UCP receives tech grant for people with disabilities

The California Communications Access Foundation recently awarded nonprofit UCP of Sacramento and Northern California (United Cerebral Palsy) a grant of $25,000 to purchase 11 iPads, one SMART Table and one SMART Board for its adult day programs and Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State that serve people with developmental disabilities. The new devices are providing children ages 8-12 at the Autism Center for Excellence with reinforced communication and increased motor and daily living skills. Adult day program participants are enhancing their community participation and group skills, vocational training, language development and cognition.

“We’re very thankful for California Communications Access Foundation’s generous gift that is helping people with developmental disabilities access the educational resources needed to live independent and meaningful lives,” said Doug Bergman, president and CEO, UCP of Sacramento and Northern California.

At UCP’s Autism Center for Excellence, instructors are using an iPad to reinforce good behavior. They will soon begin exploring educational apps. The center also received a SMART Table, which is giving three to four kids at a time the chance to interact and build their social skills while solving puzzles and completing coloring projects.

In UCP’s adult day programs, participants are using iPads to play educational games that enhance early literacy and math skills, create movies through iMovie, improve communication, and take photos and creatively manipulate them using the built-in camera and iPhoto. SMART Boards are allowing instructors to have a large, interactive screen to teach weather science and vocabulary using Weather.com, as well as to teach current events and geography using Google Earth. Thanks to the interactive features, participants are using the screen to move around letters and create new words and to improve their range of motion, hand-eye coordination and learn cause and effect.

Each month, UCP of Sacramento and Northern California serves 3,300 children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families in Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Shasta, Sutter and Yolo counties. Programs include Saddle Pals adaptive horseback riding, UCP’s Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State, adult day programs, independent living services, transportation and in-home respite care for families. For more information, visit www.ucpsacto.org.

California Communications Access Foundation is a nonprofit that specializes in improving access to telecommunications services for people with disabilities and other traditionally underserved populations. The foundation’s primary work is to manage and operate the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program through a contract with the California Public Utilities Commission. This program provides specialized telecommunications equipment and services for people with disabilities in California. For more information, visit http://ccaf.us.

Disclosure: Kristin Thébaud is the marketing and PR consultant for UCP of Sacramento and Northern California and works with numerous local nonprofits.

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