A Year in Review

An Update from Our CEO

Cathy with firefighters CEO Cathleen Collins shares in this upcoming Summer Newsletter a review of this past year and celebrates the mark of UCP-OC’s 60 years of serving Orange County

2013 marks a special year as we celebrate our 60th Anniversary in Orange County, and the different core programs, people and events that have played a vital role in our organization. We are excited to reflect on the past 60 years and those who have made a difference this year to empower families and help children challenged with special needs to live a “Life Without Limits”.

Thank you to all of our donors who contributed to our Golf Tournament, Life Without Limits Gala and our Annual Fund Campaign. With your support we were able to raise more than $1.398 million this year!

October launched our fundraising season with our Annual “Autumn Golf Classic” and Brianna Cup Golf Tournament, chaired by Scott Pievac CEO of SPC Retail Display Group with lead sponsor Dana Dowers and DLD Insurance. Please Save the Date for this year’s tournament on Monday, October 21, 2013.

In March our support guilds ushered in spring with two spectacular events, the first a festive Fashion Show hosted by Psi Delta and the second a glamorous Casino Royale, hosted by the Sea & Sky Guild and chaired by Guild Founder and President, Linda Beresford.

On Friday May 10, 2013 we held our most successful Life Without Limits Gala to date. Honoring our 60th Anniversary and the philanthropic leadership of Michael K. Hayde. His example of community support and personal philosophy on giving back made him the perfect recipient of our UCP-OC Impact Award. We are very grateful for Mr. Hayde’s support of our organization and the children and families we serve. We are especially grateful for our many event sponsors including lead Life Without Limits Sponsor, The Argyros Family Foundation. For a complete list of event sponsors please see our upcoming newsletter.

UCP-OC is fortunate to have a team of skilled and professional therapists, administrative staff and program specialists who work tirelessly throughout our community. Our collaborative and coordinated children’s services strive to meet the comprehensive needs of families to ensure the support they need throughout a child’s life. This year many of our therapists and staff have spent countless hours outside of UCP-OC earning new certifications and accreditations to further serve the children that come to UCP-OC.

You can remain updated on the happenings at UCP-OC by following us on our Facebook, blog and even Twitter page!

Thank you for supporting our mission to serve the Orange County community and acknowledging the importance of the programs and services our organization provides. Please consider a gift to UCP-OC to support our Annual Fund this year. Annual gifts to UCP-OC help to ensure that every child in need of services receives help and supports critical infrastructure needed to provide excellent care and service. Most importantly, your support helps to ensure a Life Without Limits for every child with disabilities!

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Life’s a Journey With CP and Me

katyfd-225x300Hi Everyone,

Wow, it certainly has been awhile since I have blogged for UCP-OC! I am happy that things have slowed down for me a bit, so I can share with you all, what I have been up to this summer.

I just finished my sophomore year of college at Soka University, here in Orange County. It was a busy semester, but I enjoyed it so much and I am proud of what I have accomplished. I haven’t blogged in a few months for UCP because I have been recovering from surgery since the end of my semester, too! Due to the imbalance of my body and pressure on my feet from having CP, I’ve been dealing with stress fractures in both of my feet over the past year. Two surgeries later,  I am happy to say I am healing, walking again, and on the road to make a full recovery! It’s been a stressful journey, but as a result, I am much more in-tune with my body and I am focusing on doing more physical therapy, strength training, and yoga to get back to where I was before my injuries.

I also have been able to volunteer more at UCP-OC! Alongside UCP-OC’s Marketing and Development Coordinator, Elizabeth Eckman, I am helping to promote the World CP Challenge, a 4-week fun and interactive fundraiser that supports our very own center right here in Irvine! There will be more information to follow in the coming weeks, but if you are interested please email myself at kfetters@ucp-oc.org or Elizabeth at eeckman@ucp-oc.org  and take a moment to check out their website here: www.worldcpchallenge.org/ucpoc.

Summer time is busy with internships for college students, and I started my summer off with a part-time internship with a music production company in Venice, CA called Mophonics Music and Sound. It’s been fun getting to experience a new environment and change of atmosphere from the quiet of the suburbs here. I am able to sit in on most production calls and talk with music composers and songwriters about their work with ad agencies or even aspiring musicians and bands. This company works to provide their clientele with original and fun music to any type of commercial or movie reel that needs some creative voice behind it. I’ve always enjoyed writing and music, so to combine and pursue my love of both behind such a talented group of people would be so exciting!

I hope you all had a fun and safe 4th of July, and please enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer month! Thanks everyone!



For those of you who don’t know me, My name is Katy Fetters and I have cerebral palsy on the left side of my body… and I am also the creator of TeenCP! (www.teencerebralpalsy.com) TeenCP is a blog that has become a great resource over the past four years for teens and young people with cerebral palsy to connect and find the support that they may not find otherwise find. If you haven’t already “liked” the page on Facebook, be sure to type in TeenCP and find us there, too!

Child of the Month: July

July 2013: Kiaan

KiaanJuly’s Child of the Month is a very special boy at UCP-OC for many reasons, and we wanted to celebrate him on his birthday month!

Kiaan was born on July 4th, and he just celebrated his third birthday! Kiaan is a micro preemie, being born 15 weeks early. The first 4 months of his life was spent in the NICU with his family by his side. With every day having new fears and uncertainties, Kiaan’s parents Neha and Jesse consider him their miracle baby.

Being born on a day with fireworks must play into his playful personality. Countless times his mother Neha has caught him “just being playful” teasing the dog at home. Luckily we haven’t experienced his cunning tricks during therapy yet! He couples his teasing with his heart-warming smile; which normally works pretty well for him. Despite all his hard work in the past 3 years he is one of the happiest children I have seen, although that is not what caught my eye; it is his deep concern for others that truly impresses me. Though he has gone through so much he is constantly concerned with the children around him and will try to comfort a distressed friend in his own special way.

At nine months-old, Kiaan’s parents began to see milestones being missed and brought him to United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County. One of the first services they used was Moira’s Let’s Grow class. Let’s Grow is a developmental play group for parents and their infants/toddlers (birth to 36 months). The class works on helping children reach their developmental milestones, foster growth and socialization skills, while educating parents. Kiaan also comes for occupational therapy, physical therapy and now speech therapy at UCP-OC.

Kiaan’s Occupational Therapist, Jane, incorporated sensory/tactile play with various textured toys as well as bean and rice bins to address Kiaan’s tactile defensiveness and textural aversions.  Feeding was a challenge for Kiaan and during sessions, Jane slowly introduced different food textures to encourage interaction with foods and eventually eating those foods without aversions.  Kiaan made good progress and at the age of 2 and a half, Kiaan was able to join his parents at the dinner table and eat table foods, just like his parents!

Currently, his speech therapists are working on introducing new sounds and words to his vocabulary. Neha is anxiously awaiting him to learn the coveted  word “mommy.” A word we hope he learns soon!

Family with KiaanNeha knows that Kiaan is working hard to meet developmental goals with the therapists at UCP-OC, giving their family a sense of normalcy.

“UCP-OC is our security blanket. The therapists jump at our concerns and make sure Kiaan is progressing like he should. Kiaan doesn’t know he is working, it is all play time with his friends to him. We very grateful and blessed that we can bring our son to UCP-OC. The journey is easier and doesn’t feel like we are on a roller coaster of emotions every day.” –Neha

A VERY Happy Third Birthday to our friend Kiaan! 

Neha and Jesse are one of our many grateful families that have given back to UCP-OC in many different ways. Neha has joined one of our guilds raising funds, spreading awareness and running the silent auction at the Life Without Limits Gala. We thank Neha & Jesse for their continued support and donations over the years in gratitude for the role UCP-OC has played in their lives.

If you would like to make a gift to support the services that are helping Kiaan and his family, please click here or contact Elizabeth Eckman at eeckman@ucp-oc.org  for more information.

Written by: Elizabeth Eckman

UCP SmartBrief

Hello UCP family,

We hope you enjoy this week’s UCP SmartBrief, a compilation of news stories, articles and new research impacting the lives of people with disabilities and family members.

If you should have any questions please contact Elizabeth Eckman at eeckman@ucp-oc.org.

Thank you,

UCP of Orange County

Disability News

Why Internet accessibility may be the next big civil rights issue
The U.S. Justice Department this year is expected to issue guidelines on how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to websites. Recent lawsuits against companies such as Netflix and Target have brought the issue of online content accessibility to the forefront. “Websites are the new frontier,” said Brian G. Muse, a law partner with LeClairRyan in Williamsburg, Va. Detroit Free Press (7/5)

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Study examines IVF and risk of autism, intellectual disability
Overall, in vitro fertilization treatments were not linked to an increased risk of autism in singleton children, but IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection carried a slightly higher risk of autism or intellectual disability, a Swedish study showed. Conception of twins under the most serious forms of male infertility was tied to a fourfold greater risk of autism compared with less severe forms of male infertility, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. CNN/The Chart blog (7/2), Reuters (7/2)

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Other News

Assistive Technology

Technology helps make school laboratory accessible
Purdue University is helping budding scientists with disabilities — many of whom graduate without conducting research — gain laboratory experience in its Institute for Accessible Science, where students have access to a range of high- and low-tech adaptive tools. For instance, one student who is legally visually impaired uses a device called Penfriend to read labels and computer software to record lab data. Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Ind.) (7/1)

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Volunteers build adaptive equipment for Minn. school district
Retired engineers and woodworking hobbyists build adaptive furniture and equipment for a fraction of commercial costs at a workshop located in a Minnesota school district. Their designs range from a chair with interchangeable parts that adapts to children of all sizes to a laser-guided bowling ball launcher. “We think we produce a better product than we can purchase because we can customize it to the child we are serving,” special-ed executive director Ann Casey said. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (7/4)

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Other News


Colo. woman creates virtual world for people with disabilities
Coloradan Alice Krueger, who has multiple sclerosis, created the online community Virtual Ability within Second Life, and the community has more than 700 members with disabilities. Users, who create avatars that are not bound by physical limitations, can interact with other members in the virtual world. Retired University of Colorado neuroscience professor Mark Dubin says such programs can be therapeutic. The Denver Post/Colorado Public News (7/5)

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Other News

UCP News

Full Spectrum Newsletter
Want to find out more about how to get involved in the World CP Challenge, read about the Adventure Trails of UCP of Central Pennsylvania, learn about an underwater wheelchair ballerina, or the PCORI awards? Then check out the latest issue of our Full Spectrum newsletter, and be sure to sign up to receive the newsletter each month!

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Life Labs Blog
Life Labs, a technology and grassroots-focused initiative of United Cerebral Palsy dedicated to identifying, developing and supporting ideas that will make a difference for people living with disabilities, has continued to feature some amazing stories on their blog. Learn more about what Life Labs is up to and the stories they are highlighting on their blog.

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“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”

— George Bernard Shaw,
Irish playwright and essayist