United Cerebral Palsy has received the Illinois Performance Excellence Gold Award for Achievement of Excellence
United Cerebral Palsy has received the Illinois Performance Excellence Gold Award for Achievement of Excellence. It has been ten years since UCP introduced the Baldrige Criteria for Excellence to the Board, staff, customers and stakeholders, and began our journey on the path to excellence. Since that time, the UCP Leadership Team has guided the organization through a cultural transformation focused on utilizing strategic thinking to plan for the future, facilitating growth to meet the needs of our customers, and engaging our workforce in performance improvement.
The UCP Board of Directors and Leadership Team recognized that in order to sustain and grow the organization, we would need to differentiate our organization from our competitors. Through our implementation of the Baldrige Criteria, we have developed systems to improve both customer and business outcomes. As a result, we now have the ability to provide funders, stakeholders, and potential customers with empirical evidence that UCP services achieve outcomes for the people we serve.
UCP also needed to build a solid operational structure that would live beyond the Leadership Team. Baby Boomers developed and have led social service organizations for several decades. Over the next several years, it will be time to hand off the leadership responsibilities to the next generation. Institutional knowledge often walks out the door when there is turnover in leadership. Our goal was to develop systems and people to avoid this knowledge drain. Employees from throughout UCP have been involved in every step of the journey, developing and improving the way we work. This has enabled staff to develop their leadership skills in order to assume greater responsibility in the future.
The 2013 ILPEx Gold Award is a significant milestone on our path to excellence. It recognizes the cultural transformation and positive outcomes we have experienced on our journey. This is a tremendous honor for United Cerebral Palsy.
COMMUNITY LEADERS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES HONORED AT UCP LAND OF LINCOLN ANNUAL MEETING
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Land of Lincoln’s Annual Meeting, hosted by Board Chair, Lori Williams, was held on Thursday, November 21, 2013. One hundred and seventy people were in attendance at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, honoring organizations and individuals for their significant contributions to UCP.
UCP Land of Lincoln honored: Qik n Ez Convenience Stores, “Outstanding Corporate Support;” Honorable Leo Zappa, “Outstanding Board Member;” Bill Newton, Jim Mack, and Barney’s Furniture, “Special Recognition;” Springfield School District 186; “Outstanding Community Partner;” Gary Reynolds, “Outstanding Telethon VIP;” The Herron Family, “Outstanding Telethon Team;” Kathy Althoff and Leslie Leach; “Outstanding Volunteer;” Ace Aldridge and Jared Cordum, “Outstanding Camp Volunteer;” The Hope Institute, “Employer of the Year;” Kim Cookson, “Gene Schneider Leadership Award;” Gregory Esper, David Dailey Community Employment Award;” Cynthia Cowell, “Donna Newton Employee of the Year;” Staff Service Awards were given to Johnathan Jordan, Eric Swartz, Christine Dovine, Carrie Lynom, Joshua Howardson, Christian Mehl, Richard Walden, Cassandra Colon and Bob Stacy , “5 Year Service Award;” Yourlanda Hill, Paula McKay and Leanna Frye, “10 Year Service Award;” Rene Fein, “20 Year Service Award;” and Ron Brown “25 Year Service Award.”
United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln provides services to 645 individuals and their families with various disabilities in Central Illinois. Services include job training and placement, assistive technology, summer camps, residential support, day services, case management and advocacy.
United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln, with funding from United Way of Central Illinois and the support of volunteers, offers the Life Without Limits Day Camp in an 8 week format that meets daily Monday through Friday during the summer months. Camp is open to school-aged children with disabilities aged 6-21 years. This camp, while full of fun experiences, provides an educational focus to help campers maintain or build academic skills over the summer in the areas of math and reading. Camp curriculum also includes physical activity, crafts, and field trips into the community to build on academic, social and life skills goals.
Life Without Limits Day Camp has a goal to ensure “Students will maintain or increase reading, mathematics, and writing skills.” Prior to the start of camp UCP Staff will complete needed assessments, interview campers, families, and their associated educators, and develop an Individual Service Plan with goals and objectives identified. The Camp Director, in consultation with full time Children’s Services Staff, will utilize this camper specific information to create the LWOL Day Camp curriculum with specific activities planned for the entire eight week camp. Camp follows the same general structure each week. Students are presented with educational, life and social skills activities daily. UCP will provide additional instruction and enhancement in the focused areas of reading and math beyond the traditional classroom setting for each student based on their individual goals. Educational activities have components that include reading and math skills. Reading activities include group and individual reading sessions. Educational activities may include utilization of iPads/tablets, worksheets, books, games, and educational displays at community sites.
The 1990 Individuals With Disabilities Education Act recognized the importance of transition planning and that students must be prepared to participate in planning for their future. To be an active participant, students must have self- determination skills. These skills include social skills, community and peer connections, and the ability to effectively communicate, among others. During Life Without Limits Day Camp campers will work on social and life skill development alongside their educational goals. The curriculum provides for social interaction and skill development both within the camper’s peer group and with the larger community through directed group learning experiences based on the Individual Service Plan with goals developed to meet the transitional plans of the camper. These social skills, as the basis of self- determination, are foundational for academic success, graduation from high school and entry into the workforce or higher education. Typically, those with disabilities are less connected to their communities and UCP believes strongly in living up to our Mission statement of providing “innovative strategies to connect people with disabilities to their communities.”
Activities for camp take place in Springfield and surrounding communities Camp staff actively work on teaching reading and math skills by using real world applications common in everyday life such as reading signs, engaging in financial transactions, telling time, and many other skills that may be identified as goals in the student’s service plan.
Volunteers play an essential role in the UCP Life Without Limits Day Camp. A volunteer buddy assists each student by facilitating interactions and activities throughout camp. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age. Training is provided by UCP to ensure each volunteer understands the needs of the campers. If you are interested in being a volunteer, please contact Amanda Tamminga at 525-6522.
See News Archives