UCP SmartBrief & My Child Without Limits

UCP SmartBrief


Disability Update:
Judge says NYC emergency plans inadequate for people with disabilities
U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled that New York City’s emergency planning is inadequate to accommodate people with disabilities and the city is in violation of local and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. Furman said the city’s plans do not ensure evacuation of people with disabilities, do not provide sufficiently accessible shelters, and do not do enough to inform people about accessible emergency services. The class-action lawsuit was brought by local disability-advocacy groups after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)

Children with autism are more prone to gastrointestinal problems
In a study involving almost 1,000 2- to 5-year-olds in California, researchers found that gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, food sensitivity and constipation, were six to eight times more prevalent among children with autism than those without the condition. “GI problems may create behavior problems, and those behavior problems may create or exacerbate GI problems,” lead author Virginia Chaidez wrote in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. HealthDay News

Assistive Technology
Children with autism are more prone to gastrointestinal problems
In a study involving almost 1,000 2- to 5-year-olds in California, researchers found that gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, food sensitivity and constipation, were six to eight times more prevalent among children with autism than those without the condition. “GI problems may create behavior problems, and those behavior problems may create or exacerbate GI problems,” lead author Virginia Chaidez wrote in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. HealthDay News

DOT rules to make airport kiosks, airline websites more accessible
New U.S. Department of Transportation rules will require airline websites and airport kiosks to be accessible to people with disabilities. Airlines will be required to make their website pages with key travel information and services accessible to people with disabilities within two years of the rule, and at least 25% of airport kiosks used for such services as printing boarding passes will be required to be accessible within 10 years. Forbes

Transitions
Minn. district switches to inclusion model for students with disabilities
St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota has closed most of its learning resource centers and placed students with behavioral and emotional disabilities at their home schools to have more interaction with their peers. The change has given most students a chance to be in a regular education classroom. Some student advocates and teachers raised concerns, such as not having enough aides and special-education teachers to co-teach in every classroom with students with disabilities. Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)

Adding sensory elements to stories can enhance learning
Incorporating sensory experiences, such as feeling a drop of water or smelling a favorite scent, into stories can help enrich learning for all students, says special-educational needs and disabilities consultant Joanna Grace. In this blog post, she shares specific ways sensory stories can be used with a range of student populations, including students with sensory-processing disorders and other special needs. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network 

UCP News
2013 Design- athon a huge success!

Held in partnership with U.K.-based Enabled by Design and Futuregov, the Design-athon is an international innovation event with a focus on disabilities. More than 100 hackers, designers and inventors came together at the Design-athon to hear from experts, discuss the issues surrounding the need for more accessible, attractive and easier-to-use products for people with disabilities, and to build functional, scalable prototypes. Learn more about the Design-athon and how you can get involved!

World Cerebral Palsy Challenge final results announced
The final fundraising results from the second annual World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Challenge, an international awareness and fundraising campaign for people living with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, were recently announced — and they are amazing! More than $180,000 was raised in the U.S., and $1.6 million was raised worldwide. More than 1,900 individuals from five different countries participated in the World CP Challenge, making it a huge success. Thank you to everyone involved, and we hope to see you again next year! Learn more about the World CP Challenge.

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My Child Without Limits

Giving Tuesday

This year, on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, UCP and My Child Without Limits are part of a call to action celebrating a day dedicated to giving. Charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers giving_tuesdayand more will all come together for #GivingTuesday – a movement to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the Holiday Season that we are proud to be part of.

Since the beginning UCP-OC has relied on support from its community members to continue serving the children and families in Orange County.  #GivingTuesday proves that the holidays can be about both giving and giving back. It celebrates how Americans can do more with their wallets than just shop – and that we Americans can give as good as we get.

Mark your calendar for #GivingTuesday or click here to donate today.

U.S. Preterm Birth Rate Falls But More Can Still Be Done
According to a report released by the March of Dimes, in 2012 the nation’s preterm birth rate was 11.5%, a 15-year low. While it is better than in previous years the U.S. received a grade of C and was ranked 131 out of 184 countries worldwide. There is still very far to go in decreasing the U.S.’s preterm birth rate. Beyond statistics about the numbers of births, the report focuses on the reasons behind the rate and strategies for prevent- including reducing smoking and increasing health insurance coverage among pregnant women.

Click here for full results of the March of Dimes Global Action Report.

Click here for more information about premature births including common associated health problems and treatments from MyChildWithoutLimits.org.

Trying To Teach Empathy Through A New Video Game
quandaryMIT’s Education Arcade and the Learning Games Network created a new free game called Quandary with the idea of engaging kids to start thinking. Quandary approaches the broad topic of ethics by helping students understand how to take a different perspective and learn how to empathize.

As a player you are the captain on an Earth colony on a distant planet charged with the survival of your crew and residents. In order to understand the situation you must interview different characters and organize the information you get in to facts, solutions, or opinions, and then act. The game allows players to experience a diverse set of character viewpoints. Gamer creators believe “The game offers a unique decision-making mechanic, one where the choices and outcomes available to players are not a binary ‘good or bad’, and where there are no easy, right answers.”

Creators are careful to say the game doesn’t teach ethics, per se. Instead they “…see games as an organized space for playful exploration and through the process people encounter and form new ideas and concepts, they begin to construct knowledge.”

Quandary has a new iPhone and Android app that offers the same experience as the web-based game and are available for free. Check out the website for more information and to download the game.

Other interesting news:

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Life’s a Journey With CP and Me

Hi Everyone!

Katy FettersKaty here, a local college student who is always writing, sharing, and learning about cerebral palsy since I also have CP!

I just recently participated in the World CP Challenge, a global, month-long fundraiser that works to raise awareness and educate participants about CP. In addition, participants dedicate this entire month to their own health and fitness: in teams of four, we climb seven virtual mountains all over world with a pedometer step count! As the leader of Team TeenCP, I am happy to say we completed our second year doing the challenge. This year was more successful for us with steps, but fundraising was a bit difficult due to the competitive nature of the challenge in my community! (What a good problem to have, though.)

While I can’t do as much running and walking as I used to, what is great about this fundraiser is that you can still gain “steps” for your team no matter the activity! Biking became my main mode of exercise for the challenge and I always felt so great after logging in my steps for my team to see our progress! Another plus, is that the CP CP_Challenge_logoChallenge really allowed me to feel more in-tune with my physical health and I have been able to keep up with consistent cardio and strength training because I feel so great after a hard work out! I hope others who did the challenge feel the same way. What I also loved about this year was that the challenge ended on World CP Day (Oct. 2), so as a great send off, I was able to speak toward some young adults that I know who have CP and urge them to share something about their own experience with having a physical disability. What an empowering movement I get to be a part of! Team TeenCP will look forward to a stronger, better fundraiser for the fall of 2014.

My parents, Paul and Carolyn Fetters, owners of The Training Spot in Huntington Beach have supported UCP-OC for quite some time now, and this is the second World CP Challenge that they, their personal trainers and committed clients have also participated in the fundraiser. A gym or fitness center is a great environment to host something like the World CP Challenge because it encourages members and clients to get active for such a great cause (and something so personal to our family.) Overall, we are happy to be a part of the challenge in the coming years because of its positive message, results, and awareness for the local community and UCP-OC. Thanks UCP National for bringing the World CP Challenge to the United States!

Until next time,
Katy

Child of the Month….and Volunteer of the Month

November 2013: Andrew & Natalie Cernius

With Thanksgiving coming up, we have much to be thankful for this month of November. We would like to kick off our month of thankfulness by featuring Andrew Cernius as our Child of the Month and Natalie Cernius as our first Volunteer of the Month!

We could not be more excited to feature these two wonderful people and the immense impact they have made at UCP-OC and alongside UCP-OC.

Andrew is 19 years-old and is the third child in the Cernius family. IMG_20131017_194249Andrew has autism and comes to UCP-OC for recreational classes. “He participates in Drawing and Painting and absolutely loves it and the new teacher is fantastic!”says his mother Poita. Recently he has gotten a job at Creative Solutions for Hope in their mailroom, which both he and his parents are very proud of. He loves bringing home his paycheck!

Andrew is also the founding member (and inspiration) for the Friday Night Club, something we have all grown to love at UCP-OC!  As the third child, Andrew became very close to his older siblings, and as they left for college his younger sister Natalie saw that Andrew was left without his friends. With this as her driving force, Natalie set out to create a time for teens with special needs like her brother to socialize with their peers, make friends and just have fun.

This November 21st Natalie will be honored by the National Philanthropy Day Board who is awarding her with the Outstanding Youth Award for the creation of the Friday Night Club and other philanthropic work throughout the community. More rewarding to Natalie and her family is what happened this past weekend. The Friday Night Club started 2 years ago, and this past Friday’s Halloween party attracted over 200 teens with special needs and typical teens that volunteer at the event.

Thank you Natalie for your idea to start this, and thank you Andrew for being her inspiration. With this idea UCP-OC been able to create a program for teens that is changing lives.

Drawing and Painting Class
Thursdays, 6:30pm
To sign up for Drawing and Painting Class please contact Cindy Escobar at cescobar@ucp-oc.org  

 

To find out more about the Friday Night Club and hear a teen’s story stay tuned for December’s Child of the Month with video!

Natalie and Andrew