UCP Transition Services:
Empowering Individuals to Live Everyday Lives
March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month here in PA and nationwide. We appreciate the additional recognition that comes with awareness, so we were pleased to see Governor Tom Wolf’s proclamation in support of Pennsylvanians with developmental disabilities. The reality is we at UCP Central PA support and celebrate the achievements of individuals with disabilities all year round. Check out our video for some special UCP moments!
UCP has long been a leader in promoting “life without limits” for people of all abilities. It’s a reality we strive to help individuals achieve, day in and day out, in whatever capacity that may mean. We offer innovative, even life-changing programs and services at every stage of life, from premature birth through older adults. However, it is particularly fitting that we focus this month’s e-news on our transition-age services.

Periods of change or transition present new challenges for all of us, no matter what our background or abilities. Often times, these challenges are magnified for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) or autism. By making the transition to independence as seamless and stress-free as possible, UCP transition services help these young adults tackle the challenges and make the most of the opportunities.

Several UCP program staff were on hand at the 2018 Transition Fair (link to photos below) at HACC’s Midtown Campus on March 9 to talk with students about some of the transition options available to them. UCP Links to Independence program participant Dana Shick was there in a dual capacity: as a panelist in the discussion “From School Days to Pay Days” and as a vendor selling her handmade goods (Dana is an owner of Alpaca Fiber Designs). Sherri Landis, Executive Director of the DREAM Partnership (a subsidiary of UCP) gave an eye-opening presentation on post-secondary education opportunities available to students with ID/D through DREAM.  
Transition to Employment
Transition from the familiarity and security of high school to the next stage of life can be stressful for any adolescent or young adult. The move from school to college or from school days to pay days can be especially challenging for students with I/DD. Still, one of the most significant growth opportunities for individuals with I/DD is in the area of employment. UCP's Community Career Connections supported employment program provides individualized services designed to support school-age students and adults as they seek to enter the workforce.
Transition to Independence
Our range of services and supports for transition-age students and adults are not limited to employment. We also help individuals with I/DD live the most independent, fulfilled life possible, at home, at school, at play, or out in the community.
Transition Through Technology
For people with a disability, technology can be a game-changer. If there is a technology, device, or piece of equipment that could give you greater mobility, control or independence, contact UCP to learn about our comprehensive assistive technology supports and services. 
Love without Limits:
The Power of Community
UCP Central PA routinely partners with or relies on the goodwill of organizations that support our mission. Below are just a few examples:
Free Phone Equipment for Eligible PA Residents
Would you like to be able to talk with someone on the phone, but you can’t hear the ringer? Or can’t see the numbers to dial? Do you know someone who has difficulty hearing what others say on the phone?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we encourage you to explore Pennsylvania’s Telecommunication Device Distribution Program (TDDP).

If you are an eligible PA resident with a disability, you could qualify to receive specialized assistive audio equipment in the home free of charge . Eligibility requirements are listed at the link below:
Inclusion at the Ballet
Another example of love without limits at work in our local community comes courtesy of the Pennsylvania Ballet Academy. The Academy now offers a class teaching kids with special needs the art of ballet. Children from the ages of six to 12 with intellectual and physical disabilities are welcome. UCP CEO Judith McCowan heard about the class and suggested to Family Support Services staff member Suzanne Jackson that she check it out to see if a movement-intensive activity like ballet would be possible for Suzanne’s daughter Grace, who uses orthotic braces.

The pictures--and results--speak for themselves. In Suzanne's words, "After several months of harmonizing...the class is now a very free-flowing and unified expression of dance. Each class, I get chills looking around the room at each student."

If you or someone you know would be interested in this program, contact the Pennsylvania Ballet Academy at 717-774-7474 or visit their Website.

UCP-linked Trivia Night raises $2,000+
Yet another way that individuals, families or groups in the community "show the love" for UCP is through third party fundraising. We want to give a HUGE shoutout to Laura, Dan, Parker, and Blake Fellon.

The Fellon family and the owners of Mount Gretna Craft Brewery worked together to host a trivia night in honor of Parker, who has Cerebral Palsy.

We are so thankful that the community rallied around Parker--and through him raised over $2,000 to support children and youth with a variety of special needs.

Be sure to check out Mount Gretna Craft Brewery if you are in the area-- plans are in place to make trivia night permanent feature of the establishment! If you would like to make a donation in honor of Parker Fellon (pictured foreground, right), visit our Network For Good Foundation Page.
Love without Limits: Upcoming Events
We've got three distinct fundraising opportunities coming up over the next couple months. As a supporter of UCP, we encourage you to "show the love" in the way that best connects with you and your lifestyle!
Putt Your Way Through the Burg
UCP has a couple of GREAT events coming up. First up in April we have our first ever Mini Golf Tournament in collaboration with local businesses in Harrisburg.

Teams of four will have a chance to compete at local watering holes and prominent establishments alike, battling it out for supremacy on the most unlikely of battlegrounds: a mini golf course. Participants (must be 21 years of age) get to enjoy the course while trying food, drink, and of course competing for bragging rights! Tickets can be purchased at the link below- grab a few for the chance to putt for a good cause!

Questions? Email volunteer@ucpcentralpa.org
Put on Your Walking Shoes
The Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community will once again be held on the campus of Harrisburg Area Community College on Saturday, May 19. We are encouraging supporters to join TEAM UCP as we walk together to raise funds to furnish a sensory room at one of UCP's day programs. While there is no putting a price tag on the life-changing outcomes that result from the sensory environment, there is most definitely a steep cost associated with creating such an environment. Our goal for the day is to raise $12,000. 

How can you help:

  • Commit to walk as an individual or as part of a group
  • Sign up as a virtual walker. Can’t make that location on that date? Not to worry, simply commit to join us in spirit (and through your financial contribution).
  • Recruit others to join the cause.
Registration is now open. To learn more, or if you need assistance with registration, contact: volunteer@ucpcentralpa.org
Believe it or Not...

Final UCP/Harrisburg Senators Sports Auction
After 32 years as one of UCP’s marquee events, the UCP/Harrisburg Senators Sports Auction will be accepting final bids… and tireless Event Founder and Chair Billy Kaldes will be retiring the auctioneer’s microphone. 

We invite you to join us on Saturday, June 2, as we celebrate a community of sports aficionados—and more importantly like-minded supporters—who have helped raise nearly $1.5 million to benefit UCP programs and services over the years. 

Please help us recognize and honor Billy and his family for their efforts born out of love for their daughter Jessica who has Cerebral Palsy.

Other event highlights include:

  • Live and silent auction items (signed and unsigned)
  • Autograph signing opportunities with select Harrisburg Senators’ players
  • No admission! You only pay to play!

The event is held rain or shine, since we’re under cover of the Carousel Pavilion. So mark your calendars now!
News You Can Use
UCP of Central Pennsylvania
55 Utley Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17011