Living Into Answers [PDF]

A Review of the Transition to Individualized Supports
For People Served by the Community Services Department of United Cerebral Palsy Association of Oregon and S.W. Washington

John O’Brien


The United Cerebral Palsy Association of Oregon and S.W. Washington (UCP) marked the formal completion of their transition from providing congregate services to offering individual supports for home, work, and community life by inviting our team to review two aspects of the process. They asked us to provide

…an interested outsider’s account of the process of their transition in a form that might be useful to other agencies.

…a critical view on the issues that will shape the quality of the supports they offer over the next few years.

Our process was simple. We visited from Sunday, 12 January – Friday, 17 January 1997. From Sunday evening through Thursday noon, we gathered information by meeting some of the people UCP supports and some of the key people in their lives. We also interviewed other people who have an important role in UCP’s transition and future. Team members collaborated with UCP senior staff to decide who we would meet and how we would manage our schedules. Team members almost always worked individually, though we had good help from UCP staff or other assistants when we needed orientation to a person’s communication system. Each evening and from Thursday noon to Friday noon we met as a team to share our informa- tion and our thoughts. We held two meetings with UCP staff and Board members and with others interested in the transition. In these meetings we discussed our conclusions and provided a chance for people to correct or further inform our views.