the following sponsor's of UCP's Golf Tournament on May 6, 2013: http://www.ucpect.org/uploads/media_items/tournament-program-2013.original.pdf 

 

Thank you! 


People's United Community Foundation Awards UCP $4,000

UCP is grateful to announce that the People's United Community Foundation has awarded a $4,000 grant  this month to support the Disability Support Program.  The Disability Support Program was designed to support under-served children and adults with diverse disabilities who otherwise would receive little to no assistance.  The program is offered free of charge and provides: case management, information and referral services, financial assistance to purchase disability related equipment, monthly support groups for adults 16 and over with physical disabilities, volunteer coordination, and the Tech Tot Toy Library to help children with disabilities develop vital skills.  More information on the Disability Support Program can be found here: http://www.ucpect.org/services/community-services  

Thank you People's United Community Foundation!

 


Will and Dylan Shake-Up Old Saybrook!

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Old Saybrook UCP had a concert by Kings and Queens of Rock & Roll (Will Gibson on washboard and Dylan Sevey on guitar) on Friday, October 11th.  Will lives in Lyme, CT and Dylan in Rhode Island.  They work together in Resources for Human Development in RI.  Dylan played the guitar and Will the washboard as they both sang songs by artists such as Tom Petty.  Old Saybrook staff and clients were movin' and a shakin' to the music!  The Kings and Queens of Rock & Roll plan to make a monthly appearance in Old Saybrook.  What's more, they are doing this on their own time as volunteers.  Thank you Dylan and Will!    


UCP Launches World CP Challenge!

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United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern Connecticut launched the World Cerebral Palsy Challenge today, September 6th, at Poquonock Plains Park in Groton.  UCP staff and clients walked and wheeled their way around the park's track in an effort to achieve their daily activity goal.  Each participant has embarked on a challenge to walk, wheel, or participating in other activities that add up to 10,000 steps a day through the month of September with other UCP's around the US and globally.  In teams of four, UCP staff and supporters will compete with each-other to see which team is the most active.  The World CP Challenge also serves as a fundraiser and to build awareness about Cerebral Palsy.  It's not too late to participate!  Teams can be signed-up till September 11th at: http://www.worldcpchallenge.org/  Are you up for the challenge? 

 
Cerebral palsy is a physical disability caused by an injury to the developing brain, which usually occurs before birth. It affects movement and is a lifelong condition, but its impact varies from person to person. United Cerebral Palsy works with its nearly 100 affiliates throughout the country to educate, advocate and provide services for people living with a spectrum of disabilities, such as housing, physical therapy, assistive technology training, early intervention services, individual and family support, social and recreational programs, community living, and employment assistance.
 

UCP Support Group Visits the Mystic Seaport

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On Saturday, August 24th, UCP's Disability Support Group visited the Mystic Seaport.  The group learned about the history of whaling, enjoyed lunch at the Galley, and learned about the summer's night sky in the Planetarium.  It was a fun day to take a step back in time to the 19th century, and, of course, enjoy the comradery of each other!     

The Disability Support Group meets monthly and is a part of UCP's Disability Support Program.  Members participate in activities of their choosing such as art projects, bowling, sailing, baseball games, dining out, games, and movies.  For more information about the support group, or to become a member, please contact Michelle Bussolotti, Disability Support Coordinator at (860) 443-3800 ext.11 or email at mbussolotti@ucpect.org.

The Disability Support Program is Supported by:

AT&T Employee Community Services Fund, Bellows Fund, Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Buscetto Family & Friends Fund, Charter Oak Credit Union, Chelsea Groton Foundation, CohnReznick, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Connecticut  Elks, Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Dime Bank Foundation, Electric Boat Employees Community Services Fund, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America and Alan S. Parker, Trustees, Mystic Rotary Club, Niantic Lions, People’s United Community Foundation, Pfizer's United Way contributions, RS Gernon Fund, Travelers, United Way, UCP fundraisers and individual contributions, and individual contributions, and golfers and the following sponsor's of UCP's Golf Tournament on May 6, 2013: http://www.ucpect.org/uploads/media_items/tournament-program-2013.original.pdf 

 

Thank you! 


UCP Gears-Up for World CP Challenge!

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10,000 steps a day.  That's the challenge UCP will take-on this September as part of the World CP Challenge.  Participants don't just have to walk to reach their steps, they can pick from over 40 activities, including activities suitable for those with disabilities.  UCP staff and supporters will form teams of four and compete with each-other to see which team is the most active.  The World CP Challenge also serves as a fundraiser, where each participant has pledged to also help raise money to support people with disabilities.  The Challenge will take place from September 4th to October 2nd of this year.  Ready to take it on?  You can learn more and register a team here: http://www.worldcpchallenge.org/  


Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority Awards UCP $25,000 to Help with Housing

Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority has selected UCP to receive $25,000 to help people with disabilities in Eastern Connecticut obtain affordable, accessible homes.  The grant was received this week and will be administered through the agency's Disability Support Program for Under-Served Families, which provides social work services to children and adults with diverse disabilities.  The grant will cover  case management, information and referral services, security deposits, rental assistance, and/or home modifications.  "We are excited and grateful to receive this support," responded Michelle Bussolotti, Disability Support Coordinator in charge of the Disability Support Program.  

Of all the basic needs UCP helps families with, housing is perhaps the most challenging.  "Cases involving housing are often time consuming and require intensive case management.  I usually run up against three barriers whenever I'm working with a family.  The first challenge is finding housing that is affordable in Eastern Connecticut.  On top of that, the housing needs to be accessible.  Finally, since most of my clients do not drive, they need to find a place near public transportation.  Put those three factors together, and sometimes people are waiting years to find a place," Bussolotti explains.  "And sometimes it is simple things that keep a person from having an accessible home, such as inability to come-up with a security deposit, or make a small adaptation that insurance won't cover," Bussolotti further stated.  With the help of Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, UCP will be able to combat these barriers to help ensure people with disabilities have access to safe, affordable, accessible homes in a timely manner.  Bussolotti continued, "The grant has already helped us provide support we otherwise would not have been able to provide.  I know it will continue to make such a big difference in the lives of people I work with."   

More information on the Disability Support Program can be found here:  http://www.ucpect.org/services/community-services   


Team UCP Works to Beat Cancer

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From left to right, Shannon Taber, Josephine Bright, Laura Bunn, Peggy Nelson, and Marian Alvarez.


Cancer never sleeps.  That's why participants in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life walk all night in the hopes to find a cure.  This year, UCP staff members and their families came together to form "Team UCP" and  walked the track of Westerly High School on June 21st from 6pm to 9am.  The team set-up a tent based on a birthday theme where they celebrated each other's birthdays.  The reason?  Those with cancer should have many more birthdays.  The team then took turns throughout the night to walk the track.  UCP's nurse, Peggy Nelson, ended-up walking 20 miles in total!  Way to go Team UCP!